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Choosing The Correct Saw Blade For A Band Saw

detail of fixed bandsaw blade with table and lead rollsFinding the correct bandsaw blade for your machine doesn’t have to be difficult. There are various factors to look at on the saw that you have, and you can use these to make this decison.

For instance, when trying to determine the end feed rate, the teeth per inch or TPI is the most important metric. Blades with 2 to 3 TPI should be used for both thicker woods up to 8 inches and sawing wood a second time as they are coarser blades.

For thinner metals and all plastics under one-fourth an inch, a fine tooth blade with between 18 to 32 TPI should be used. For wood that is three-fourth of an inch, using 4 TPI will give a quick cut, and 14 TPI will give a smooth cut at a much slower rate.

When selecting the proper speed, it is important to know the SMF for the various different settings on your band saw, this allows the proper selection for each material including wood. This can either be found within the operator’s manual that came with band saw or using this procedure:

1. Figure out the RPM: either find that in the owners manual or times the revolutions per minute using a revolution counter or a simple tachometer.

2. To obtain the wheel circumference; measure across the diameter of the wheel and multiple that number, in inches, by .262. The revolutions per minute, or RPM, is equal to the speed of the blade on the surface. This is expressed as RPM X inches in the diameter X .262 = SFM.

Of Note: Olson Spring Saw Blades in the Steel Wood Band Saw category are not meant to be used at surface speeds exceeding 3000 SFM, thus, these saws should never be operated above these levels.

However, Olson Carbon Saw Blades in the Hard Edge Flexible Back Band category can be operated at a rate of up to 6000 SFM.

Choosing The Correct Width For Band Saw Blades

As shown above, the blade width measures from the back end of the blade to the tips of the teeth. Each machine should be used with the instructions for that particular machine when selecting a width for the blades.

When there are no instructions, one determines the width of the blade according to these guidelines:

radius_chartWhen working with cut-off style sawing, one wants to go with the widest band that the machine can accommodate. When you use a wider band, the cut will be straighter. This can result in a faster feed.

When working with contour style sawing, the blade should width is determined by what the machine will allow at maximum capacity.

However, it needs to stay narrow enough that the necessary radius or shape can be achieved. The minimum dimensions for each cutting radius are as follows:


Updated: April 27, 2015 — 3:11 pm
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