An Unsung Hero
Apr 24, 2006 (Updated May 28, 2006)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Great performance from a high quality, versatile, economical, general purpose blade from an industry leader.
Cons:Not quite as polished as the WWII, and doesn't leave a flat bottomed groove.
The Bottom Line: Highly recommended as an excellent general purpose high performing blade with very good versatility. It's the most bang for the buck that's readily available.
Amazon's recent sale prices were just too good to pass up so I was enticed to make a couple of blade purchases. The LU86R010 is a lower tooth count version of the 60 tooth LU88R010 that I also purchased and reviewed recently. It incorporates the same tooth geometry and features - large C4 micrograin carbide, alternating top bevel grind (ATB), 15 degree hook angle, 3/32" thin kerf laser cut body, Permashield coating, and anti-vibration slots. Both blades are manufactured in Italy. Like the LU88, the LU86 is from Freud's Industrial "L" series, which is a step up in quality from their Diablo and Avanti/TK series, and is typically sold through retailers who cater to woodworkers. The hard carbide teeth should hold up well under heavy use, and are large enough to endure multiple sharpenings. It's backed by Freud's lifetime warranty.
Recommend this product?
Even those who use dedicated rip and crosscut blades will occasionally need a good general purpose blade like the LU86, and I can think of no better value that's readily available than this 40T thin kerf Freud. It's configured with smaller saws and versatility in mind, and delivers handsomely on that claim. It'll rip and crosscut well enough to leave in place for about 90% of the cuts I make. It makes cleaner cuts than a rip blade, yet can handle ripping chores that a crosscut blade can't. Only for heavy duty ripping of very thick hardwoods will I swap the LU86 for a dedicated rip blade. In comparison to it's 60 tooth cousin, the LU88, the 40 tooth LU86 offers a slightly less polished edge, but handles thicker materials more easily, and is more versatile in the range of cuts and materials it'll handle. It cuts cleanly enough to use for nearly all crosscuts in hard and soft woods. It does well in most plywoods too, splintering only slightly on the underside. The thin kerf body and shape of the teeth help this blade glide through tough woods even with average size saws, and has an effortless feel when cutting. It's so nice to not be pushing hard or bogging the motor. The body is stiff enough that it doesn't deflect at all in thick wood... even without a stiffener. The technology of modern blades has pretty much eliminated that concern in better quality 3/32" kerf blades.
At ~ $36 delivered, the LU86 is only a few dollars more than many entry level blades that don't perform near this level, and it will hold it's own against many blades that are more expensive. I don't think the LU86 is quite a threat to the elite blades like the Forrest WWII, DW7657, or F410, etc., but it's still surprisingly good, and it cuts noticeably cleaner than many of the other blades I've reviewed. It's also worth noting that the F410 is only available in a full 1/8" kerf, so if you're looking for a Freud general purpose TK, the LU86 is their best. In my experience, it cuts better and more effortlessly than the Leitz and Freud 50 tooth combo blades I've used, and cuts cleaner than several good quality 60T crosscut blades while offering more versatility. An excellent choice for almost any skill level, especially those who don't want to (or can't) spend $100 for a high-end blade. This will be my recommendation to family and friends looking for a good all around blade that will work well in a modest saw without breaking the bank. It'll see use in my saw for everyday use and as a back up to my Forrest WWII. The LU86 is an unsung hero in my opinion....can't believe it's not the talk of the town! If this blade were $70, I'd give it 4-Stars and would be pleased. At it's current price of half that (or less on sale), it merits 5-Stars for great value and performance. ...Highly recommended!
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