Bandsaw blade speed is describe as the travel of the bandsaw blade across the material face being worked. This is expressed in surface feet per minute (SFPM).
Bandsaw blade speeds range from 40 feet per minute to 5,000. It is important to remember that different materials require different blade speeds.
For metal, typical blade speeds range from 60- to 300sfm. There are specialized bandsaws built to cut harder metals and require a speed greater than 300sfm.
Woodworking bandsaws run at speeds between 1,00o- to 8,000 feet per minute. 3,000sfpm is the general speed.
The blade speed rate depends on the type of material to be cut, and the width and machine-ability of the material. Each type of material to be cut has its own characteristics and requires a different speed rate in order for efficient and optimal cutting performance to occur.
When cutting softer materials, faster speed is required. For harder materials, a slower speed allows the blade to work through the entire piece. For titanium alloys, the machine should be set at a slower speed — about 100 feet per minute. For aluminum, the speed should be set to 400 to 1,000 feet per minute.
Incorrect speed rate for a specific material being cut will result in abnormal blade wear.
Insufficient blade speed rates mean ineffective production rates and bad / crooked cuts.
Not enough blade speed causes stripped teeth — increasing the blade speed will reduce the chip load.
Too high blade speeds cause chips to weld to the gullets — blade speed reduction is best.
Excessive blade speed on hard materials results in band friction and premature dulling of blade teeth since the blade teeth no longer bite into the material. Overheating occurs, damaging the bandsaw blade and causing premature band failure and tooth set loss.
Proper bandsaw blade speed is important to helping maintain blade life while maximizing cut performance.
The best ways to achieve quality and satisfactory cuts is to follow the correct blade speed. Following manufacturer’s recommendations and considering the type of bandsaw machine being used are also advisable.