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For years many of the table saw blade manufacturers have been preaching that we should be using blade stabilizers on our table saw blades in order to get precision cuts. But what about the costs, the draw backs, and do we really need these?? Read on for the answer, you could be very surprised at what you will find ...
First of all, blade stabilizers are not particularly cheap. If you get a good pair that has been balanced and trued, expect to pay in the vicinity of $20. True, they do cut down on blade vibration on some blades but what has caused that blade vibration in the first place? Is this a result of an inferior saw blade, OR, have you inadvertently jammed some wood between the blade and the fence and bent the blade yourself? In either case, you have a blade that is off true, for situations like this blade stabilizers may be helpful.
But what about depth of the cut you can make, don't they restrict depth of cut? The answer is yes, they do, which is one of their major draw backs. Another major draw back is the extra weight they are putting on your equipment like motors, bearings and belts. The extra weight in some cases may in fact cause early wear out of motors or bearing.
So ... lets stop for a moment and re-visit wobbly saw blades. Back to the original question, why is the saw blade off true. You would think in this day and age we could make table saw blades that were true ... and we can. Table saw blades just like anything else you purchase reflect the quality price differential. If you are purchasing inexpensive blades you can bet that less time and effort has gone into making them. And what about the manufacturing of the blades, most blades are "stamped" out of steel, don't you think that might just be a cause of making them un-true. Freud is one of the only manufactures that not only laser cuts the steel, but also performs "tensioning" on each blade, which make each one exactly true. The reason they do this is because the steel they use for their blades is a harder steel that what you can use on a "stamped" blade. The result of Freud laser cutting the blades, and cutting in things like heat expansion slots and anti vibration slots in most of their blades is what makes them very stable. Freud blades do not need blade stabilizers.
Click on the image above for more info or to order blade stabilizers from Rockler
Another cause of blades runing un-true is the arbor in the saw, is it running true and is the bearing in good shape or is this the cause of your blade-wobble.
So ... you make the choice, if you have wobbly blades, find yourself a good pair of blade stabilizers, or switch to a better brand of saw blades, like Freud .
Copyright Colin Knecht