Freud Thin Kerf Rip Blade - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A top quality rip blade that will give you exceptional results

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Freud Thin Kerf Rip Blade



Combination blades are great for all-round shop use; the best of the lot do an excellent job at crosscutting, and a good to very good job at ripping. But when you have a lot of stock to rip, it makes sense to use a dedicated rip blade. With a rip blade you can cut thick, dense stock more quickly than with a combo blade, you'll get better results (smoother, cleaner cuts with minimal or no burning) and you'll place less strain on your table saw motor.
 
If you have a table saw with a smaller motor (under 3 HP), then consider getting a 'thin kerf' blade. A thinner blade offers less resistance to your saw, and you'll waste less stock; albeit not a big deal when using domestic lumber, but a consideration on typically much more expensive exotic lumber.
 
I've been using the Freud LU87R010 'Thin Kerf Rip' blade for the past four months. It's part of their 'Industrial' line (which includes all blades labeled with the LU and LM prefix). These blades are somewhat more expensive than the consumer (TK) and contractor (Diablo) line of blades. All Freud blades feature precision tempered bodies, laser cut expansion slots and tri metal brazing on the teeth. The major difference is in the teeth - the type of carbide used, number of teeth, and tooth geometry.
 
The LU87R010 has a .071" blade that produces a .094" (3/32") kerf, which is about 1/3 thinner than the kerf (.126" or 1/8") produced by a standard rip blade. A 20° hook on the 24 teeth makes for an aggressive cut, enabling you to feed stock more quickly than when using a combination blade, without the risk of burning. The C3 carbide teeth are fairly large (3/32" wide by 15/64" long), which means you should be able to re-sharpen it five or six times.
 
At 89.6 dB (measured about three feet from the blade) the LU87R010 runs somewhat quieter than a standard combination blade (92.7 dB). This may be due to the 12 laser cut anti-vibration and noise reduction slots the permeate the blade, and the PermaShield coating (which Freud claims reduces resistance). Some woodworkers I know use a blade stiffener with thin kerf blades, claiming that it adds greater stability when cutting thick stock (and presumably helping to reduce noise). I've never used a blade stiffener, and Freud doesn't recommend the use of one for their thin rip blades.
 
The rip cuts made by the LU87R010 are exceptional - they were consistently smooth and clean, regardless of the wood species. For the first few hundred board feet the cuts were so clean I could have simply gone straight to glue up. You can see in the two bottom photos  that there is nary a gap visible on this piece of white oak. Even after using the blade for several months the cuts are very clean - they require minimal clean up on a jointer or with a hand plane. I have used other brands of rip blades, but this Freud blade is clearly the best of the lot. If you think you need an even cleaner cut you'll be pleased to know that Freud now offers a 30 tooth 'Thin Kerf Glue Line Rip' blade (LM75R010).


Freud5
Rip in 1" oak
Freud4
Seamless joint
At $65 I think you're unlikely to find a top quality rip blade that will give you such exceptional results.

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KEY FEATURES:

  • 24 tooth, flat top grind (FTG) design
  • 20° hook
  • .071" plate thickness; .094" kerf width
  • 3/32" wide x 15/64" long C3 carbide teeth
  • Tri metal brazing on teeth
  • 12 laser cut anti-vibration and noise reduction slots
  • PermaShield Coating to reduce resistance

MANUFACTURER:Freud
AVAILABLE FROM:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE:$59
MODEL #:LU87R010
MADE IN:Italy

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