Newsletter Article: The Difference Between Freud Blades
In the October 2021 newsletter Rob discussed his favorite table saw blades which are Freud thin-kerf rip and crosscut blades. We had several questions about what the difference is between the Freud Thin-Kerf line of blades and the Freud Diablo line of thin-kerf blades.
Here is what a Freud tech guy had to say:
“All Freud blades come from the same machines in the same manufacturing plant. We make our own micro-grain carbide in numerous formulations that represent various degrees of hardness. The carbide is selected depending on the intended application (the hardest is used for laminates the softest for ripping) as are the tooth angles and tooth quantity. The steel for the blade plates is all the same grade. The brazing is all the same. The key differences between the 3 main lines of Freud blades are:
The LU/LM Industrial blades have the thickest tips for the most resharpenings and are generally full kerf. We also offer the most selection of specialty blades in this line. These have the most appeal to professionals who need to get a lot of sharpenings out of a blade and to artisans who need specialty blades for their projects.
The Thin-kerf and Diablo lines are very similar. Both are thin kerf blades and the tip thickness is the same. The key difference is in the way we market these blades. The Diablo line has blades intended for purposes like framing, siding, decking and general home improvement and is packaged and promoted in ways that appeal to contractors and DIYers. The Thin Kerf line has blades for similar purposes (as well as laminate blades) but is sold with different or no coating and different packaging and packaging material to appeal more to woodworkers.
Do professional woodworkers shop for blades at Home Depot? Probably some do and they can get excellent performance from a Diablo blade for a lot of their uses but with a shorter overall life (and lower cost) due to the tip thickness. Same with the Thin-Kerf blades at Lowe's.
Why not compare a Thin Kerf or Diablo blade to Forrest? Consider this analogy: Toyota cars and Lexus cars share a lot of the same components and are made by the same company. Would you compare a Camry with a BMW?
We make a fourth line of blades (F400 Premier series) that is very similar to the Woodworker II and is priced similarly. The difference between ours and Forrest's is that ours is made by computer controlled, super modern equipment and theirs is made by hand. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but I leave the final verdict to the consumer.”