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Thin-kerf blades aren't news. Fifty-tooth blades aren't news. But when I see a blade that cuts as well as the 50-tooth, thin-kerf Freud LU83R and sells for $45, that's news. It's a great price for a blade with such a high quality of cut. The LU83R combination blade uses a mix of alternate top-bevel and flat-top grind teeth and can be used for ripping and crosscutting. Combination blades sometimes mean a quality-of-cut compromise on both cuts. In the case of the LU83R, there is no compromise. Rip cuts, even in thick hardwood, are glassy smooth. Crosscuts are equally good. Even on such easy-to-chip material as melamine, the quality of cut isn't bad, although there are blades better suited for cutting melamine and plywood. Thin-kerf blades are perfect companions for contractor saws. But even on cabinet saws with plenty of power, a thin-kerf blade makes pushing material through the blade easier.

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