Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coated vs Uncoated Table Saw Blades

Recently there was a thread on the Woodnet Forums asking about coated blades. Freud's blades come coated, but many do not. And the original poster wanted to know why.

Aside from appearance, the general consensus is that it keeps the resin in woods like pine from sticking to the blade, or makes the blade easier to clean.

This morning I was cutting up some UHMW plastic to make the fence face for my benchtop router table and got to see the difference first hand.

The uncoated blade is the Harbor Freight "Lifetime" 64T carbide tipped blade I talk about in a previous post. It gummed up with plastic so quickly I only got 2-3" inches into ripping the 1" thick plastic before tripping the breaker on my admittedly weak 1hp table saw. I messed around with blade cut depths and running oak scraps through the saw, but nothing could improve things.

The other blade is also a Harbor Freight "Lifetime" blade, this one a 40T carbide tipped blade with a titanium nitride coating.

As you can see in the first pic, the plastic didn't stick at all. The blade didn't slow down, didn't trip the breaker, and required little pressure to feed the plastic through. The other blade took so much pressure to get it through I worried my push sticks would snap!

So, at least for me, if there is a coated blade option, I will always take it.


Chuck said...

just read your statement regarding the weajness of the 1hp table saw

do you disconnect the jointer when not in use?

Don said...

Yep. Leaving it spinning sucks a good chunk of my 1hp. It's really easy to lift the motor, pop one belt off and the other on.

Chuck said...

heavy sigh... Well, since I'm poor, I have no intentions of abandoning my goal of using the "new" 34-607 as my primary table saw. I'll heed the advice you've posted regarding blade selection if I can, but 9" blades seem to only be available online.

Thanks for the journal so far. Clear, concise, illustrated!, and awesome.