Fans on the Terminator movie series might warm to the name
of Infinity Tools' newest 8-inch stacked dado set - the Dadonator. I sure
hope to never get have my hands get too close to that spinning blade with
a name like that! The Dadonator is manufactured in Italy according to
Jokes aside, we had the
opportunity to review this new set which certainly looked impressive on
paper after reading the details of the set on the company's website.
Readers may recall we reviewed some of the router bits from the Infinity
range not too long ago and they performed very well. You can view that
here if you are interested.
I must say, the packaging of the Dadonator is a little unconventional,
although appropriate. The two dado sets I currently own (a Freud SD208 and
Oldham Woodworkers Dado set) come in formed heavy plastic carry cases,
which often intrigues me... I mean, how often do you need to take your
dado set out of the workshop that warrants a carry case? I guess it
depends if you are a contractor or not. However, these cases also double
as protection for the blades during shipping and transport and also house
them nicely to prevent damage on the shelf, so I won't go too overboard
The Dadonator ships in a fairly sturdy cardboard box,
and the blades are sandwiched between two pieces of of ply, held together
by screw and nut. A little different, but as long as the blades arrive in
top condition, which they did, I'm not overly concerned with the packaging
method employed, however, it is worth mentioning.
The Dadonator Set
The set is comprised of 2 x 24-tooth outer blades and 6 x 6-tooth
chippers. Let's take a closer look at the outer blades first...
Each has 24 teeth as mentioned above. Each tooth is made
of C4 grade carbide. This carbide material is dense in its form, i.e. the
particles in C-4 carbide are often smaller and more condensed to provide a
more durable material. C4 will last longer than lower grade carbide found
on cheaper saw blades and it will hold a sharp edge ensuring cleaner cuts
over a longer time frame. Not only are the teeth of high quality material
but the dado set itself carries a fair amount of weight. It is much
heavier than my other two dado sets, weighing in at around eight pounds,
according to my bathroom scales. Like saw blades of many kinds, you can
run your finger carefully across the teeth and find out almost instantly
whether a blade is sharp or dull. It gives you that sensation, or warning
in your finger tips that if you push down any harder, danger is imminent.
This is the feeling I got when running my fingers across the Dadonator's
beveled teeth. In fact, I managed to earn a small cut on one of my fingers
while installing the set one particular time. Not much room to move in
most table saws if you have larger than average hands!
Speaking of beveled teeth, the Dadonator employs an
alternate top bevel grind (ATB). What is it? It simply means that every
second (alternate) tooth is beveled at an angle, in this case, 20 degrees.
Instead of a blade 'chipping' or 'punching' its way through on a
non-beveled tooth, the sharp angled beveled teeth will actually slice
through the material. The end result is a cleaner, smoother cut, with less
splintering or chipout. The gullet of the blade is sufficiently large to
avoid debris interference during a cut.
The hook angle on the teeth is set at -5 degrees. This
is an extremely important factor when it comes to dado blades in my
opinion. Hook angles can vary greatly depending on the type of saw blade.
Ripping blades often have a positive hook angle (tooth tilted forward)
which actually pulls the wood into the saw blade to some degree. On the
Dadonator, the -5 degree angle (teeth slightly tilted backwards) means the
blade will have little or no tendency to pull the workpiece into the
blade. This gives the user maximum control over the workpiece, a vital
safety aspect on a blade you do not want to be getting hand near to begin
with. Good to see some common sense and performance features being mixed
into the equation.
The set itself is 8" in diameter. I have never had a
need for anything larger. You can get 10" sets but the price skyrockets.
6" sets are also common and good for lower powered says (under 1.5 HP). 8"
is a happy medium between price and functionality. Larger diameters allow
you to create deeper dados for special applications. I guess you never
know when you might need that extra 2" so I'd always suggest an 8" set if
the budget allows and your saw has enough horsepower to handle it.
The bore on the set is a standard 5/8" arbor size which
the majority of table saws possess. Mine certainly does thankfully! The
stated max RPM is 7,000 which again should conform to the specs of most
The Dadonator set includes 6 chipper blades. Each chipper has 6 teeth.
This is generally not the norm with dado sets. On my other sets, one has 2
teeth on each chipper and the other has 4 teeth. I guess 6 teeth gives you
more carbide for your dollar, which is a good thing. The extra teeth also
allow your blade to remove the material in the middle of the dado more
efficiently, cause less drain on your motor and ensures each chipper tooth
works much less harder than say a 2-tooth chipper, which will complete
substantially more work per tooth during the cut. Good value for money is
Each chipper is marked with its body thickness indicated
on the blade. The set comes with 4 x 1/8", 1 x 1/16" and 1 x 3/32"
chippers (for undersized plywood width setting). Along with the included
shims which come in widths from 0.005" to 0.020", the Dadonator can be
accurately set to cut a wide variety of widths from 1/4" right through to
29/32". I have yet to come across a situation where a dado larger than
29/32" has been needed in general woodworking and cabinetmaking tasks (for
me at least), so this particular set should suit most in the market.
In the Shop...
Ok, from the text above you should now have a pretty good idea of the
makeup and features of the Dadonator set. Now let me describe my
experience using it.
Firstly, I make it a habit of always using my splitter
and blade guard whenever possible, but naturally, standard guards have to
be removed from the tablesaw to use a dado set. If you have a bit of extra
cash, you can invest in an overhead blade guard which will provide a
reminder not to get your hands too close. I do not have one yet, but am
looking at investing in one at some stage soon. So the first step for me
was to remove the guard and splitter from my saw. This is a single
assembly on my saw and it only takes a few screw turns to remove it. You
cannot use splitters with a dado blade. I switched the standard blade
insert to my standard metal dado blade insert I received with the saw. I
can hear some saying right now "Where's your zero-clearance insert?".
Well, I have yet to make one for this set and chose to use the standard
insert so I could get a very good idea of how well the Dadonator can avoid
chipout or splintering in the cuts.
So in goes the dado set with the outside blade first. It
is a very snug fit and you will have to exercise vigilance in trying to
get the blade squared up to the arbor as you slide it on. A snug fit is
good by the way. If it's a loose fit, it can affect the results, producing
bottoms that are not very flat at all. I began with a 1/4" dado which is
set using just the two outer blades. 1/4" dados are commonly used for
drawer bottoms among other things. Ensure your teeth are not going to
damage each other by sitting one teeth in the gullet of the other blade. I
made a few passes in some MDF to see how we went. As you can see from the
pictures on the right, results were exceptional in MDF. A perfect, flat
bottomed dado with zero chipout on the exit face. I slotted in a second
piece of MDF to check fit, but on closer inspection of the MDF, it turned
out to be a fraction less than 1/4" in thickness, and hence the small
error noted in the photos. It is still a good fit however, and no fault of
the set itself.
Adding in a couple 1/8" chippers and the Dadonator was
now set at 1/2" width. Time to run some ply through, both in the middle of
a ply layer, and right on a layer join. Both results were excellent.
Naturally, the dado milled on the join of two ply layers was not as
polished as the dado in the middle of a layer, but nothing you would not
expect here. Again, reference the photo in the right column. Here we had
an exact 1/2" width piece of ply and it matched our 1/2" dado perfectly. A
nice snug fit. Not too tight, and not too lose. With a little glue, that
would form a very strong joint indeed.
Another couple of chippers later and we ran a few 3/4"
passes in both hardwood and softwood. I couldn't run dados at the set's
maximum width of 29/32" because quite frankly, at 3/4" the blades and
arbor washer/nut consumed the length of my tablesaw's arbor shaft. I
always make sure my arbor nut has enough thread for a good lock and 3/4"
is the maximum I will go on my saw for my own safety. The results were
most visible and impressive with our 3/4" dado passes. Softwoods like pine
ran through with no problem at all. While the picture on the right doesn't
quite show it, the bottom of the dado had a polished look and feel to it.
Light was reflecting well from it which is a sure sign of a smooth finish.
I was quite impressed with the results in hardwood as well, as this same
finish was replicated even across the grain with no chipout in sight.
Using the shims we were also able to adjust the dado
width to match just about any thickness we needed. Apart from cutting
dados as we need them in the shop now, my only other task left is to make
that zero clearance insert for the set, although I am not sure I need it!
While many class flat bottomed dados as a sign of quality, I like to
see nice smooth sides and an absence of dado 'ears' with zero chipout in
my results book as well and I was happy to record those very results with
this set. The Dadonator is attempting to break into a competitive market.
At US$179.90, the price is competitive with other popular brands, however,
is it the best dado set on the market today? Well, I haven't tried
every set on the market, so I can't tell you the answer to that question.
The first dado set I owned was a Freud SD208. I bought it on sale for
around US$80 and it does an excellent job for the asking price. I also
have another set which is not in the same league as the Dadonator. What is
different about the Dadonator is that is cuts well. continues to cut well
after our rigorous testing, and produces the best polished flat bottom
dados I have seen is a set so far, and I've seen the results of more sets
than the three I currently own. The Dadonator is easily the best set in my
shop and the one I will be turning to when clean, precise, accurate dados
are needed for my next woodworking project.
Although I have tried, it is difficult to find fault
with this set. To get perfect results straight out of the box with minimal
fuss, set up time or steep learning curves is a rare thing. It is good to
see there are some products out there going far beyond many woodworker's
expectations. The Dadonator is one of them. Kudos to the folks at Infinity
Tools for producing such a fine product.
Infinity USA Website -
Available In Australia:
Infinity "Dadonator" Photos
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written permission prohibited
Packaging is a little unconventional, but it's what's inside that
The "Dadonator" I better keep my fingers well away from this one!
C4 Carbide teeth with steep angles allow smooth, clean cuts on the
A range of varying-width 6-tooth chippers make up the set.
Setting the 2 outer blades gives a 1/4 inch width dado. Great for those
Adding in a couple chippers, you can easily get a 1/2" dado...
Or adding even more chippers for a 3/4" dado, or anything in between.
Faultless! The Dadonator easily handles MDF with zero chipout, even
without a zero clearance insert.
Nice flat bottom. You can expect a slight width error at times however,
as in this case, our 1/4" MDF is not actually a 1/4" in width. The
Dadonator was exactly 1/4" when checked with a ruler and calipers.
Plywood with the grain, or against the grain... Again. no problem at
all. Quite an impressive set.
Difficult to see if this shot, but this 3/4" dado gave an almost
polished, flat bottom finish. Almost a shame to fill the dado with wood!