The Final Cut Saw Blade
A saw-blade that does double duty, and more, by integrating a built-in sanding function.
By Mark Clement
The Final Cut
Here’s one from my “Born on the Jobsite File” — the Final Cut Saw Blade Solution.
It looks ingeniously simple to me, which usually means it’ll stand the test of time — and the laser beam eyes — of conscientious carpenters. According to Final Cut Blades, their solution delivers installation-ready cross-and rip-cut pieces. To me this means it not only saves money, but can increase production and quality at the same time. This is the triumvirate that always triangulates to win the Clement Award.
The Final Cut solution is so simple too — it’s either the Final Cut Blade itself or Final Cut discs you can adhere to your own blades. And what it does, according to the company, is one of those “greater than the sum of its parts” situations.
When you install the Final Cut sandpaper on the blade plates you essentially add a disc sanding function to its cutting action. What this means, especially for woodworkers and higher-end carpenters, is that you no longer have to send a ripped piece through the jointer to clip off the saw-blade swirls — which show up like a neon-lit loser-badge if you don’t sand or joint them out. If you’re book-matching plywoods or solid stock in a woodworking application, you just saved a lot of steps. Primo!
Final Cut Blades also says that miter cuts are also highly tuned and very easy to close. I double love it!
Here’s something else: say you’ve cut a cabinet filler or door casing just a hair too long. Forget about trying to line up the piece in the saw and clip “half a blade” off. Leave the saw blade in the down position, turn it on, then press the work to the paper. This sands — not cuts — the 1/16 or 1/32 of an inch off. There’s no tear out to worry about either.
And here’s another thing: because the paper (its 100 grit) tunes the work so nicely, you don’t need to use a hundred dollar plus blade (anybody who buys high quality blades for their tools feels that pinch in the pocket book). This means you can use a blade with fewer teeth, which creates less heat, which means the blade last longer. How great is that?
The Final Cut paper looks simple to install. And you can get various sizes for various saw blades. You can even get a Final Cut Blade with paper already loaded on. Nice.
Mark Clement is a remodeler and author of The Carpenter’s Notebook and The Kid’s Carpenter’s Workbook, Fun Family Projects! Check out his books and current projects at his new website.
The Final Cut Saw Blade
About.com Rating fourhalf out of Five
By Chris Baylor
The Bottom Line
The Final Cut Saw Blade is an idea that I’m surprised nobody thought of before now. The premise is simple: adhesive-backed sandpaper applied to both sides of the saw blade, so that both sides of the stock are sanded at the same time the stock is cut.
When I first learned of the Final Cut, I had a few questions: Does it really work? Does the sandpaper tear off or wear down within a few cuts? What happens when the sandpaper eventually does wear down?
Well, the Final Cut responded to all these questions with flying colors. It worked so well, that it would be hard to go back to a regular blade after using the Final Cut.
Makes miter joints nearly invisible, as the sanding perfectly matches the angle of the cut
Can be used on miter saw, table saw or radial arm saw (with a deep cut)
Helps reduce kick-back and binding of saw blade
Currently only available in 7 1/4″, 10″, and 12″ sizes
Blade only available as 40-tooth and Sanding disks as 100-grit paper
Works great for moldings, particularly crown molding. If the cut angle is precise, the finished joint is nearly invisible.
Sanding disks are on both sides of the blade, so both sides of the cut get sanded.
Additional sanding disks are available, and can be trimmed to fit any size of saw blade.
Guide Review – The Final Cut Saw Blade
The Final Cut Saw Blade is a combination of a 40-tooth, .104″ kerf carbide tipped blade and a 100-grit adhesive sanding disc on each side of the blade. This actually means that the sanding portion of the blade assembly is thicker than the kerf of the saw blade.
This has some benefits: not only does the sandpaper engage the cut fully and sand effectively, but it helps keep the blade from binding during the cut (which drastically helps reduce dangerous kickback).
It also raised a concern for me: if the sandpaper is wider than the kerf of the cut, wouldn’t the sandpaper simply get ripped off the blade by the wood as it’s being cut? I was surprised to see that this wasn’t an issue. I made a substantial number of cuts using the Final Cut, and didn’t see any fraying of the edges of the sanding discs at all.
While the body of the cuts were a lot smoother using the Final Cut, the benefit I didn’t expect was that tearout along the edges of the stock appeared to be considerably reduced as well. While I’d like to see some other options available (particularly a finer blade with some finer grit paper for finish work), the results with this current setup was very good.
It appears that the Final Cut Saw Blade is currently only available at their website, www.finalcutblade.com, but they also sell sanding discs that can be used with other sizes of blades (such as 12″ or 7-1/4″ circular saw blades). These sanding discs can be cut down to fit almost any size of blade. For the best results, try to use on a blade that is as close as possible to the .104″ kerf blade offered by Final Cut.