I am looking to pick up a new cabinet saw. I have currently two table saws, a 10" and an 8". I use the 8" with a Freud SBOX8 box-joint blade and pretty much use that saw exclusively for box joints.

I'm wondering if I pick up a 10" cabinet saw, is it possible, given same size arbors, that I could run the 8" blade in the 10" saw or is there some danger I am not considering?

  • 1
    riving knife for 10" wouldn't fit for the 8" or the other way around. May 2 '15 at 14:21
  • 1
    My current craftsman doesn't have a riving knife (too old) so I'm already used to being extra careful for pinch. Thanks for pointing that out, though! May 2 '15 at 18:27
  • 2
    If you are using a box-joint blade, I doubt a riving knife would be much help anyway, but it got me thinking.
    – lars
    May 3 '15 at 5:51

Yes you can.

As long as the hole in the blade is the same size as the arbor, you can mount any blade with a diameter smaller than the maximum your saw can use.*

The only real difference, besides maximum cutting depth, is that smaller blades are often thinner and have a narrower kerf. I was curious if this could make them unsafe to run at the same speed as a larger blade, but actually the opposite is true.

Freud blade speed chart

Source: Freud via http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/920-Saw-blade-safe-rotational-speeds

Smaller blades can run faster since their mass is closer to the axis of rotation (I think), so they can be made thinner. But, the RPM of a smaller blade will be the same as that of a larger blade, and in fact the cutting edge will be moving slower. In other words: the blade isn't in danger.

One thing to note is that an identical cut should probably be made slower with a smaller blade, since the cutting edge of the blade is moving slower.

More specifically to your situation: The manual for the SBOX8 doesn't even mention the table saw's maximum blade size, which leads me to believe it isn't an issue. Also the SBOX8 is probably heavier than a normal 10" blade, so much of the general information above doesn't apply.

* Although it must be larger than the arbor flange, and large enough to cut things!

  • 2
    Some people might think that your discussion of maximum RPM implies a smaller-diameter blade will spin faster on the same saw, so you should be careful to clarify that is not the case. In fact, the teeth on larger-diameter blade move faster than the teeth on a smaller-diameter blade spinning at the same RPM.
    – rob
    May 3 '15 at 19:45
  • @rob yes, I think I sort of mentioned that in the second paragraph after the image, but I added a sentence to hopefully make it more clear. Please edit it if that's not what you had in mind!
    – lars
    May 3 '15 at 20:03
  • Best to leave out the conjecture part, IMO. And the paragraph above that, too -- how do slower teeth translate to "better"?
    – Caleb
    May 4 '15 at 6:18
  • @Caleb I removed the conjecture paragraph, but I think the other one is relevant because there is a safety risk when feeding material faster than the blade can cut. I don't think I implied at all that slower teeth are better.
    – lars
    May 4 '15 at 12:55
  • @lars Sorry -- I missed the first "slower" in that paragraph. I read it as: ...an identical cut should probably be made with a smaller blade...
    – Caleb
    May 4 '15 at 13:33

As RatchetFreak pointed out, you'd have to dismount the riving knife, which is a useful piece of safety equipment.

On the other hand, if you're just talking about box joints, that's a short, well-supported cut without much risk of the blade being pinched. Be careful about the risk of kickback from the top/back of the blade, but i think you'd be ok.

Note that it's common to run 8" dado sets on 10" saws, and those can't use riving knives either. Of course a dado buried in an aux fence has no blade-pinch risk... but i think it's fair to consider a box joint to be many narrow mid-panel dadoes.

  • 1
    I know the question asks specifically about running an 8" blade on a 10" saw, but you could more generally point out that most dado sets for 10" saws are smaller than 10". This would also cover 6" dado sets, for example.
    – rob
    May 3 '15 at 19:50

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