July 14, 2008

Final Cut Saw Blade - Review

final_cut.jpgWe weren't really sure what to make of the Final Cut Saw Blade when we first heard of it. The whole idea seemed...well...incredibly silly. Is someone really selling a saw blade with a piece of sandpaper stuck on it? It screamed 'gimmick' to us, but we were still interested to check it out because maybe, like chocolate and peanut butter, the saw blade/sandpaper combo is is a match of destiny. So we got our hands on one and used it around the shop for a while and the verdict is....

Like we said, the Final Cut is simply a 10" saw blade with sandpaper adhered to both sides, allowing you to make a cut and sand the kerf marks off simultaneously. The primary feature of the blade is obviously to skip the sanding step, but there are also periphery benefits as well. Because the blade sands as it cuts, there is less of a chance of kickback and virtually no chance of binding the blade. In addition, the blade does not heat up. The Final Cut can be used on miter saws, table saws, and radial arm saws.

final_cut_on_saw.jpgFirst, we put it on our miter saw to see how it would handle cross cuts. We cut a chunk of mahogany and a piece of pine and compared the pieces with ones that we had cut with previously with our standard blade. There is no doubt that the Final Cut was far, far smoother than the other cuts. The mahogany still showed some kerf marks, but they were faint and smoothed over. The pine showed an incredible difference with one piece ragged and covered with kerf marks and the other was smooth and ready for install (sadly, the photo doesn't do it justice).

final_cut_wood.jpgAlso, with the sanding disc and the blade acting as one, it is ensured that the sanding will be done in a perfectly straight line. This eliminates any little gaps and unevenness that might occur with hand sanding. This is particularly important with miters and crown.

We then tested out the longevity of the abrasive disc. We put a 5' poplar 1x4 on its end and proceeded to cut it every 1/8 of an inch. Making a total of what felt like a million and a half cuts. After the sawing session the sanding disc showed some wear (far less than what we expected), but was still fully adhered to the disc and still worked like a charm.

We also put the blade on our table saw and had similar results, a perfectly sanded cut edge. To us, it's actually the table saw, rather than the miter saw where this blade shines. We can handle a quick sanding of a butt end, but if you have to sand the edge of an eleven foot rip, it can take time and the results can be far from prefect.

A 10" blade, the only size available, equipped with sandpaper is about $75. The abrasive discs can be purchased separately in a variety of sizes from 7-7/8" to 11-1/2" costing about $25 for a four pack and $50-$60 for a 10 pack. There's no doubt that it's a high quality blade, but, to be honest, we had hoped that it would be a little cheaper. We think this cost might keep it out of the hands of some part-time DIYers, who would likely be attracted to a blade of this nature. (There is also something on the website available for purchase called the 'Dollar Test,' but there is no explanation as to what it is.)

But there is no doubt that the Final Cut works. Just be prepared to explain it to all your buddies who think you're crazy with the sandpaper blade.

UPDATE:
About a week after our testing session, we entered the shop to see that the sandpaper on the Final Cut had peeled away from the blade. We tried to stick it back on, but it just kept coming off, having lost most of its adhesion. In the course of making a cut, the paper shredded, proving that the whole thing was too good to be true.

UPDATE II:
As it turns out, the guys at Final Cut were aware of this problem and, to prevent it from happening, changed the adhesive that they use to attach the paper to the blade. We tested this updated version and can report that the paper no longer separates from the blade. All is well in the land of saw blades and sandpaper.

At Final Cut

Read More in: All Reviews | Bits and Blades | Sanding

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 14, 2008 6:38 PM

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Recent Comments

I bought these sanding discs at a woodworking show. The salesman assured me that it would work “excellent” with my Freud Premier Fusion blade. He told me that the "preferred blade" was the “final cut”, but that the discs would work just as well with my Fusion blade. Talk about a disaster. My saw is perfectly tuned and somehow I managed to get burning and smoke like nothing else. I'm sure these are good accessories if used with the "final cut" blade, but the salesman shouldn't recommend them to be used with other brands of blades unless they know for sure. I wrote the company TWICE and never received a reply.


Posted by: Ryan at November 20, 2009 9:48 PM

I think that many of us DIYers would be interested in the discs that can be purchased separately.


Posted by: Bill at December 5, 2008 12:11 PM

The idea is a good one, I'll give you that. Why not a dusting of diamond grit on the sawblade itself, akin to the knives that cut through glass bottles and such.


Posted by: Chamren at November 21, 2008 9:59 PM

The Forrest blade didn't work as well for me although it's a good blade....but it does not do the same thing that Final Cut does. There's no comparison really.


Posted by: Jon at July 15, 2008 11:47 AM

Try a forrest blade. I Bet it will do better than the finalcut blade and outlast it. http://www.forrestblades.com/


Posted by: Dan at July 14, 2008 9:43 PM
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