nwwlogo

NewMetalworker.com  -  NWW on YouTube  - Donate
  

Click Here!

Infinity Tools Dadonator is the most accurate stacked dado set I have ever used. Read on and see why.
Click image to enlarge

The Dadonator

8" Stacked Dado Set

Text & photos by Tom Hintz

New from Infinity Tools is the Dadonator 8" stacked dado set featuring 24-tooth outer blades and 6-tooth chippers. Infinity Tools' plan was to produce a stacked dado set with high-end performance but a moderate price. An admirable plan, pulled off even in today's tough manufacturing climate.

Initial Impressions

   Right from the box, the Dadonator looks very well made from first rate materials. The Dadonator comes bolted between two pieces of plywood to prevent the blades from banging into each other in shipping and to prevent damage to the carbide teeth.

   One of the first things you notice about the Dadonator is its weight. The full stack weighs in at a hefty 8 ½ pounds, a necessary evil when dependable design is mated with quality materials. The weight will only be a concern on very low powered saws that probably should not be using an 8" stacked dado in the first place.

Carbide Teeth

(Top) The steep angle (Alternate Tooth Bevel) on the teeth is one reason the Dadonator cuts so cleanly.
(Bottom) Six toothed, short-armed chippers help the Dadonator cut very flat, almost polished dado bottoms.
Click images to enlarge

  The teeth on the Dadonator are carved from ultra fine grained C4 carbide, a material known for its ability to take a finely sharpened edge and holding that edge through extensive use.

   The outside blades feature the Alternating Tooth Bevel (ATB) pattern common on modern saw blades. The ATB pattern presents angled cutting edges that slice rather than shear the wood fibers. The result is very smooth cuts with substantially reduced chipping along the edges. The Dadonator uses a relatively steep 20-degree angle in its ATB pattern to maximize the slicing effect. This design feature pays dividends when cutting dados in veneer materials.

   An unusual feature of the Dadonator is the 6-tooth chipper design. Four-tooth chippers is the norm, probably because it is easier and cheaper to manufacture. The Dadonator's 6-tooth chippers cut smoother and with more teeth taking smaller bites, require less horsepower to maintain blade speed. Combined with the 24-tooth ATB outer blades the 6-tooth chippers produce exceptionally square, smooth bottomed dados.

Fitting the Saw

The arbor holes in the Dadonator blades are very close fitting to help prevent the blades from hanging out-of-line with the others, and cutting an uneven dado. This groove, larger on many saws, can trap a chipper body lower than the rest.
Click image to enlarge

   The Dadonator is designed to fit the popular 5/8" arbor and does so very closely. In fact, the Dadonator's arbor holes are so close the blades are difficult to install if they are not held square to the arbor. A looser arbor fit is cheaper to manufacture but can allow individual blades to "hang" slightly out of line with each other, cutting a rough-bottomed dado.

Dado Width

   The Dadonator has a width range of ¼" to 29/32" using combinations of the included blades. The Dadonator set includes two 1/8" outer blades, four 1/8", one 3/32" and one 1/16" chipper. Each chipper has its size engraved on the body to make setups easier. When fine tuning the stack is necessary, a color-coded set of plastic shims (two 0.020" (yellow), two 0.010" (black) and two 0.005" (orange)) are included.

   A word of caution: When using any stacked dado set at the wider configurations the amount of arbor shaft remaining outside of the blades can be small. Most saw manufacturers tell us that while it is best to use the large flange washer along with the arbor nut, it is more important for the nut to be fully threaded onto the shaft to adequately secure the blades. At least one full thread should show through the arbor nut when the assembly is tightened. If necessary, leave the washer off and use the nut alone.

Instructions

   Infinity Tools provides an easy to understand instruction sheet with each Dadonator.

   A setup chart showing the combination of blades and chippers needed to build a wide range of dado widths is also included. This chart will get you close to most wood thicknesses and then the included shims are used to fine tune the width as necessary. Smart woodworkers will keep notes listing the final stack and shim combinations used for common wood thicknesses.

In The Shop

I cut this dado at an angle so we could see the floor and sides. They are perfect, and ready for glue!
Click image to enlarge

   The true test of the Dadonator would be the quality of the dados it cuts. I installed the Dadonator in my Jet contractor saw at varying widths and cut dados in several kinds of wood.

Note: The Dadonator was also used extensively in my subsequent Delta Contractor saw with equally good results.

Regardless of the width or depth set, the Dadonator cut cleanly and easily.

   Though my 1 ½ horsepower motor required an extra half second or so to get the full 8 ½ pound stack up to speed there was no appreciable loss of rpm while making 29/32"-wide by ½"-deep cuts in oak and hard maple. As expected, the flywheel effect of the full-stack weight extended coast down time somewhat when the saw was shut off.

   One of the first things I noticed when the Dadonator came up to speed is that it's balance is exceptional. Even though there was 8 ½ pounds of Dadonator spinning, there was no discernable vibration in the saw. Throughout the testing with several stack configurations, no vibration was felt.

Accuracy and Cut Quality

   The Dadonator is the most accurate stacked dado set I have ever used. Regardless of the stack width, the resulting dados measured about 0.005" oversize. Considering that my fence is out of alignment by about 0.001" and the arbor is out of parallelism by about the same amount and that both add to the width of the dado, most of that 0.005" error can be attributed to the saw. The Dadonator is cutting dados that are nearly perfect in width.

(Top) Even cutting a 29/32"-wide dado in oak veneer plywood the Dadonator produced a remarkably clean, chip-free cut.
(Bottom) If you cut tenons on the table saw, the Dadonator will handle the job with ease.
Click images to enlarge

   This level of accuracy means that once familiar with the amount of error the saw adds, setting the Dadonator up for very specific cut widths is easy. Cutting a sample to check the stack width is still a smart idea but the number of those test cuts will be drastically reduced.

   The sides of the dados cut with the Dadonator are very clean, square to the bottom surface and the juncture of the two lacks the irritating "ears" lesser dado sets leave behind.

   The bottom of a dado is crucial to how the pieces of a project go together. With the Dadonator there is no need for additional dado preparation, just add glue and assemble.

   The Dadonator's performance was so clean I began looking for ways to trip it up. When I came across a piece of oak veneer plywood I thought I had found it.

   With the full Dadonator stack (29/32"-width) installed and set for a 3/8"-depth, I made a cut in the piece of veneer plywood. I chose an unfinished piece because dried finish material often locks smaller veneer fibers together and helps the veneer resist chipping or tearing out. The Dadonator cut a square flat-bottomed dado with no chipping along the unfinished edge.

   Using the same 29/32" stack width I also cut dados in solid oak, maple and common pine. Regardless of whether the cut ran with, across, against or diagonal to the grain, the dados were the same; flat, square and with no chipping.

Conclusions

   The Infinity Tools Dadonator is a top-quality stacked dado set that performs as well as or better than sets costing much more. The combination of quality materials and class workmanship in a well-engineered dado cutter means this set will perform very well for years to come.

   If you need to add a stacked dado set to your shop, or are just tired of dealing with the one you have, it will be worth your while to check out the Infinity Tools Dadonator. It is easy to spend more but I doubt you will ever beat the quality and accuracy the Dadonator will bring to your shop.

   The best news of all is that Infinity is selling the Dadonator for around $180.00! Check the link below for the Dadonator page on the Infinity Tools web site.

Dadonator Info

Do you have a comment about this page? - Email Me!

Back to the Tool Reviews List

 

 


All NewWoodworker.com Custom Plan Sets, written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by NewWoodworker.com LLC 2000-2014. Materials may not be used in any way without the written permission of the owner.
Privacy Statement