Whether you are a master craftsman or a novice cabinet maker, a Dado cutter has the ability to provide you with perfect and consistent results. While it may be overwhelming to some (perhaps it’s the intimidating look and number of teeth, perhaps it’s the process needed to set up the blade correctly) once introduced to this type of cutter, you will surely discover the benefits of using this great tool.
Simply described, a Dado cut is a wide groove made in one piece of wood in order to join another piece. A Dado cut can be found everywhere: from the most advance museum pieces to the most basic shelf.
There are two types of Dado cutters and before you decide on which one may fit your work best, let's learn more about them and their differences.
Types of Dado Cutters:
1.Stacked Dado Set: Consists of inside and outside blades, inside chippers and shims which are used to fine-adjust the cutting width.
2.Wobble Blade: when sitting in the table saw, rather than spinning true, it is offset and wobbles. As it spins the blade moves back and forth at a very high speed, cutting away the material being passed through.
Advantages and Disadvantages to both types of cutters:
The advantage for a stacked Dado set is that when the cut is made you will see that the top of the dado is true, i.e. flat and perpendicular to the sides. For the wobble wheel, the cut will leave a slight cove. As the cut gets wider with the wobble blade, the cove will also become more pronounced and you will not achieve the tight fit you require.
As for the advantage to the wobble blade, there are less parts, less time needed to set up, as opposed to the stacked dado cutter.
At the end of the day, if you are cutting for accuracy and looking for a near perfect joint, the stacked dado set is your best choice.
When you purchase a stacked Dado set, it will come with directions and a chart. Keep this in a safe place; you will need it for the life of your blade. After a few uses, you will wonder why you ever used your router table!
Just like all tools and cuts, there are many other things you can do with a Dado cutter. Here we will show the most common uses for a Dado cutter.
The most common joints cut using a Dado blade are: