CMT knows you don’t always want to use the same blades for outdoor construction and other rough work that you do for fine woodworking. With that in mind, the company’s new ITK label contractor blades offer an inexpensive yet tough working way to take care of framing, decking and other chores outside the shop. Blades in the series include a 7-1⁄4″ 24-tooth framing/decking blade, 7-1⁄4″ 40-tooth finishing blade, 24-tooth finishing blade in both 10″ and 12″ versions, 40-tooth general purpose blades in both 10″ and 12″, and 60-tooth finishing/plywood blades in both 10″ and 12″. Pricing starts at about $18.50 for individual blades, while the 7-1⁄4″ blades also sell in 10- packs starting at $78 per box.
Moving back inside the shop, CMT’s new box and finger-joint dado set creates perfect slots in two common sizes. The 8″ set features a pair of identical blades, each with 24 teeth. Use a single blade to make 1/4″ cuts, or put both blades together and they mesh to create 3/8″ slots for box joints or finger joints, or narrow rabbets. No shimming is required when using two blades, but shims are included in the set that will compensate down the road after repeated sharpening. The set sells for about $110 as of 2011.