Bandsaw Blade Speed Recommendations

It is important to consider bandsaw blade speed recommendations if accuracy, a smooth finish, and increased output are part of the plan.

A bandsaw’s teeth are designed to cut a variety of materials and produce a uniform cut. The minimum radius of a curve cut on a particular bandsaw is determined by the width of the band and its kerf.

Bandsaw speeds can range anywhere from 40′ (12 m) per minute to 5,000′ (1,500 m) per minute, and specialized saws built for friction cutting of hard metals run at speeds of up to 15,000′ per minute.

New tooth geometries and pitch produce increased production rates and greater blade life.

New materials and processes like M51 steel and the cryogenic treatment of saw blades produce better, more desirable production rates.

For cutting metals, there are vertical and horizontal machines. Horizontal bandsaws hold the materials stationary while the saw blade swings down through cuts in pipe or bar stock. Vertical or contour bandsaws keep the blade’s path stationary while the material moves across and is used to cut complex shapes and angles.

Verticals are often equipped with a built-in blade welder, and the woodworker’s version is lighter; not incorporating a power feed mechanism, coolant, or welder.

Timber mills use huge bandsaws that are preferable over circular saws because they accommodate large-diameter timber and have smaller kerf (cut size), resulting in less waste. The saw blades range in size from 4″ wide x 19′ long x 22 ga thickness to 16″ wide x 62′ long x 11 ga thickness. They are mounted on wheels with a diameter large enough not to cause metal fatigue due to flexing when the blade changes from a circular to a straight profile. The shape of the tooth gullet is optimized and varies according to the mill and the type and condition of the wood.

With all bandsaw blades, different blade types require different blade speed recommendation settings — if a smooth finish and accuracy of cut are to be achieved. Bandsaw blade speed recommendations should be adhered to in any cutting process.

Bandsaws can be configured one extreme or the other, but to do both using the same bandsaw will work to curtail a precision cut.

To properly configure bandsaw blade speed recommendations, first determine the type of metal blade needed based on the type and thickness of the materials to be cut.

Once this is achieved, set the blade feed to a lower speed.

Many metal bandsaws have a stroke speed control device as well as a feed-speed clutch. Tool and rough steels require 40 to 60 surface feet per minute, mild steels 80 to 100 sfpm, and aluminium 200 sfpm+ (slower is fine — just not as efficient time-wise).

For best results, use a recommended blade speed of under 200 feet per minute and preferably with coolant.

Adjust correctly and keep the saw blade in good condition to assure satisfactory production rates and to help prolong viability of the saw blade’s expected lifespan.

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