World’s Best Saw Blades
The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of people making good saw blades anymore. Part of that is due to people such as you. If someone does produce poor quality, it is exposed on the Internet.
Another factor is a more rigorous definition of what good quality means. You used to see saw blades on store shelves that would have runout of 0.008” or 0.010”. This is rare anymore. Now a retail blade should have a total runout of no more than 0.004” and many are down around 0.002”.
The blades Mr. Snook makes for us typically have a runout well under 0.001 inches but this is a pretty small difference for a lot of users.
Mr. Snook uses our advanced materials saw tips which cut cleaner and longer with less energy but, again, this is not a benefit that most users will see or appreciate.
Fortunately Mr. Snook and I are doing well in the industrial market. This is an area where wood cut is measured in miles instead of feet.
There really isn’t anything to replace steel in sawblades. You can alloy steel with nickel, chrome, vanadium and similar to make better saw plate. Warren Bird of California Knife and Saw make stainless steel saw plate that is considerably superior to ordinary saw plate but which is much more expensive.
One of the big problems with building better saws is that almost no one runs the saw it until it is used up. Weyerhaeuser once retipped one of their mill saws 50 times as an experiment. This doesn’t happen in real life. Much more commonly, in real life, the saw gets damaged or the steel loses its ability to hold tension.
Another consideration with saw steel is the cost of getting alloy steel that is homogenous enough and flat enough for saw plate. They don’t make any steel like that on the North American continent so it all has to be imported.
It is extremely difficult to try new steels on any sort of our production basis because the minimum order is 20 tons. So a significant test of a new steel means ordering 40,000 pounds. Plus it has to be shipped in sheets instead of rolled which adds to the cost.
As far as your Freud blades go, I’ve always been very impressed by their R&D department. It is pretty exciting to get a call from the head of Freud R&D saying he wants to buy one of my new sawblades. They are very competitive and do stay on top of the advances in the market.
Mr. Snook and I do well because we’re very small and we can afford to address a much smaller market than Freud can. So I invent saw tips that are little more expensive than carbide tips. Both Mr. Snooks are very, very good in every saw blade that leaves or shop has been individually made by a true master of the art. This is not something a major manufacture, such as Freud, can do so we have our own little niche and we are pretty happy there.
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