Having quality saw blades is crucial to being an effective woodworker. Of the different types of saw blades, dado blades are important in certain projects that require those special, precise cuts which other blades just can’t make. But which dado blades will work the best for you?
In this piece, we will look at the purpose of dado blades as well as five of best dado sets on the market.
What Are Dado Blades?
Before we get into the best dado sets out there, we need to define exactly what a dado blade is. Typically used with either a radial arm saw or a table saw, a dado blade is a kind of circular saw blade that is used to make either a groove or a dado.
Now, a groove is a cut made in a piece of word that runs parallel to the grain. Depending on the type of groove cut, grooves can be used in everything from cabinet making to roofing and flooring. A dado cut, on the other hand, runs across the grain and is essential in constructing bookcases, cabinets, chests, or any other case goods.
5 of the Best Dado Blade Sets
While there are several different dado blade sets that you can get, here are five of the best sets that money can buy.
- 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
Containing 14 pieces total (one 1/16” chipper blade, two 8” by 24” carbide saw blades, four 1/8” chipper blades, and seven metal shims for width adjustment purposes), this $50 set is perfect for making a variety of different cuts from dadoes to grooves to fillets to rabbits.
Ideal for a whole host of woodworking projects and able to cut through any type of wood, this set is known for its durability and precision.
This $90, 16-piece set comes equipped with some of the sharpest and most precise blades for the job. The set contains saws and chippers that have a high tooth count and can make cuts ranging from 1/4 of an inch to 29/32 of an inch. The C-4 carbide tips are also primed for maximum sharpness and durability and can easily cut through any type of wood.
The full-body chippers in this set are also great because they make for a simpler setup and have less vibration than other styles of chippers. The included shim set for fine adjustments is also a nice added touch.
- 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
With heavy-duty, laser-cut plates that provide only the most premium of cuts, this set is equipped with micro-grain carbide teeth that not only deliver precise cuts but also serve to effectively minimize splintering.
The set also comes with six chippers (four 1/8” chippers, one 1/16” chipper, and one 3/32” inch chipper) and stainless-steel shims to make the finest of width adjustments
Whether you are making a rabbit cut through hardwood or a dado through softwood, this set (which goes for about $125) can make a variety of cuts through a variety of materials.
- 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 pretty much guarantees you will not be making any sort of slips with this dado set, which is compatible with all saws. Available for about $100, this set contains two blades, three chippers, three spacers, and a shim set.
For optimal performance, this blade set also features a TiCo high-density carbide crosscutting blend. Additionally, to prevent build-up on the blade surface and to ensure that each blade is cutting smoothly, the set comes equipped with silver I.C.E. coating.
- Designed for making tongue and groove cuts, Rabbets and Shelving on a table saw or Radial Arm Saw
- Resharpenable oversized carbide
- Cuts grooves from 1/4" to 7/8"
Manufactured in Udine, Italy, this Marples Woodworking Series dado set from Irwin is top-of-the-line as far as quality is concerned.
The long-lasting carbide blades in this set (which costs around $100 and contains two outer blades, three chippers, three spacers, and seven shims) are precision tensioned to cut grooves from 1/4 of an inch to 7/8 of an inch in several different types of woods.
The blades are also equipped with a non-stick, heat resistant coating with Aluminum Matrix added to it that dispels heat, allowing for simpler cleanup and more precise cuts.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Right Dado Blade Set for You
Before purchasing a dado blade set, you should conduct the appropriate amount of research, just like you would do before undergoing any sort of extensive woodworking project.
Of course, you will want to consider your budget. Dado blade sets may not be among the cheapest woodworking materials out there, but if you are willing to invest a decent amount of both time and money into that special project, a quality dado set can take you a long way. You will want to ask yourself the right questions first though.
How often do you anticipate taking on projects that necessitate dadoes or other similar cuts? Are the saw blades you are currently using not precise enough for a particular job? Does that next project require you to build shelving or paneling of any sort?
The answer to these questions could potentially help you to effectively determine the right dado blade set for you or if you need one at all.