View Full Version : Sawblade advice

03-01-2007, 10:53 PM
What should I look for in a 10" combination blade? I'm cutting mostly softwood, nothing really over 1 1/2" thick. SOmeone mentioned Matsu****a blades for circular saws, how ore they as table saw blades? I'd like to get a good quality blade but I'd also like not to spend $100 on it.


Paul Girouard
03-02-2007, 12:12 AM
Freud combo 10" 50 tooth $50.00. Get the thin kerf one way easier on your saw , even if it a big Delta / PM / General , your work (pushing the stock thru) will be easier.

FWIW I don't but combo blades , I buy rip blades and plywood blades , for the tablesaw. If it lumber and needs ripped and it's finish stock it needs planed as well , so a combo blade , to me, isn't worth having around.

BTW Freud blades can handle repeated sharpenings , I have two ripping , two plywood , when one is dull it's sent out for sharpening, the other one is ready to go.

Bruce Hooke
03-02-2007, 01:23 AM
My theory is that if I need a really good cut I'm going to put on either a dedicated rip blade or a dedicated cross-cut blade. So, the combo blade is for rougher work where I either know I will be doing extensive further work on the face so the cut surface does not matter (an extreme example of this would be getting out stock for a spindle turning on the lathe) or or where it just don't need a smooth surface. So, with that in mind I got a decent quality combo blade. I think its a Freud, but I don't recall the exact model. I think I went for something with a relatively low tooth count.

The other approach would, I suppose, be to figure that any surface you cut on the tablesaw will need some attention before it is done so it is not worth swapping blades all the time to get the perfect surface. This might especially apply if you have a jointer and so can clean up an edge faster than you can change a tablesaw blade. In that case a higher end combo blade would probably make sense.

On the other hand, if you have a chop saw you may well find that it is relatively rare that you make cross cuts on the tablesaw so keeping a rip blade on the saw much of the time might make sense (unless you cut lots of plywood or other sheet goods)...

Man, so many parameters to consider (and so little information directed at really answering your question! :D ).

Dave Carnell
03-02-2007, 08:22 AM
No saw blade at any price has a thinner kerf nor makes a smoother cut than the Matsu****a 7" combination blade. I have retired from selling them by mail order, but you can still find them. The kerf is an honest 1/16" and the cut is perfectly smooth.

03-02-2007, 12:32 PM
this website may be of some use:


Lew Barrett
03-02-2007, 09:36 PM
I hate to be the guy that turns this upside down but I've been really happy with my Woodworker II, not that there aren't other excellent choices out there. Um, mine's a full kerf number as well. I've never run across anything that wouldn't yield to it like the proverbial hot knife through buttah, and it's smooth, smooth. No vibes, no shakes, no stabilizer discs. My saw has a Baldor 3HP motor on it. Aside: I thought I wanted a 5HP motor and "settled" for 3HP when the right deal came along. I've never looked back. I have a thin kerf Freud that's a fine blade as well as Systematic, but I just leave the WWII on there and everything sort of happens without much drama.

Added: all this is by way of comparison to my Ridgid contractors saw for which i bought the Freud. By comparison....well, there is no comparison.

Rob Stokes, N. Vancouver
03-02-2007, 10:29 PM
Lew - I'm totally with you on the WWII. I've had mine for 7 years now and just got it back from a factory re-sharpening. I'm in love with it all over again :)

But one of the criteria was "..but I'd also like not to spend $100 on it." so I chose not to recommend it.

Still - if you can find the extra $$, it's definitely worth it!


Ron Williamson
03-03-2007, 07:06 AM
Good sawblades aren't disposable.
I have 2 FS combination blades that are twenty years old.
In constant commercial/industrial use,on a Unisaw and a chopsaw,they are about middle aged.
$100 over 40 years is pretty cheap.

03-03-2007, 09:16 AM
i'll agree with ron williamson here and add that there is very few blades that are truly "combination". it is best to have a few good dedicated blades if you are going to be at a table saw allot and really get the most out of your saw. i personally don't/won't own a thin kerf blade. maybe that statement might be "old-school", but i just don't like them. every time i use one, somewhere along the cut, they let mt me know they are thin kerf with am unstable wobble in the cut. the amount of wood they save just seems to be offset by the bad spots they leave you working out.

frueds are a good purchase, but costly for some of the "occasional" users and hard to justify, but in the long run every penny spent on a good blade will be returned.

one thing to take into consideration is that there are allot of less expensive carbide blades that look like good blades ...nice thick blade that should be stable with a fair amount of carbide in the teeth. the problem shows itself when you find out the blades isn't run-out free and the carbide teeth aren't all the same grade. the companies that make these blades buy carbide bits bulk from bigger companies and they get whatever is in the barrel. you end up with a blade with maby several different grades of carbide on it. they don't all wear the same and you end up with a blade the just doesn't seem to cut as good as it should in a short amount of use.