Matched saw blades


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Oct 6, 2001
Montana ( A Tourist runs through it )
We have a Ledsome double miter saw ( 12 inch blades ).

Question?: It says it has left and right blades. The blades are a 90 tooth 12 inch lazer blades from Ledsome.
We would like to get 2 sets of blades one set for metal one for wood. Do you have to have a left and right blade??
I really don't think they are matched by left and right. They are more matched "together" as compatible. By weight or balance or some metaphysical way. Gerald Ledsome can fill you in on how they match blades.

My Ledsome saw may be the best investment I have ever made.
The best metal blades come from CTD machines in California. Call them, I don't have the number, I am at home today. Speak to Larry, this guy, without a doubt, knows the best blades. I purchased a set of metal cutting blades over a year ago from him. We have yet to have them sharpened and they continue to give absolutely perfect cuts.

We do use a coolant spray, so that does increase the life of the blades and improves the cut. The problem with using a coolant spray with a machine that also cuts wood is that the sawdust constantly clogs the spray heads, you have to clean them all the time. We cut wood and metal all day long, we have a separate machine for each, saves a lot of time from cleaning spray heads and changing blades.

As far as having a double bladed cut off saw and the blades you use, there is not a left-right issue. Just purchase your blades at the same time and always have them sharpened in pairs. Do not get sets of blades mixed up, keep em together.

You can not adjust your cutting depth properly if one blade has larger or longer teeth than the other. Your blades will have a logo or printing on one side. One blade will have the logo showing on the machine, the other blade will have the logo on the inside, not showing. That is the only difference between right and left blades.

I want to ad, I have been purchasing blades for over thirty years, I have talked to a LOT of "experts" about what is the best blade. Every purveyor of blades, all claim that their blade is the absolute best, no two ways about it. I purchased one pair of blades for over five hundred dollars from one of these "experts", the blades were junk, I could not use them at all, AND, they would not take them back. They now sit on a shelf collecting rust.

The ONLY straight shooter I have ever dealt with when it comes to blades is Larry at CTD. CTD has spent years finding the best blades, and that is all they sell, the best. Pricey, but not as pricey as some lesser blades I have bought over the years. Call him, you will not regret it.

Also, be sure and explain to Larry what you are doing, cutting wood AND metal. He will probably be able to sell you a blade that will handle both.


Could you explain the working of a "coolant" system a bit further to me? I have never used a saw setup with one of these attached.

Do they use water or oil as a lubricant?

What kind of mess do you encounter with them other than the buildup of sawdust in the spray heads?

Do you think that this kind of setup would be feasible for a shop that cuts a limited number of metals a month (under 30 per month) or wouldn't there be that much of a difference in the life of the sharpening with that small a usage??

Regarding the CTD blades, what price range are we talking about for a pair of blades? I bought a pair of Forrest blades a few years ago and have had the last sharpening out of them just recently. The carbide teeth (C4 carbide) are ground down to the surface of the blade body and I either have to replace the teeth or buy another set next time they dull out. My other blade sets are a commercial set of Amana blades and a set of UltraMiter blades. All of these blades were in the $130 - $160 price range per blade. If CTD's are not too much more than the cost of these sets, I would like to give them a try.

Thanks for your information.

Framerguy, we use a product called Cool Mist, it is a concentrate so a gallon lasts a long time. It is mixed about eight ounces to a gallon of water. Another thing you can use is a product they put in automobile radiators, I can not recall the name of it, comes in about a twelve oz. can, milky looking liquid, If I remember right it was a rust inhibitor. Mix a can of it with a gallon of water. You do not want to use an oil spray, be a bitch cleaning up your frame sections. Cool Mist is the best.

Besides clogging spray heads, a sprayer will age your saw, saw gets rusty, looks like heck. I have a CTD 45 I use for wood only, A CTD 50 I use for metal only. Both saws are about twenty five years old, the CTD 50 looks twice as old as the 45. You can purchase the spray head assemblies from CTD. You will need an air source.

Expect to pay around two hundred to two hundred and fifty dollars per blade. Nickle and diming on your blades is just plain silly. Cheaper blades will give you a cut, premium blades will give you THE cut.

Why spend thousands on a cut off machine, then put junk blades on it? If you where a photographer, would you use bargain lenses on a professional camera? Drive a racing car with Budget tires? Sky dive with an army surplus parachute?

Your blades are the most important thing in your shop besides your mat cutter, use the absolute best you can afford, or not afford, either way, use the best. Every time I try to save money on blades, I end up regretting it. When all the dust settles, the more expensive blades turn out to be the cheapest after all. Less wasted moulding, etc. etc.

As far as the number of metal frames you cut, I do not think that would make any difference. A shop that cuts a hundred frames a day will have to get his blades sharpened much more often than a shop that cuts thirty frames a month, that is all. A spray coolant will give you an absolutely burr free cut on your metals, no sanding needed, totally clean cuts.

Thanks, John, I appreciate the information.

I am very satisfied with the Forrest blades. I guess in order of preference of the blades I use now I would pick Forrest, the Amana Commercial, and the UltraMiter in that order. I got about 9 years of service out of the Forrest blades and have them sharpened by the Forrest people along with all my other blades. They have the equipment and the savvy to sharpen without removing excess carbide and I probably got 18 to 20 sharpenings out of the Forrest blades over the past 9 years or so. You can't sharpen carbide tips that many times without having laser technology and knowing how to use the equipment to sharpen them.

Thanks again for the info.

Forrest blades have an excellent reputation among woodworkers. I don't think you can go wrong with those. If you are using a double cut off saw, be sure to let the folks at Forrest know about it. Blades used in that type of machine are usually a little different from regular blades. That is why I go to CTD for my blades.

An outfit called D&D Saw works in San Diego are the ones that sold me a completely worthless set for around five hundred dollars. They said they would have their representative come out and take them back, I called several times, blades just sit there collecting rust & I'm out the five hundred. Be careful what people tell you about their blades, it ain't always true.

Blades, again. There are left and right hand blades for double miter saws. Imagine an alternate top bevel blade with all the tips going in the same direction. The theory is that each blade's tips cut only into non fall off piece of moulding rather than every other tip. I've used 'em but can't say they're any better than an ATB blade.

I don't think using the same saw for metal and wood is a good idea; we tried it for about a month. Also, you really need to isolate a metal cutting saw; it'll make a heck of a mess.

The real problem with saw blades and framers is the plaster used on leafed mouldings. This stuff is highly abrasive and will quickly dull a blade. Our sets last around two weeks before needing sharpening. Quality Saw and Knife has a really good sharpening service. We spend around $1200 a year with them for sharpening and have no complaints. Forrest is good but slow.

I could go on and on about blades: triple chip will probably give the best service; ATB blades give a cleaner cut but dull faster; ATB with a raker is a good comprimise but aren't generally available; if you can use them, 10" are better than 12" (less runout at the tips)but on most double miter saws they're limited to moulding under 2 1/2" wide and tall. We do most of our cutting on a Pistorius MN 100 with 10" but have a Cassese double miter saw with 14" blades for really wide moulding, and a Pistorius EMN with 12" blades for metal. The metal blades last about a year. See our web site.

I know Freud LU85's are good 10" blades but I'd be a little worried with 12". Woodworker's Supply is offering an interesting German blade that sells for under $60. We've tried a set of 10" and the're as good as any 10" blade we've used. If I needed them, I'd give a 12" blade a shot; it's under $60 too.

Expensive, so called industrial blades may be a bit better than Freud blades but if you're cutting leafed moulding, it doesn't matter. The plaster is going to eat up any blade.
John is correct dont believe what some tell you about blades. The best thing you can do is match blades to your cutting & your saw.The blades we put on Judys machine & all my saws are matched & designed for our machine I had a few on Pistorius 14" & cut good but whine because of the machine set up. The blades I designed are set up to cut all moldings, some prefer to switch back & forth & thats fine. Framers have been told so many diffrent things over the years about blades ect. that its hard to believe anything anymore, just stay with works for you & have good grinding service thats real important

Gearold Ledsome