Top Shelf Performance, Bargain Price...
Written: Aug 23, 2007 (Updated Feb 23, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
The DW7150PT is a 3/32" thin kerf 50T combination blade from DeWalt's new "Precision Trim" series. It features a fairly traditional ATB/R tooth configuration (alternating top bevel grind and a flat tooth raker), which consists of 10 separate 5-tooth groupings that use the flat raker as a lead tooth followed by 4 ATB teeth. The teeth are pitched at a 15 degree positive hook angle, and there are large gullets between the groupings, which are both factors that influence the ripping performance of the blade. The bevel of the ATB teeth is not stated, but from a glance it appears to be in the very normal range of 15 to 20 degrees. The 7150 also features laser cut anti-noise/anti-vibration slots, and a sharp looking yellow "Tough Coat Finish" to help reduce friction and gum build up. The teeth are large C3 micrograin carbide that should withstand several resharpenings. The package for this PT series blade states that it's manufactured in the U.K.
My first visual impression of the DW7150PT is that its a nice looking well made blade. It doesn't quite smack of the meticulous space age manufacturing process that my Infinity Combmax does, but gives the impression of being a quality blade nonetheless. The bright yellow coating looks great to these aging eyes, but I did notice smatterings of it on the base of the teeth and in the arbor hole. As it turns out, the blade would not fit my arbor as received. It required a bit of sanding around the arbor hole to remove the misplaced coating before it would fit. Once properly seated, the blade performed very well. The 7150 seems a tad on the light side compared to my other thin kerf blades...it's listed by the supplier as 1.6 pounds, which does put it a few ounces lighter than its counterparts.
In use, the DW7150PT's performance is as eye catching as it's yellow paint. "It glides" is the term that immediately came to mind. The feedrate was effortless in those first crosscuts in 1" hard maple. I then ventured into quartersawn white oak, 1" hickory, 1-1/2" hard maple, and finally walnut before doing a series of rip cuts that gave a much tougher workout. The feedrate ranged from effortless to very reasonable in all test cuts, cutting nearly as easily as my new 30T Forrest WWII. Cut quality was in the very good to excellent. Tearout on crosscuts was admirably low, and the minor swirl marks left on rip cuts will easily provide glue line edges right off the saw. I didn't try to bury the blade in anything brutal like 3" maple, and I probably won't do that to my saw, but based on test cuts in 1-1/2" maple, I'd guess the 7150 would work through it if need be. A 50T combination blade really isn't intended to rip stock much thicker than 1-1/2" to 2". Material thicker than 2"8 tends to labor the saw more, cause burning, and can cause premature dulling with a blade of this type, so I tend to switch to a dedicated 24T or 30T ripper for those applications. It also did a terrific job in sheetgoods with very low tearout, smooth edges, and with very low resistance to the saw. THe 7150PT is a very versatile blade that's suitable for many applications. I haven't quite figured out why this blades feeds more easily than others in its class, but I'd hazard a guess that the lower mass may be a factor. The 15 degree hook angle and large gullets may also play a role in that aspect. I ran all my test cuts without a blade stabilizer, which is often recommended with a thin kerf blade. I've yet to notice a difference with a stabilizer used in conjuction with a high quality blade and a well tuned saw, but your mileage may vary. I've also never encountered blade deflection from a high quality thin kerf blade, and the 7150 continues that trend.
Overall, there's a lot to like and little to dislike about this blade. It's suggested retail of $66 wouldn't motivate me to buy it over a Forrest WWII, Infinity Combomax, or Freud LU88, but frequent sale prices below $40 are very attractive for this blade. My delivered price of $27.50 seems to be a bonafide bargain, but I've seen it go for even less occasionally. For nearly one quarter the cost of an elite 40T general purpose blade like a Ridge Carbide TS2000, WWII, or Tenryu Gold Medal, the 7150 should provide well over 95% of the performance...it's extremely difficult to differentiate between cuts made with the 7150 and my other more expensive blades. Longevity remains an unknown for the time being, but my experience with other C3 blades of this caliber suggests that it'll hold an edge quite well for a reasonably long period under normal use, but many factors ultimately influence that variable.
Miscellaneous tidbits (for those interested) - Within the last two years, Black and Decker (DeWalt's parent company) bought out Pentair (parent company to Delta, Porter Cable, Oldham, and several other popular brands). There's been much realigning of the brands and lines, that have included many of the saw blades that are now under this very large corporate umbrella. Leitz no longer makes the upper Delta Industrial line. The highly respected DeWalt Series 60 line appears, at the very least, to be expanding to include several blades under the Delta Industrial tag. (ie: the heralded DW7657 is now also available as the Delta 35-7657). The Series 40 blades appear to have morphed into the new Precision Trim "PT" series, but I'm only speculating here. The Series 40 and 60 were both made in the UK, and the new PT series also indicates that it's made there, however there are some visible design differences between the Series 40 DW7150TK and the DW7150PT beyond the obvious color change. I do have some reservations that are possibly unjustified, but I'll share them, with the caveot that they be taken lightly as the "hearsay" that they are....the issue with the coating on the inside of the arbor doesn't appear to be an isolated incident. I've since shared notes with other users who've experience the same minor issue, so there may have been a short run of blades that experienced this concern, or it may be more pervasive....not a show stopper either way. I've also read of more than one quality issue where blade performed poorly and exhibited issues that suggest a defect was in play. Quality issues exist with every major blade manufacture, and this is a small number of reports are that are likely to be non-representative of the entire population of blades from this series, but since there appear to be design differences between the two series, I suspect there may be some "new model" bugs to be worked out yet, and the quality control needs to be tightened a bit. DW and it's suppliers will most likely graciously replace any defective blades. All speculation aside, the 7150 performed very well for me.
If you've been itching to upgrade or replace your blade with a high quality versatile general purpose blade, the DW7150 is perfectly suitable for use in a table saw in high performance type applications such as fine furniture, and can be snapped up for a very reasonable price. Highly recommended for all around general use.
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Amount Paid (US$): 27.50