Correct Band Saw Blade Choices

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Choosing the right band saw blade depends on many factors, to include the type of band saw you use, the condition of the band saw, and the materials to be cut.

The quality of the blades vary by blade type: Carbon, Bi-Metal, or Carbide-tipped blades.

It is impossible for one blade to work for every material and/or purpose. Each band saw blade type has its own capabilities. Each type differs in resistance to shock when entering and exiting a cut, as well as to the heat generated during the cutting process.

Without the right blade, the band saw might prematurely wear out.

Understanding the various types of band saw blades and their applications will help when choosing the right blade for the right project.

Carbon Band Saw Blades

Carbon blades are an economical choice and adequate for most maintenance shop work as well as for cutting wood, plastics, and non-ferrous metals. Carbon band saw blades will cut mild steel  if used at lower speeds and preferably with coolant.

Bi-Metal Band Saw Blades

Bi-metal blades are the everyday workhorse. They are designed for everything from simple metals to high production cutting, where accuracy and blade life are critical factors.  Bi-metal blades offer more cutting versatility and longer life due to their unique construction.

Carbide-Tipped Band Saw Blades

Carbide-tipped band saw blades will saw through the tough material that a Bi-metal blade can’t, including super alloys, and it works in applications of high production with good surface finish. This blade offers exceptional fatigue, shock, and wear resistance when cutting aluminum castings, fiberglass, plastics, composite materials, and abrasive woods.

Choosing the right band saw blade is important for both the quality of work and safety.

When choosing a band saw blade, consider the project. The type and size of blade for your saw matters as much as the material being cut. The wrong band saw blade can cause undue stress on the band saw as well as being a danger to the operator if the saw blade breaks. The right blade will be of value and a long-lasting tool.

Paying attention to the details ensures efficient, safe work with quality results.


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  • MIchael Stanford

    Wouldn’t I just save myself a heck of a lot of time by installing a bi-metal blade with a 6-8 tooth pitch and be able to cut a broad range of light metals (non-ferrous) and making adjustments to my speed and feed rate?

  • Gadbois

    Hey Mike – good question and one which we deal with often here at Band Saw Service. I wish more people would ask this type of question. The truth is, there is no “one size fits all” blade. Questions which need to be answered revolve around the product you are cutting; the saw you are using’ the expected production rate; etc, etc. While a Bi-Metal saw blade is a pretty good answer to most soft metal cutting scenerio’s, if you get into exotics, high ferrous metals or abrasives, the money you may think you are saving by purchasing that one blade for all uses isn’t going to do the job; you’ll end up buying a more stout blade for those “heavier” cutting jobs; and you’ll be replacing that bi-metal saw blade because you trashed it!
    Pro’s go with the right saw, saw blade etc for the task at hand. In thelong run, it will save you time and money!
    Thanks for asking.

  • barry

    I think Carbide Tipped Band Saw Blades for me now. non ferrous metals