Table saws are one of the most versatile power tools in any woodworker’s workshop.
With the ability to make accurate crosscuts, rip cuts, dados and more, table saws have been a workhorse for generations.
However, sometimes the standard single blade just doesn’t provide the necessary cut width for certain projects. This leaves woodworkers wondering – can you put two blades on a table saw to make wider cuts?
The short answer is – it’s possible but not recommended due to safety risks. A more practical alternative exists for achieving wider cuts without resorting to unsafe blade stacking methods.
Before exploring the details further, it’s important to understand the different types of table saw blade configurations and their intended uses.
Table saw blades come in two main varieties – traditional rip or crosscut blades, and multi-tool dado blades.
Traditional blades feature a single sharp tooth design ideal for making standard cuts. Dado blades on the other hand are designed as modular stacked sets that allow cutting wider grooves known asdados.
Different projects may call for a variety of blade types, so it pays to understand the options available.
For the casual DIYer or professional woodworker alike, safety should always be the top priority around table saws.
They can be unpredictable machines if not used properly, so taking every precaution is essential to avoid injury. With growing woodworking interest nationwide, clearly explaining safe table saw techniques has never been more important.
This article aims to serve both newcomers and experts by evaluating blade stacking risks and promoting safer alternatives. Let’s dive into the details to uncover the full story.
Traditional Saw Blades
The workhorse of any table saw is the traditional rip or crosscut blade. Comprised of a circular steel disc with multiple sharp teeth, these blades excel at making standard cuts.
Table saw blades come in a variety of tooth configurations optimized for different tasks. For example, rip blades feature increased setback angles and narrowly spaced teeth suited for cutting with the grain.
In contrast, crosscut blades use refined raker angles and tighter gullets to slice cleanly across the grain.
An often overlooked design element is the kerf – referring to the width of material removed by each pass of the blade.
Traditional saw blades typically cut a 1/8 inch kerf, which is standardized to work with common woodworking jigs, fixtures and miter gauges.
Considering stacking traditional blades introduces unique safety concerns compared to a single blade setup.
The close proximity of multiple spinning discs and exposed cutting surfaces increases the risk of carbide debris and kickback. Even minor contact between stacked blade teeth and discs could have disastrous results at high RPMs.
While it may seem possible in theory to safely stack traditional blades with the right spacing, in practice it’s extremely difficult to avoid all contact points.
The slightest vibration or variation in kerf width from normal blade wear becomes problematic. And even compensating for kerf still leaves uncut portions between each pass.
A better alternative is to make repeat cuts rather than attempt risky blade stacking. With basic table saw techniques, crosscutting or ripping several narrow passes produces identically to a wide dado with less chance for accidents.
Blade alignment becomes less critical one cut at a time versus trying to get multiple discs spinning true together.
Traditional table saw blades are not designed for stacking configurations due to engineering tolerances and safety concerns from exposed cutting surfaces. It’s always preferable to stick with the tool’s intended single blade usage when possible.
While traditional blades excel at standard cuts, doing repetitive dados or grooves can become tedious. This is where specialty dado blades truly shine by safely achieving wide cuts up to 1-1/8 inches in a single pass.
Dado blades differ from traditional blades in modular design. Rather than a single entity, dado blade stacks consist of multiple interlocking pieces that create the full cutting surface.
This includes outer blades, interior chippers, and spacing shims to seamlessly join individual components.
Two common dado blade styles are the wobble cut blade and stacked configuration. A wobble cut blade features an offset cutting edge that “wobbles” back and forth to create the dado shape.
Stacked dado sets instead use multiple chippers sandwiched between specialized outer blades for straighter-edged results.
The stackable nature of dado blades is what enables expanding the cutting width simply by adding or removing interior chippers and adjusting the blade guard/splitter assembly accordingly.
This makes dado blades highly adaptable to various applications compared to fixed-width traditional saw blades.
Proper blade selection factors in the task andyour table saw’s capabilities. For light hobby use, a basic wobble dado suffices.
But professional carpenters may prefer more precise stacked dado sets scalable up to 1-1/8″ capacities. Always ensure blade stacks can fully clear the arbor and don’t force an oversized set that could damage the motor.
With reasonable precautions like push sticks and blade guards, multiple dato blades turn table saws into powerful modeling machines.
Just be sure to only stack dedicated dado components designed for safe interlocking use over risky traditional blade configurations. Done correctly, dado blades open up new realms of woodworking possibilities.
In woodworking, having the right tool for each job makes all the difference between success and safety. While it may be tempting to force multiple uses from a single tool like stacking table saw blades, some applications simply exceed its intended design.
This holds especially true for traditional saw blades which present distinct hazards when stacked due to tight engineering tolerances and exposed sharp edges.
Even minor contact at high RPMs risks catastrophic blade failure or dangerous kickback. For clean wide cuts, dedicated dado blades provide a much safer solution.
With dado sets, table saws transform into versatile wood milling machines. Whether basic wobble dados or high-end stacked configuration sets, these specialty blades safely achieve cuts beyond traditional saws using modular adjustable designs.
Just be sure to match dado capacity to your saw’s power to avoid overloading engines or arbors.
In the end, proper tool use means understanding limitations as much as capabilities. Table saws enormously boost woodworking productivity, but only when equipped and operated within safe design parameters.
For through dados and grooves, dedicated robust dado blade stacks fill the bill perfectly without compromise. With routine blade changes as they wear, table saws deliver years of precision cuts to please woodworkers of all skill levels.
When in doubt, always choose safety over short-cuts that could lead to costly mistakes. The extra time invested ensures you can keep creating for many projects to come.