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I see that dado blade sets start around $40 and go up to $240+

I am wanting to get one as a gift for a friend that is helping me build a small bookshelf. The $40 is much closer to the price range I'd like to spend, but I don't want to get him something he won't use. Should I get him the $40 set or just a gift card to the local hardware store?

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    Is it me or both of your links goes to the same $240 set? On a side note, it's important to know which saw your friend has. Some saws are not made for 8" dado. Ideally, you also want to take a look at the length of the saw's arbor. Is it long enough to fit 3/4" of blade plus the lock nut? – Maxime Morin Aug 27 '15 at 1:24
  • @MaximeMorin fixed. Links were there.. but referenced incorrectly – Matt Aug 27 '15 at 1:27
  • @Matt Thanks, I didn't think of checking. :) – Maxime Morin Aug 27 '15 at 1:28
  • I'm putting this on hold because it's too vague (no definition of "decent"), is more or less a purchasing recommendation question, and answers are likely to be largely opinion-based. In its current form you could ask the question in chat, but it might be difficult to make this type of question suitable for the SE format. – rob Aug 27 '15 at 2:02
  • Since I can sneak in before this goes away, just get the gift card. A dado blade set is too hard to judge without mind reading skills. (Hint: I want the $240 one.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Aug 27 '15 at 4:32
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When I'm spending money I like to read the negative reviews on a product online. This tells me what is wrong with them and I can decide if the issues are something I can deal with or if it happens to be an 'unlikely' occurrence.

Now with a dado set, the first question would be how much would they likely be using them, and what quality of tools do they normally buy? I have a $240 set sitting on my wishlist at Amazon, because it rated very high and was a high quality set. It's been on there for 4-6 years. So while that is the set I would really like, as long as the set isn't crap, I would likely be happy with a much cheaper set. The big thing is will I have to replace it after some medium use? I also generally avoid (after experience) buying the cheapest of any tool, as I usually end up buying another one not too much later.

So the point is: know your person. Some care very much about what tools they get; others, not so much. If he doesn't have a set, then he might really appreciate them, but he might also be saving up for a nice set and if that was the case getting him a gift card to help might be the best solution. Ultimately, asking him which he would prefer might be the safest option.

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    Expanding on as long as set isn't crap: Precision is also worth mentioning here. The stack in the cheaper one might have different widths and (you would hope) the more expensive one would be more precise. So it depends on the work they are going to do as well. – Matt Aug 27 '15 at 1:29
  • Another concern: Nominally 8" dado sets vary a bit in actual radius from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some saws are less tolerant of that than others. – keshlam Sep 2 '15 at 1:36

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