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Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

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  • Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

    Gentlemen...which is best in the long run? Dado blade or Router?

    We are making investments in tools...upgrading...trying to choose the correct path or paths. I would like to made informed and educated decisions.

    Is a good router and router table better than a dado set (in the long run)?

    Any pros and cons?

    We appreciate the help and guidance from the experienced people on this forum.

    (I am a welder by trade making the transition to woodworker...trying to learn all I can...buy the right equipment.)

  • #2
    Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

    Truth is you will probably need both at some point. A router can substitute a dado blade for most purposes but a dado blade can't substitute a router. Routers are one of the woodworkers most versatile tools and its a good idea to have one if you plan to get into it seriously.

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    • #3
      Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

      Ok...thanks for the above...great point.

      Maybe I should ask the same question again but from a different point of view.

      If a router can do everything, then why would you have a dado?

      (I hope that makes sense and is a good question.)

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      • #4
        Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

        With the use of shims, a dado set can make more precise dado width cuts than a router can. Although it best done in gradual steps with both tools, deeper dado's can usually be cut with less passes using a dado set than with a router.

        As Velosapien stated, both have their place in the shop and personally, I wouldn't be without either. Generally speaking though, I'd buy a router first followed by the dado set as money or need dictates.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

          Echoing BD's observation, I'm assuming you are referring to a stack, rather than a wobble, dado set. With the proper bit and jig, a router can do much more than just round over corners. And with the proper jig, a router can create dadoes that accomodate the 1/32" size peculiarites of plywood (3/4" ply is actually 23/32") easier than a stack dado.
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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          • #6
            Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

            You can also buy straight router bits that are sized for plywood use which eliminates the guess work and fiddling with a jig.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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            • #7
              Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

              I have both and use both, but tend to use the TS most....matter of preference I guess. As mentioned, you're going to want a router and router table regardless of which method you use....the most versatile tool in the shop.

              A stacked dado head is adjustable to nearly infinite widths, where as a router bit is fixed. It's possible to make multiple passes with a router but it's more difficult to get the same accuracy. I also prefer the stability and power of the TS when dadoing.

              I'll rout by hand for a large panel like on 6ft armoire carcass.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                We are not sure what a "TS" is? Can this be explained.

                Thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                  Originally posted by dzblack View Post
                  We are not sure what a "TS" is? Can this be explained.

                  Thanks.
                  ...sorry..."TS" = Table Saw

                  FYI, as far as tools go:
                  CMS = compound miter saw
                  SMCS = sliding compound miter saw
                  BS = BS (also a statement by a campaigning politician)
                  RAS = radial arm saw
                  RT = router table (also "right tilt" referring to TS tilt)
                  DP = drill press
                  DC = dust collector
                  ROS = random orbital sander
                  OS! = big mistake (..."oh sh!+" )
                  Last edited by hewood; 08-04-2007, 03:31 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                    I prefer my dado head over a router any day for most, dado cuts, there are always the exception tho,

                    but the problem is it takes a very good dado head, I have about 6 of them, and was disappointed with most of them, I finally bought a freud head that was expensive, (I would have to go out and see what the number of it is, I think it is the SD500) but when working with hardwood ply and oaks especially, the tearing is or can be considerable, unless you have a very good head and some times still have to take some precautions like scoring the cut so it does not splinter,

                    also to find a head that cuts a level bottom sometimes is hard to find,

                    but I keep one the freud jsut for ply wood cuts, and then have a few that I will take to a job site if necessary and for rough cutting or for construction grade lumber,

                    but the trick is to get the proper dado head for the need you have,

                    router bits can be more forgiving but the set up to cut a dado can be trying in my opinion, and there still is the problem that the glue and the router bits don't play well together, a lot is what one gets use to, and likes, some people are router wizards and other love the table saw or arm saw,

                    If you get a cheap or poor dado head you think the router is better, if you have a good dado head I think you would like it better, but you will want both, in the long run IMO,

                    http://www.freud-tools.com/dadobladesets.html
                    Last edited by BHD; 08-04-2007, 06:54 PM.
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                    • #11
                      Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                      I use a TS to cut grooves and rabbets, but normally use a router to cut dados. I don't know of any way to cut a dado in the middle of a side support safely on a TS without using a sled. Sleds work well for smaller dados, like those required for bookcases, but they have limitations when working with entertainment center size carcasses. Those dados are best cut with a router.

                      If I'm making cuts to insert plywood, I'll normally cut them in 2 passes to adust for width regardless of the tool I'm using. Plywood has always had issues concerning consistant sizing, but since so much plywood is now made in China, it seems the variation in sizing is even more pronounced. I have the plywood bits for the various thicknesses, but they are rarely my first choice.

                      So to answer your question as to which to buy if you can only get one, get a router. With a good straight edge or jig and a little patience, you can safely cut grooves, rabbets or dado's with a router. It also has a lot more uses than this, where as a dado blade has a single purpose.

                      Bob R

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                        ............. With a good straight edge or jig and a little patience, you can safely cut grooves, rabbets or dado's with a router. It also has a lot more uses than this, where as a dado blade has a single purpose.
                        I wouldn't say that the dado set is only limited to a single purpose. You can use a dado set to cut;

                        1. Basic Dado's
                        2. Rabbet Joints
                        3. Lap Joints
                        4. Box Joints
                        5. Mortise & Tenon Joints (Half of it anyways)
                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                          Each of those tasks involve a single task - sawing wood and each one could be done with a standard saw blade (granted that each task would require a lot more time), or each of those tasks could also be done with a router.

                          A router can cut the mortise as well as the tenon.
                          A router can also cut circles, add edge profiles, make mouldings, make dovetail joints, etc.

                          A router has much more versatility than a dado blade, and (pardon me for repeating myself), if you can only get one, get a router.

                          Bob R

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                            I agree w/everyone, you all basically said the same thing. To each they're own. If you need the right answer its all here, "now you must decide". I like both so I own both and use them at the same time for a specific place in a project. Having two setups eliminates changing blades and so forth. Router for making dovetail drawers and TS for making bottom drawer slides (just an example). But over all I like my TS, but then again I like my router, ummmm I think I'm stumped....

                            Educated guess, You Need Both......................
                            Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                            http://www.contractorspub.com

                            A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tool Issue: Which is best: Dado vs Router...?

                              I had a dado set and sold it. Too much time and trouble to set up and use. An added bonus to the router and straight edge is jointing boards.
                              info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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