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This year I was smart: Rather than let everybody know what stores I usually shop at, I told everybody if they didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, buy me gift cards from Sears. That way I’d be able to stack them to get something good. So Sunday I went and picked up this Freud stacked dado set as my “gift.”

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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.

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Two dado blade types dominate the industry.  Wobble dado blades are simple one-piece blades where you adjust the width by making it wobble more or less — unfortunately this leaves the bottom of the dado slightly concave.  Stacked dado blades include blades, chippers, and shims which you add or subtract to get the correct width.  These type leave a flatter bottom, but are usually more expensive and can be difficult to adjust.

Freud tries to combine the advantages of both types of dado blades with its Dial-A-Width sets. The sets are in essence a stacked dado blade without the shims.  Instead Freud uses a patented dial hub that adjusts the blade width by .004″ with every click.

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