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Old 02-26-2013, 05:33 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Default Saw Blades

I've been on the lengthy journey to find a decent saw blade to use on my 8 1/4" Makita, which is the main saw I use with EZ tracks, especially the EZ-1.
When I first got on board with EZ, I took everyone's advice and started out with the Diablo blade. It's actually a good blade.
But...... I was getting too much saw marking on the pieces being cut, as well as chewing up my ACEs (anti-chip edges). Figured it was due to a couple of things:
-using a saw that wasn't really designed to be cutting like a table saw; and,
-too much wobble and flex of the actual, thin plate saw blade.

I attacked the first issue by working on the front pivot point of the saw, to tighten it up, and, surprisingly enough, it's now a far more stable saw than when originally purchased.

For the second issue, re. saw blades, I did some on-line research, and ended up buying a few blades: Tenryu 40 tooth; Tenryu 18 tooth; Bosch 24 tooth.
I was looking for a saw blade with a thicker plate than the thin-kerf saws, and the 40 tooth and the 24 tooth had that.
Started out using the Tenryu 40 tooth. WOW! Really nice blade! Smooth cuts, and lasted forever (till I accidentally cut into some imbedded steel in a piece of wood ). oops....
After that, I put on the Tenryu 18 tooth. Forget it. Rough cuts, no matter what and how I was cutting. Plus, being a thin-kerf, it was wobbling enough to tear up the ACEs. Lesson learned- use it for rough work.
Next came the Bosch 24 tooth. I could get it to cut somewhat smoothly, but had to work too hard to get it to go thru wood. Balance seemed fine; teeth were fine; not much wobble; only, didn't seem eager to progress thru a piece of wood. An ok blade- we just don't respect each other.

So, I decided to replace my Tenryu 40 tooth and went shopping. Came on these guys:
http://www.carbideprocessors.com/
Had the best Tenryu prices, and, what's this? lots of other cool stuff on their site, including some saw blades I'd never heard about. (Some of their YouTube videos are quite informative and good- especially when he gets to talking about what makes the best saw blades.)
So, after a quick phone call to the folks (super helpful and friendly), I ordered a Tenryu 40 tooth for my 8 1/4" saw; a 40 tooth Tenryu for my 6 1/2" corded saw; and then took the plunge and ordered an 8" Popular Tools blade, model GA840.

I think I'm in love.......

First off, shipping on that puppy was blindingly fast- ordered Monday afternoon; got it Wed. afternoon.
Put it on the ol' Makita to put it thru it's paces.
Unbelievable.
Good ply; bad ply; solid wood cross cuts; solid wood rips; whatever. They all came out glue ready. On material up to 3/4", it is hard to find saw marks. On 1 1/2" thick rips, the saw marks are very fine and of minimal consequence. I am impressed.
I've found that on my saws, if I let the saw get up to speed before entering the wood, and fully push the saw past the material being cut, at the end of the cut, before releasing the saw trigger, I have no blade wobble issues affecting the cut material. I'm about to be convinced that better bearings in my saw might actually eliminate the wobble.

So, is the Popular Tools blade worth the extra bucks over the Tenryu?
Yes, and, No.
Yes, if the saw were of sufficient quality to allow the blade to be all it can be. No, because in the 'real world' of EZ, using framing saws for quality work, the saw will be a limiting factor.
The Tenryu gives excellent results; the Popular Tools easily meets or beats it for quality, but, it's a bit overkill for actual results that can be achieved using framing saws. But, should the day come when we've got a 'Rolex-watch' kind of saw, I know what blade I'll be upgrading to.
Rick
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2013, 06:02 PM
Burt Burt is offline
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Thanks for the info. Blades are a difficult subject. What do you think of the CMT blades?



Burt
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2013, 06:44 PM
Brian Kincaid Brian Kincaid is offline
 
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What is the kerf on your new blades? Is it 3/32 or 1/8 ?

-Brian
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2013, 08:00 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burt View Post
Thanks for the info. Blades are a difficult subject. What do you think of the CMT blades?



Burt
heh-heh..... bit of egg on my face, here, Burt. I forgot that I've got a new CMT stashed away in an old box of goodies. Bought it about a year ago and have never used it. I'll dig it out and give it a bit of comparison.
Thanks for jogging my brain a bit.
Rick
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:05 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Brian Kincaid View Post
What is the kerf on your new blades? Is it 3/32 or 1/8 ?

-Brian
Brian, it mic's out at .117- a bit under an eighth. The plate mic's out at .079- thicker than the other blades I have. I'm guessing it's the thicker plate combined with the quality manufacturing that makes this blade so nice.
Might be my enamoredness with it, but I'm convinced you can feel the difference when you turn the saw on- smooth; no wobble.
Rick
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2013, 09:58 AM
Mike Goetzke Mike Goetzke is offline
 
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Just for reference I posted some info on blades a while back. BTW - my Menard's not carries CMT 7-1/4" blades. The had them on sale a few weeks back for $8.

When I had a cabinet saw I thought the Tenryu combination blade was as good as my Woodworker II.

http://tracksawforum.com/showthread....ghlight=diablo
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2013, 10:24 AM
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Philphoto Philphoto is offline
 
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Default Also posted under "Blade?"

I have been avoiding getting into this. Some of you may have been aware that I set my daughter up in a sharpening company. She has been doing well but the community really wanted her to sharpen circular saw blades. The tools for circular saw sharpening are NOT cheap. In spite of the challenges we went ahead and bought our first unit for saw blades, planner blades and router bits and installed it last month. This is a big commercial unit and we needed to mic every step of the process. I was trying to help her get the tooling and processes set up, but getting more frustrated and irritated with the new tools as every blade we were working on was all over the place in cut quality. To settle the issues I went to two different stores and bought Irwin 24 tooth and Irwin 40 tooth blades, in the 7.25 inch size. Both store said they were their best sellers. Took them home and mic'd them with our dial gauge on the circumference jig. I could not believe what I was seeing! One blade was 12 thousandths out of round! The 40 tooth had as much as 15 thousandths variation between teeth. I purposely reground every tooth to an acceptable setting and height. I was nervous because I was removing some serious metal -- but it was my own blades and I really needed to know how to fix what is not supposed to be broken. After I was finished I put the blades on my Bosch C20 (I thought that would be an average saw type test) and the 24 tooth had a little bit of roughness on the cut. When I used the EZ with the AC plate there was zero chip or roughness using the 24 tooth. The 40 tooth was flawless without the AC Plate, and that was after my correcting the sharpening and tooth height.

So what does this mean?? Well I am now of the opinion that the blade type will make a difference. Price is not the determinate, but it seems to indicate that the manufacturer put some effort into their blade. I have since put about a dozen different blades and style on the machine and tested them. I have a 7.25" Matsusita that had less than 2 thousandths variation between teeth. Cuts great and clean. I have an older Frued Diablo and I will be sharpening it in the next day or two. I have 8 (different) 80 tooth laminate carbide blades and those are made spot on tooth to tooth less than 1 thousandths variation and very well balanced (also they sell for $180 each) I can not spell their Japanese names. I have three (out of the 8, that I just mentioned) 10" Tenryu to sharpen. I also sharpened my son's Popular Tools blade for plastics. My son uses it in his panel saw in his sign company. Both the Tenryu and the Popular Tools are outstanding blades, and all spot on for blade height and shape.

Sorry if I am rambling, is it 4:30 am and can't sleep, not sure my post is making sense. I hope this information helps shed some light onto a struggle many have been having with the cuts on their EZ tools. I was chasing the saw, the wood and could not get a good or even acceptable, straight cut. I have run the tests with the same blades and a vast improvement in quality of cut when I corrected the sharpness of the blades.

Phil
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:13 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burt View Post
Thanks for the info. Blades are a difficult subject. What do you think of the CMT blades?



Burt
OK, I dug out the CMT and ran some 'experiments'.
Actually, I used the CMT- 42 tooth, the Popular Tools (PT, for shorthand)- 40 tooth, and the Diablo (D, for short hand)- 40 tooth. And, for extra measure, I threw in my damaged Tenryu (T, for short hand)- 40 tooth.

I tried them all in three catagories: ripping cross grain in some old ply (see pic); ripping 1/16" rips off of a 1940's 1 5/8" stud; and cross-cuts on the same 1 5/8" stud.

Bottom line:
All of them did great!
CMT is way-smooth and cuts like butter. It's the thinnest of the bunch and has the least amount of carbide, as well as the thinnest kerf.
Diablo doesn't feel as smooth on saw start-up, but isn't obnoxious, either. Smooth cuts w/decent speed. Left the most noticeable saw blade marks on the ripping test, but not like you would on an 18 or 24 tooth blade.
PT has the widest saw kerf, is the smoothest on start-up (altho, the CMT comes close), cuts are the smoothest, for being such a hefty blade, it cuts reasonably fast.
The Tenryu blade was an old one that had damage from hitting some imbedded steel, and had a couple of teeth missing, as well as a couple partially missing. You could feel the imbalance on saw start-up. Nevertheless, it still cut great. Rivaled the Diablo on the ripping test (the PT and the CMT were noticeably at the head of class in this test), and still gave clean cuts on the plywood and crosscut tests.

In the pics, you can see the differences each blade has re. amount of carbide. The CMT (on top) has the least- not sure there's enough to resharpen. The Diablo (bottom) has noticeably more (the Tenryu, not pictured, has about the same). The PT has the most- probably last a couple of sharpenings.

In the last pic, you can see the difference in plate thickness: CMT- thinnest; Diablo (and Tenryu- not shown)- bit thicker; PT- thickest.

I would not exclude any of these blades as worthy contenders for use in my Makita 8 1/4" saw, on the EZ tracks. I think, tho, all things considered (cost, carbide, plate, quality of manufacture, availability, smoothness, etc), I would choose the Tenryu. PT is overkill for saws than can be used on the EZ tracks; CMT gives the least carbide/plate thickness for the price paid (unless you get them on sale). Diablos are good value for the dollar, but, for not much more, you can get a Tenryu, which is a noticeably better blade.
(http://blog.carbideprocessors.com/te...yu-saw-blades/)

FWIW, I've also tried 24 tooth blades on my saw and am not overly impressed. The quality of cut from 24 teeth up to 40 teeth is very noticeable. Sure, one needs to slow the saw-pushing speed down a bit with a 40 tooth blade, but it's negligible, and, the results on plywood are truly amazing. I save my 24 teeth blades for when I need to do tons of ripping in solid wood.

OK, this is all conjecture and personal opinion, but I hope it's helpful to someone out there.
Rick
ps- if your saw isn't set up on the EZ or homemade base to allow the blade to be perfectly parallel to the track, you will get saw blade marks no matter what blade you use. Also, if your saw base is 'sloppy' on the track, you will get less than stellar results.
r
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:12 PM
Brian Kincaid Brian Kincaid is offline
 
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Nice post Rick. Thanks for taking the time to do a side-by-side comparison.
-Brian
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:47 PM
TheXMan TheXMan is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpnstump View Post
Diablos are good value for the dollar, but, for not much more, you can get a Tenryu, which is a noticeably better blade.
(http://blog.carbideprocessors.com/te...yu-saw-blades/)

FWIW, I've also tried 24 tooth blades on my saw and am not overly impressed. The quality of cut from 24 teeth up to 40 teeth is very noticeable. Sure, one needs to slow the saw-pushing speed down a bit with a 40 tooth blade, but it's negligible, and, the results on plywood are truly amazing. I save my 24 teeth blades for when I need to do tons of ripping in solid wood.
Thanks for the link, and agree whole heartedly, 24 teeth are not the cleanest
cutters. I Think I'll make some wind chimes.
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