Q & A with Freud America’s President & CEO

If you’re a woodworker and you’re not familiar with Freud, the industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of some of the best cutting tools available, where the heck have you been? Freud produces the red-colored router bits and saw blades (although some of its products are sans color). The company falls under the BOSCH umbrella – the power-tool accessories segment was purchased in 2008.

Eight years prior to that date, Russell Kohl was named as president and CEO of Freud America, Inc. Sixteen years at the helm indicates that Kohl has a keen eye for the cutting-tool industry. The titles of president and CEO are not handed out like swag bags. They are earned. Kohl spent time at NPD, Marketing & Sales (Peachtree Windows & Doors) as vice president of new product development, and was the Sales & Marketing Manager at DeWalt. He has vast experience in sales, finance, operations, marketing and product development– the last two, as he admits during the interview, are his areas of expertise.

We’ll admit that the interview begins with a small amount of Freud “cheering.” That’s due in part to Kohl’s passion for the company and the products it develops. But if you’re not familiar with Freud products, his short definitions quickly clue you in to what the company is all about. Plus, Kohl’s insight into the industry is interesting, informative and eye-opening.

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6 thoughts on “Q & A with Freud America’s President & CEO

  1. Great interview, very interesting. Didn’t know Freud was part of Bosch. Quality products and engineering.

  2. Great interview and very interesting.

  3. Just flipped over to a fusion blade instead of rip and crosscut blades. Love it.

  4. Sounds like I may have to retire my old Freud combination blade.

    Even though you guys dropped the price of my 360Woodworking membership, its ‘real’ cost keeps increasing.


    1. Charles,
      If you’re saying that because Russell Kohl says that’s not the best blade with which to cut, too bad. I like the combination blade in my shop. While ripping and cross-cutting could be better with blades specifically designed to do those tasks, I’m not jumping on that train. I consider the time spent switching back and forth and the quality of cut coming off my combo blade, and think it’s better for me – and thousands of other woodworkers if the blade is such a seller – to keep on plugging with my 50-tooth, full-kerf table saw blade. Thank you!

      1. Glen, I like the 50-tooth full-kerf Freud combination blade I have had for 10 years, but it sounds like the ‘next generation’ 40 tooth Fusion blade may be noticeably better. Have you seen any comparisons between the old and the new?

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