I am planning to get a new 10" table saw blade (probably a Forrest
Woodworker II). Should I get the 1/8" or 3/32" kerf? What are the
pros and cons? (wood waste, kickback, blade stability, sharpening,
etc.) What do most woodworker's have? Thanks
What saw do you have? With a strong saw, I'd say, that, at least for the
types of work I do, the reasons for a thin kerf blade are efffectively
removed. A full kerf blade is thicker, stiffer, and more stable in every
condition of which I can conceive. Miter cuts, compound cuts, anything
with side forces on the blade will be more predictable.
But if you're trying to cut 8/4 maple or oak on a Shopsmith, or something
else underpowered, that thin kerf might actually make it possible to
complete the cut.
I've used a WWII (1/8" kerf), on an older Unisaw at the adult ed shop. I
don't think that the cuts were any better than those on my Unisaw at home,
with good blades from FS Tools, Oldham Signature, Freud or other premium
brands. Everything is better when the blades were clean and sharp, the saw
well tuned, and the operator was paying close attention to detail.
That's my $.02. But it's your $100.
I like the 1/8 in. It makes figuring easier for me. I can divide in 8ths,
but dividing by 3/32nds gives me a headache. I believe the heavier plate
will be a little truer without a stabilizer. I don't know if the tips last
any longer or not since the full edge cuts on either. I have enough HP that
it doesn't really matter.
I just cannot agree with you on this one Ed.
I own a shop where we go through a couple of thousand Bf a week and the
thin kerf blades make absolutely no difference in the over all waste. If
anything they cause more problems than they are worth IE having to joint off
more wood because of blade twist while under load.
The only advantage I see with them is if you are doing a curved
lamination for a stair case or any type of radius where you are keeping the
cuts in sequence for over all appearance and even at that 9 out of ten
people will not see the difference at all.
I think you should re-read what I wrote, but a little less serious frame of
If you were cutting 12" wide boards you'd have to make 384 cuts to save a
board foot of material. Assuming that you were to utilize 100% of your
cutoffs (probably more like 2%) you'd save maybe $4 every 384 cuts. College
tuition being about $15,000 a year you'd have to save 3750 board feet of
wood or 1.440.000 cuts of that 12" board.
Next time you read the ads for thin kerf blades saving wood, think about
Saving that wood 1/32 inch at a time? You must cut a lot more wood than
I do. I also didn't mention but can identify with the comment about
being easier to calculate the 1/8 inch. Although after about ten years
with the 3/32 I'm getting used to it.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
Even on my old 1 hp Craftsman I was sold on 1/8" kerf. I use the WWII 40
tooth 1/8" kerf on my Cabinet saw. The thin kerf does not save wood 99.9%
of the time unless the last piece of every board that you cut ends up being
1/32" too short. You would have to cut a board 32 times to loose an inch
over a 1/8" kerf blade.
If you have 1 hp or more you do not need the thin kerf. The Forrest WWII
cuts so much better than a cheaper carbide blade that it may cut faster with
the 1/8" kerf than the cheapie with 3/32" kerf. I found that out about 15
years ago. The thin kerf blade is more likely to deflect under a load and
thicker boards. Get the 40 tooth blade if cutting "mostly" 2" and thinner
Again, the thin kerf is not going to save you money with less waste.
Consider also that if the thin kerf blade deflects and you ruin a piece,
you maybe have wasted far more than that 1/32" . Kickback, IMHO equally
possible with both kerfs. Stability greater with the 1/8" kerf with out the
need of stabilizers.
Have the WWII 3/32. Use it on a Jet Contractor. I got the 3/32 because
I'd read a number of places that that matched the 1 1/2 HP motor on a
contractor better than the 1/8. Making furniture, I never come close to
using the HP of the motor. If I were ripping many many board feet for
making trim or something, would be different. I think I'd go with the
1/8 for one reason. Two passes will make a 1/4 groove. Not having used
the 1/8, can't say for sure until I've tried it. Just $.02 worth.
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