How long will my band saw blades last? How well will my band saw blades perform? These are common questions that most machine operators have when it comes to their sawing operation. There are several factors that may affect blade life and cause blade failure. These include: Weld breakage, blade tension, speed and feed rate, break-in procedure, tooth pitch, chip brush and the qualities of the material being cut. We’ll discuss each factor at length below:
Band Saw Blades and Weld Breakage
One of the common factors why band saw blades fail is weld breakage. Band saw blades are customized according to the desired length. During the manufacturing process, a strip of teeth is cut to length and welded. Failure of the welded part occurs when the two bands are not tightly joined together during the welding process, or when there is too much tension on the bandsaw wheel.
Band Saw Blades and Blade Tension
Another factor to be considered is the tension of the blade. Inaccurate setting of band saw blade tension may lead to body breakage, cracks on gullets, or cracks on the back edge.
Band Saw Blades and Speed and Feed Rate
The speed and feed rate should also be followed, or the bandsaw will fail to perform as expected. To achieve the desired finish, following the right speed and feed rate is necessary. Over speeding, or an inaccurate speed and feed rate can lead to blade fracture and tooth strippage. This occurs due to the increase pressure on the bandsaw blade in the first cutting action. So, gradual speeding is a better technique to accomplish the desired cutting result you want.
Band Saw Blades and Breaking-In Procedure
The importance of breaking in a new blade should not be underestimated. It is also one of the most common reasons that a band saw blade can’t do its job. Breaking-in the band saw blade will give you a much longer blade life. You’ll also have fewer problems with breaking/stripping teeth, or crooked cuts. Proper break-in of your bandsaw blade will give you a more uniform blade life. Without proper break-in procedure, the blade won’t work efficiently and you might even chip off teeth and ruin the blade.
Band Saw Blades and Tooth Pitch
Selecting the correct tooth pitch is essential to the success of a cutting operation. Machine operators should determine the right TPI for the material that they’re cutting. Wrong tooth pitch can cause strippage and gullets are loading up on the workpiece, making it difficult for the band saw blade to cut the material.
Band Saw Blades and Chip Brushes
Aside from the things mentioned above, a chip brush is also a factor that may cause a band saw blade to fail. A chip brush reduces inefficient cutting. It cleans the blade and keeps the chips from re-entering the cut. Without a chip brush to clear them away, chips can get caught in the cut. This causes less efficient cutting with crooked cuts and a poor surface finish. Don’t run a saw without a chip brush, or with a worn chip brush.
Band Saw Blades and Qualities of the Material Being Cut
Lastly, the material being cut can also cause blade failure. No one blade is perfect for all materials. There is a specific blade for a specific material. An inappropriate combination of band saw blade and material can cause serious damage to the saw blade.
Knowing the factors that may cause blade failure can reduce bandsaw-related operating costs and help you move forward to higher levels of cutting productivity.