Blade retesting results are in!
Dear WOOD magazine readers:
In the December/January issue of WOOD we published a review of 28 general-purpose 10" tablesaw blades. As with all of our tests, we did our best to create a "level playing field" for the products and eliminate human influences (such as variable hand pressures when feeding test boards through the blades). In that spirit we designed and built a "sled" that pulled all test stock through each blade with 12.5 pounds of force. Regrettably, we've discovered—too late to stop publication—that device and procedure to be flawed. For many materials the sled pulled the board through the blade too fast — much faster than you would feed the material under normal workshop conditions. That led to unrealistically poor cuts. Also, the sled did not accurately duplicate the force you would apply downward and toward the fence during an actual cut, introducing unnecessary chatter to the workpiece. Bottom line: The cuts we got from the sled are not an accurate reflection of what you would expect to get in your shop. Also, we uncovered a number of data-entry errors in how the performance grades were recorded on the comparison chart.
For example, in preliminary retesting under normal shop conditions, using hand feeding at reasonable speeds (no sled) the performance of the Freud Premier-Fusion (model P410) improved significantly, now earning it "Top Tool" honors among premium blades. It created chip-free cuts in melamine-coated particleboard — top and bottom sides — when feeding the material at a slow rate.
To remedy the problems with the original test we have taken the unprecedented step of retesting all of the blades. In my 20 years at WOOD magazine we've never had to declare a tool test null and void, then repeat it under different conditions to make sure you get the right story. But we had to this time. We're just not satisfied knowing that you might buy the wrong blade based on the December/January story — and our tool tests are all about you getting the most bang for your woodworking buck.
We've completed the retesting, and you can download the new article and results for free using the link above. We will also publish the results in the May issue.
Finally, I want to assure you that we stand behind all previous tool tests and feel 100 percent confident that you can use them to make informed tool purchases. We place utmost importance on providing you with accurate and non-biased tool tests. And it's for that very reason that we are redoing this test. You, our loyal customers, deserve nothing less.
Bill Krier, Editor-In-Chief