Blade guides are important in helping to support the saw blade. Less support is offered if the guides are set too far apart. Too close, and there is a tendency for the blades to break if unable to move freely. Maintaining an equal amount of space within the guides where the blade is held is key.
Blade guides are usually a molded piece of carbide or ceramic material fitted close to the bandsaw blade. The guides are adjusted using a knob to raise, lower, or move side to side to accommodate material thickness and saw blade size.
Standard bandsaw machines come with saw guides. Their function is to hold the blade on either side — front and back — as it passes through the material.
During operation, the guide space may widen due to the friction as the blade passes through, causing the blade to loosen. Blade bounce then becomes an issue. Bouncing blades are ineffective blades. Inaccurate cuts result with the added risk of blade failure during the cut process.
Different types of blade guides are available, but regardless of the type, all are subject to friction with the blade, causing wear over time.
Roller Guides are used with small bandsaw machines, or when blade speed runs over 600 SFPM. They resemble a flat disc like a washer. With this particular guide, it is necessary to retain tightness on the blade in order to control the band.
Disc Guides are used most often with general-purpose, vertical bandsaw machines.
Flat Carbide Sled Guides are good for speeds of up to 600 SFPM. Better than roller disc types since they are capable of spreading the cutting force over a larger area when applying high cutting pressure, eliminating mushrooming on the back of the blade.
When issues with cut, early wear, breakage, and inadequate output occur, check the bandsaw machine’s blade guides. Increased production, cost-saving, and quality output are better achieved this way.