Bandsaw Blade Terminology

More information about bandsaw blade terminology, the industry jargon, and with emphasis on the bandsaw blade.

A bandsaw blade is an engineered and banded piece of metal joined together by welding.  Saw blades are composed of different parts, and the terminology to describe these parts is an important factor in helping to better understand blade applications.

Arbor/Mandrel — the shaft that is saw-motor driven and turns the saw blade

Beam Strength — the resistance a saw blade has to back deflection when subjected to the edge thrust of feed pressure

Blade Length — the total length of the bandsaw blade

Blade Tension — the direct pull (in pounds) on the blade

Blade Width — the tip of the tooth to the back of the blade; used to determine bandsaw machine compatibility

Brazing — the method used to attach carbide tips to the blade body. Both the carbide saw tip and body are heated above the melting point of the brazing compound, forming the bond

Carbide Tooth — carbide is an alloy composed of Cobalt and Tungsten, a combination that allows for longer lasting blade tips, sharper cutting edges, and greater impact resistance

Clearance Angle — the angle between the lower face of a saw blade and the material being cut

Dampener / Blade Stabilizer — mounted on the arbor next to the blade and used to stiffen the blade plate, helping to improve performance; it works to dampen sound and vibration caused by the saw’s belt/motor/bearings

Hard Back — saw blade with a high carbon, spring tempered back

Hook Tooth — saw tooth formation of a shallow gullet and wide-spaced teeth with a positive raker angle

Strippage — a word unique to the industry (strip, stripped, stripping, strips) that refers to the saw blade teeth breaking or wearing off of the band. Causes for blade tooth loss include

  • too many or too few teeth in the cut
  • parts not being held securely
  • too high feed rate
  • too slow speed rate
  • non-functioning chip brush that causes chips to overload gullets
  • forgetting to check coolant concentration

Skip Tooth — tooth formation of a shallow gullet with wide-spaced teeth that provide for ample chip clearance of softer metals, woods, plastics or composition materials. Every other tooth is removed (skipped) without compromising the blade’s quality or endurance

Tooth Back — the tooth surface opposite the teeth face or cutting edge; the rear side of a saw blade’s teeth facing away from the direction of the cut

Tooth Face — the front side of a saw blade’s teeth facing in the direction of the cut; the surface of the teeth on which the chip is formed

Tooth Pitch — always measured by the number of teeth per inch (TPI); measured from one tooth tip to the next. Tooth pitch is classified in two different terms- the Variable Tooth blade and the Constant Tooth blade.

  • Variable tooth blades are indicated by two numbers since the tooth pitch and the gullet vary. Distances vary within a group of teeth. Smallest to largest tooth pitch denotes the tooth variable of the saw blade. Variable tooth pitch reduces noise and vibration of cut while also increasing the life of the blade.
  • Constant tooth blades have a tooth distance which is equally spaced. Number of teeth per inch denotes the tooth of the saw blade.

Tooth Set — the side-by-side bending of blade teeth; used to widen the cut and to prevent pinching of the saw blade

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