Do you have a project that involves drawers and cabinets with interlocking joints? A dado blade is what you’ll need – this type of circular saw blade fits onto most table saws. So, which dado blade out there is the best for your needs?
To help you with your decision, I have reviewed a couple of worthy products – the best dado blade sets – which are all chosen carefully to make your next cabinet work a simpler task.
Including six wide chippers with four wings, the Freud SD508 8-Inch x 24T Super Dado Set has a 5/8-inch arbor for its dual blades. With a minimum cut of 1/4-inch and a maximum cutting capacity of 29/32-inches, this dado blade will work on various types of wood, including laminates, solids, and veneered plywood.
When it comes to material, Titanium Cobalt (TiCo) Hi-Density Carbide is used for the blades to keep them durable. The combination of cobalt, titanium, and tungsten allows the blades to maintain sharp precision when cutting. It has less than 1-micron carbide gain as compared to 5-micron measurements of other carbide blades.
It also has an anti-kickback design for both the outside blades and the chippers, maintaining safety while you are working on your project. Aside from the chippers, the set also comes with shims for further adjustments in more intricate applications. Moreover, the adjustments that can be made on the dado blades are in 1/32-inch increments.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a four-wing design on its wide chippers as opposed to most standard dado sets that only have two-wing types, allowing for better stability and power. I also like the anti-kickback design, which is helpful for busy shop workers.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The case that comes with the set isn’t that well-designed, plus the labeling could be improved. Keep in mind also that it might not fit certain 10-inch table saws.
From a trustworthy company comes the DeWalt DW7670 8-Inch 24-Tooth Dado Blade Set, which is our runner-up. This blade set also comes with four-winged chippers, with a design that resembles a ninja weapon. As with our previous pick, it also has micro-grain carbide teeth for maintaining smooth cuts.
Aside from the chippers, it also comes with stainless steel shims with corresponding width adjustments, depending on your needs. All of them are neatly packed into a molded case that’s ready to be taken to the job site (or workshop).
The dado blade is suitable for speeds up to 7,000 RPM and has a 5/8-inch arbor size. What’s more, the set comes with size chippers of different sizes: 3/32, 1/16, and 1/8 inch. It will cut up to 13/16-inch width using either the shims or the chipper blades.
If you have the DW7408 10-inch saw, this dado blade will fit perfectly. What’s more, it is also compatible with table saws that are even smaller than 10 inches. Due to its micro-grain design, you won’t have any chipping on the wood.
Things I Like About This Product: The setup is a breeze due to the design of the four-winged chippers. You’ll be less likely to make mistakes in installing these chippers into the blades.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Although the dado blades, chippers, and shims are of decent quality, perhaps the case could be designed better to keep the dado blades even more secure.
If you’re looking for a simple way to make interlocking joints on your wood pieces, try the Mibro 416381 8-Inch Carbide Stacking Dado Blade Set. This budget-friendly set has various sloth widths in 1/16-increments – you can adjust it from 1/4 to 13/16 inch.
To create smooth and chipping-free grooves, each of the carbide teeth and the chipper end has a special design – they have negative hook angles. The set comes with five chippers, each with a double-wing design, as well as seven metal shims. There is one 1/16-inch and four 1/8-inch chippers in this dado set.
All of the above-mentioned accessories are coupled with setup instructions and they’re neatly packed within a compact case. The two 8-inch blades are suitable for up to 5,000 RPM of speed. Due to the anti-kickback design of each tooth, it will keep the material from being fed into the blade too quickly.
What’s more, the carbide teeth are large enough to withstand long-term usage. As for the metal shims, they each have a 3-5/32-inch diameter with a 5/8-inch arbor size.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s setup is beginner-friendly and the case has a convenient design that doesn’t take too much space.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Aside from minor physical impurities, it’s not a tool for you if you work professionally, since the cuts are not as clean as a professional set. If you are a hobbyist, this won’t be an issue for you.
For those who are into professional work, the Amana Tool 658040-1 8-Inch Carbide Tipped Dado is for you. This set contains finely-made 46-tooth carbide blades with five chippers, each sporting a two-wing design. When it comes to width adjustments, you can tweak it from 1/4 to 13/16 inches.
It has a hook angle of -5 degrees and a 5/8-inch bore. However, you can modify it as it will take up to a 1-inch bore width. The blade set comes neatly packed in a case along with the chippers. You also have a lot of dado blade combinations to set up the chippers depending on your desired groove width.
Since this dado blade setup is a 48T, it is applicable for melamine (single/double-feed) applications, unlike 24T blades that are only usable for plywood, softwood, and hardwood. For an easy setup, it has an ATB (alternate top bevel), as well as hollow-ground plates that will help with setting up clearances.
As for the carbide-tipped blade’s construction – it uses an H7 concentric bore to reduce user fatigue when running the table saw. It also has microgram tips to enhance precision and avoid chipping. Speaking of chipping, it also has large gullets to simplify clean-up.
Things I Like About This Product: This blade set has 48 teeth, which will cut materials with significant precision.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: For some users, the two-wing design is a little tricky to set up compared to a four-wing chipper style.
Yet another blade set with extra teeth is the Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42-Tooth Stack Dado Set. It has a 5/8-inch arbor and the blades are made of C-4-grade carbide. With a total of six chippers (four 1/8-inch, one 3/32-inch, and one 1/16-inch), these chippers are all full-body, as opposed to four-wing and two-wing.
I like the full-body design of the chippers, which has six teeth in each of them. This creates fewer vibrations and also maintains stability for the user. It also makes the chipper easier to install overall. This set will produce 1/4 to 29/32-inch dado cuts when set up properly. The outside blades are meant for speeds of up to 7,000 RPM.
Since the blade tips are micro-grain, they will precisely cut various types of wood, such as plywood, softwood, and hardwood. Moreover, the blade set has a special feature that creates score marks. These marks won’t damage your material and aren’t that visible, but instead, will support the material and keep it from getting splinters.
Things I Like About This Product: The 42T construction with C-4-grade micro-grain carbide will help you cut items easily and without much chipping. The full-body chippers also add stability to the entire dado blade set.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: If you intend to add a smaller shim to attain certain width measurements, unfortunately, this dado blade set is quite tricky for that setup and it may cut too wide for you.
If you’d like something smaller, the CMT 230.520.06 6-Inch Precision Dado Set is a great choice. With a 5/8-inch bore, this 20-teeth dado set has a hook at -5 degrees with FTG+ATB. Since it is only a 6-inch blade, it’s suitable for faster speeds, such as up to 10,200 RPM.
Like all of my picks here, it has an anti-kickback design to avoid user fatigue and promote safety in the workshop, avoiding overfeeding tendencies. It comes with five four-wing chippers, one at 3/32 inches and four 1/8-inch sizes.
It also comes with shims (ten pieces), which are used for custom thicknesses. This allows you to make adjustments between 1/4 and 29/32-inch in terms of dado blade widths. The dado blade set has a plate thickness of 0.098.
Aside from plywood handling, such as ripping/crosscutting, it will also work on melamine (as advised by the manufacturer) due to its smaller design, which allows a faster RPM. It has a kerf thickness of 0.125. The shorter diameter of the dado blade design is more suitable for saws that lack the power to maneuver bigger blades/chippers.
Things I Like About This Product: Since it’s smaller than typical 8-inch dado sets, it has the advantage of being faster in terms of RPM capability.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: This isn’t a tool for you if you work professionally, as you may still see a big difference in terms of splintering count. For a hobbyist, however, it’s not an issue.
Are you looking for a bigger set of blades? Why not try the Freud SD512 12-Inch x 36T Super Dado Blade Set. Made with a 1-inch arbor, it will cut widths from 1/4 to 29/32 inches. This 36-tooth dado blade set has a -12-degree hook and it will work on laminate and melamine, in addition to standard wood materials.
What makes it more durable than other dado blades on the market is the silver ice coating for added protection against heat. Just like with other dado blade sets, it also has a user-friendly and safe anti-kickback design. It’s usable for speeds up to 6,000 RPM so it’s workable on most table saws.
Another plus point that I like is that the chippers are four-wing types, as opposed to two-wing types that can be quite tricky to install. A standard shim set is also included for width adjustment convenience. All of the accessories are neatly packed in a carrying case.
Aside from the ice coating, it has a combination of titanium and cobalt (Ti-Co HI-Density Carbide) in its construction for retaining the sharpness for a longer time (it still eventually needs to be re-sharpened with a sharpening set separately, though).
Things I Like About This Product: It’s a larger blade than most standard blades at 8 inches, so it will get the job done faster.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The case could be better in holding the pieces and tool.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Dado Blade Sets Featured Above
You may wonder: how did I pick the dado blade sets mentioned above? Here are all the criteria that I considered when making this list:
Dado blade sets will vary when it comes to blade size (the outer blades), but the most common size that you will find is the 8-inch type. They will work on most 10-inch table saws with standard power. However, if you’re looking for either bigger or smaller blades, there are also dado blade sets that have as much as 12-inch sizes or as little as 6 inches.
Keep in mind that the blade size or diameter of your dado blade set will affect the power and speed of your table saw’s productivity and capacity for work. Smaller dado blade sets will be suitable even for faster speeds, such as more than 10,000 RPM. On the other hand, on a bigger dado blade set, you’ll need to go slower to avoid ruining the blade and the motor easily.
If you are unsure of what blade size suits you best, I recommend you to go for the 8-inch types. Or, you can simply ask the manufacturer of your table saw what blade size is recommended for the machine in the case of installing a dado blade set.
The chipper set is what gets sandwiched between the outer blades. It is the very core of your dado blade set. A dado blade set chipper may resemble a ninja shuriken, especially if it is a four-wing type.
There are advantages and disadvantages to different designs of chippers:
Four-wing chippers are common in most dado blade sets. They’re great when it comes to stability and they latch on easily. The only expense, perhaps, is that they might take a lot of space inside your carrying case and the added weight when carrying the set around.
Two-wing chippers are also common in many dado blade sets, but they might give a little instability when not installed correctly. On the flip side, a two-wing chipper on a dado blade set will significantly reduce the weight and space taken in a carrying case. Just be careful when handling a two-wing chipper.
Full-body chippers typically have six teeth around them. These chippers almost look like outer blades, except they have chipper ends instead of saw teeth. Few dado blade sets have them, but they are quite helpful when it comes to stubborn wood materials and the like. They also provide better stability than the above-mentioned chipper types.
The shim set is a helpful addition to your dado blade set as it will allow you to change the width in smaller increments. If you’re not happy with the default widths, use the shim set to have a finer adjustment depending on your needs.
Fortunately, most dado blade sets out there do have shim sets – ten pieces at most. If you are into precision work, I suggest getting a shim set with more pieces in the pack to ensure that you have a lot of choices for width variations.
As with any tool and accessory in the shop or on a job site, you want the blades and other parts to be durable enough to handle the job, right? You will find that some dado blade sets have additional coatings to keep the blades cool during use and will help prolong its lifespan in the long run.
Aside from that, many dado blade sets are made of carbide material with mixed metals such as titanium, tungsten, and cobalt (discussed further below). What’s more, micro-grain (also mentioned below) is also an important role when it comes to preserving the sharpness of your dado blade set. A set that has a lot of durability features will be worth investing in for the long term.
Is the dado blade set easy to put together? Are there clear instructions? If you’re a first-time user of a dado blade set, you might feel frustrated at first if the instructions aren’t precise. I’ve seen many folks buy a dado blade set and rate the product just one star due to chipping – but they don’t realize that they might have set it up wrong!
A quality dado blade set should have clear instructions and easy installation. As mentioned above, if you don’t want a lot of frustration when installing the chipper, I suggest that you go for a four-wing type instead of a two-wing due to its stability and comfort in setup.
I prefer organized sets – a good dado blade set is one that has a neatly packed carrying case without a lot of bulk and misplaced items. In most cases, you’ll find the carrying case of a dado blade set with stacked chippers, shims, and the like. It should not fall out of place when you carry it around.
However, it’s difficult to find the perfect dado blade set out there that has both a good carrying case and a powerful and quality build, so I picked the sets that have, at the very least, bearable packaging.
Kickback on any working material is not only unsightly but also dangerous. It will destroy your wood and can also injure you in the process. To prevent kickback from happening, choose a dado blade set that has an anti-kickback feature.
If this is your first time using a dado blade set, having some small kickback is okay since you are still learning. However, for repeated work and experienced users, you shouldn’t have a lot of kickback with your blade. That’s why it pays to look for a dado blade set with such safety features.
Number of Teeth
The number of teeth in a dado blade set (the outer blades) varies between sizes. Moreover, even the standard 8-inch blades may have a different number of teeth from the others.
When identifying the number of teeth in a dado blade set, the manufacturer indicates the number and the letter “T” (e.g. 24T for 24-teeth). With that said, 24T is the most common number of teeth in many 8-inch sets.
However, some dado blade sets have more teeth, such as the Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42-Tooth Stack Dado Set and the Amana Tool 658040-1 8-Inch Carbide Tipped Dado (with 46T for blades). The more teeth on blades, the more precision you’ll get with little to no chipping.
Now, let’s look at the recommended RPM (rotations per minute) since dado blade sets are, technically, circular saw blades. Most dado blade sets are usable from 5,000 to 10,000 RPM depending on the blade size (diameter) and other factors.
Typically, you’ll find a 7,000-RPM-compatible 8-inch dado blade set in the market. The general rule here is that the smaller the blade, the faster RPM you’re allowed to use it for.
Micro grain is a type of carbide technology that allows the dado blade set to retain its durability and sharpness for a long time. A lower micro-grain value means that your blades will keep their sharpness much longer than others with a higher value.
My overall top pick is the Freud SD508 8-Inch x 24T Super Dado Set, which has a four-wing design for the stability of its chippers to decrease vibrations while cutting. Another great product to consider is the DeWalt DW7670 8-Inch 24-Tooth Dado Blade Set – it’s easy to put together and also has a four-wing design.
If you’re on a small budget, I recommend the Mibro 416381 8-Inch Carbide Stacking Dado Blade Set, especially for beginners and hobbyists. For professional work, I’d prefer the Amana Tool 658040-1 8-Inch Carbide Tipped Dado due to the 48T blades.
Another good choice for more detailed cutting is the Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42-Tooth Stack Dado Set, which has a full-body design for the chippers. If you’re looking for smaller blades, go for the CMT 230.520.06 6-Inch Precision Dado Set, otherwise, try the larger Freud SD512 12-Inch x 36T Super Dado Blade Set.