All Star Performer

This is a review of the LU86 thin kerf 40 tooth general purpose blade. I have been using this blade for all rips and crosscuts, and I must say I’m quite impressed. For ripping I was mentally comparing it to my Freud 24 tooth dedicated ripping blade. It seemed to rip 13/16” stock just as effortlessly as the 24 tooth ripper, but with a cleaner edge. There was no chipout at all with the use of a ZCI. My ripper often chips out the underside of hardwood cuts.

I also look for a blades tendency to burn. The LU86 did not burn any of my white oak boards. I even stopped in the middle of a cut intentionally to see if it would burn, and it didn’t.

For crosscutting panels I look at how clean the cut is, and to what degree it splinters. The LU86 crosscuts very cleanly, with no splintering. It leaves what I would describe as a tiny bit of fuzz on the bottom of the cut. This is really insignificant because my normal sanding routing easily takes care of this. I can compare the LU86 thin kerf to my Freud 50 tooth combination blade (full kerf) for crosscuts. The LU86 requires less force to crosscut panels, and does not have a tendency to burn in my 1-3/4 hp contractors saw. The 50 tooth full kerf would burn a little if feed rate was too slow (kind of a vicious cycle with full kerf blades and underpowered saws).

This blade is often described as general purpose, that can do most common tasks well. Sometimes tools that fall into the “Jack of all trades” description don’t do any one task exceptionally well. I think the LU86 is an exception to that rule. It rips well. It crosscuts well. It doesn’t burn. It doesn’t slow my motor down. Cuts are accurate and crisp.

I still use a full kerf combination blade to cut centered grooves for joinery, and I use a dado blade quite often. However for ripping and crosscutting tasks, this is my go-to blade.
The absolute icing on the cake is the quite reasonable price of $ 39. As of this posting other premium blades can run $ 109 and up. I haven’t used a Forrest WWII, Infinity Super General, or Freud Premier Fusion and honestly I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I am just really pleased with this blade. A hearty thanks goes out to fellow LJ member Knotscott for the recommendation.

Woodworking Reviews at LumberJocks.com


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