Forrest sharpening service - suprising results

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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Unfortunately for me, the results are not surprising in a good way :no:

First, a little background. I have a Dewalt 7640, which is a 50t combination blade that was compared favorably with the WWII a few years back (2005?) - not better than the WWII, as I recall, but in the same league. I paid about $50 for it and could not be happier with the price/performance. It leaves a very smooth finish on the common hardwoods I work with (oak, walnut, cherry). I need to do very little scraping/sanding to prepare the cut surfaces for finishing. It gets light use in my workshop - only because my time in the workshop is scarce. I noticed it's been requiring a little more effort to cut recently, and there is visible buildup on the teeth. I considered cleaning it, but decided this would be a good time to send it in for sharpening. Since I would need something to use while it was out, I picked up Delta 7657 (40t combination blade) in the group buy from Cripe. I got out the Delta and made some test cuts with it and my Dewalt on a chunk of walnut for comparison and then labeled them so I could compare with the results of the sharpening.

I recall reading an interview with someone from Forrest a few years back in which he revealed that while their blades are better manufactured than the competition, their sharpening is also far superior. I've heard many Forrest owners say that when Forrest sharpens their blades, they come back just like new. So I figured these guys are the best, I'll send my Dewalt there for sharpening and it'll be just like new, too!

As a side note, I ended up with an extra Delta 7657 in the group buy, so I sent one of those in for sharpening as well, hoping it would come back cutting even better, since the out-of-the-box performance was less than I had hoped for. I new this was a gamble and did not expect visible improvement, but I was feeling brave.

I got the blades back today, mounted them up and grabbed my chunk of walnut for some additional test cuts. Boy was I disappointed!!!

On the Delta, I hadn't really expected it to come back cutting any better...but thought it was worth a shot. I did not think for a second that a nearly new blade would come back cutting much worse!

But the real disappointment was the Dewalt. It is now leaving tooth swirls across the entire cut - whereas before they were barely noticeable in just a few places. In essence, they turned my wonderful $50 blade into a $20 blade:cry_smile

I've tried to capture the differences in pictures. Note that as you all know, the differences can be hard to see with the naked eye without the right light. Photographing it is challenging, so go easy on me :eusa_pray

Here is the side-by-side results on the Dewalt 7640. I think the picture is a fair representation of the actual difference.




Here is the side-by-side of the Delta 7657. On this one, I think the picture exaggerates the difference a bit. There is most definitely a difference, but not quite as much as the picture depicts.




I get no joy from writing this review. I expected half of my expenditure on sharpening (the nearly-new Delta) to be a crap-shoot. But I am dismayed that not only did my Dewalt not improve, but it got a LOT worse. I paid $60 to have Forrest make two of my blades worse! I'm gonna cry.

So I write this to bring a little reality to those of you who might have expectations as high as mine were. Don't send a non-Forrest blade to Forrest for sharpening and expect to come back good as new. It may not even come back better than it was when you sent it.
:nah:

Chris
 

NCTurner

Gary
Corporate Member
Bummer. Have you contacted Forrest? I hear great things about these guys from some very trusted members of the site, but no personal expierience. Though I have heard other horror stories about Forrest.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
You have one or two teeth that are longer or wider than the others. If it is worth your time you can correct it yourself.

Take a dial indicator and set it to check the teeth of you blade on the saw. First check the body of the blade to be sure it is flat and smooth and no wobble showing on the gage.

Then move over so you can gage each tooth on the blade. Check each tooth to find the lowest point. Set the gage to zero on that first tooth. Mark it so you know where you started. Then mark each tooth that is out of zero by more than a few thou. Mark any that are way out.

Now look at the whole blade and decide how you will clean it up. Maybe just a couple teeth are way out. I would grind them down first and try a piece of wood to see how much improved the cut is. Keep fine tuning till you are happy with the cut.

Or you could throw that blade away and buy a new one. :dontknow:
 

AllanD

Allan
Senior User
Sorry to hear that and glad you posted. I would do as Mike suggested with the dial indicator but after marking the blade I would send it back to Forrest. I have been pleased with their service for sharpening on my saw, planer, and jointer blades in the past. They would want to know if you weren't pleased and I would predict they will want to correct it if possible.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Thanks for the responses. Mike - it is tempting to try to fix them up myself (if you want something done right...), but time in my shop is precious...and sharpening circular saw blades is not the way I want to spend it.

I have sent the following to Forrest. I will report back when I receive a response.

Customer service,

I recently had two blades sharpened by Forrest - a Dewalt 7640 and a Delta 7657.
I've heard great things about your blades and your sharpening services, so I was
eagerly awaiting their return. While not as good as the WWII, I have been very
happy with the performance of the Dewalt blade - it leaves a nearly perfect finish.
It is many years old, so I was looking forward to getting back into prime shape.

I was shocked when my first cut left a very poor finish. I compared the cut quality
to some test cuts I performed immediately before sending you the blade and found that
besides not being returned to "like new", the cut quality actually declined
considerably since I sent it to you. Thinking this must be a fluke, I mounted the
Delta blade, which was much newer, and tested it as well. It, too, now leaves a
finish that is much worse than before I sent it to you.

I am very unhappy to have spent $60 to have two blades ruined. I even paid for
test cuts...which apparently nobody actually looks at.

I'm at a loss for words. My expectations were set by both your reputation, and
this statement on your website:
"The Forrest Manufacturing Sharpening Service also sharpens other types of
carbide saw blades, upgrading the life and performance of any saw blade."

I don't know what has happened here - maybe a trainee was working on my blades?
The service has certainly not been up to the standards associated with your name.
I would either like you to sharpen them properly (shipping both ways at your cost)
or refund my payment, including shipping.

Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter,
Chris
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
First, on the Delta. You spent $30 having a $20 blade sharpened. So you now have a $50 blade that doesn't cut as well as it did before, when it was a $20 blade. I'm a big fan of the Delta 7657, and not a fan of a WWII, of which I own two. One has never been on the saw, and the other lost five teeth when it hit one of those staples that hold a sku tag on the end of a board. With Forrest's over inflated sharpening prices, a new blade was almost the same in price. I have been running the same 7657 on the saw daily for over three years now. Remember when it comes to Forrest sharpening, fool me once shame on you, but fool me twice and it's shame on me.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
UPDATE:

Charles from Forrest called me Friday to discuss the problem with the sharpening of my blades. He asked me to return the blades for their inspection. He said it is possible that there was a mistake on their part.

He also said that this situation can occur when a tooth is slightly out of alignment - and it doesn't leave marks on the wood because it was so dull prior to sharpening that it is not cutting at all, but rather being forced into the cut made by the previous teeth.

The only problem with this theory is that the Dewalt cut beautifully when it was new. The Delta IS new and is quite sharp (it cuts like the proverbial hot knife).

An interesting tidbit that came out during the discussion - the sharpening process does not include ANY attempt to align the teeth edges to ensure they are all in the same plane. That was surprising to me, since their WWII blade clearly HAS been through such a process...but apparently that happens during manufacturing rather than sharpening.

I'll report back when I get the blades back.

Chris
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Dynamic Saw (dynamicsaw.com) says thanks for the free advertising.
I'm not quite sure I'm following - are you saying that Dynamic Saw performs the aforementioned tooth alignment as part of their sharpening service?

Chris
 
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