Blue Ribbon for Tenryu's Gold Medal

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Review by knotscott posted 03-21-2009 11:17 AM 6415 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Blue Ribbon for Tenryu's Gold Medal No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Tenryu GM-25540 “Gold Medal” is the upper end of Tenryu’s vast collection of saw blades. It features a fairly standard 40 tooth alternating top bevel (ATB) tooth configuration that’s suitable for a wide range of tasks. It sports large C4 micrograin carbide teeth that should hold an edge well and will withstand several sharpenings. The Gold Medal is a top shelf blade that’s very comparable in design and performance to the industry standard Forrest WWII 40T. At roughly $100, the Gold Medal doesn’t come cheap, but neither does it’s strongest competitors like the WWII, TS2000, Super General, or Fusion. Like any high end general purpose blade, it offers versatile performance with a nice compromise of glueline ripping ability, clean crosscuts, and good performance in sheet goods. With 40 teeth, it’s not intended to be a primary ripping blade for thick dense stock, yet given enough power it will do a very respectable job of even tough ripping, and will leave a nice clean edge, but will have more tendency to burn in thick materials than a good 24T FTG rip blade. It does an admirable job in most fine crosscut and plywood applications too, but will leave a bit more tearout thana good dedicated 80T crosscut blade designed for that application. It counters those weaknesses with the ability to perform well enough in a variety of applications and materials that you can use one blade for the vast majority of tasks.

It’s very difficult to differentiate between cuts made from the Forrest WWII 40T and the Gold Medal blade. It cuts cleanly on a wide variety of cuts and materials, and rips well up to about 2” thick material. It’s worth noting that the kerf width is 0.111”, which is thicker than a standard 3/32” (0.098”) thin kerf, and thinner than a standard 1/8” (0.125”) full kerf. In use, this means that it takes a wider cut than a TK blade, requiring slightly more power, which influences how it performs in thick materials. Inversely, it takes a narrower cut than a full kerf blade which allows to cut through thick material more easily. The odd kerf size could be a concern for some users in some situations, and may be more difficult to match to yours saw’s splitter or riving knife. With left tilt saws, a change in blade width can skew the accuracy of the tape scale. Competitors such as the Forrest WWII, Infinity Combomax, and Ridge Carbide TS2000 are available in a choice of thin kerf or full kerf, so you can choose which is best suited for you saw and usage. It’s also worth noting that this blade is manufactured in Japan, whereas the Forrest and Ridge Carbide are made in the USA. Aside from not being available in a choice of kerf widths, I really have no complaints with the Gold Medal, but I will take a moment to point out the opportunity to buy an excellent competing American product from Forrest or Ridge Carbide, among others. The Tenryu is a top shelf blade that should be considered along with the best available from Freud, Forrest, Infinity, and Ridge Carbide, etc. 5-star performance, 4-star overall rating due to the noted concerns with it’s kerf width.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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8382 posts in 4143 days

5 comments so far

View RBWoodworker's profile


442 posts in 4119 days

#1 posted 03-23-2009 06:00 PM

I have one of these blades that I bought not long ago..and love it..I think it’s nose to nose with the Forrest great blade that I have used is by Royce.. they are made in Canada, and are very good also..

-- Randall Child

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8382 posts in 4143 days

#2 posted 03-23-2009 07:43 PM

I’d agree with you about the Gold Medal being “nose to nose” with the Forrest WWII.

Good to hear a testimonial about Royce…..I darn near bought one about two weeks ago.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

797 posts in 4600 days

#3 posted 08-10-2009 06:09 PM

I have this blade as well and it is spectacular. For crosscuts especially the edges are smooth even in cheap plywood.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4037 days

#4 posted 08-10-2009 06:53 PM

Nice review…thanks for writing it. I have been using the Forest line for quite some time…but I have occasionaly seen one of these on sale…when that happens again…I will pay more attention.

Right now I am considering the new 48 tooth Forest WW II…to replace my old dewalt ripper….I still like to have an 80 tooth for ply, a 40 ish for ripping…..and a 25 ish or so for quick rough cuts….

Thanks again for the review.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View mbs's profile


1668 posts in 3707 days

#5 posted 02-21-2013 09:27 PM

I love the gold medal blade. I want to try other similar blades like the TS2000 too.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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