Reply by knotscott

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Posted on Thin Kerf vs. Full Kerf

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8279 posts in 3739 days

#1 posted 08-17-2017 11:16 PM

If all else is equal (an important variable), full kerf has the advantage of better stability and better heat dissipation. However, a 1/8” full kerf blade is 33% wider than a 3/32” TK blade, and it takes proportionately more power to spin it. Kerf width is only only one aspect of the overall equation. Good design and high quality are important in order for both types to perform well, and there are good and bad examples of both, but in this day and age it’s harder to find full kerf examples at the lowest end of the spectrum. There are pros and cons with each, and I’ve gotten pretty comparable cutting results with both types. TK tends to make less noise, less saw dust, and less waste, but the waste is a very minor factor unless you’re doing high volumes of expensive woods.

If you have ample power (> 2hp that requires 220v), full kerf is what I’d recommend. If not, my 120v contractor and hybrid saws had a much easier time spinning a good TK even when powered with 220v, so that’s the way I’d go with a smaller saw. I pretty much used TK blades exclusively until I got a 3hp cabinet saw…now I use mainly full kerf blades.

Regardless of which you use, the proper blade for the task is important, a well tuned saw works better, and flat straight lumber makes better cuts.

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