Dado Blade 101: Everything You Need to Know

April 27, 2023

If you're a woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, you must have heard of the dado blade. A dado blade is a versatile cutting tool used to make slots or channels on wood. It is an essential component for woodworkers who want to make precise and accurate cuts.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the dado blade, including its types, how to use it, safety tips, and maintenance.

What is a Dado Blade?

A dado blade is a circular saw blade with two or more stacked blades that are used to create a groove or channel in wood. The grooves made by the dado blade are perfect for creating joints in woodworking, and they are a crucial aspect of building furniture, cabinetry, and shelves.

There are two basic types of dado blades: stacked dado set and wobble dado blade. The stacked dado set consists of two outer blades, several inner cutters, and adjustable spacers which enable users to set the width of the cut accurately. The wobble dado blade, on the other hand, has only one blade that wobbles to create the desired cut's width.

How to Use a Dado Blade

The use of a dado blade is straightforward, and it requires no prior experience. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Choose the Right Dado Blade

The first step to using a dado blade is to select the right blade for the job. The blade's diameter and width should match your saw, and the blade should be compatible with the wood you're working on.

Step 2: Adjust the Blade Height

Set the blade height to the desired depth of the cut. It is essential to set the height accurately to avoid damaging the wood or injuring yourself.

Step 3: Adjust the Blade Angle

If you're working on an angled piece of wood, adjust the blade angle accordingly. This will ensure that the dado cuts are made at the correct angle.

Step 4: Set the Fence

The fence helps to guide the wood through the blade accurately. Make sure the fence is set to the right distance from the blade to ensure the cuts are aligned correctly.

Step 5: Make the Cut

Turn on the saw and make the cut. Feed the wood slowly and steadily through the blade, making sure it stays in contact with the fence throughout the cut.

Safety Tips

Using a dado blade can be dangerous, especially if proper safety precautions are not taken. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Tip 1: Wear Protective Gear

Wear protective gear, including safety glasses, ear protection, and a dust mask, to protect yourself from dust and debris.

Tip 2: Keep Your Distance

Keep your hands and body a safe distance away from the saw blade while it's in operation. This will help prevent injuries in case of kickbacks.

Tip 3: Use a Push Stick

Use a push stick to guide the wood through the blade, keeping your hands away from the blade. This will help prevent your hands from accidentally contacting the blade.

Tip 4: Don't Force the Wood

Let the blade do the cutting, and don't force the wood through the blade. This will prevent the saw blade from binding, which can be dangerous.

Tip 5: Turn off the Saw Before Making Adjustments

Turn off the saw and unplug it from the power source before making any adjustments to the blade or fence. This will prevent accidental start-ups.


Proper maintenance of your dado blade is essential to ensure it stays sharp and functional for years to come. Here are some maintenance tips:

Tip 1: Clean the Blade

Clean the blade after each use to remove dust and debris. This will help prevent buildup, which can reduce its effectiveness.

Tip 2: Sharpen the Blade

Sharpen the blade regularly to maintain its cutting ability. You can use a file, honing stone, or blade sharpener to sharpen the blade.

Tip 3: Store the Blade Properly

Store the blade in a dry, clean place to prevent rusting and damage. You can use a blade storage box or canvas bag to store the blade.

Tip 4: Replace Worn Blades

Replace worn blades as needed to ensure your cuts are precise and accurate. Dull blades can also be dangerous as they can cause kickbacks and damage the wood.


In conclusion, a dado blade is an essential tool for any woodworker who wants to make precise and accurate cuts. By following the steps outlined in this article and taking the proper safety precautions, you can use a dado blade with confidence and achieve professional-looking joints in your woodworking projects. Remember to keep your blade maintained and always use it responsibly.



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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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