Written: Dec 23, 2007 (Updated Mar 14, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Extremely versatile, well made, clean cutting, fast feedrate
Cons:On the expensive side, a little harder to find than the 40T version
The Bottom Line: High precision blade that's ideal for many applications. Best in class versatility, surprisingly good cut quality, effortless feedrate. My first choice over even the highly rated 40T WWII.
The Forrest WWII WW10307100 is a 10" 30 tooth general purpose saw blade made primarily for use in a tablesaw (TS). The "30 tooth" designation is not a misprint. It's 40T big brother is more popular and very highly rated across the industry, but we hear very little about this extremely capable 30T version. As far as I'm concerned, the silence should end...this is a terrific blade. The WW10307100 features the same geometry, materials of construction, and precision manufacturing that the 40T does....20 degree positive hook angle for a good feedrate while ripping thicker materials, a 15 degree alternate top bevel (ATB) tooth grind for slicing fibers cleanly, low side clearance for polished edges, and ultra hard C4 micrograin carbide for a very sharp edge and long edge life. Like the 40T WWII, it's available in both a 3/32" (0.100") thin kerf (TK) and a 1/8" (0.125") full kerf, and has a 5/8" bore. Both blades are manufactured in the USA and enjoy a wide distribution through woodworker specialty stores. Forrest makes several other sizes and models to handle a variety of tasks, and all are backed by Forrest's 30 day money back guarantee.
As a long time satisfied owner of the 40T WWII, this is a blade that I've wanted to try for quite a while. A rare sale price was all the encouragement I needed. My interest in the 30T version was piqued because the Forrest WWII 40T has long been recognized as industry gold standard of saw blades. I've read several blade comparisons that included the Forrest, and rarely does the WWII 40T not take top honors (depending on the criteria of the test), and it always hangs predictably near the top of the heap in performance. Forrest blades have a large and enthusiastic following, and also offers a top flight sharpening service, but any competent sharpener is capable of resharpening your Forrest blade. Many will use nothing else, and many send even their "other" brand blades to be sharpened by Forrest. Both the 30T and 40T versions of the WWII are intended for general purpose use on a table saw. The goal is one blade doing a very good job on nearly all tasks.
The 30T WWII has 25% fewer teeth than it's 40T counterpart. From a theoretical perspective, fewer teeth means faster ripping and rougher cut if all else is equal, and in this case, all else is exactly equal. The inverse is also true...more teeth means a finer cut but slower feedrates and more tendency to tax the saw and burn wood. There's always a tradeoff for every different design element. The logical concern for a discerning woodworker would be how much rougher the cut really is with the 30T Forrest. In the short time I've owned the it, my answer is a resounding "not much". I own and have tried several top notch general purpose and combination blades (as well as several dedicated rip and crosscut blades), and had the opportunity to compare the 30T WWII directly to a fairly new 40T WWII, a nearly new Infinity 50T, and a fairly new Freud LU88 60T, all in excellent shape. I'm pleased and excited to report that the cut quality of the 30T Forrest doesn't lag far behind some of the finest general purpose blades money can buy....even without the use of a stabilizer, which Forrest suggests. (I've never noticed an improvement from one, so I'll suggest saving your money unless you've got unacceptable runout in your setup.) After marking, crosscutting, and ripping several tests pieces of red oak, birch plywood, cedar, walnut, and cherry, it's very difficult to distinguish between the cuts between the various blades....good thing I marked them! I didn't perform a "statistically significant" number of cuts, but some patterns did tend to show up over time, and on the whole, things fell mostly into a predictable pattern of results, with finer tooth marks from the higher count blades, and easier feedrate and more visible saw marks from the lower tooth blades....I do want to reiterate that the differences in cut quality are very small and difficult to discern. In thick materials however, the performance ratings reverse themselves, and became more noticeable. The ease of feedrate with the WWII 30T is readily noticeable. As the 60T LU88 bogs down and causes burns in 2" walnut, the 30T WWII loafs right through it and still leaves an acceptably clean glueline cut. Combine the cut quality and increased feedrate with the thin kerf 30T WWII, which takes 25% less material than the full kerf, and you've got yourself a clean cutting remedy for an underpowered saw. It performs very closely to the 40T WWII but feels like I've upgraded the motor. I can also envision the 30T WWII being invaluable for ripping thick exotic hardwoods where cut quality matters and burning is a problem.
You're to be commended if you're read this far, and I'll try to reward you by wrapping this up with a conclusion. Keep in mind that these are primarily general purpose blades that are capable of most cutting tasks in most materials without changing blades (note that the LU88 is classified as a crosscut blade, but it handles general purpose work very well). They won't leave as fine of an edge as good 80T specialized crosscut blade, and they won't rip as easily as a good dedicated 24T ripper, but offer far more versatility. All of the above general purpose blades leave a suitable glue ready edge without the need to joint or sand to make tight fitting joints, but none of them leaves a suitably clean surface for an exposed edge on a piece of fine furniture without some sanding help. Even my high quality precision 80T blades need sanding help for an exposed furniture edge. That said, I find myself asking what's the benefit of using a 40T, 50T or 60T blade in a smaller saw if they won't cut thicker materials as easily and don't save any surface preparation steps? How clean is "clean enough"? The answer is subjective, depends on the need, and is up to each of us to decide, but in my opinion, the 30T WWII easily falls in the "clean enough" range.
If you've got a large 3hp+ cabinet saw, you can spin a wider range of full kerf blades in some pretty thick stock and not run into significant shortages of motor power. But with most contractor, hybrid, or jobsite saws of 2hp or less, the motor will strain more in thick heavy material. As a simple matter of physics, a well designed, well made lower tooth count blade is easier on the motor, although with the downside of a typically rougher cut. A good thin kerf blade is even easier on the motor as it takes a thinner bite than a full kerf. That's where the 30T TK WWII has a notable advantage. It's ability to cut cleanly in thicker material, and still cut "clean enough" for glueable joints, make it more versatile and more suitable in a one blade operation than most of it's general purpose competitors...even the specialty 30T "Glue Line Rippers" (which aren't recommended for thick materials, and don't crosscut well). It'll work in ranges where the higher tooth count blades faulter, and will run well into the ranges where a rougher cutting 24T ripper is typically brought into service. Based on my early results, it's hard to not recommend the 30T WWII TK over it's more popular 40T counterpart, and it's competitors for situations like mine, where a smaller saw is in use and thicker materials get cut periodically. The 30T WWII isn't likely to completely replace my 24T rippers, but it's a wonderful engineering compromise between bulk ripping ability, clean cut, and crosscutting that eclipses the versatility of the others I've used. It's not inexpensive but still represents good value IMO, as it may be the only blade you need depending on your cutting needs. (For the record, this is the most I've ever spent for a blade, and I couldn't be more pleased.) It's up to the task and is a pleasure to use as it glides through the wood and leaves a nice clean cut. Having tried most of the top general purpose blades available, this one stands out by offering great cuts in a broader range.
Read all 1 Reviews
Write a Review