After years of using another logic, I decided to try Forrest. For those of you who know me, you know well, that for years on forums I went on how they aren't worth the money and how you can have 3 blades in rotation vs. the one single from Forrest, and that just didn't make dollars and cents to me. Not when there are so many good blades out there that do a fine job at 1/3 the cost.
I use DeWalt, Freud, Oldham, and a few others with no significant partiality other than price and was pretty much satisfied with the cut. What prompted the move was the fact that when I send out my blades, and do so at least 10 at a time and it just seemed to me that this last blade dulled out quicker for some reason. The other thing is that when the resharpened blades came back, they all seem sharp enough, but were really aggressive and all left some pretty unsightly teeth marks on the stock. Not that I really cared because I always dressed the edges down, or run them through my sander afterwards anyhow, but the resharpened blade just never seem to cut like it did when it first came into the shop.
I gave Forrest a call to get some straight info and thought maybe it was time to try at least one anyhow. I guess the decisive factor was that they do resharpen their own blades according to their own specs, meaning that the blade will always behave as if it were new. He went on to say that their blades will last 3 times as long, so if that is the case, a resharpened blade will last 3 times as long also...... meaning, once you bite the bullet of the initial investment, its dollars saved in your pocket.
The sharpening cost was basically a slight bit higher than my present sharpener. He went on to explain the way they do their sharpening, vs. a typical saw shop and it all made perfect sense to me. Sawshops use a clamping mechanism vs. a magnet system like Forrest on the blades while being sharpened. The clamping system tends to throw the blade out of round (or flat) while pressures are applied, which just coincidentally happened to one of my blades. It wobbled so bad due to being bent, I simply threw it out. Even if a blade comes back to its original state, it was sharpened with the distortion thus a few teeth are out of alignment and angle, causing that tooth mark to appear in the cut. Hmmmmmmm.....
Another interesting point was that they use a flood coolant to keep the teeth cool while sharpening, and use ultra fine wheels of 600 grit diamond and better. This is almost like honing a fine chisel for a perfect edge that lasts a whole lot longer, and requires less sharpenings.
I'm not one to rely on magazine tests, but on real experience. Coincidentally, at the time of ordering, FWW did a test and rated the blade at the top of the heap, but I didn't even pay attention to this because I've seen where some of these tests that were pretty bias at times. Anyhow... confident I would at least be satisfied with the manufacturer re sharpening to its original state when I was ready, and that was the convincing factor for me.
I went ahead and ordered a 40 tooth WW11 for my table saw, and a WW1 for my compound. The blades came in yesterday, and couldn't wait to give them a try. Now without any fancy tests, I gave it a typical "actual" shop test. How?..... just slap it on and use it! None of this hold down business or feather boards, just pick up some stock and run it through!!!!!!!!!! First of all..... I know that my saw is well calibrated and aligned, so any error is going to be the blade, or the operator.
Forget the operator!!!!!!!!!! I don't make any errors!
The first piece was poplar..... went through so far, and had to reach back to get another hold to continue the feed. Anyone knows that at this point, a lousy blade will blacken the stock and this blade didn't. When the piece was clear, both cut edges looked the same and I had to really look to find any sort of prominent tooth mark. They were there, but so minor and faint......that its not even worth considering. A quick pass by "hand" with sandpaper, and its gone! Had I used a feather board, these edges would have looked as if they came off the joiner no doubt.
The second piece I put through was quarter sawn oak. I could have cut them all day with the same constant results....... as smooth as a baby's bottom! The WW11 40 tooth, cuts better than any 60 tooth I've ever used!!!!!!!! There's no doubt in my mind that if a feather board were used, this would be the most perfect cut imaginable. This to me wasn't the most impressive result for the money because I've had some new blades that gave me a pretty decent rip before.
The real eye opener is when I crosscut a piece of low grade 3/4 Oak plywood. Anyone knows that cross cutting Oak ply would leave chips, and certainly pretty significant burr that would have to be sanded. Man..... this cut was so clean, and crisp, you'd swear it was done with a scalpel. Now THIS impressed me! The same blade give absolute cuts like this is a dream. I've joined stock many times without using the joiner, but this cut edge is absolute, and certainly didn't need any joining for sure. The next piece I cut cross grain was a white Birch plywood shelf, with a poplar edge. Take a look how fine the cut. Note, both bottom and top cuts are alike!
The next blade was for my 12" compound. I normally use an 80 tooth, and up to now its always been a DeWalt. I ordered the Chopmaster 12" 80 tooth, and tried it. Any blade I've used in my compound gave a pretty nice cut, but this Chopmaster is a sight to behold! Absolutely no burr whatsoever on any edge. The cut end was so smooth, it had a polished sheen. In fact.... it was so close to my miter slicer it wasn't funny! Am I satisfied? So far ....yes. The real test will come with time between sharpening, and the actual re sharpening by Forrest. I have no doubt that this will not be disappointing at all, simply because the manufacturer will render it exactly if not better than it is right now, so in my conclusion.........
all these years of negative cost effectiveness I professed on these blades........ I was wrong! Without a doubt in my mind, these blades will be a permanent compliment to my work from now on. In fact..... I am ordering for my radial. I strongly recommend visiting their website.
My WW1 came in yesterday, and I popped in on the radial and did a test cut. WOW! is all one can say. I took a piece of finished oak so that the splintering would really be noticed. The cut on the left was done with a DeWalt 60 tooth, and the cut on the right is the WW1. This by the way, is the underside, where radials are notorious for chipping. The top side the WW1 is the same exact clean cut as all my other blades produce. Another thing I noticed was that the saw didn't seem like it wanted to run through the piece, but rather came through with little effort. This blade was designed for radials and reduced climb cutting, and it surely shows and felt really different. Man... I'm so sold on these, I'm placing my order in on Monday for the Dado King!!!!!!!!!!!! and will run another test and post my findings, and I can't wait to see how fine those cuts will be. YAHOOOOOOOOOO
I received my dado 3 days after ordering, and once again pretty impressed. The set comes in a nice protective case that doesn't allow chippers to get damaged during shipment (which is a major attraction) for sending it out to be re sharpened later. As for the cut? A picture says a thousand words. The same cut the other fine blades produce, so does this dado. Its almost as if the dado thinks it's a WW11. I took a shot on the side to show the smoothness, and sharp cut edge on cross grain cutting Oak. A great way to set up any shop, with Forrest blades. I'm so glad I decided to finally try them. The precision of these cuts show up well on this pre finished Oak. Notice.... no burn, or teeth marks on the inside cut or shoulder, nor did it splinter out through the harwood nosing on any cuts made with any of these blades.