9 Best Dado Blades in 2018 – Top Models Reviewed & Compared

When working with wood, it’s imperative that you have all of the right tools for the job. When making cuts, you have to have a variety of blades so that you can be sure that you’ll get the right width and depth.

Dado blades are unique because they enable you to make cuts of varying depths and widths in your wood, which is helpful for creating joints or designing patterns on your project. Because these blades can be so versatile, you want to make sure that you’re picking the best ones for your needs.

9 Best Dado Blades – Comparisons

Picture Bike Name Size Number of Teeth Price
Freud 8" x 24T Super Dado Sets (SD508) Freud 8″ X 24T Super 8″ 24 Check Latest Price
DEWALT DW7670 8-Inch 24-Tooth Stacked Dado Set DEWALT DW7670 8″ 24 Check Latest Price
Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42 Tooth Stack Dado Set with 5/8-Inch Arbor Oshlun SDS-0842 8″ 42 Check Latest Price
MIBRO 416381 8" Carbide Stacking Dado Blade Set - 14 Pieces MIBRO 416381 8″ 24 Check Latest Price
Irwin Tools  1811865 Marples 8-Inch Stack Dado Blade Irwin Tools 1811865 8″ 24-150 Check Latest Price
Freud SD208 8-Inch Professional Dado (Discontinued) Freud SD208 8″ 12 Check Latest Price
Forrest DK08244 Dado King 8-inch 29/32-inch Width 5/8-inch Bore Dado Blade Set Forrest DK08244 Dado 8″ Check Latest Price
Oshlun SBJ-0830 8-Inch Box and Finger Joint Set Oshlun SBJ-0830 8″ 30 Check Latest Price
Porter-Cable 7005012 Oldham 7-in Adjustable Dado Blade Porter-Cable 7005012 7″ 16 Check Latest Price

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best dado blades out there and see how they can help you with your next project.

9 Best Dado Blades – Reviews

1. Freud 8″ x 24T Super Dado Sets (SD508)

As with any power tools and accessories, the brand you choose is just as important as the features included with it. When it comes to dado blades, Freud is one of the top companies out there, meaning that you know you’re getting a high-quality set already.

What makes Freud blades so reliable is that they are made of titanium cobalt carbide, otherwise known as TiCo Carbide. This alloy was developed by Freud to ensure that the blades will last longer and withstand countless sharpenings without losing their integrity. Compared to other metals you’ll find out there, TiCo is one of the best options.

When picking out dado blades, you can either choose individual parts or a set. In this case, we have a set of two outer blades and six chippers. If you’re not familiar with how this system works, the chippers are what clear out the middle of the cut. With more chippers, you can create wider results, meaning that you have more versatility.

To help ensure that you always get the right results, this set also comes with shims. These are like large metal washers that allow you to adjust the width of your cut more precisely. Adding and removing shims will ensure that you always get the right results the first time.

Overall, if you like precise cuts that don’t leave splinters or rough edges, then you’ll appreciate this dado set from Freud. The metal of the blades is incredible, and you get more than enough chippers and shims to get any job done.

Pros

  • Eight-inch blades
  • Silver ICE coating for blade durability
  • TiCo high-density carbide crosscutting blend
  • Comes with two blades and six chippers
  • Anti-kickback design
  • 24 teeth per outer edge
  • ⅝-inch arbor
  • Creates splinter-free cuts
  • Precision accuracy every time
  • Shims included for precise blade adjustment

Cons

  • Carrying case may not be as durable as others
  • In some cases, the shims may rust easily

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2. DEWALT DW7670 8-Inch 24-Tooth Stacked

If you’ve worked with power tools before, you’re already familiar with the DeWalt brand. Although this company doesn’t specialize in dado blades like others (i.e., Freud), this set is one of the better options you can find out there.

What makes this set so reliable is that the blades are laser cut and are made of micro-grain carbide. While this material is not quite as good as TiCo, it’s more than sufficient for most jobs. The only downside is that it may dull quicker if you’re cutting hardwoods, so plan accordingly.

You get six chippers with this set, and each one is a four-tooth model. The number of teeth on both your outer blades and your chippers matter because that will tell you how clean and precise your cuts will be. In this case, four teeth mean that you get smooth, flat bottom cuts every time. Also, with a full set of shims included, you can adjust the width of your cut with maximum precision.

Another thing that we like about this dado blade set is that they are rated to spin at up to 7000 rpm. When making cuts on woods and laminates, higher rpm is necessary when the material is softer. Since you can go higher than other models, you can create clean cuts in almost any soft wood without the risk of tearing or chipping. Once you see the results, you’ll be impressed by how well these blades operate.

Overall, unless you have to cut a lot of hardwoods, this is an excellent dado blade set for both professionals and hobbyists.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty blades last longer
  • 8-inch diameter for faster cuts
  • 24 teeth on each blade
  • Micro-grain carbide for better results
  • Comes with six four-tooth chippers
  • Full set of shims provided
  • Rugged storage case for all parts
  • ⅝-inch arbor works on most saws
  • Can spin up to 7000 rpm

Cons

  • In rare cases, the end blades may stick out slightly farther than the chippers
  • May not be ideal for hardwoods

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Also Read: Best Compact and Mini Circular Saw – Top Models 

3. Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42 Tooth Stack

Much like Freud, Oshlun is another brand that specializes in making high-quality dado blades. Thus, if you want to find an excellent set for your workshop, picking this company will provide some added peace of mind. The reliability and versatility of these blades are phenomenal, making them a viable option for professional and amateurs alike.

When picking out the right saw blade, one element to pay attention to is the number of teeth. As a rule, more teeth means that you can get a smoother cut, while fewer teeth will allow you to work faster. Most outer dado blades come with 24 teeth, but this set has 42. Thus, no matter what you’re cutting, from hardwoods to laminate, you can be sure that you’ll get pristine and high-quality results the first time.

As we’ve mentioned, the chippers included with your dado blade set are also crucial to its performance. In this case, we have full-body blades with six teeth each. Not only does the added teeth ensure square and flat-bottom cuts, but it helps you work faster. Also, having a full-body design reduces the amount of vibration you experience while cutting, so you don’t have to worry about small imperfections in your results.

The tips of these blades are made with precision ground carbide, which helps score the wood while you cut. This scoring reduces the chance of tearing or chipping, making each cut as clean and polished as possible. With this set, you should get the right results the first time, which will help you work more efficiently.

Pros

  • Professional-grade set
  • C-4 carbide blade
  • Full body chippers for less vibration
  • Precision ground carbide tips
  • Shim set included
  • 42 saw teeth
  • Eight-inch blades
  • Six-tooth chippers
  • Width range of 1/4 to 29/32 inches
  • Creates score marks to prevent chipping

Cons

  • Instructions are not helpful for beginners
  • In rare cases, the arbor width may not be correct

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4. MIBRO 416381 8″ Carbide Stacking

For the most part, if you’re going to use dado blades, you want to make sure that they are made of carbide or something stronger. This set is a relatively inexpensive one, meaning that it’s ideal for hobbyists who don’t have to make a lot of high-intensity cuts. That being said, this set has a few excellent features.

When looking at the chippers included with a dado blade set, it’s imperative that you pay attention to how many teeth they have. In this case, we have five two-wing chippers with negative hook angles. The benefit of this design is that you can make precision flat bottoms with the first cut. Because of the way that these blades are shaped, you shouldn’t have to smooth it out very much, meaning that you can work more efficiently if square shoulders and flat bottoms are your intention.

This blade set maxes out at 5000 rpm, making it ideal for most woods, including hardwood. With 24 teeth on the outer blades, you can create a wide array of cuts, also thanks to the seven stainless steel shims provided with this set.

Overall, if you’re looking for something simple and practical, this is an excellent starter dado set. It’s not made for professionals, but hobbyists and amateur artisans will appreciate the results of these blades.

Pros

  • Eight-inch blades
  • Creates square shoulders and flat bottoms
  • Five two-wing chippers included
  • Seven shims for precise width adjustment
  • Negative hook angles for splinter-free cuts
  • Rugged plastic case provided
  • Durable carbide construction
  • Max 5000 rpm
  • 24 carbide teeth on the outer blades

Cons

  • In rare cases, the outer blades may be slightly wider than the chippers
  • In rare instances, the set may arrive damaged

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5. Irwin Tools 1811865 Marples 8-Inch

Typically speaking, dado blades are meant for making cuts of varying widths and depths, but they are versatile enough that you can choose how to use them in your next project. This set from Irwin Tools, however, is made for a specific type of cutting – tongue and groove joints.

If you’re not familiar with tongue and groove joints, they are a specialty type of cut that allows you to attach two panels together quickly. One side has a thin outcropping (the tongue), while the other has a thin groove.

If you plan on making these joints, then this set will help you do it a lot faster. Because the outer blades only have 12 teeth and you get three two-wing chippers, you can work more efficiently than if you tried to adjust a standard dado blade set to do the same thing.

That being said, these blades are not meant for all-purpose dado cutting. Thus, if you try to use them to form other joints, they may wear down quicker. The edges are thin kerf, which helps you cut faster, but they can dull more easily. Fortunately, the blades are made of oversized carbide to allow you to sharpen them repeatedly, but you’ll want to keep that in mind.

One thing that we like about these blades is that they come with a heat-resistant non-stick coating. Also, you get seven shims and two spacers so that you can adjust your tongue and groove cuts more precisely. Finally, the two-wing design of the chippers means that you can get flatter edges the first time, saving you from having to redo your cuts to smooth them out.

Pros

  • 12-tooth outer blades
  • Three two-wing chippers
  • Seven shims
  • Two spacers
  • Heat-resistant coating for longevity
  • Designed for tongue and groove cuts
  • Oversized carbide can be sharpened many times
  • Laser cut edges for precision
  • Width range of 1/4 to 7/8 inches
  • Thin kerf blades cut faster

Cons

  • Not designed for hardwoods
  • The blades may dull easily when cutting other designs

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6. Freud SD208 8-Inch Professional Dado

We’ve already seen how good Freud Dado blades are, but if you want a set that’s designed for tongue and groove cuts as well as standard joints, you’ll appreciate this set even more. This is a professional-grade package, meaning that all woodworkers will love using these blades.

What makes this set different than others offered by Freud is that the outer blades have 12 teeth and it comes with two-wing chippers. As we covered with the Irwin Tools set above, that means you can work faster and create tongue and groove joints with much more speed and efficiency. However, unlike Irwin Tools, this set is strong enough to work on other joints as well.

The reason these blades are so rugged is that they are made with Freud’s proprietary TiCo carbide material. This metal alloy is reinforced to withstand higher heat levels, and it will maintain its sharp edge for longer than the competition. Overall, you can cut any type of wood or laminate without any problems.

Another thing about Freud blades is that they are designed to reduce the chance of kickback. If you’ve ever experienced that while using a power saw, you know that it can be both jarring and damaging to your wood. Thus, having this design feature can help you work smoothly without incident.

Pros

  • Eight-inch blades
  • Durable TiCo Carbide construction
  • Negative hook angles for splinter-free cuts
  • Three two-wing chippers provided
  • Shim set provided for precise adjustment
  • 12 teeth for faster cutting
  • ⅝-inch arbor fits most saws
  • Works on all woods and laminates
  • Anti-kickback design

Cons

  • In rare cases, the outer blades may cause lines in your cuts
  • This particular set may be hard to find

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Also Read: 9 Best Track Saws – Top List in The Market

7. Forrest DK08244 Dado King 8-inch

Although brands like Freud and Oshlun are highly popular with woodworkers, Forrest provides a higher quality product that produces reliable results every time. The difference between Forrest blades and other companies is that these are manually adjusted for precision alignment. Each set is inspected to ensure that you get the best results, so you know that you’re getting an incredible set. That also means that it costs a little more than average, but it’s worth it if you make dado cuts regularly.

These blades are heavier than average, which helps provide stability while cutting. You also get a set of four-tooth chippers to ensure smoother cuts and flatter bottoms. The teeth of the blades also have a negative face hook so that wobbling and vibration is not an issue while cutting.

Another thing we like about this set is that the outer pieces have a 300-degree ATB tooth style, which virtually removes all chips and splinters from your wood, no matter how soft it is. Thus, you can spend a lot less time sanding and polishing your cuts, making this set much more efficient than most.

Overall, there aren’t a lot of added features to boast about with this set, but you will love the reliability of these blades. Each one is hand-crafted for precision and quality, and they are built to last. Compared to thinner models that are prepared on an assembly line, you’ll notice a difference when using these blades.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty steel blades
  • Four-tooth chipper set
  • Negative face hook for stability while cutting
  • 300-degree ATB tooth style removes splinters
  • Rugged C-4 carbide teeth
  • Manually aligned for better precision cutting

Cons

  • In rare cases, the width of the arbor may not be accurate

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8. Oshlun SBJ-0830 8-Inch Box

As we’ve seen, some dado blades are designed for a particular job. While it’s nice to have a set of blades that can do a wide variety of joints for your next project, sometimes it’s better to buy ones that are built for a specific purpose. In this case, if you create a lot of finger (AKA box) joints in your wood, then you’ll want this set from Oshlun.

Unlike other dado sets, this is just two outer blades with no chippers or shims. The reason they’re not included is that they’re not necessary. You can create ¼ or ⅜-inch cuts with just these two blades, which are the most popular sizes in finger joints. Best of all, you simply have to reverse the way the blades are facing to switch between the widths, making it easier to adjust as needed.

Without chippers, you may think that you’ll be left with wood in the middle of the cut, but that’s not the case with this set. Each blade comes with 30 teeth, which ensures that you get flat bottoms and smooth results. Splintering and chipping are at a minimum, so you should be able to get professional cuts every time.

As with other Oshlun blades, the tips of the teeth are made of precision ground carbide, which helps ensure a longer life and fewer sharpenings. Overall, if you like to create finger joints, this is the set for you.

Pros

  • Two eight-inch blades
  • 30 teeth for smoother cuts
  • Designed for box or finger joints
  • Precision ground carbide tips
  • ⅝-inch arbor fits most saws
  • Work on hard and softwoods
  • Creates 1/4 or ⅜-inch cuts

Cons

  • In rare cases, the bottom may not be completely flat
  • Not designed for other joint cuts

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9. Porter-Cable 7005012 Oldham 7-in Adjustable

When picking out a dado blade, most of the sets out there provide you with two outer blades and several chippers for the middle of the cut. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to use this system to get the results you want. Instead, you can use something like this model from Porter-Cable, which wobbles while it cuts to create the desired width.

Overall, wobble blades are not as good as stacked sets because they are notoriously hard to adjust. Since you can’t simply add shims or chippers to make your cut wider (or thinner), there is some trial and error involved. We highly recommend practicing with this blade first to get a feel for how it works.

If you’re experienced with wobble blades, then you will appreciate that this model has 16 teeth and precision ground carbide tips. This helps you work faster and cut more efficiently. Also, it can spin at up to 7000 rpm, making it even more reliable.

Pros

  • Seven-inch dado blade
  • Precision ground carbide tips
  • 16 teeth for faster cutting
  • Max 7000 rpm
  • Works on all wood types
  • Wobble style blade

Cons

  • Can be hard to adjust
  • Not as precise as dado blade sets

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Final Verdict

When it comes to finding the right dado blade for the job, it helps to know what kinds of cuts and joints you plan on making. Since we don’t know what you’re going to be doing, our top picks are general-use sets, rather than blades designed for a particular purpose (i.e., finger joints).

So, with that in mind, we highly recommend the Freud Super Dado Sets and the Oshlun 42-Tooth Stack Set. We really like both of these brands because they specialize in this kind of woodworking, and both of these sets offer unparalleled versatility and reliability.

If you’re willing to pay a little more, however, the Dado Set from Forrest is another killer option. Because the blades are so much stronger and more resilient than other brands, you can use them for years without any problems.

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Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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