Dado stack recommendations

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Forum topic by nickbatz posted 04-09-2018 06:40 PM 1167 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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392 posts in 682 days

04-09-2018 06:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dado stack question

Any recommendations, and do I have to pay close to $100 for a set that doesn’t leave nasty ridges at the bottom of the groove? (The vintage Craftsman ones included with my CL table saw have that problem.)

I’m not an industrial facility, just a guy using this once in a while, mostly for plywood and softwood.


(Sorry if this is redundant – I searched the site and came up with nothing that says “dado!”)

17 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4250 days

#1 posted 04-09-2018 06:46 PM

You can use a dado clean-out router bit. It
will compensate for dado depth variation due
to panels being out of flat too. Usually the
bit isn’t removing much material so it just
takes a few seconds to clean up each dado.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11994 posts in 4030 days

#2 posted 04-09-2018 07:17 PM

I had mine re ground to produce flawlessly flat bottoms without bat ears. It takes a well equipped and knowledgeable sharpener to do the job. It ain’t cheap.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View BoilerUp21's profile


148 posts in 1369 days

#3 posted 04-09-2018 07:28 PM

View Ripper70's profile


1368 posts in 1510 days

#4 posted 04-09-2018 07:57 PM

I have this set from Oshlun. Very satisfied and less than $100 bucks.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View pintodeluxe's profile


6032 posts in 3415 days

#5 posted 04-09-2018 08:13 PM

For standard cuts like dados and rabbets in plywood, a Freud Diablo will work just fine.
I use an Infinity Dadonator for hardwood joinery because it has 8-tooth chippers. Feed rate is a little slower with the Dadonator, but it will usually cut splinter-free tenons in hardwood.

I still have my Diablo dado stack, but I haven’t liked it much since it came back from the sharpener. They didn’t get the chippers all the same diameter, so it leaves ridges now. However from the factory they make pretty nice dados. Before you balk at a hundred dollar price tag, remember you are buying 6 or 7 tablesaw blades with each dado purchase.

All dado sets will leave tiny “bat ears” at the corners, but that shouldn’t matter with plywood joinery. You’ll never notice them once the joint is glued up.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View nickbatz's profile


392 posts in 682 days

#6 posted 04-09-2018 08:34 PM

Okay, thanks very miuch for the replies and recommendations.

The regular 10” blades on my table and compound miter saws are Freud Diablo, and I’m happy with them. That was my first thought, but I was wondering whether ones that cost 2/3 the price on eBay are as good. The Freud and Oshlun are around the same price (about $100) – which I’m not balking at, I’m just asking!

I think sharpening a vintage Craftsman dado stack – which looks like it’s from the ‘50s – is a spectacularly poor investment, whether it’s done by a professional sharpener or I make a mess of it myself fooling around with a router bit that costs as much as the sharpener. :) Better to get a new one.

pintodeluxe, tiny bat ears are fine. What I get now looks like someone took a garden rake to the joint!

So Oshun or Freud Diablo it is.

View nickbatz's profile


392 posts in 682 days

#7 posted 04-09-2018 08:59 PM

Oh, I have another question:

Will I be happier with an 8” stack than a 6” one? Does it just let you cut deeper dados?

(It’s a standard 10” table saw, so it can accommodate either.)

View pintodeluxe's profile


6032 posts in 3415 days

#8 posted 04-09-2018 09:22 PM

Get the 8” version. It lets you cut offset tenons with ease.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Walker's profile


186 posts in 1074 days

#9 posted 04-09-2018 09:42 PM

Don’t forget about the proper throat plate. Did your saw come with a dado throat plate? Is there one available for purchase (oem or aftermarket), or will you need to manufacture your own? Also, check to see how wide your saw can actually handle safely, both in terms of arbor length and horse power. Wide and deep dado cuts can easily bog down the motor. Should say in the manual also.

+1 for the Oshlun set. I’m definitely no industrial facility either, but I enjoy mine. Though my saw can only handle up to 3/4”, not the full 29/32 the Oshlun is capable of.

-- ~Walker

View nickbatz's profile


392 posts in 682 days

#10 posted 04-10-2018 01:12 AM

Yeah, I have the throat plate – which is a good thing, because it’s a Craftsman with a weird throat (and also T-shaped nonstandard tracks). I don’t think it accommodates 3/4”, but it’s big enough.

And thanks Pinto.

View Klondikecraftsman's profile


52 posts in 654 days

#11 posted 04-11-2018 08:45 PM

Freud all the way for me.

-- It is a sin to covet your neighbor’s wife, but his woodpile is fair game.

View knotscott's profile


8351 posts in 3977 days

#12 posted 04-11-2018 11:12 PM

The best set I’ve use so far is the Infinity Dadonator by a pretty fair margin….its just a great dado stack.

The best bang for the buck IMO is the Delta/DeWalt 7670 for ~ $120…gives a taste of the better sets for about half the price, has great shim stock, and a great carrying case. The really cheap sets just aren’t worth buying IMO.

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

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2627 days

#13 posted 04-12-2018 04:25 AM

6” dado will have less mass, therefore easier on the arbor. Just saying.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2083 days

#14 posted 04-12-2018 12:56 PM

8”. Take a look at the economy Freud version. Lots of carbide you’ll get many sharpenings out of it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View smitdog's profile


445 posts in 2707 days

#15 posted 04-12-2018 01:33 PM

If you want something on a budget check out the Oshlun sets, they get pretty good reviews for the price. Here’s a link to the six inch set, for $70 it seems like it would be worth the price.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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