Choosing the Right Bandsaw Blade

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Choosing the Right Bandsaw Blade

Choosing the proper bandsaw blade for your saw, or application, is as simple as answering a few basic questions:

1. What is the proper blade LENGTH?  

Most often the length of blade for your saw can be found in the User’s Manual.  If you do not have a User’s Manual, visit the manufacturer’s website or give their customer service department a call.  Have the Model number of your saw handy when talking with the manufacturer’s representative.

2. What is the proper blade WIDTH?  

Choose the widest blade possible based on the cuts you will be making.  When cutting curves, the width of the blade will determine the smallest radius that may be cut.  Smaller width blades are used for smaller radius cuts, while larger width blades are most often reserved for resawing or near straight line cuts.  The reference chart below provides some guidelines for width selection for various cuts.

BLADE WIDTH             RADIUS CUT

            1/8"                                              3/16"

            3/16"                                            5/16"

            1/4"                                              5/8"

            3/8"                                           1-7/16"

            1/2"                                            2-5/8"

            5/8"                                              4"

            3/4"                                           5-1/2"

Choosing the Right Blade

3. What is the proper blade TEETH PER INCH (TPI) or pitch?  

To achieve a smoother, more refined cut choose a blade that has more TPI.  High TPI configurations should be used on thinner materials and may require a reduced material feed rate through the blade.  Thicker materials require a low TPI blade, but may be fed through the blade at a higher feed rate.  Most resaw blades feature a low TPI configuration.  The chart below, developed by Starrett®, offers guidelines for TPI selection based on material thickness.

4. What is the proper blade TOOTH TYPE?  

There are typically three types of tooth configurations for woodworking bandsaw blades – regular, skip, and hook.  A regular tooth blade is available in higher TPI blades and produces smoother cuts in all woods.  A hook tooth blade has wider spaced teeth and typically features a 10° rake angle for aggressive cuts in hard or more difficult to cut woods. A skip tooth blade also has wider spaced teeth, but has 0° rake angle for a less aggressive, smoother cut in woods.  A 0° rake angle is also preferred in resawing applications.

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