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I have recently purchased a plunge saw and a blade. The saw is a Mac Allister MSPS1200, which is a rebranded Titan in UK, similar to many cheap ones. The blade is a good Freud 1.7mm kerf.

I have now checked the manual of the saw and it says to use blades with a kerf from 2.2 to 3.5mm.

I am wondering, what's the worst that can happen? Is the limit due to the arbour nut not locking properly? Could that be fixed with a 0.5mm washer?

I have not trimmed the track splinter guard so that's not an issue, yet.

  • I doubt it'll provide technical problems. The recommendation might be there to reduce the propensity of the blade to flutter and make messy cuts. Maybe try to reach Macalister (or if the Titan manuals say the same, then Titan) and ask. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 31 at 17:54
  • Wait -- I take that all back... there might be an anti-binding riving knife that follows the blade that won't fit into a narrow kerf. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 31 at 18:07
  • "Fitting of other purpose or different sized blades will void the warranty." The arbour is probably threaded completely, so that's not the issue. I suspect it is an issue with all the anti-kickback mechanisms -- probably a riving knife of some kind as suggested in the other comment. Or possibly that's the working range for the fine adjustments. Or both. – jdv Jun 1 at 13:26
  • I have run all the tests that I needed: the blade is fixed and has no play, the kerf that it leaves behind is 1.7mm along the whole cut (checked with a caliper). The harbour seems perfectly locked in place, there is no vibration and the cuts are straight and square. There is no riving knife which you are right would be an issue. The kickback is mechanical on the plate-rail connection so it works. I must say it seems a weird limitation but I guess it is just that they did QA with a limited set of blades and they don't want to take responsibility over use outwith range. – Tallmaris Jun 1 at 20:07
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    IDK...maybe they got better lawyers... – Greg Nickoloff Jun 2 at 17:16
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First and foremost, please note this warning from the manual:

Fitting of other purpose or different sized blades will void the warranty.

Needless to say, you are doing this at your own risk.

With the above out of the way, I have run all the tests that I needed: the blade is fixed and has no play (which suggests that the harbour nut is fully threaded as suggested by jdv). The saw has no riving knife so that is not an issue. It does have an anti-kickback mechanism which is a mechanical lock on the plate-rail connection so it still works.

From my tests, the kerf that the new blade leaves behind is 1.7mm along the whole cut (checked with a caliper). The harbour seems perfectly locked in place, there is no vibration and the cuts are straight and square. I must say it seems a weird limitation but I guess it is just that they did QA with a limited set of blades and they don't want to take responsibility over use outwith range.

I have been using the saw with the thinner blade for a while now and it performs beautifully, leaving straight clean cuts every time.

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  • Welcome back and an up vote for posting your answer! Please don't forget to click the check mark to accept this, as well. – FreeMan Jun 18 at 17:10
  • As I mentioned in a comment, the kerf requirement is almost certainly a safety margin for the RPM they are running the blade at. Failure modes are often non-linear, and I suspect they destroyed a lot of saws testing situations where a blade gets out of balance, or you hit a nail and that rotational energy turns the blade into shrapnel. Since the main job of any power tool is to remove meat from the unwary operator, assume their lawyers will know this tool was run outside of its recommended parameters if it ever explodes. – jdv Jun 20 at 14:11

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