I have to admit I was a little surprised to see a Freud blade – a red one, no less – awarded Top Tool honors in a class with the Forrest WW II and Infinity Super General. Honestly, I wasn’t aware Freud had a premium class general purpose blade like the Premier Fusion P410. When I thought of a red Freud blade, what came to mind was Home Depot, Lowe’s and Diablo.
I stand corrected! This offering from Freud deserves to be in the high-end class and definitely deserved to beat out the Forrest in Wood Magazine’s testing of twenty-eight 10 inch GP blades. While it didn’t get quite as many “A” grades as the Infinity, it’s the only blade tested that got one for no chip-out in Melamine. And that’s not an easy task.
The Premier Fusion’s Design
Freud has incorporated all the latest technology in designing the Premier Fusion. Such as computer designed anti-vibration slots filled with a polymer material, a 30° Hi-ATB tooth bevel and tips ground on both sides for smoother cuts. The tips are made of high-density carbide with titanium and on a scale of impact resistance to hardness, Freud shows it right in the middle. (Too far to the hardness side and it’s too brittle, for example.)
And then there’s that signature red coating Freud calls Perma-SHIELD®. Whether it really makes much difference where friction is concerned, I’m not sure – when the tips are wider than the blade body is thick, the plate shouldn’t be rubbing against the wood anyway. But I am sure it makes the blade more rust resistant and easier to keep clean.
How The Premier Fusion Grades Out
As I mentioned, the Freud Premier Fusion bested the Forrest Woodworker II, the blade that’s been considered the industry standard and has long been the best selling blade in this category. The only blade it didn’t beat was the Infinity Super General, the one it shared Top Tool honors with.
The buyer reviews on Amazon are convincing, too. Twenty-one 5 Star ratings out of 33 and comments like “Woodworker II has met its match” and “Best of the best”.
Now, where this gets interesting, is Wood Magazine put four blades in the over $97 category, including the Premier Fusion. And they showed a price of $100 for the Freud. But the reality today is that you can pick up this great blade for about $80 through Amazon.com (as of 4/22/11) and it qualifies for free shipping besides. So, not only does it cut better, quieter and with less vibration than the Forrest, you can buy it for $20-25 less!
(By the way, the Premier Fusion is also available in 8″, 12″ and 14″ and Amazon has all sizes.)