Want a quick answer? Oshlun SDS-0842 is the best dado blade set you can buy. Read on to find out why.
Accessories, like a dado blade set, allow today’s woodworkers to use their power tools for that same joinery. A dado blade set will give you clean work in a fraction of the time it used to take. But how do you choose the best dado blade set for your table saw?
In this article, you will learn what to look for in a dado blade. You will also find a review of the 6 of the best dado blade sets available on the market right now.
Top-Rated Dado Stacks compared
Things To Know About Dado Blade Sets
If you are new to woodworking you might be wondering what a dado cut is? Basically, a dado is a three-sided cut( groove) across the grain of a piece of wood that is made to hold the end of another piece of wood.
A dado blade set can also be used to make these cuts along the grain. This is referred to as a groove cut and is something that will be seen less frequently, at least in wide cuts.
You can also use this set of blades to make cuts into the edges of boards, forming two sides that are 90-degrees to each other. This is referred to as a rabbet cut and is used for edge joinery (including a dado cut across another board).
Other joints that you can make with a dado blade set include:
- Finger – Made by cutting multiple channels on the edge of a board that can interlock with another piece with finger joints;
- Half-lap – Often used in picture frames, the joint is made from the ends of boards with grooves that can be placed over each other;
- Tenon and mortise – Dado blades can cut the tenon (plug) side of the joint that is inserted into the mortise (hole) on another piece;
- Tongue and groove – A tongue is cut into one side of a board that can be inserted into a groove on another piece that will interlock when butted against one another.
How Does A Dado Blade Set Work?
In case you don’t know, these blades are designed to be used on a table saw. The dado cut is made in one of two ways, depending upon the type of dado blades used.
A stacked dado set
This type of dado product is a true set of blades. It will consist of two outer blades that resemble typical circular saw blades, as well as a number of chipper blades. The number of chipper blades will vary between one and six blades.
The width of the dado is based on the number of blades used in this type of set. each outer blade will have a kerf of 1/8-inch, giving you a 1/4-inch minimum that a dado set can cut.
Chipper blades range from 1/16 to 1/8 inch in kerf so that you can stack them to provide the width you need. Many sets will also include washers to be used as spacers, providing you with more width configurations.
These types of dado blades usually cost more but provide users with a clean cut.
Wobble dado blade
This type of dado blade is a single blade. It makes use of an adjustable collar that allows the blade to sit an angle. When the blade spins, it does so with a wobble that provides a wider kerf as it cuts.
If you add more angle to the blade on the collar, it will cut a wider dado. This wobble will not be as accurate as a set of blades stack with each other, and that lack of consistency makes it difficult to also create a completely smooth bottom in the groove.
Adding a wobbling component to the spinning arbor will create a lot of vibration in the table saw as well. These issues are a big reason that these blades are cheaper than a true dado set.
Make sure that you have a throat plate that can handle the width of these blades. You don’t want to operate without this critical piece of gear installed (that is why dado blades are illegal to use in places like the UK).
Things You Should Look For
To begin with, check your table saw arbor to determine the size of the set that can be mounted to it. Remember, the holding nut needs to be able to screw completely onto the arbor to hold the blades. Knowing this dimension will provide you with a guide to the set you can purchase.
Blade sizes are usually either six or eight inches. Saws with lower power ratings will do better with the smaller sets. The larger dado blades’ teeth move faster for the same RPMs and could provide a cleaner cut with that speed in some cases.
Materials used in making the teeth will determine how long a blade set can last before becoming dull. Various products use coatings are components to extend their working life before requiring repair or replacement.
Look for products that are easy to install and use.
6 Best Dado Stacks Reviewed
Oshlun SDS-0842 – Best Overall
- Professional grade C-4 carbide
- Full body chippers
- Precision ground carbide tips
The 5/8 inch arbor dimension should allow you to use this set on a wide range of table saws without issue. This set will provide you with a range of dado width from 1/4 to 29/32-inch. Such a minute number found in the 32-inch is thanks to multiple widths on the chipper blades as well as the shims.
Oshlun has also taken the time to provide users with a nice set of instructions in the box. That will help first-time users as well as experienced makers with quick advice on getting the right dimensions and using these blades to make the best cuts possible.
- 42 teeth on each outer blade. That makes for cleaner crosscutting across fibers and cleaner bottoms on the grooves;
- Set includes 16 pieces. You get the outer blades, full-bodied chipper blades, as well shims for making smaller adjustments to width;
- The number of teeth makes the set great for more types of wood. That includes panels that may chip when cut with larger teeth.
- There is a lot of variety in width offered, which means more calculating and more loading. That can be an issue for some users;
- These teeth tend to be more prone to breaking off than teeth on lower count products. This is probably due to the forces generated when clearing out more wood.
DEWALT DW7670 Stacked Dado Set
- Heavy gauge, laser cut plates provide true, accurate cuts
- Micro-grain carbide teeth deliver clean cuts and reduce splintering
- 4-tooth chippers give smooth, flat bottom cuts
This kit includes six chipper blades made in a star shape as well as quality metal shims that will provide consistent stack dimensions and an even bottom along the groove. The carbide tips sit upon components that are made from quality steel that should hold up well in your shop, even if you do a lot of cutting with the set.
DeWalt provides a heavy-duty case that will protect the blades from dents and dings in a vehicle or in a shop that requires you to move stuff around all the time. The company itself is a trusted name built through great customer support.
- The star-shaped teeth on the chippers. These chipper blades give four teeth per unit and seem to allow debris to be removed easily during the cut;
- Stainless steel shims are included. These will last the lifetime of the blades and provide a consistent spacing;
- Each outer plate is made from heavy-gauge materials. This adds to the robust nature of these products.
- There seems to be a bit of an angle on the outer surface of the blades. This will give the walls a slight angle in some cases, which could be an issue for those looking for perfect joinery;
- The tabs on the storage case break easily. This degrades the case and can make the holding of removing the blades difficult.
Freud SD508 – Premium Choice
- 8" Dado Set, 5/8" Arbor
- Set includes 2 blades, 6 chippers, shim set and carrying case.
- Features Premium TiCo HI-Density Carbide Crosscutting Blend for Maximum Performance
Freud is a well-known brand name when it comes to circular saw blades. This first entry on the list represents the company’s top-line dado set. That will include two outer blades, six chippers, as well as a shim set for a variety of widths.
A square-tooth design aids this product as it moves through the wood materials. That will help to maintain accuracy while giving you a cut that is clean from frayed fibers and less tearing. that same square surface will give you more material to work with for extra sharpenings too.
These blades have a gullet design that promotes chip ejection. That is nice with dado stacks as chip build-up can be an issue with some designs.
- Freud TiCo high-density carbide. This material helps to greatly extend the life of the teeth on these blades in a variety of materials;
- The set includes a 3/32-inch chipper. Those cutting ito plywood will appreciate its addition to the set;
- A lifetime limited warranty. That adds a lot to consumer confidence and helps justify the price.
- A lack of proper labeling on the blades. This can make it a bit confusing as you are trying to set up a certain width;
- This dado set comes at a higher price point than others. Name brand and customer expectation are the main reasons behind the bigger price tag here.
Freud SD206 – Best 6 Inch Dado Stack
- 6" Dado Set, 5/8" Arbor
- Set includes 2 blades, 3 chippers, spacers, shim set and carrying case.
- Negative hook angles
This dado set has a reasonable price point that is in reach of those with a budget on their mind. Freud’s SD206 provides users with a dado set in the six-inch blade size. These smaller blades may be easier to run on your table saw and should provide the depth of cut needed on beginner and intermediate woodworking projects.
They can be operated up to 9,000 RPMs, a speed that will allow them to get through the materials and dimensions found on your fine furniture projects.
- The six-inch blades may benefit some table saws. Saws with lower output will handle driving the smaller blades when compared to the eight-inch products;
- The lower number of chipper blades works with shorter arbors. Older table saws may have shorter arbors that would struggle with high-count dado sets;
- Freud manufactures its own carbide with titanium. That helps with quality control.
- Less variety in width selection. This set comes with only three chippers. That will limit the number of spacings available, even with the spacers and a shim set included;
- This is an older Freud design. This product first hit the market in 1999. While it has a good track record, the design may not include the latest technologies that the manufacturer uses.
- Cuts smooth and precise grooves with clean edges, square shoulders and flat bottoms
- Set includes two 8" outer blades, five two-wing chippers and seven metal shims for fine adjustments
- Slot widths range from 1/4" to 13/16", in 1/16" increments
MIBRO offers German design to the North American table saw users with this dado blade set. Fully automated construction helps to keep the blades consistent in kerf as well as tooth positioning so that results are repeatable from dado to dado.
A compact case is also supplied that can store your blades and shims. This unit will take up minimal room in your work area and will prevent the anti-kickback blade tips from being altered should they fall to the floor while being stored.
- These products come at a lower price point than other eight-inch blades. That can be a factor for those working on a budget;
- Each chipper tip has a carbide coating. This is sometimes skipped over in sets to help reduce cost;
- Each tooth has been welded into place. This has provided a centered tooth with a proper set.
- The material quality of the blades in the set is not the best. The manufacturer has used a more economical material for construction to keep the price lower;
- You may struggle to replace a lost or broken blade. Finding a source for a single shim or blade replacement might prove to be challenging for you.
- 8" Dado Set, 5/8" Arbor
- The set includes 2 blades, 3 chippers, 3 spacers and a shim set for micro adjustability
- Negative hook angles
The premium carbide blend used on these blades is the same that is coated on all of Freud’s products. The key to this blend is the .8 micron grain size. Smaller grain coatings will stay sharper longer which improves performance and creates less downtime.
A negative hook angle will help to prevent chip-out as you cut. It will also help to keep debris from building up in your stack. That allows the chippers to cut consistently.
This product comes at the lowest price point available on the eight-inch blades reviewed here. You can take advantage of this set without breaking the bank. The set was designed for beginning woodworkers and the new table saw users in mind.
- This is an economy based set. Freud has made this set to cater towards customers that might not be able to afford their other dado products;
- You can sharpen all of the blades in the set. That keeps this budget-friendly as you are able to maintain the sharp edges on components;
- The I.C.E.coating on the blades allows them to stay cool as you make multiple cuts with the set.
- The outside blades stand proud. That makes them cut just a little deeper than the chippers, resulting in uneven bottoms on the groove;
- The chipper blades are two-point designs. This is a money-saving addition compared to the four-point chippers in Freud’s SD508 dado set.
Which Dado Set Cut The Groove?
I think each product stands out on this list, but the Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch Stack Dado Set appears to be the best dado blade set for beginners and intermediate woodworkers. It starts with a mid-range price point that offers maximum product without requiring you to take out a loan.
You get a 16-piece set that will provide you with plenty of adjustment options. that will include full-bodied chipper blades, a style of chipper that should not slip after you tighten the fastening nut on the arbor. Speaking of the arbor, these fit a 5/8-inch design and should not be a problem with most table saw designs out there.
Detailed instructions help you to select the proper combination of blades to create the kerf width you need. They also provide you with tips to get the most out of your dado set. These blades will cut a variety of joints and the stacking style will provide you with safer operations and a cleaner groove on all sides.
Looking for a blade for your table saw? Check out our review of the best table saw blades also!