Brooks Tanner replies: Combination blades that I am familiar with usually give a poor cut and are usually relegated to carpentry, not cabinet or furniture work. They do have a purpose on the construction site, and I actually have one in my Skill saw. A general-purpose blade, however, is a different matter all together. A good general-purpose blade is the #1 blade used in my shop. But additional blades should be added for specific work.
The primary blades in my shop are as follows:
Good quality blades will give better performance and longer life. A cheap blade will cost time in sanding and will most likely dull faster. Cheaper blades also usually have smaller teeth which cannot be sharpened as many times.
Jon Siegel replies: No one likes changing blades. Manufacturers play on this fact, and advertise that their “combination” or “multi purpose” blades work well in every situation. Don’t believe it! Dedicated blades work best. Many woodworkers tell me they have trouble ripping thick stock, but they don’t own a rip blade. On a rip blade, every tooth is the same, perfectly flat (square) on the top, and there are a small number of teeth on the blade.
Bob LaCivita replies: I think having dedicated rip and crosscut blades is the better way to go in an idle world. I have worked in shops that use this system and the amount of time lost makes it inefficient. I use Forrest combination blades and they work well. If you have time, rip and crosscut blades is great. If not, go with a high quality combination blade.