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- Bandsaw Blades
- Choosing the Right Tooth
How many teeth do you need?
In determining teeth per inch (TPI), it is important to consider a balance between the finish and feed rate. Typically, blades with more teeth will cut slower and smoother whereas blades with fewer teeth will cut faster, with a slightly rougher finish. When precision cutting any wood or metal materials, the general rule of thumb is to try to keep at least three teeth on the material at all times; by doing so you will add stability and accuracy to the cut. For thicker materials or re-sawing we suggest using a coarser blade (min 2 or 3 TPI) to ensure the best cut. For all-purpose woodcutting jobs for typical 3/4″ material, we suggest using a 4 TPI blade for coarse, fast cutting and approx. 14 TPI blade for slower, smoother cutting. If you are looking for a standard all-purpose blade, our suggestion would be somewhere in the 6 to 8 TPI range because it provides good general-purpose performance. This similar equation can be applied as a rule of thumb whether you’re cutting wood or metal. However, for thinner metals and plastics that are under 1/4″, you must use an extra-fine blade ranging anywhere from 18 – 32 TPI.
Bandsaw Blade Tooth Styles and Sets
As most know, there are three basic tooth styles in bandsaw blades, these include: regular, skip and hook. Tooth style blades have evenly spaced teeth that are best suited for general-purpose cutting and contour sawing. Below we have broken up the different styles into their best definitions and project capabilities:
Regular blades are ideal for cutting thin materials with a fine finish. They have straight-faced teeth that are equally spaced with deep gullets. Generally, regular-tooth bandsaw blades have straight or 0° rake making them best for general purpose cutting. Ie: either cutoff or contour sawing – in thin material
Skip tooth blades have broadly spaced teeth that sit at a 0-degree rake angle to prevent blockage when cutting softwood, non-ferrous metals and plastics. These blades have a less aggressive rake angle and make slower cuts, which are smoother and cleaner than a regular blade.
Hook tooth blades have the deepest gullet of the three blades, its teeth are larger and the rake lies at a ten-degree angle. This angle assists the blade when feeding the material more aggressively. Therefore, it encourages a faster cutting rate. Hook tooth blades are commonly used for long cuts, in materials such as thicker wood, hardwood, plastic and metal.