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I'm a noob with a new table saw and confused about buying a dado set for it. It is a 10" saw with a 5/8" arbor -- a Laguna Fusion 2. But I am finding zero dado options on the market for this combination. All of the 10" dado sets have 1" bores, and all of the 5/8" bores are less than 10". All of the choices are expensive.

So what do people do? Do I buy an 8" dado set for the right arbor size? Or do I get an arbor adapter to use with a 10" set? That would seem to make setting it up in the tight space more difficult, with something else to lose. Do such adapters even work with a dado set? Is there another option?

The 8" sets are much less expensive than the 10" sets. Is the performance difference worth the price difference? Do I also need a dado insert plate?

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    We have previous Q&A about running smaller blades in table saws, so you can use that for a reference. Many manufacturers can't sell dado sets or support the use of dado stacks in some regions, and so the way globalism works is that has a knock-on effect in other regions (regardless of legal requirements). I suspect this is why you are finding information so thin.
    – user5572
    Dec 28, 2021 at 22:37

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For general advice on cutting dados the Related Q&A is where you should start. The core question can be directly answered using previous Q&A, but I've collected that here for easy access.

My advice would be to use smaller blades and spacers for the arbour you have to keep it simple and reduce the overall moving mass. It is generally fine to run smaller blades in table saws, and some say this is even common when assembling dado stacks.

The reason 10-inch stacks require a 1-inch arbour is because the amount of mass such a stack requires is crazy large, and 5/8ths is probably very close to unsafe operating conditions.

This means arbour adapters to fit larger 1-inch blades to the 5/8ths arbour would probably be a terrible idea. Mostly because it would probably work fine until something sudden and terrible happened involving freely spinning hunks of sharp carbide-tipped metal and table saw shrapnel.

As for an insert plate, it is always recommended to reduce the amount of free space around table saw cutters, but is probably not necessary in the ways most dados are cut. This is a safety item, so use your best judgment. If a larger offcut somehow made its way down the throat and jammed the blade, it is going for a heck of a ride in your general direction. There isn't a way of using dados that comes to mind that results in large offcuts, but (as they say) man makes plans and god laughs. You know your tool best.

You will have to remove most or all of the other critical safety items that came with your saw that manage kickback and so on, and your manual will recommend you immediately return those to service once done using dado sets.

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So what do people do? Do I buy an 8" dado set for the right arbor size? Or do I get an arbor adapter to use with a 10" set?

You do the former. 10” saws use 6” or 8” dado sets. 10” dado sets are for larger saws. Avoid so-called “wobble” cutters — those won’t cut a flat bottom and will just frustrate you. 6” dado stacks are OK if you’re on a budget or have a saw that lacks power, but 8” dado stacks are generally better. Freud makes a good set that costs around $90; DeWalt makes a nice set in the $140 range. You can spend a lot more than that if you want to, but either of the options I mentioned will produce very good results.

Do I also need a dado insert plate?

Yes. It should be easy to make your own, especially since the insert for the F2 is rectangular.

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  • While we don't "do" product recommendations here, I will note that I purchased a DeWalt dado set in the $150 range about a year ago and have been quite happy with it.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 3 at 19:03

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