Many woodworkers might argue whether it is worth buying the best dado blade set. They can use a circular saw or miter saw to get the dado cutting jobs done.
However, the dado blade set was specially built to do cutting joints and grooves better when used with power tools as the table saw. Once you give it a try, you will agree with us.
In this article, we will give a complete explanation of what the dado blade set is, reviews, and how to get the right one – to solve your requirements and fit the budget.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Dado Blade?
- Types of Dado Blades
- Types Of Joints Dado Blade
- 6 Inch Vs 8 Inch Dado Stacks
- 5 Best Dado Blade Sets – Reviews
- How To Choose The Best Dado Blade Set
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dado Blade Set
- Wrapping Up
What Is A Dado Blade?
It is called a dado blade set, considering that this tool is beneficial to cut dado grooves more widely into the wood than conventional saw blades – thanks to a set of two types of blades.
- Dado Cutting Blades
If you are familiar with saw blades, the cutting blades in a dado set are similar, meaning a thin disc with multiple teeth around its edge.
Such a construction allows the blade to cut cleanly and straightly along the edge of the grooves.
- Dado Chipper Blades
Used in between the two traditional cutting blades, chipper blades come in different designs with which you can change the number of chippers to get wider or smaller woods.
You will want to use a dado blade set for cutting grooves and joints in door panels, drawer bottoms, or shelves, etc.
Types of Dado Blades
There are two common types to know: stacked dado blades and wobble dado blades, each of which features its benefits that will meet your woodworking projects requirements.
Stacked Dado Blades
As the name suggests, stacked dado blades consist of several blades sandwiched together. At a center come removable chipper blades to determine the length of cuts.
A rule of thumb is that an additional chipper blade makes the overall set wider.
If you desire a narrow cut, you should only use one or two chipper blades in the middle.
Meanwhile, four or more blades can help cut woods and even metals broader and more powerful with only a single cutting edge.
Some stacked dado blades sometimes can be interspersed with spacers instead of chippers to improve the precision. Those spacers are often plastic, so you can save money.
Compared to the other type we will introduce later, stacked dado blades have improved performance and versatility.
They cut the top off the dado grooves flatly and perpendicularly to the sides. The cove also gets more pronounced.
Wobble Dado Blades
Too many stacked blades are somehow expensive and abundant for small hobbies or DIY jobs. Wobble sets can be a good alternative as such.
They often feature only one single blade along with an offset rotation. When you cut, the blade sways back and forth to create an “S” pattern, then cut the materials through.
That’s why the blade reminds consumers of wobbling.
You can adjust the prorated plates according to the desired dado width. The faster spinning speed supports a higher cutting performance.
Although the construction of wobble blade sets is simple, it is not straightforward to handle. The operation tends to cause vibration, which results in imprecision in the end.
Types Of Joints Dado Blade
The most common application of dado blade sets is to cut grooves and joints. Thus, what are joints?
You already know that dado cuts are flat-bottomed grooves into a wood piece, either in a rip or crosscut direction. Joints – however, are a junction between multiple separate parts to hold them in place for long.
It depends on the nature of your woodworks; you might be involved in the following dado joints.
Dado And Groove
Dado joints have three sides to enhance the strong bond. In comparison, groove joints go across the wood’s grain.
Woodworkers like you prefer dado and groove joints since they are easy to make with dado blade sets and durable over time, thanks to three connected sides.
Rabbet joints are places where a dado or groove cut runs along the wood’s edge. That way, the long side is flush, and the second component can be fit into the groove.
Connection points are not obvious, so this type of joint is suitable for single grooving parts like the cabinet tops.
Tongue And Groove
When the wood protrudes from the board into the groove cuts of one board on a flat surface, you need tongue and groove joints. They feature a beautifully flat surface, bonding various components in one.
Joints will only be half the thickness of the material components and overlap cut away. Thanks to that, there is a flush surface for bonding. Glue is often essential for an extra bond, though.
Tenons are helpful in making mortise and tenon joints possible. They are exactly rails forming at the end of the wood piece to insert in a square or rectangular hole on another piece.
The joints are known for their strong outcome and attractive lookout if they can perfectly fit for the mortise.
Also known as comb joints, finger joints are the result of cutting a set of corresponding rectangular slots in two profiles and interlocking them with glue.
The joints are interlocked like fingers between your two hands, the so-called finger joint.
Those joints have a strong bond, but unfortunately are not visually-appealing. You can use them to form long lumber pieces, baseboards, or molding.
6 Inch Vs 8 Inch Dado Stacks
Another concern about dado blades is the sizing of stacks. While some options are available, woodworkers are often in two minds of 6-inch or 8-inch stacks.
8-inch dado blades seem a better choice since they can fit well in almost all modern 10-inch saws.
They leave clean cuts with an extra inch of depth as 8-inch stacks move faster. Nonetheless, you should be aware that they are often heavy and bulky.
6-inch blades, however, save a few bucks. Although the cut quality is proven to be the same as the 8-inch ones, the smaller size makes it hard to use in big saws or for big cutting projects and deep cuts.
5 Best Dado Blade Sets – Reviews
1. Oshlun SDS-0630 6-Inch 30 Tooth Stack Dado Set
This 6-inch stacked dado blade from Oshlun is a bargain for its cutting power and quality construction.
You will have 16 durable parts in the package, including professional-grade cutting blades, 5-tooth chippers, and sets of shims. All are ready for any woodworking projects.
We do not expect an affordable set like the Oshlun SDS-0630 to have full-sized chippers. But it has!
There are four pieces of ⅛-inch chippers to cut specifics and other 1/16-inch and 3/32-inch chippers to cut wider grooves and joints. More options provide you a better convenience while doing your job.
Various chippers also help remove most vibrations during cutting through materials. We have not had any trouble adjusting the dado blade sets on the table saws.
The cut quality is not the most powerful we have known because the set is as compact as 6 inches.
However, we do appreciate the quality-made blades with 30 teeth that can handle different types of wood without losing their sharpness quickly. The side cuts are extremely smooth.
The secret lies in the tungsten carbide material, bringing the blade an extreme hardness to cut through any hardwood with ease.
You will want to be careful with the edges of the shims while running your fingers to settle the set. They are stamped cut with no post-processing task.
2. The Mibro Group 416381 8″ Carbide Stacking Dado Blade Set
The Mibro Group 416381 is a good value for your budget in case you only desire to cut large and simple grooves.
There are only two 8-inch cutting blades, one 1/16-inch chipper, four 1/8-inch chippers. The two sizes of chippers are limited but still serviceable to support smooth bottom cuts in small projects.
There are also seven shims for fine adjustments, meaning you can easily change the blades and chippers to the desired width. That way, the cutting becomes more precious.
The dado blades, however, are extremely high quality. They have extra-large carbide teeth that feature durable performance.
Most impressively, the maximum speed is up to 5000 RPM, so the blades can cut even hardwood types.
What will surprise you is the safety it offers at such an affordable price. There is an additional anti-kickback design available to prevent any kickback and injuries when the wood moves too quickly to take your handoff.
In drawbacks, the blades make uneven grooves, and it takes extra time to sand off the materials.
3. Freud 6″ x 10T Pro Dado Set (SD206)
The blade’s size is only 6 inches. The set uses less power; thus, it is an ideal choice for use with less powered saws.
Moreover, the arbors are shorter, making dado blade sets fit on small or traditional table saws.
Although the set is small and affordable, it does not mean being poorly built.
The Freud manufacturing uses the high-quality and -density cobalt carbide to make the blades, not to mention coat them with a silver I.C.E. layer. You can expect the set to be durable for months or even years to come.
The chippers feature a 2-wing style to keep the overall weight down so you can more easily set up them between cutting blades.
Their full-circular design also offers more stability and less vibration. As a result, you can cut the grooves and joints with extra accuracy.
Similar to The Mibro Group 416381, the margin of safety is enhanced with the anti-kickback design and the lower speed than other dado blade sets.
Just for you to know, this dado set has been on the market since 1999 which results in limits to design and technology despite its good track record. For example, the set lacks width knob adjustments.
4. DEWALT Dado Blade Set, 8-Inch, 24-Tooth (DW7670)
The DEWALT Dado Blade Set DW7670 is among the best units at cutting since each outer blade features 24 teeth.
They can cut smoothly at a speed of 7000 RPM, meaning that the set is extremely powerful!
This whopping speed enables the blade to cut through hardwood like butter and leaves a clean and smooth finish. Its 4-tooth chippers also assist in creating a flat surface.
There are heavy-duty laser plates that cut precisely. The micro-grain carbide teeth not only cut through the materials clean but prevent splinters as well. They remain sharp in performance and durability over a long time.
To ensure its durability and high performance, the manufacturer even offers a plastic case to store all blades and chippers from dings and dents.
The blade also stands out for its versatility. Not only does the blade set work on most 10-inch DEWALT saws, but also with saws of other brands, such as Ridgid R4512 and SawTops.
The only real downside is the higher price. Fortunately, Dewalt also offers a guarantee of 30-day money-back on the blade. The customer support is also top-notch, deserving of your investment.
5. IRWIN Dado Blade Set, Stacked, 8-Inch (1811865)
This Dado Blade Set 1811865 is effective to cut through many materials and metal sheets with no disappointments.
Although there are fewer teeth than some other sets on the list, the IRWIN unit can still provide a wide-cutting performance. It becomes even better at grooving marginally as large as 7/8 inches in width.
The material of blades is oversized carbide which allows resharpening. There is even a non-stick coating to improve the overall durability.
Thanks to the heat-resistant coating layer, the blades do not even get hot while doing such a heavy-duty task.
After a while, you can resharpen the blades and keep them fresh over the new lifespan. This task also improves sharpness and accuracy.
The blades and chippers can work with rabbets and shelving modes in most table saws and radial arm saws to make tongues and grooves. Better compatibility means you have a wider choice of applications.
The noticeable downside when we use this dado blade set is that it creates more dust and splinters than others. That is due to the high speed of cutting. You had better wear protective eyewear or a dust mask in advance.
How To Choose The Best Dado Blade Set
Two factors are affecting your decision on dado blade sets’ size: your saws and the nature of your projects.
- Size Of Saws
A dado blade set requires much more loading than a traditional single blade on working with arbor, bearings, trunnions, and motor of the saw. You will want to make sure that the arbor of your saws can handle the whole dado set.
For example, an 8-inch set is often usable on 10-inch saws. And it would be even better if your saws had removable spacers or multiple throat inserts to cover the entire stack and shims.
While you have a small and simple saw for DIY woodworking projects, you will find a 6-inch set more suitable and budget-friendly.
- Cutting Purposes
A dado set often offers standard cut widths from ⅞ inches or 13/16 inches to ¼ inches. There is hardly a difference in the width that 6-inch and 8-inch sets can cut.
The true variety is the cut depth. A bigger set cuts the materials deeper. 6-inch dado blades can cut ¾ of an inch, whereas the 8 inch performs a cut by 2 ⅛ inches or 1 ⅛ inch.
In sum, the more expensive 8-inch sets come in handy and are worthy of making an extra depth of cuts and also allow cutting more quickly.
Scoring blades indicate the cut quality, which means how well the dado set can cut flat bottom and clean, chip-free shoulders.
Factors deciding the scoring blades include the number of teeth, the tooth configuration, and the tooth geometry.
- The Number of Teeth
The total number of teeth is around 12 to 42 based on your projects. In our opinion, more is not necessarily better.
- The Tooth Configuration
It consists of the flat raker units and beveled teeth pointing outside. You will have right and left scoring blades.
The beveled teeth are supposed to cut a little deeper and only deal with the shoulder. You can expect a visible scoreline in the corners with less chipping in the trailing edge. Meanwhile, the raker teeth create a flat bottom.
- Tooth Geometry
Geometry is the shape of the scoring teeth. It affects the specifics and quality of cuts.
The hook angle shape is helpful. The angle of the front face to the center point of the scoring teeth varies from -5 to 30 degrees. However, 20 degrees is a common standard.
The negative hook angle (-5 degrees) helps reduce chipping along the shoulder. You will want to use it for plywood projects.
The dado blade set is in vain if it cannot fit your table saw models. You should always check the blades’ compatibility in their specification.
Most blades having a zero-degree hook usually work well with any table saw.
Meanwhile, those with a negative-degree hook are only suitable for radial-arm saws unless you buy a customized insert plate to use for the table saws.
So, you should use zero-degree hook blades which can be used for both table saws and radial saws. A good option is the IRWIN Dado Blade Set 1811865.
Materials of parts decide their cutting performance and durability.
Outer blades and chippers are often made of steel.
The high-speed steel blades are harder than the regular carbon steel so they can cut tough plywood and melamine without losing its sharpness quickly.
Advanced sets such as DEWALT Dado Blades DW7670 have carbide-tipped blades. They cut better and more durably but are more expensive.
You will also want to check the materials of shims, if any. As mentioned above, shims can be paper or plastic discs. Stainless steel shims are recommended, though.
We can consider the scoring blades as thoroughbreds, and the chipper blades will be the draft horses.
Lying between two scoring blades, chippers remove the waste and support, creating a flat surface. That’s why you will figure out that most chipper teeth are ground-flat.
However, chippers do not handle shoulder cuts. You will not require as many teeth as the scoring blades.
Affordable sets often have only two teeth per blade. The more teeth mean a flatter surface in the end. It is worth investing in six or seven teeth per blade.
When choosing the dado blade sets, you should consider chippers carefully to make sure that they are durable and sharp enough.
Number Of Chippers
A dado blade set having more chippers will cut longer.
If you do small woodworking tasks, you can be satisfied with two or three chippers available up to ¼ inches width. Sizing in-between blades can be a bit difficult, though.
Advanced sets provide more chippers – normally six in the package. They range among 1/8 inches, 3/32 inches, and 1/16 inches. You are able to cut sug-fitting wooden pieces more easily.
Shims are not always compulsory, considering that you can use alternative spacers to improve accuracy and precision.
When it comes to application specifics, however, you should buy the dado sets with shims included. Otherwise, you can purchase additional shims later.
Shims usually come as a set so that you can fine-tune the blades to any desired width.
They are thin steel, brass, plastic, or even paper discs, having a responsibility to separate the chippers and outside blades when you place them on an arbor.
Nowadays, there are magnetic shims that will not slip down into the arbor threads easily.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dado Blade Set
What Are Dado Blade Sets Used For?
As we already mentioned above, dado blade sets are useful when cutting joints in woodworking projects.
You will specifically interlock separate parts such as shelves, door panels, drawer bottoms, sides, etc.
Moreover, it is possible to use the sets to cut grooves without lending a hand of a miter saw or clamp guide.
Can you use an 8 dado blade on 10 table saw?
Yes! it’s possible. But you must check the manufacturer’s instructions for your table saw before use.
Why Are Dado Blade Illegal?
While it is not true for every part of the world, there are several countries in the European Union where dado blades are illegal.
They have strict requirements for commercial tools – for example, the C.E. mark.
Unfortunately, dado blade sets often get involved with removing the riving knife and blade guard. This action does not comply with the safety features of using a table saw.
Before you intend to buy a dado blade set, you should check your local and national laws first.
Is A Dado Blade Necessary?
No, a dado blade set is not critical for woodworking projects. If your country does not allow the dado set or your table saws are not compatible with the set, here are two alternatives.
- A clamp guide having a handheld router or miter saws
- A sled and side-by-side manual movements
However, the set of dado blades is still better than other alternatives for cutting joints and grooves.
What Types Of Saw Can You Use With A Dado Set?
A dado set is compatible with table saws or radial arm saws to cut dadoes or grooves in woodworking.
Remember that you should check the size of saws and blades to make sure they can fit securely, considering the tooth geometry and insert plates.
Are Dado Blades Safe?
A dado blade can be hazardous if you do not use it carefully.
Compared to the standard saw back, they are heavier, so you will find it hard to install and stop the blades quickly. It means a harder control.
Kick back is another common incident when the riving blades or splitters might not be compatible with a stacked dado blade.
How To Use Dado Blades Safely?
We would recommend using a sacrificial fence with your dado blade slightly buried. You must remember to butt the materials against the fence before moving through the blade.
In our opinion, the winner of the best dado blade set roundup goes to Oshlun SDS-0630 since it has much better-cutting quality and durability at an affordable price.
You will have professional-grade blades with full-size 5-tooth chippers to cut almost all types of woods at ease.
The runner-up set is IRWIN Dado Blade Set (1811865) for professional woodworkers who need powerful blades to cut both wood and metals. All parts are well-made and last for years to come.
Also, you can still give other sets a try since they all meet the requirements on how to choose the best dado blades.
We hope you will find the info helpful in this article and pick the right product for your job.