Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-15-2012

dado blades

What is the best dado set?  6 or 8 inch?

Community Manager
Posts: 6,183
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades

[ Edited ]

Welcome to the group, Stephen.


Well... it's hard to judge the best saw blade for you until we get some insight into what brand/model table saw you have that's going to drive the blade.   


Matt Seiler
Forum Moderator

Esteemed Advisor
Posts: 3,501
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades

[ Edited ]

Matt's point is the saw's horsepower required to turn a 6" versus an 8" stacked dado set under load.


Most 6" sets will do all you want to on a table saw.  Radial Arm Saws may require an 8" set because of the fence arrangement.


I have a JET 1.5 horsepower Contractor's table saw and I use a 6" Forrest Dado King stacked set with great results.  Maybe 1.5 HP might not be proper for an 8" set.


A warm welcome to the WOOD Forums..



Larry.. East Central Iowa

Good enough.. Isn't.
Honored Advisor
Posts: 12,547
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades

I still use Craftsman wobble dado set that gives me fine and flat cuts.

My TS engine runs on one horse, too.Depending on your budget and prefferences... some like the more expensive ones due to name brand.



"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
Honored Advisor
Posts: 1,820
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades

What Matt said - depends on the saw.

I have a 5 hp cabinet saw.  I can run an 8" dado up to full cutting width without any trouble.

That might not be the case with a 1.5 hp or less saw.


Look at the "mechanics" - you are rotating a lot of mass at a high speed.  This requires energy.  A 6" dado has less mass than an 8" dado - therefore it requires less energy (hp) to rotate the dado.  For Tony's wobble dado, you are only talking about two blades rather than a "stack: of blades - that requires less hp to rotate the blades at speed.

Posts: 1,327
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades

Not only would you want to consider the strain of an 8" vs a 6", but why would you need an 8"?  I was in the same situation as you when I was buying a stacked dado.  Did all my research, and while my 1hp probably could've turned it, there was no sense in spending the extra money for the 8".


If you look around the forums, you'll see a lot of guys will run thin-kerf blades just to minimize any undue stress on our motors.  So why add the weight of the 8" dado if you don't need it.


Deepest dado I've ever cut was a bit over 1/2" deep so I still had plenty of blade to go if I ever needed to go deeper.


Went with a Freud 6" and have been very satisfied with it.  I take the time to set it up before I even think about dropping a bit into the router table.  It's just easier and makes a cleaner cut...for me.


Remember, you're just one mistake away from a lesson learned...
Esteemed Advisor
Posts: 2,126
Registered: ‎11-07-2010

Re: dado blades

Some points to ponder in a stacked dado set:

  • A Sawstop system requires an 8” blade set. the Dado brake will only work with the 8″ stack and only up to 13/16 width.
  • Very seldom will you need to dado deeper than 3/4 of an inch, so a 6" dado should suffice.
  • The smaller the dado set, the less HP to operate.
  • 8" capacity is useful if you're trying to do something like half-lap joints on 4x4 stock- but then again there are better ways to do that.
  • 6” on a saw coupled with 3/4” plywood jig = 1/2” of depth so you can’t finger joint thick boxes/drawers/etc.
  • For a more powerful saw, like 3 to 5 HP the 8” set would be preferred.
  • The 6” set might be cheaper to re-sharpen because of fewer teeth.
  • A 6” set = less clean up on a stopped dado joint.

These are generic observations and not intended to favor one size over another.


If your need is not immediate, the following video may be of interest in the decision process:

Dado Duel
Router or Tablesaw? Which method is fastest? Find out in our head-to-head Dado Duel.
And this video-Perfect-Fitting Dadoes
More dado, rabbet, and groove tips
A foolproof method for making perfect-fitting dadoes on your tablesaw.- may also be helpful to view.

WOOD Online has a very respectable library of free videos for your education and enjoyment in the pursuit of learning more about the craft of woodworking.


There are two channels you can look at for specific subjects:


The first is WOODCuts.

This is the site to go for “house” videos that WOOD magazine has produced for its site visitors. Although these may have commercials in them, and thus have a bit of a loading wait, they are still solid blocks of good to know information professionally shot and edited, with clear and concise demonstrations.


The second resource for videos is WOODTube.

These are user submitted videos usually shot by woodworkers who wish to visually share tips, tricks, and techniques they feel are worth passing on. This site has a search engine so you can get more specific in your need to know area.

Don't ask advice on federal firearms law from people on the internet unless you like jail food.

- Beachside Hank, WOOD Online Video Host

Senior Contributor
Posts: 356
Registered: ‎10-24-2009

Re: dado blades

I'm going to take a different viewpoint.   The main horsepower concern isn't 6" vs 8"... simply how deep and wide of wood you're cutting in 1 pass.  So then the issue to me would be 8" has more "tip speed" thereby a smoother cut... although that can be adjusted also by how fast you feed it through.  So I'd guess since you can make multiple passes, an 8" would be able to cut 1" deeper than a 6"... if you ever needed it too????

Senior Contributor
Posts: 939
Registered: ‎01-25-2010

Re: dado blades

When I bought my Freud Super Dado set a few years back, I was looking for a 6" set, since my saw is only 1 3/4 HP. I ended up buying the 8" set, as that is the only one they had left in stock. I have had no problems with the saw being under powered, because I never cut deeper than 1/2 to 5/8 inch. The main thing is, don't force, let the saw work as it should. I love my set. Smiley Wink

Honored Advisor
Posts: 12,547
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: dado blades



I believe mine only has one blade.


I also think that any saw, from 1 HP and up, can run any dao set.

The cuts of around 3/8 can be done quite cleanly. Depending on person usage, though.

The material should not be forced, rather let the blade do the work and user should only guide the work.


Aftwer all, how deep of a cut one needs?!

Seldom one will need more than 1/2 inch deep.



"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."


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