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- Bandsaw Blades
- Four Pro-Tips for Picking the Right Bandsaw Blade
1. Consider the Width
Blade “width” ultimately comes down to two things: the total capacity your bandsaw can work with and the minimum area you want to cut. The best starting point when considering these two integral components is no secret at all: take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you are looking at doing re-sawing or cut-off sawing project, use your bandsaw’s maximum blade width. The maximum blade will cut the straightest and you’ll get a fairly quick feed rate without breaking or wrecking your blade/s. If you are doing any contour sawing, you will want to use a blade that is more narrow in order to cut the desired radius.
2. Consider the Thickness
Okay, now this is confusing… what is the difference between width and thickness? When choose a blade it is really important to consider the proper thickness of the blade. During cutting, there is continual flexing, heating and cooling and if not performed correctly this can ultimately cause metal fatigue and in some cases even failure.
The thickness of the blade will depend on the diameter of the bandsaw wheels, and the work that needs to be done. Here’s the trick: thick blades endure more cutting stress from straight cuts but can break from the bending and twisting action. Whilst. thinner blades naturally perform well for lighter work.
3. Consider the Teeth
When determining teeth per inch (TPI), you will want to do your best to find a balanced finish and feed rate. The general rule of thumb is that blades with more teeth will cut slower and smoother and that blades with fewer teeth will cut faster, with a slightly rougher finish. If you are doing precision cutting, our suggestion would be to try to keep at least three teeth on the material at all times. This will add stability and accuracy to your cut regardless of your materials.
For re-sawing and/or cutting thicker materials you will want to use a more coarse tooth blade (2 or 3 TPI). For the general wood cutting tasks that is a typical 3/4″ material, using a 4 TPI blade for coarse, fast cutting and a 14 TPI blade for slower, smoother cutting is very suitable. Lastly, a blade in the 6 to 8 TPI range typically provides good general-purpose performance.
4. Consider the Blade Set
Choosing an appropriate blade set will provide a great balance between sawdust and air, in the space between the body of the saw blade and the material the blade is cutting. An appropriate set is about 80/20, with 80% sawdust and 20% air being emitted. The sawdust should be warm to the touch, not hot or cold, following the cut.