How To Use A Dado Blade

Dado blades can cut wood wider and more precisely than standard saw blades. That’s why it is a must-have tool for professional woodworkers or anyone interested in woodwork.

But you have to have the knowledge to use dado blades. This article will show you how to use a dado blade.

So, let’s dig in.

How Does A Dado Blades Function?

How Does A Dado Blades Function

Professional woodworkers use dado blades to get broader and more precise grooves while cutting wood. You can set them with your table saw. But remember, not all the table saws are compatible with dado blades.

Dado blades are of two types: stacked dado blades and wobble dado blades, but most woodworkers use stacked dado blades because of their unique design.

The stacked blade has two outer blades and several chipper blades attached like a sandwich. The outer blades are wider than the chipper blades and have a flat top.

On the other hand, chipper blades have various widths and convex shapes. All the outer and chipper blades are attached to an arbor, and you can adjust them according to your requirement.

While using a dado, chipper blades cut wood from the sides and make a square-shaped groove.

The outer blades will then cut the sides of the grooves and give your woodwork a final finished look. Dado blades are mostly used in making cabinets, shelves, and other furniture that have many joints.

How To Use A Dado Blades On Wood?

As you already know, not all table saws are compatible with dado blades. So, you have to ensure your table saw will accommodate dado blades. However, let’s see a step-by-step process of how to use dado blades on wood:

  • Firstly, set up your table saw and attach the dado blades. You will have to adjust the blade height according to the wood’s thickness.
  • Then, put the wood inside your saw. Place it securely so that it won’t move while cutting.
  • Make sure every security measure checks out, and there’s no chance of an unexpected event.
  • Now, turn on your table saw and push your wood stock as it is being cut. You can use a stick for pushing as it will keep your hand safe.
  • Let your dado blades cut slowly and steadily. Do not push the wood too hard, as it might hamper the cutting process.
  • Finally, turn off the saw and check whether your wood is cut correctly. Follow the same process again if you have to cut it again.

What To Consider When Using Dado Blades?

There are several things you have to consider while using dado blades. As they are different from regular table saw blades, you will have to keep your eyes open for several things.

Firstly, make sure the table saw you have is compatible with dado blades. Otherwise, you can’t use it.

You will have to use the right size of dado blades. They should be wide enough to be able to cut through the wood. So, adjust your blade with the right width.

You have to consider using the correct RPM according to your wood. Also, make sure all the safety measures are maintained.

Common Mistake & How Avoid Them

Common Mistake & How Avoid Them

People make many mistakes while cutting wood with dado blades. It makes their woodwork not up to the mark. So, here are some common mistakes people make and ways to avoid them:

Not Using The Right Size Blade

Many people fail to use the correct size dado blades for their woodwork. It can create a huge mess. So, you should be cautious about it and use the right size of dado blades according to your wood width, and table saw.

Not Setting The Blade & Wood Properly

You should set the dado blade and wood properly with your table saw. Otherwise, they might start moving while cutting. So, do not make this mistake and set both of them properly.

Not Adjusting Table Saw Fence

Quite a lot of people forget to adjust the fence before cutting, which can be dangerous. So, make sure you put up the fence and adjust it as needed.

Not Using Push Stick

Never use your hands to push the wood while cutting. It can cause an accident and do permanent harm to your body. So, try to use a push stick to push the workpieces into the blades.

Not Wearing Safety Gears

Many people neglect to wear safety equipment while working with dado blades or table saws. Since dado blades create chips, you should wear safety glasses, dust masks, gloves, and other safety gear.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Using Dado Blade

Now let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of using dado blades.


  • Dado blades provide wider and more precise grooves on wood materials.
  • You will get excellent cuts with smooth finishes from dado blades.
  • It offers various cuts, including dados, rabbets, etc.
  • You can use dado blades on table saws, miter saws, radial arm saws, etc.
  • Pretty easy to use for both beginners and experienced woodworkers.


  • Dado blades are more expensive than regular table saw blades.
  • They create a lot of chips and dust.
  • Not compatible with all table saws.
  • Not suitable for small wood stocks.

Safety Precautions When Using Dado Blades

You must follow some safety precautions while using dado blades. Let’s see what they are:

  • Never use a structurally damaged dado blade, as it can become hazardous when it starts rotating.
  • Make sure all the safety measures are in place.
  • Always use protective gear while using dado blades.
  • Turn off the main switch and disconnect the cable before cleaning the blade or adjusting its width or depth.


How deep should a dado be?

Dados can be deep between ¼ inches and ½ inches. However, the wood thickness heavily determines dados’ depth. It can be different for different materials as well.

Can you run a dado blade at an angle?

You can run dado blades at an angle. But you have to maintain the recommendation from the manufacturer while doing it.

Final Thoughts

Dado blades are incredibly beneficial. It will give you cuts that are not possible with other blades. They are easy to use and offer perfect dados and grooves, provided you have a bit of skill and practice.


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