Understanding the Basics of the Dado Blade
DeWalt continually produces some of the best tools for both amateurs and professionals alike. When it comes to table saws and dados blades, this sentiment continues to hold. The quality products and ease of use make these saws a top contender in the tool game.
Dado blades and the cuts they produce are an essential factor in woodworking. If you are new to the trade, it is vital to start at the beginning to understand what a dado blade does. From there, we explore the dado blades offered by DeWalt.
What is a Dado Blade?
Dado blades get used on a circular table saw to make precision dado cuts. Dado cuts serve an essential function in woodworking and should get executed with the use of a dado specific blade.
There are two types of dado blades; the often less expensive wobble blade, and the more preferred stacked style. The choice of blade you use depends on personal preference and on what style is compatible with your table saw.
Wobble blades are adjustable blades secured to a multi-piece hub. The angle of the blade gets adjusted accordingly to make a bigger or smaller cut. While this type of blade works just fine, the staked style makes cuts with better precision. Wobbles also tend to vibrate during use, which is frustrating for some woodworkers. Wobbles are often much less expensive and can be adjusted while in use, unlike the stacked version.
Stacked dado blades are three-piece saw blade set. The two outside pieces are made up of circular saw blades while a chipper blade fits into the center. Since the chipper is removable, the user has more control over the cut’s width and quality. However, the entire setup requires disassembly to make changes to the width, unlike the wobble variety. Additionally, each set up has size limitations, meaning additional spacers are needed to make broader cuts.
What is a Dado Cut?
Firstly, it is crucial to understand how a dado cut gets used in woodworking. Dados are a type of cut used to join two pieces of wood together. The cut made by a dado blade creates a void in the board that receives another piece of wood. The board fits in snuggly into the channel, creating a tight bond. Dadoes are fundamental in the world of woodworking, so get used by woodworkers of all skill levels.
A dado cut creates a three-sided channel in a piece of wood. When cutting with a stacked blade set, the two outer blades cut straight up into the wood while the chipper chops out the wood in between to create the channel.
Since dado cuts barely wear down and can withstand vertical pressure, they are incredibly stable in many applications. These factors make them quite popular when building cabinets, bookshelves, and drawers.
There are several types of dado cuts that a woodworker uses. The first a through, where the cut runs from one edge of the board to the other. Both ends of the cut are left open. The second is a stopped cut where the channel ends before the side of the board. It is also known as a blind cut. The final cut is a half dado where a thin cut in one board fits into a dado in another board. Half dadoes often hide gaps attributed to different thicknesses in wood boards.
What Comes in a Dado Blade Set?
DeWalt sells dado blades both individually and in sets. The individual blades are replacements for worn or broken pieces, while the sets are complete setups.
The popular sets come in a convenient tool case specifically designed to store the blades securely. This heavy-duty case sets DeWalt apart as most other dado blades do not come with storage. Some important features of these blades include:
- Four tooth chippers to provide flat, smooth cuts (most other chippers only have two teeth)
- Clean cuts and reduced splintering through micro-grain carbide teeth
- Laser-cut, heavy-gauge plates provide accurate cuts
- Micro width adjustments are possible with the inclusion of stainless-steel shims
Over time all blades lose their effectiveness with excessive use. However, DeWalt products outlast many others, especially when stored in their heavy-duty case. Though the blades may be slightly more expensive than other brands, the long-term use is worth the extra cost.
Do All DeWalt Table Saws Receive Dado Blades?
It is important to realize that not all table saw can receive a dado blade. To force a blade to fit would result in unsafe operation. DeWalt offers several versions of dado compatible saws, each ranging in price point and size. Before purchasing a saw, read the specifications to know the maximum and minimum size of compatible blades.
The DeWalt DWE7491X 10-inch table saw is a popular choice for many woodworkers. It is often best suited for shop use rather than for portable purposes, as it weighs 87 pounds. This saw allows cuts for wide boards as well as narrow rips with its two operating positions.
The DeWalt DW744XRS 10-inch job site table saw is an excellent choice for a portable machine. It comes with a rolling stand and folding legs, making it easy to load in vehicles and move around job sites. It is a high-powered saw that can cut through hardwoods and pressure-treated lumber.
The DeWalt DWE7485 8-1/4-inch job site table saw is a compact version of the larger DeWalt saws. Its conveniently compact size makes it easy to transport and store when not in use. This saw cuts plywood and OSD sheet wood. Though it is reasonably priced, it does require the use of a sawhorse.
Depending on your purpose, one of these table saws can meet your woodworking needs. Each sit at a different price point, so make your decision based on budget and the type of material that you are working with.
Table saws and dado blades are an essential tool for woodworkers. It makes time to master dado cuts but made easier with the help of a quality machine. Take time and do your research before purchasing so you can be sure to get the saw that is right for you.