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Comes in a 5-pack at a solid price point. Made from bi-metal materials to help maintain the life of the blade. The teeth are cut to allow for accurate cuts on both heavy and soft metal, wood, or plastics.
Some users found that higher-speed saws may break the steel.
Cobalt and an alloy steel backing come together to make a durable product. The teeth seemed to stay sharp even after working with the band for quite a bit of time. Creates a good, sharp cut.
The blades can be a bit "jumpy" where the seams are welded.
The blade still allowed for sharp cuts even at low tension. Didn't seem to get overly hot even after long periods of cutting. The steel teeth are set at an angle to allow for precision cutting.
Some users felt that other products did a similar job at a lower price.
These fit multiple different sizes and types of tools. Has superior heat resistance thanks to the carbon steel design. Easy to install with limited tension. Made for softer metals and wood.
Can become dull pretty quick when used on heavy metals.
Made from a bi-metal design, allowing the blade to be durable without taking away flexibility. The blade teeth come in multiple different angles. Stays relatively cool while in use.
Meant for softer materials, so heavy-duty work is off the table.
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The blade is the heart and soul of a band saw. You need a large enough table to comfortably hold the material you’re cutting and fences to keep everything properly aligned, but without a good blade, the rest is just a hunk of metal.
If you’re new to band saws or haven’t used them very often, you might think the blade it came with is all you’ll ever need. However, band saw blades wear out and get dull just like any other saw or sharp cutting edge. Sometimes they can be resharpened, but they often break, forcing you to go looking for a new blade.
Band saw blades vary in their teeth per inch, blade thickness, material, and other features. In addition, the material you hope to use your band saw for should impact which blade you choose.
A generic blade will get you through most cutting jobs, but if you want to get the most out of your band saw, you need to consider the different blades that are available.
While there are band saw blades that will cut both wood and metal, you are generally better off getting a blade designed to work with your primary material.
A blade with fewer, larger teeth will be ideal for making rough cuts in lumber, particularly if the wood is intended to be used inside a wall or positioned where it will never be seen. Framing two-by-fours, for instance, will be hidden once they’re in place, so it doesn’t matter if the edges on them are a little rough.
If you’re cutting wood for cabinets, furniture, or doors, then you’ll want a different blade. Ideally, you’ll get a blade that is thinner so it chews up less wood and has more teeth for a smoother cut.
As a general rule, the more teeth a blade has, the smoother the cut it will make. Though there are exceptions to this, it is a reliable standard. As a result, if you’re doing fine finish work you’ll need a different blade than if you’re making rough cuts.
Cutting metal not only requires more teeth on the blade but also requires a different style of teeth. If you’re primarily cutting metal, you should look for a tooth style known as a skip tooth blade.
Low-carbon steel: Band saw blades made from low-carbon steel are normally intended for crosscutting or resawing wood stock. These blades often have fewer teeth and produce rougher cuts than blades made from other materials.
High-carbon steel: Band saw blades made from high-carbon steel are stronger than low-carbon steel blades and are generally intended for cutting hardwoods, plastics, and non-ferrous metals.
Bi-metal: Bi-metal blades are made from alloys of two different metals, usually high-carbon steel and another metal. Cobalt is frequently used as the second metal.
The combination of two metals increases the strength of the band, improves the hardness of the teeth, helps it resist heat, and prevents fatigue from bending. Bi-metal blades are normally used for cutting metal.
The wider the blade is from the teeth to the back, the stronger it will be. It will also be more likely to break as it goes around the wheels in your band saw — the wider the blade, the more it will resist bending. This increases the strain on the band saw in addition to increasing the odds of breaking the blade.
However, wider blades are stronger and better suited to cutting through thick materials. Finding the right combination of strength and flexibility is a delicate balancing act.
Teeth per inch (TPI) measures how many teeth are on the blade for each linear inch. The more teeth per inch the blade has, the more aggressively it will cut the wood. Low TPI blades should be used for rough cuts and resawing wood stock.
Blades with a high TPI count cut slower and therefore remain in the wood longer. This increases the chances of burning the wood due to friction. However, high TPI count blades give you a smoother cut and are also useful for cutting metal.
The space between each tooth on the blade is called the gullet. It is where sawdust and wood fibers (or metal shavings) are collected while the blade is cutting through the material. If the gullet is too small and becomes full before the blade exits of the material, the excess material will begin spilling over the side while the blade is still cutting and force the blade to one side or the other. This is the main cause of wavy cuts.
Slow down the rate at which you’re pushing the material through the saw or slow down the blade speed to compensate for shallow gullets. Also, remember that the gullet is the thinnest part of the blade and therefore the weakest. Too much sawdust in the gullet puts an extra strain on the blade, leading to more frequent breaks.
Look closely at the teeth on the blade, and you’ll discover that the tips are bent slightly in a pattern. One will tip be up, the next one down, and the next one straight — then the pattern repeats. The amount of bend to the teeth is called the set. It usually averages around 0.022 inches, which creates just enough space around the blade to keep it moving through the wood or metal you’re cutting and to keep the blade from being pinched or trapped.
Related to the set is the hook angle of the teeth. The larger the angle, the more aggressively the tooth will cut into the wood. A hook angle of 10° is good for rough cuts, whereas a hook angle of 4° will be better for cutting metal. If a tooth cuts too aggressively into the metal, it can snag and break off. A smaller hook angle allows the teeth to scrape across the metal rather than cut down into it.
While you’re looking for a new band saw blade, consider picking up a few other accessories to help you make clean cuts.
Band saw fence: Kreg KMS7200 Band Saw Fence
A band saw fence attaches to the table of your band saw and keeps the material you’re cutting moving in a straight line while it is being cut. Without a fence, it would be impossible to get a straight cut. This popular fence from Kreg is easy to adjust and works with a variety of 14-inch band saws.
Saw blade lubricant: OLSON SAW Band Saw Lubricant
All moving parts require lubrication, and band saw blades are no exception. Lightly lubricate the blade before using it, then clean and lubricate it again when you’re finished. Your blade will last longer and perform better if you do. This lubricant from OLSON is designed specifically for band saws and is moderately priced.
These band saw blades cost between $7 and $10, but the low price doesn’t necessarily mean low quality. These blades are often good, general-purpose blades that are not designed for cutting a specific material.
In this range, band saw blades cost around $10 to $20. At the higher end of the range is where you’ll find blades for cutting metal.
High-end blades cost over $20, and most of these are larger blades for rough cuts on wood stock.
A. The two most common reasons are that the blade is dull or the tension needs to be adjusted.
A. The electrical wiring is probably reversed and the blade is running backward. The normal mode of operation is for the blade to run down into the slot in the table. This helps press the material down on the table and keep it in place. If yours is running in the opposite direction, call an electrician to fix the wiring.
A. You may have a problem with the rear guide behind the blade. When the blade is standing still, there should be a tiny gap between the guide and the blade that is about the thickness of a playing card. If the guide is touching the blade when it’s not running, that means it is forcing the blade forward, making it bow out to one side or the other. This creates wavy cuts and strains the blade, which is why it keeps breaking.