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Forum topic by jotrocks posted 12-18-2018 03:15 AM 794 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 462 days

12-18-2018 03:15 AM

First off: I’ve searched and read as much as I could about blades before posting this, hopefully this is just a time vs $$ thing but I need some advice:

Just got my first TS and and am planning my first few projects. I’m starting with shelves and cubbies made out of 3/4 BB ply. After that, planning to acquire jointer/planer and be able to take rough lumber and turn it into end grain and edge grain cutting boards.

My TS I bought used, came with an Avanti 60T blade that’s given me a bit of tearout on the plywood I’ve run through it constructing an outfeed table. So I’m planning on buying 1-3 blades and want to maximize my budget as time allows. I don’t mind spending on quality kit – so I’m deciding between a Forrest WW II 40T blade and a Freud 80T crosscut blade to start with. The Forrest is about $120 on Slivers Mill and the Frued is about $75 on Amazon.

My question is: can I reasonably expect to cut BB ply with zero tearout AND rip and crosscut 8/4 or 6/4 Maple with a Forrest WWII? Or, should I get the Freud 80T crosscut blade now, and then when I’m ready to rip the hardwood get something like the Freud Glue Line blade? I don’t mind changing blades, I’m a hobbyist so I do have the time.

I’ve read all of the wonderful comments about the WW II, but want to stay a little more budget friendly long term.

Thoughts and advice appreciated!

12 replies so far

View rizzo's profile


76 posts in 1860 days

#1 posted 12-18-2018 05:09 AM

I would say an equally if not more important aspect of getting zero tear-out on baltic birch ply (or any ply for that matter) is either buying or making a zero clearance insert for your particular tablesaw. Regardless of the blade I think you would see some tear-out without a zero clearance insert.

With that said, I have quite a few forrest blades and I love them. A dedicated ripping blade is going to serve you better in the long run along with a cross cut blade However, as you stated that you don’t want to buy two blades, the WWII will certainly handle both those tasks.

I actually really like the thin kerf WWII. Less wood turned into sawdust.. but I love my original WWII as well.

I will urge caution however… as buying for your first forrest blade may quickly lead to a whole collection (a whole forest of Forrests as they say) in your shop. It didn’t take me long to add the dado stack, the ripping blade, the finger joint blade set etc.

View Firewood's profile


1060 posts in 2242 days

#2 posted 12-18-2018 05:31 AM

Hi Matt. Rizzo makes some good points. Especially about the zci. Also, check the Amana blade you have for pitch build up. Cleaning off pitch can make a world of difference. If you don’t have blade cleaner, you can use citris cleaner (I use the stuff in a pump spray bottle) or you can use a little Simple Green in some hot water. Use a brush, but avoid stiff wire brushes. Rinse in hot water and dry it good. Don’t use any caustic cleaners. Hopefully that may give your blade some new life.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2257 posts in 2102 days

#3 posted 12-18-2018 06:26 AM

+1 zero clearance is a must
+1 clean blades cut better. Keep them free of pitch for best performance.

I think blade priority depends on projects:

If making many plywood projects 1st, I’d get the 80T Freud Ultimate Plywood blade before buying WWII. Makes perfect cuts on top side of veneer plywood, and almost perfect cuts on bottom with ZCI. Any generic blade on plywood is just not same. Having clean edges on plywood makes edge banding easier, and entire project look spiffy.

How much 8/4 hardwood will you really cut?
Only time need something special for thicker hardwood is ripping. Need to rip thick lumber with ripping blade, unless you have plenty of power via a 3-5HP motor on saw. Smaller saws cut too slowly and if there is any misalignment you will get burning at slow feed rate. Cutting faster with rip blade stops burn marks. A cheap Freud 24T rip blade really makes big difference in feed rate and edge burning on smaller contractor saw.

FWIW – I keep a thin kerf WWII in my 1.5HP contractor saw most of time. If making more cross cuts than ripping cuts have cheap 60T Freud cross cut that rips 3/4 hardwood easily when needed, and was purchased before I got WWII. The WWII always leave fuzz on my BB plywood. I still use it when making jigs, etc; but when cutting plywood boxes or veneer ply, always use plywood blade.


-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View therealSteveN's profile


4652 posts in 1182 days

#4 posted 12-18-2018 08:08 AM

Lowest cost path is a good quality combo blade, and you will get ok cuts. I’d stick with Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Amana, CMT, and Tenryu all are higher dollar, but they also have much thicker carbide, which allows many more sharpenings. Their initial cut quality will outperform any of the lower cost “budget” blades. So in the end they will actually cost less.

If you are strapped for cash, Freud makes decent quality blades, at a lower price point.

I would buy blades as follows.

1) A good combo blade. You can make so many different cuts reasonably well right out of the box. As you are doing projects you may see a different order that would be best for you.

2) Dado blade, get good quality, and your results will be best. The flat grind main blades on about any Dado set will allow perfect flat bottoms for much more than dados. The quickest decent joint to master for making serviceable drawers is a lock dado, or lock rabbet joint on a table saw. See illustration below.

The video that follows is a Fine Woodworking talk through of this joint.

They require a blade that can cut a flat bottom cut, so the pieces match firmly. Plus that 1/4” flat bottom cutting blade can make the cuts for a plywood drawer bottom a breeze. Then it also does Dados, which are going to be in many projects with shelves, and to do rabbets to lock cabinet tops and bottoms. You will use it a lot.

3) Here is a toss up depending on what you are doing most. If you are working with plywood, a good plywood/laminate blade makes a better cut than a combo blade.

If you are using hardwoods then I would say a very good quality ripping blade, Some of the 24 tooth blades are called “glue line” rip blades, and they are capable to make glue ready joints.

4) I would get the other from #3, or a very good quality cross cut blade, and this may also move up the line if you make a crosscut sled, and find yourself using it a lot. With a good crosscut blade you can use a sled on the TS to get perfect, square edges, and exact length pieces for trouble free assemblies.

That would be my list, and my reasoning.

-- Think safe, be safe

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3984 days

#5 posted 12-18-2018 11:35 AM

I’d suggest you modify your choice of the 40T WWII, and get the 30T version (it’ll rip more efficiently than the 40T and will still give glue ready edges). Then add a good Hi-ATB 60T to 80T blade for plywood and fine crosscuts (Freud LU79/LU80, Infinity 010-060/010-080, CMT 210.080.10, etc)

What saw are you using?

If you end up with a 40T after all, consider the Ridge Carbide TS2000, Infinity Super General, Tenryu Gold Medal, or Freud Fusion as very competitive, but more economical alternatives. One other true bargain to consider is the Delta Industrial 35-7657 ~ $30 on Ebay or Amazon. The Forrest is a great blade, but is among the most expensive options for that level of performance.

Tips for Picking Saw Blades

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

View bondogaposis's profile


5605 posts in 2959 days

#6 posted 12-18-2018 02:30 PM

Zero Clearance Insert, is a must. Get a dedicated 80 tooth plywood blade, like Freud LU79R010, get a dedicated rip blade like the Freud glue line rip in either 24 tooth or 30 tooth.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View GrantA's profile


2131 posts in 2016 days

#7 posted 12-18-2018 02:35 PM

I bet you’ll be happy with the current Avanti blade and a zero clearance insert for ply! Then get a rip blade. Add/upgrade as needed.

View jotrocks's profile


13 posts in 462 days

#8 posted 12-18-2018 02:43 PM

Thanks for the input, kind of confirmed I should go with the 60 or 80T crosscut blade to start with since my initial projects will all be BB ply. I will check out the other manufacturers besides Freud.

Saw is a Grizzly G0661. The insert that came with it is a little beat up, was probably ZC at one point but now has a 1/4” gap outside the kerf so I’ll be making a new one. Should also mention that I’m limited to full kerf blades because of the riving knife and blade guard/splitter on the saw which I always plan to use (no use getting into a debate about that here LOL).

Appreciate all of the responses!

View WoodenDreams's profile


886 posts in 519 days

#9 posted 12-18-2018 05:26 PM

To help to minimize tear out, a zero clearance helps, and I also use a 80 tooth blade to minimize tearout. But most woodworker like the 30-40 tooth blade.

View W4R's profile


2 posts in 402 days

#10 posted 12-18-2018 06:49 PM


-- W4R

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

573 posts in 1686 days

#11 posted 12-18-2018 08:49 PM

Tape the underside of BB before cutting with painters tape. Really helps.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View them700project's profile


194 posts in 1627 days

#12 posted 12-18-2018 08:49 PM

Id like to throw ridge carbide into the mix

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