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Bosch Professional Series Woodworking Blades
Pro quality at everyday prices
Text & Photos by Tom Hintz
Bosch has a solid reputation with woodworkers for producing quality, well-designed tools. Their new Professional Series circular blades show that tradition is alive and well. In this review, we look at 6 of the 23 blades that make up the Bosch Professional Series line.
All of the Bosch Professional Series blades feature laser-cut, 0.086"-thick bodies that are specially hardened before a tension ring is formed that prevents distortions during use. Specially designed expansion slots are cut into the bodies that reduce noise and limit heat-induced warping while increasing cooling of the blade while cutting. The 5/8"-diameter arbor hole is precisely sized to eliminate play at the arbor shaft that could initiate vibrations and the poor cut performance that produces.
The Bosch Professional Series blades have a special anti-friction coating that helps resist pitch and other buildups that can make a blade run hot and cut poorly.
Bosch is one of a small number of companies that actually manufacture the carbide material used to make woodworking teeth and cutters. That expertise is evidenced by the use of their patented Dyanite™ C4, micrograin carbide to make the teeth on all of the Bosch Professional Series blades. This super-tough carbide material allows the teeth to stay sharp up to six times longer than normal. The teeth on each blade are designed for specific uses and made oversize to allow multiple sharpening that extends the life of the blade.
The carbide teeth on the Bosch Professional Series blades are attached to the body using a Bosch exclusive Tri-Metal brazing that is extremely strong and adds a cushioning layer between the tooth and body that helps absorb shock loads encountered during cuts.
Each Bosch Professional Series blade comes in a heavy canvas carry/storage case that protects the investment when not in use or sending to the sharpener. The case has a hangar, has room for two blades and has pockets for associated items such as wrenches, shims and more. A pair of snaps and two hook and loop closures keep the case shut.
The blades are secured to a stud with a two-sided plastic nut that has "Sharp" printed on one side and "Sharpen" on the other. The nut/indicator is visible through a window on the front of the closed case.
In addition to identifying the blade and its use, the label on each case has a series of icons that depict specific characteristics such as the tooth design, kerf width, hook angle and the types of machines the blade is compatible with.
PRO1040GP – 10", 40-tooth
With teeth arranged in a repeating ATB (Alternate Tooth Bevel) pattern, all with a 15-degree hook angle, this blade makes very smooth cuts in rip or cross cut modes in all types of wood, including very soft pine with little or no chipping. The kerf width is 0.128".
The PRO1040GP is suitable for use on table, radial arm and power miter saws.
I put the PRO1040GP through a full range of the test cuts, plus left it installed on my table saw for general use in my shop. Regardless of the cut direction, the PRO1040GP produced smooth, burn-free cuts with a brisk feed rate. Minimal chipping was noticed only on exit from cheap pine. Though not designed for it, I cut some melamine-covered material and noticed a small amount of almost imperceptible chipping along the cut. In poplar, oak and walnut, the cuts, including the exit were very clean.
The street price for the PRO1040GP is $44.77 (9-8-2005).
A special alternating ATB tooth layout followed by a single flat raker tooth produces exceptionally smooth cuts in all types of wood, including laminates. Noticeably deep gullets separate each group of teeth to enhance clearing dust from the kerf which helps keep blade temperatures down. The feed rate is slightly slower than the PRO1040GP but still feels faster than other combination blades I have used. The 10-degree hook angle is less aggressive and contributes to very smooth cuts with sharp, clean edges. Kerf width is 0.128".
The PRO1050COMB is suitable for use on table, radial and miter saws.
At first glance, the PRO1050COMB looks very aggressive because of the deep gullets but in use, it is a smooth performer that makes very clean cuts with or across grain. Cutting laminate-covered MDF produced near perfect edges as well. Surprisingly, feed rate seemed to approximate the PRO1040GP with no burning.
The street price for the PRO1050COMB is $52.43 (9-8-2005).
The combination of deep gullets and flat top teeth set at an aggressive 20-degree hook angle makes this an exceptional ripping blade. In all materials tried, the PRO1024RIP cut surprisingly fast yet left glue-ready edges. Chipping and burning simply are not a problem if the saw is aligned properly. Kerf width is 0.128".
The PRO1024RIP is suitable for use on table, radial and miter saws though it really shines on the table saw.
Ripping thick or thin pieces of pine to oak went smoothly with a fast but controllable feed rate. The PRO1024RIP remained surprisingly cool even through repeated 8-foot-long rips in 11/16"-thick oak. I made a few cross cuts which the PRO1024RIP handled fine but it would be a waste to use this as a combination blade.
The street price for the PRO1024RIP is $41.17 (9-10-2005).
This blade features an ATB tooth arrangement, designed to prevent chipping and splintering when cutting fragile veneer plywood. The ATB tooth layout and 10-degree hook angle produce very smooth cuts in virtually any kind of wood. Kerf width is 0.128".
The PRO1060FIN is suitable for use on table, radial arm and power miter saws.
I used the PRO1060FIN on my table saw and cut everything from bargain pine to oak veneer ply. Straight rips, cross cuts and miters were very clean with no sign of chipping or splintering with the exception of small splinters on exit from the pine. Considering the quality of the pine, it is easy to assume the blade works fine and the wood is junk.
The street price for the Bosch PRO1060FIN is $57.77 (8-29-2005).
A unique combination of flat and beveled-corner tooth grinds with a negative 10-degree hook angle make this a truly chip-free laminate blade that cuts just as clean in Melamine and fragile veneer plywood. The cut edge produced is exceptionally clean and glue ready. Kerf width is 0.120".
The PRO1080LAM is suitable for use on table, radial and miter saws.
If you cut laminate, Melamine or veneer plywood, the PRO1080LAM will have a positive impact on your work. The edges left by this blade are sharp, clean and chip free regardless of the underlying grain. We tried many angles and directions of cut, all with the same, super-clean results. Despite the non-aggressive negative hook angle, feed rate seemed more like a combination blade than a fine-toothed laminate design.
The street price for the Bosch PRO1080LAM is $72.23 (9-9-2005).
Pairs of ATB teeth, followed by a flat-topped tooth, all at a 0-degree hook angle makes the PRO1072SM highly efficient, clean cutting and controllable on radial arm and sliding miter saws. This tooth design reduces the "pull" on stock when making high-angle miter cuts, increasing accuracy. Kerf width is 0.118".
The PRO1072SM is suitable for use on radial arm and sliding miter saws.
Mounted on my Bosch 4410L SCMS, the PRO1072SM performed flawlessly in whatever species of wood it cut. Square, high-angle miters and combination miter/bevels were cut easily with exceptionally clean edges. Even steep bevel cuts are made with no tendency of the saw to "walk" forward or burn the edges.
The street price for the Bosch PRO1072SM is $80.89 (9-9-2005).
All of the Bosch Professional Series blades in this review were tested on my Delta # table saw, fitted with a zero clearance insert. Prior to making any cuts, each blade was checked for runout with the largest deviation noted being 0.002", measured at the base of the gullets on the Pro1024RIP blade. In the real world, that rates somewhere little average and nothing.
The anti-friction coating works as advertised or better as no buildup was noted on any of the blades during testing. Varying the feed rate slightly with each blade had no visible effect on the quality or smoothness of the cuts produced. This can be important for new woodworkers that have yet to develop the "feel" for the rate a blade is happy with.
Though all of the blades made extensive cuts during testing, the PRO50COMB was used for all other shop work. After an estimated 200 feet of cutting, there was no evident dulling of the carbide teeth or slowing of the feed rate.
The street prices of the Bosch Professional Series blades puts them below most other premium blades on the market but their performance at least equals that of the higher priced models.
Having specialty blades for ripping, cross cutting or working with laminates is somewhat more expensive but when you need the highest quality of cut possible for your projects, the Bosch Professional Series blades will provide that performance and save money in the process. Being able to re sharpen these blades makes them an even better value.
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