Tenryu - GMD-20340 8" Dado Set (Rating: 3)

This is a brief review of the Tenryu GMD.

First Impression: The blades look of extremely high quality with thick bodies.

Box: I personally don't like the wood box because you have to lift out all of the chippers in order to get to the outer blades.

Cut Quality: The side blades are excellent in MDF, and Plywood core veneers, as well as melamine. The bottom of the dado is the flattest, smoothest that I have seen. I've owned two previous dado sets, one from Systi-Matic, and one from Amana.

Setup: Setup is a little different than I'm used to. First, there isn't a set of missing teeth, or over sized gap in the outer blades to put the teeth from the chippers. The negative, which is a big deal for me, there isn't much room for shims! You either set it up with shims and then end up removing thin slivers inside your dado, or you make multiple passes. Neither of which works for me. The teeth aren't quite as wide as I'm used to and that's why I was left with the thin strip of wood between chippers. The shim that I used was apparently wider than the allowance. There are a few dimensions that are NOT possible. I've added an image of the dimensions that I took from the chippers. There are of course two 1/8" chippers but they were identical. According to Tenryu the kerf tolerance is -.004".

I have contacted Forrest Saw Blades about replacing the teeth on the chippers. In the mean time I will use the chippers from the Amana set. It seems like the folks at Tenryu worked out the dimensions on paper, and never used the set for common sheet good dimensions.

Conclusion: This is a high quality set that delivers amazing quality in the cut. I'm really glad that I have another set, and that I didn't pay for this one. If this was my only set and I had paid $250 + for it I would be rather upset.

Update I liked this set enough to have the carbide on the chippers replaced with wider carbide. This allows me to shim to my hearts content without leaving slivers of wood in the dado.