Let 'er Rip Mr. Freud
Apr 25, 2008 (Updated Apr 26, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Affordable, fast-easy feedrate, excellent in thick wood, saw friendly, lifetime warranty, available everywhere
Cons:Rougher cut than finishing blades
The Bottom Line: As good as any 24 tooth bulk thin kerf ripper available, and is more affordable than most.
The Freud LU87R010 is a 24 tooth 10" thin kerf (TK) ripping blade with 5/8" bore that features a red "Permashield" coating for reduced friction and corrosion resistance, laser cut anti-vibration/anti-noise expansion slots, flat top ground teeth (FTG) for efficient material removal, and an aggressive 20 degree hook angle for a fast feed rate. The carbide teeth are reasonably large and are constructed of C-3 carbide....a fairly hard carbide rating that's well suited for the impact a ripping blade receives. The Italian made LU87 is part of Freud's "Industrial" series and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Recommend this product?
Ripping blades aren't intended for "fine finishing" cuts or to make smooth crosscuts, they're designed to make fast work of thick, dense stock, and to offer less resistance to your saw. The downside is typically a rougher cut than higher tooth count blades that make slower but smoother cuts. Last year Freud updated the configuration of their LU87R010 from a ripper with a reasonably clean cutting alternating top bevel (ATB) design to an efficient ripping FTG that is now essentially a thin kerf version of their well known LM72R010 24T full kerf ripper. A sale price of ~ $25 shipped was attractive enough for me to order one. The LU87 is the 6th bulk ripping blade I've tried. It's noticeably quiet and the feedrate is excellent even in 2" material. About 4 years ago I bought the Freud LM72R010x full kerf rip blade on the recommendation of a Freud rep. It was a huge improvement over my previous poor performing 28 tooth Vermont American rip blade, but I had
really wanted a thin kerf blade all along to rip at a faster pace with my moderate sized 1-3/4hp saw. The LU87 is exactly what I had wanted then, and is still what I prefer to use now for heavy ripping.
The LU87 is as well made and well balanced as any blade from Freud's Industrial line that I've tried. Due to it's thinner body, it feels a bit less substantial than it's full kerf counterpart which is roughly 30% thicker (0.125" vs 0.094"), but it definitely rips through the same heavy maple and oak faster than the LM72 did, which was ultimately my primary objective for this blade. The LU87 is not marketed as a "glue line rip blade" like their 30 tooth LM74R010, but cuts are respectably clean, and are very good within this blade classification. It's an aggressive heavy duty bulk rip blade intended to plow through thick hardwoods, and it does an excellent job of that task with minimal effort from my 1-3/4hp saw. Oak, walnut, and cherry are inconsiquential obstacles for it. 2" hard maple poses a bit more of a challenge for the LU87, but at no point did the board require excessive pushing on my part or did the saw labor substantially. It is more prone
to splintering and tearout than a fine finish and general purpose blade, especially on crosscuts, but cut quality was better than expected overall. It cuts comparably to my DeWalt DW7124TK 24T ripper and my Leitz/Irwin variable pitch 24T ripper. Surprisingly, I do find that most edges are glueable "as is" right off the saw with no additional dressing needed. It even left a respectably clean edge on 3/4" plywood, which suprised me as the blade is not claimed to excel in this regard. For critical and visible pieces, some sanding or clean up with a jointer or finishing blade are recommended to avoid saw marks that will be noticeable once the finish is applied. You're far less likely to encounter burning in thick material with a bulk rip blade than with most general purpose or combination blades, and it sure chews through the heavy materials faster too. The FTG teeth leave a nice flat bottom kerf that comes in handy for grooves, dados, rabbets, or
tenoning work, plus they really clear material from the kerf quickly. The flat top grind is the only grind that will leave a truly flat bottom. As with other premium thin kerf blades I've used, I encountered no signs of deflection, even without using an aftermarket stabilizer or stiffener, though a commercial setting might overtax it a bit.
The LU87 is one of several decent 24 tooth thin kerf FTG rippers now available on the market from CMT, Infinity, H.O. Schumacher, DeWalt, and Amana to name a few. I haven't tried them all, but it's as good or better than any I have tried. A 24 tooth ripper is a highly recommended blade to add to your arsenal if you work with much hardwood. They're reasonably inexpensive, are reasonable to have resharpened, and will spare your saw's motor and the teeth of your primary blade. With it's Permashield coating, lifetime warranty, attractive pricing, and quality construction, the Freud LU87R010 comes highly recommended for tablesaw use. My final "star" rating is a tad complex ...I give it 5-stars within it's classification compared to others like it, and 4-stars overall due to the limited versatility that's associated with any dedicated task specific blade. It's on sale often enough that I'll post the 5-star rating because of it's bargain factor.
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