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Most consumers can get away with using a 6″ or 8″ dado blade because they hardly ever need to make dadoes or grooves deeper than 1″. Still, last month Freud introduced their 10″ and 12″ dado sets. Imagine a giant 12″ dado stack — you’d be able to cut a 5″ deep dado!

Besides having more teeth and using 1″ arbors, the 10″ and 12″ dado sets share the same characteristics of the 6″ and 8″ dado sets in Freud’s SD500 line. The blades have negative hook angles and the chippers have four wings instead of two — Freud claims both features make for cleaner cuts. They coat the blades with their Silver I.C.E. coating which reduces pitch buildup and corrosion and they manufacture the teeth out of their TiCo high-density carbide.

The sets include 3/32″ chippers to handle undersized plywood and shims to precisely dial in the width of the cut.  The 6″ and 8″ Super Dado sets are currently available starting at $180 and $200, respectively. The 10″ and 12″ stacks aren’t available online yet and Freud doesn’t share any pricing data on its website.

Offhand, the only use I can think of for giant dado stacks is cutting giant tenons, but evidently I’m wrong because the first thing Freud says in their press release is these blades will produce clean and chip free cuts in “delicate” materials like veneer plywood, unlike other larger dado sets on the market now.

If anybody can figure out why you need such a large blade to make dadoes in plywood, can you let us know in the comments?

Super Dado [Freud]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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11 Responses to Giant Dado Blades

  1. fred says:

    Another reason folks often go with an 8 inch set has to do with horsepoawer – or lack of it on some 10 inch table saws

  2. justsomeguy says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but large diameter dado sets have been available for many, many years – even from Freud. They can’t be used on regular 10″ table saw because they won’t fit and the arbor size is wrong. These are made for 12″, 14″ and larger saws. You won’t get a 5″ deep dado. On a 14″ table saw with a 12″ dado set, you’ll probably only get about 3″ depth.

  3. @justsomeguy:

    My bubble is left unburst, I already knew there were large diameter dado sets. These 10″ and 12″ sets are new in their SD500 line. I also specifically stated that they were 1″ arbors, which obviously won’t fit most 10″ saws with have 5/8″ arbors, therefore they are for larger commercial saws

    If you would kindly explain what the advantages of a larger dado set and why you’ll only get 3″ of depth — I’m guessing it’d take too much horsepower — I’ll excuse you for only reading the first paragraph of the post before leaving a comment.

  4. jmudler says:

    10-12″ dados have been in Europe for years in 1″ arbor. I remember reading somewhere “safety” was one of the main reasons the US has not embraced larger dados.

  5. Dave P says:

    Europe also has those neat-o combination saws that convert from tablesaw to miter. If you’ve never seen one, look up dewalt.co.uk. Apparently they aren’t safe enough for us yanks. Frikken lawyers screw everything up.

  6. Paul says:

    It all has to do with cutting face geometry. The larger the dia of the rotating tool, the shallower your “cutting angle” is to the workpiece. Best analogy I can come up with is using a chisel to shave a very small bit of material away: you naturally will have a shallow angle (handle closer to the wood) than if you are trying to hog out material (high angle). Same thing with a saw blade, router bit, etc, but the only way to change the angle is by changing the dia of the tool. This is what the reference to veneer etc is about. The larger dia tools tend to reduce the tearing on the material.

  7. @Paul:

    That sound like a good explanation, but I don’t think that’s the entire story. From Freud’s press release:

    Until now, the market lacked large diameter (10″ or 12″) dados that would produce clean, chip free cuts in delicate materials. The existing large diameter dado sets were older designs with positive hook angles that tended to produce rough cuts in fine materials.

    From that blurb I would infer that larger dado sets on the market aren’t used for fine work.

  8. justsomeguy says:

    @Benjamen Johnson

    Well, you have to have a larger diameter dado on a big saw. If you put a 6″ dado on a 14″ saw, it might not even reach through the table. It’s same reason you only get a 3″ depth of cut on a 10″ table saw with a 10″ blade. The mechanism of the saw trunnion takes up space , so you can’t get that much of the blade exposed. the trunnion on a 12″ or 14″ saw is even bigger because of the higher power and larger forces, so it cuts into the max depth of cut even more (nominally, but not necessarily proportionally.)

    It’s not so much that you need a giant dado to work in plywood. It’s that you have a big table saw because of the power and capacity advantages in other materials and the only dado that will work on that saw is a big one.

    • BobbyB says:

      For me, there are two issues. The first is covered by justsomeguy, re, getting enough of the blade above the table on a big saw. Second, I am concerned about how fast the perimeter of the blade is spinning. I have a Northfield 18″ table saw and it is designed to spin a 16″ or 18″ blade at its perimeter at the right speed (it’s moving 50+” to 56+” of teeth with each rotation rather than 25+” of teeth on an 8″ blade). SO, I have an additional question: can anyone point me in the direction of a 14″ to 16″ dado set?
      Thanks!

  9. Jeff Erdman says:

    I just tried to use a 1″ arbor 10″ dado blade on my 1978 Oliver 2004. The blade all the way up was only 1/2″ above the table. So for my use I need a 12″ dado to get the depth of cut I need. All I need for my current project is 5/8″, but the 10″ will not adjust that high on this Oliver machine, which normally takes a 14″ blade.
    So there is the reason for a 12″ dado with a 1″ arbor.
    On this machine a 12″ dado would only cut a 1 1/2″ depth.

  10. Scott says:

    Benjamen Johnson
    Your Tool Mongo “Giant Dado Blades” article ended with the following question:
    “If anybody can figure out why you need such a large blade to make dadoes in plywood, can you let us know in the comments?”
    I have an answer: Giant dado blades allow shelving board (1″x10″ at most, because there are no 14″ dado blades yet) to be cross fit for full-wall shelving that is solid as a rock.

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