thin kerf blade for ridgid r4512 - how useful is 0.06 thinner kerf?

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Forum topic by Spikes posted 08-17-2018 02:44 PM 2077 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 891 days

08-17-2018 02:44 PM

Hi there,

I’ve been pretty happy with how my r4512 has been behaving, the new model (marked with II on the trunnion) does not have any of the alignment issues and all has been good for the last 3 months.

When I was learning about TSs one of the things often mentioned was that with “underpowered saws”, the definition being anything less than 3HP, ie the r4512, a thin kerf blade will help with smooth cuts by posing less resistance. As far as my readings go, thin kerf is defined as 3/32” or 0.09375 while standard blades are 1/8” or 0.125 measure at the widest part/top of the tooth on the blade.

Now, measuring the blade the saw came with, I got 0.10xxx” . I couldn’t find specific reviews on the stock blade, but based on the above this does not seem a full blade and in fact closer to a thin kerf.

With that in mind I looked for recommended thin kerf blade and knotscott has this wonderful listing which I took as references: . Going from there I went to buy a Freud Diablo D1050X , but checking the specs before making the purchase I noticed that the blade is reported to have a kerf of .098” , that’s only 0.02 less than my current blade.

I’m obviously new to woodworking and all this stuff, but I’d be surprised if that little diff in kerf made indeed my cuts a lot smoother and was worth $37. Of course there’s more to it as the blade is probably higher quality than the stock one, but I’m still doubtful that it’s worth the money.

For kicks I took a look at other possible thinner blades and found the Freud LU86R010 which is reported to have a 094” Kerf . Now that’s “much” thinner, about 0.06 , altho that’s still not even the theoretical diff of 0.09 between a 1/8 and a 3/32.

What do people think?



-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

8 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


9046 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 08-17-2018 02:49 PM

The slightly smaller kerf won’t affect it that much, but you will get a far greater cut by switching to a better blade. Ideally, 2. If you can, spring for a crosscut blade and a ripping blade. Ripping blade is good to have full kerf flat tooth grind so you can use it to make joints with as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View ocean's profile


212 posts in 1679 days

#2 posted 08-17-2018 03:17 PM

I suggest you use the blade that came with the saw until it wears out and then buy new thin kerf blades for ripping and cross cut). I think then you will see the difference from the stock blade and a better quality blades. Different manufactures make different thicknesses of “thin kerf” blades. Don’t be hung up on the differences to much. It is the quality of of the blades. They really are better than any stock blade.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View smitdog's profile


465 posts in 2951 days

#3 posted 08-17-2018 04:18 PM

Biggest difference is the size & quality of the carbide and also the geometry & quality of the sharpening. So for your $40 or so with the Freud you are getting bigger/higher quality carbide teeth and better sharpening geometry. The Freud can be resharpened a couple of times at least but there’s probably not enough carbide on the stock blade.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1662 days

#4 posted 08-17-2018 04:39 PM

Manufacturers generally do not furnish quality blades with their equipment – even high dollar equipment. I have several. They just don’t perform like name brand blades. I typically use them for applications like cutting aluminum or cutting material that may contain metal or minerals.

View knotscott's profile


8385 posts in 4221 days

#5 posted 08-18-2018 12:18 PM

As mentioned, stock blades are typically pretty poor examples of saw blades….whatever is cheapest will usually do in the minds of the supplier. Buying a better blade should yield better results than a stock blade, should have better edge life, and are usually worth the cost of having resharpened. As long as the blade creates a kerf wide enough for the riving knife to pass through, the difference in widths of a typical 3/32” TK blade should be fine whether 0.093 or 0.098, or even 0.104”’s really a fairly small percentage change. Keep in mind that the total kerf includes the width of the teeth, plus any blade and arbor runout.

A decent 40T or 50T tooth TK is a jack of all trades type blade that will give good results in many applications, but excellent results in none. A 60T to 80T crosscut blade will have less tearout in crosscuts and ply than a 40T or 50T blade, but will create more heat and burning in thicker rip cuts, which is where adding a 24T rip blade comes in. The suitable Freud crosscut models are the LU88, LU74, or LU79 (Diablo D1060 or D1080) +LU87 or D1024 rip blade, but Marples, Infinity, CMT, Amana, Tenryu, and others have good choices are reasonable prices too. While I’m not a fan of many of the current Oldham blades, in this case the Oldham Pro 100PT80 80T is still a good bet IMO for an 80T crosscut blade if cost is a concern. Separate blades do cost more overall, but they will also last longer and get the most performance from the saw. It really depends on you and your objectives.

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

View MrRon's profile


5931 posts in 4089 days

#6 posted 08-18-2018 06:33 PM

That should be .006, not .06; a negligible amount. Anything < .125 is considered thin kerf.

View Spikes's profile


125 posts in 891 days

#7 posted 08-19-2018 03:19 AM

thanks all for the feedback so far.

one more question related to the mention of the LU and D series for the Freud… if I decide to shell out, should I throw in the extra $10 to get the LU/Industrial series? I found another thread where @knotscott made a comment about the superior quality of the industrial blades, but again I’m unclear if it’s worth the extra money. Of particular interest the comment about the LU87 for ripping, which I will have to do a lot of in the near future.


-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

View knotscott's profile


8385 posts in 4221 days

#8 posted 08-19-2018 05:20 PM

The Freud Industrial series has more carbide, and a wider selection that the Diablo blades. The bigger carbide will withstand more resharpenings. In the case of the LU87 vs the D1024x, they’re actually different grinds…the LU87 has flat top grind (FTG), which is ideal for ripping with the grain, while the D1024X has an ATB grind. The LU86/D1040x, LU83/D1050x, and LU88/D1060X are more similar to each other (or at least were the last time I checked).

Getting the most from your saw doesn’t require spending a fortune, but when you consider the overall cost of a good setup, spending a few extra bucks to optimize the setup by stepping up from stock blades to decent quality aftermarket blades is generally prudent IMHO. Specifically, if you’ll be doing a lot of ripping, the LU87 or equivalent should be money well spent in the long run. Keeping your blades clean will keep them sharp and performing well longer.

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

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