Dado blades: Are Four-blade Chippers Better Than Two-blade Chippers?

Dado blades: Are Four-blade Chippers Better Than Two-blade Chippers?

In regards to dado blades: I see there are dado sets with chippers that have two blades and chippers with four blades. I realize obviously four is better than two, but for the average hobbyist is four blades per chipper that much better than the two-blade version? There’s quite a price difference: is it all for marketing geeks and giggles or is there something to it? (I’m a hobbyist and have a Freud with two blades that works great.) – Patrick Foltz

Tim Inman: I have always used a dado set with a scoring cutter blade on the outside of each edge of the stack and chippers inside. The joint cut has always been fine with this system. The number of chippers and sometimes shims used depends upon the width of the dado needed to be cut. I have no reason to put extra cutting blades on the inside of the stack. So, I’m just not sure why more than two cutter blades would be needed. I’d save my money for something else.

Chris Marshall: Two-blade versus four-blade chippers (these are the blades that go inside of the two outer scoring blades to “stack” the set) isn’t just marketing hype, Patrick. The more teeth a blade has, the smaller bite each tooth must take to clear away material. So, cuts tend to be smoother, and there’s less wear and tear over time on the carbide when more teeth do the hard work. That said, why “trade up” if your Freud two-blade chippers are working great? I wouldn’t change. (By the way, I’m a big fan of Freud dado sets. I use an 8-in. Super Dado and have for many years.) If your model of dado set is giving you smooth, flat-bottomed cuts that meet your expectations, and you don’t feel you are having to get the set re-sharpened more than seems reasonable, then two-blade chippers are right for you. Keep on keeping on … that’s my advice.


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