I have thin and regular 1/8" kerf TS blades and have used both for several years on
my General 350 TS. My shop is not a production shop and I do not cut very expensive
wood. My TS has ample power on 220 volts to cut whatever I want with it. I have about
come to the conclusion that I will use regular kerf blades from now on. With respect
to expensive woods, I think I can make the case that the kerf size does not amount to
any significant savings in costs per board foot cut with with thin kerf blades. Can
anyone make a valid case for using thin kerf blades in a hobby workshop with a good
TS? It is not my intention to start a food fight over this.
I can see your point, but in my case, I find the thin kerfs cut smoother and
longer, and either have less runout (the opposite of what I'd expect,
actually) for whatever reason, and except for ripping jobs, cut faster. I
also thought they'd dull faster but that doesn't seem to be the case. They
crash through knots with less noise than the thicker cousins too.
I have a feeling I'm going to be going against the current with my
comments here, but well, it's just how this amateur feels. They also
generate noticeably less sawdust in my vacuum collector.
Also have the feeling opinions will vary depending on the types of wood
cut. No special reason other than personal prefs but I cut almost
exclusively pine, fir, and Oak or Walnet; don't seem to have a yen for any
Oh yeah, at least around here, thin kerfs are also cheaper (apple/apple
comparison from same vendors), maybe because of shipping. We're pretty much
out in the toolies here (pun intended). OK, out in the sticks. Hmm, that's
a pun too. Ummm, out in the niddle of nowhere? There, that works!!
Oh yeah: I have had miserable results with thin kerf in green woods or
where they might want to overheat - forgot that.
No, I never blow a fuse or trip a breaker.
Just my penny's worth
You present several good points which are well worth considering. I had not thought
about the difference in the amount of dust from a t. k. blade. I mostly cut SYP. I am
considering the purchase of a dust collector and I am leaning toward a PSI 2 H.P.
unit of some type. I am getting my Jockeys in a knot in deciding between a normal
cyclone or just using a trash can as a first stage collector before the D.C. itself.
Since you have a dust collector, I would appreciate a reply as to what brand and type
you are running and why. You may reply here or to my valid address above. Thank you
for your comments on the thin kerf blades.
I have had this discussion before, I switched to Diablo thin kerf because I
was having problems with an expensive regular blade and because I had not
long aquired this saw I wanted to check saw or blade. I've never looked
back, I'm using a general purpose 44 tooth use it for ripping, jointing and
all the usual shop cutting jobs, no sign of flutter or any horrors. One
thing I find a bit crazy is that the 12" I use is cheaper, < $30 from the
BORG, than the 10". Others have talked about stabalizers etc, I just put
mine on and ran.
On the question of DCs, I run a Grizzly 2HP with a cyclone. I'm not as
fanatical about it as some as apart from the big producers, like planers and
jointers though there it's more a question of the machine clogging up
without one, and table routers . I find the major dust and shaving
producers are scrapers, routers, when doing any edge work, and hand sanding
machines. I can't do much about the TS as it is designed as a sliding
table, but in practice I find with the blade set to the correct height the
majority finds it way into the base.
I bought the DC pre wired for 220V and would recommend that configuration,
the big impeller has a lot of inertia to overcome and draws a lot of
starting current during the run up phase, so the higher voltage is a big
I agree with Swingman on this ( but, I almost always do, 'cause the
guy is a mechanic).
It doesn't really matter whether or not you are a production shop,
the damned thin kerfs don't work right.
In order not to get plate deformation, you have to feed way too slow
in order to get a decent cut out of the thin kerf.
I've tried them on the Unisaw and on the Dewalt 708 that I use for
shortish crosscut work.
The amount of material saved is inconsequential compared to the
reduced feed rate and the chattered cuts that you can get from these
blades, when fed at normal feed rates.
These sorts of blades are not marketed to pro shops for the simple
reason that they do not work.
I use a Leuco 10" blade on melamine, that is full kerf, has a hollow
ground, and a negative 5 degree rake - the back side does not blow out
I use the same blade for ply rips and crosscuts and it does a fine
The plate on this blade is prolly half again as heavy as a regular
blade. but it's riveted and stress relieved to work like a die when it
I experimented with thin kerfs - but I'll never buy another one.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret)
Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet
I had a thin-kerf (1/32") blade made just for cutting apart the
visible parts of keyboards for harpsichords and organs. It worked
beautifully with a sled I made for it. It left the sides smooth with
no need for planing.
This was a hollow-ground blade with a thick center and less than an
inch depth of cut. I am not sure if this is what you are asking about.
But, I have no table saw now, and I can cut keyboards apart with a
bandsaw or by hand with a backsaw.
So, I think of a thin-kerf blade as a special tool for a specific job,
not a way to save lumber.
Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a
"Wanting to meet a writer because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck
because you like pate."
If you saw handles the regular kerf use it. The savings of wood from a
thinner cut is a sales gimmick. How many times do you use every bit if a
board? The thin kerf savings may mean that one of your "too small to use
scraps" left over from a board will be perhaps be 1/2" longer when cross
cutting, but still too short to be of any use.
We seem to have gone over this several times in the past month or so.
Do any of you think it would be helpful to try and find a bit more about it?
Things I'm thinking about are specific brands, type of cuts that cause
problems, any thing else that may consider.
For my part I've had two Freud Diablos, 12" 44 tooth general purpose,
mounted in a Wadkin sliding table saw, probably about late '60s vintage.
The only reason for the second blade was I cut some aluminum that had a
steel screw insert in it and I lost a tooth.
I am in the final stages of completing a largish kitchen project in all
maple and have made 20 doors and 15 drawers as well as 2 4' x 2' x 2" end
grain butcher block. In all cases jointing has been done on the TS with
perfect joints. Panels up to 20" have been Xcut and one piece flipped over
and still align perfectly.
I have no additional stabalizers on the blade, I feed the wood as with any
other blade. The butcher blocks were ripped from 8/4 hard maple, again no
Hopefully if others contribute some pattern might emerge which can help us
I have found the 10" Freud Diablo to be an excellent blade. I am
currently using it for ripping as well as crosscutting 6/4 and 8/4
european beech (this stuff is very hard). Although I don't use
stabilizers, I do have custom machined flanges that may also act as
stabilizers (they're maybe 3" in diameter made of stainless steel). My
rational for using the thin kerf blades has nothing to do with saving
wood and everything to do with getting the most output from my 11/2hp
motor. If I had a 3 or 5hp Unisaw, maybe I'd stick to full kerf. My
saw is a 1960s Beaver and it seems a treat with these diablos. As an
aside, the blade runout is under 2/1000" (my arbor was ground dead flat
by a machine shop). Your experiences my differ but so far, happy
sawdust over this way.
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