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  • recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

    I'm new to the forum and found it by accident while looking for information on my new Ridgid cordless Drill.

    Long story short, I inherited a several tools to make up a woodshop. It's been a long slow process to get where I'm at but it's been a lot of fun. My latest project has been to get my Radial arm saw up and running. What I need input on is what kind of blade to install on it? Are there certain things that will make a certain blade better for this sort of tool then others? For example, Should I be looking at a specific tooth count? carbide is a given in my book... Any brand recommendations I should take into consideration?

    Thanks for any input.

  • #2
    Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

    Not sure about radial saws blades, but I figure you'll want mainly crosscut type blades.

    Freud's line is one of the best values going, it seems. Their dado set is always at the top of the list, as well as many of their combo blades. I recently got a Forrest Woodworker II for my TS3650. I gotta say, it really is a nice blade. When that gets dull, I'll probably get a Freud TK (thin kerf) combo blade while the WWII is in for sharpening. Amana blades get good reviews as well. I've never used them, but I think a few of the people here have and could provide more information.

    Any of those 3 should suit you well. Freud would probably be the least expensive of the "good" blades.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

      Depending on my setup, I've used either a regular crosscut, combination, or when required, a rip blade. I bought my RAS back in the mid-70's and used it extensively thru the late 80's, when I packed it up and stored it away in the basement. Although I've cleaned it up and moved it to the future home, I have not set it up yet. I never had any issues with these regular saw blades

      I mention this because in my manual or any of the referances I have for the RAS in the 70's really don't touch on blade hook angles, special RAS types, etc.

      However, there does seem to be some degree of opinion that overhead saws like the RAS and Sliding Compound Miter Saws really should use a blade with a "negative tooth" angle. This reduces the saw's tendency to "climb" should the user too rapidly attempt to crosscut. Like with most things today, technology and function anaylsis has determined a wider number of products, many of which offer application specific solutions.

      So, I haven't tried one of these negative hook blades yet, but probably will do so when I put the saw back into practice. Freud has several blades that are designed specifically for SCMS and RAS applications. Checking my older (2004) Freud catalog I see the TKR606, TK606, LU91R010, and LU91M010 are 10-inch, 60-tooth blades designed for RAS or SCMS application. The LU series are industrial grade and, as I recall, most often recommended.

      I'm sure other members with more recent experience will offer more specific advice.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

        Tooth count is specific to the task at hand...if all other parameters are equal, higher tooth count means smoother cut, but slower feedrate and higher probability of burning. A lower count tends to feed faster, which is great for thicker woods, but leaves a rougher cut.

        For a RAS, a "negative" hook angle (or rake) is desirable to prevent "climb" or self feeding from the blade grabbing the stock.

        3/32" thin kerf or 1/8" full kerf is a matter of preference. The "TK" is easier on the motor b/c it takes a lighter bite. The theoretical downside is that they're more prone to deflection, but that's seldom an issue if you get a high quality blade.

        There are lots of great blades available. Some have a better grade of carbide, stiffer alloys, tighter tolerances, and better sharpening. As mentioned Forrest, Freud, and Amana make good blades, as does Ridge Carbide, Tenryu, Infinity, Leitz, HO Schumacher, CMT, and Systimatic to name a few more. Delta and DeWalt also have some very good blades...like Freud and Tenryu, these companies make multiple quality levels, so try to pick their best line if possible...often their "Industrial" line.

        Not sure what size you need, but Freud's LU91R010 is a 60T TK blade from their industrial line that's recommended for use in a RAS or SCMS. It can be found on sale in the $50 range.

        There have been some awesome closeout deals from a Leitz distributor over at Woodnet.net. He has a limited supply of German made blades by Leitz, being sold under a couple of different names like Irwin Woodworking series, Delta Industrial, Leitz, and HO Schumacher. There are a few with negative hook angles that would be suitable.
        Last edited by hewood; 07-27-2007, 07:16 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

          For safety you really should never install a blade with more than a 5 degree hook angle on a radial arm saw. Also because most of the time I would think you would be doing cross cutting and miter work, you'll more than likely want 60 or more teeth. As to the brand and quality there's quite a selection out there. Can you tell us what size blade you need for it? Is this a small one with say an 8-10 inch blade or a big beast with say a 16 inch blade?

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          • #6
            Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

            This one is a Sears 10". So not too big. I figure for the type of stuff i'll be doing it's about the right size. Besides, i can't beat the price... it was free.

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            • #7
              Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

              Thanks to everyone for the input. The blade I got for it was a Dewalt 60 tooth that I picked up at Lowes. I've not installed it yet but based on the suggestions made here, I'll probably be taking it back. The guy I've been talking with at Home Depot suggested the Freud's blade as well. Pointed out that they have a deep gullet (I think that's what he called it). We didn't get into the discussion of blade degree angle.

              I'll spend some time reading up on negative hook angle blades. I figured there were some blades that were specific to an RAS. Given all the bad press I've been reading about this tool, I was fairly sure there were blades that were developed to help prevent some of the problems. Just a matter of learning the terminology so I know what to search for.

              Thanks to everyone for the input.

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              • #8
                Re: recommendations for a blade for a radial arm saw

                Did you inherit or otherwise acquire this RAS recently? How old is it roughly?
                The older Craftsman RAS were made by Emerson and are a decent tool. I don't know who has been making them for the past few years. A 10" RAS is a great addition to the shop, especially for FREE!!!

                Get the serial number off the saw (should be on the front of the base near the elevation crank) and go to www.radialarmsawrecall.com to see if you qualify for a free guard upgrade kit. If you RAS is in decent shape after retrofitting the new guard and table your RAS will be like new and the equivalent of current RASs.
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