Over the past couple of years, I've been a little preoccupied trying out and getting familiar with various saw blades. Below is a chart that tracks some rough ratings, opinions, facts, and comments about 30 blades. It started out as just my way of tracking which blades I've tried, but maybe it'll be useful or interesting to a few of you.
Disclaimer and Explanations:
This is by no means intended to be a scientific or comprehensive blade review. It's just some guy playing with saw blades in his garage on an average saw tuned by an amateur, and documenting some comments on an Excel spreadsheet. Some of the ratings are just opinion and some are subject to the variability of my mood or the moon alignment. There are undoubtedly flaws in my evaluation method as well as my approach to the documention. Note that most of hte blades are all really good performers that I'd expect very good results from, regardless of where they fell in the ranking. There are complications when trying to compare any blades, especially when comparing general purpsose (GP)/combo blades to specialized rip, crosscut, or plywood blades....the specialized blades rate poorly in the "versatility" category...they tend to do a super job but have a narrow "sweet spot". Price was not directly factored into the total rating...it's listed mainly as a convenience reference... however price is considered as part of the subjective "value" rating which was factored in the "total" ranking...some blades were available at steep closeout discounts and subsequently got high marks for "value" that inflated their "total" rating. "Carbide thickness" was also a consideration, although it doesn't impact the cut, though it increases the "value" rating because they allow more resharpenings - ie: the Ridge Carbide has huge teeth and scored higher than the WWII as a result...but I consider their cutting performance to be comparable. The chart is sorted by "total", but could have just as easily been sorted by "performance".
Read the categories and comments before drawing conclusions, and feel free to ask specific questions to find out how or why I determined a particular ranking. Sorry if this an eyechart!
I've only kept maybe 10 of these blades and I'll list them below. The reasons for keeping a blade is somewhat random and not always indicative of it's performance. I can't keep them all! I would have loved to keep the DW3218TK and the Gold Medal, but a friend needed them in a pinch and both those blades fit the bill for him on the cheap. My WWII is an excellent versatile performer that was a gift from a good friend. I consider it my mainstay, but I also reach for the Freud LU88R010 very frequently and find that blade to also be a steller versatile performer that happens to retail at a great price. The Ridge Carbide is impressive also...because of it's larger teeth, if I were buying an $80 general purpose blade today, I'd likely pick the TS2000 (available in TK or full kerf). I toss in the DW7124TK or Leitz/Irwin 24T TK rippers for heavy stock or bulk ripping. I still have an 80T crosscut blade but almost never need it. If you're looking for the lowest cost bang for the buck, check into the Freud LU86 or Tenry RS25540. If you're looking for best overall performance at a reasonable cost, look into the LU88 if you use TK's. If you're a full kerf user, the DW7657 is a darn tough value to beat at ~ $50. The Leitz/Irwin deals are a terrific value for mid-highend performance, but are an increasingly limited supply. I tend to favor good quality 3/32" thin kerf blades on my saws for the faster feedrate and lower strain on the motor. I've never had an issue with deflection on this caliber of blade. Some of you will prefer full kerfs for your own reasons, and if you've got a full 3hp cab saw, there's less reason to consider TK's. There may have been other blades that I tried but couldn't remember and/or forgot to enter it in the spreadsheet.
My current blade roster:
Leitz/Irwin 24T TK ripper
Leitz Pro 80T crosscut
Delta Industrial 10T (made by Leitz)
3 skanky bottom dweller bludgeon-blades
my dado set is a DW7670