What Type of Bandsaw Blade Should I Buy?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a bandsaw blade.  First, you will need to identify what size blade your bandsaw requires (check the owner’s manual if you aren’t sure), what you plan to cut, and what type of cut you will make.

Next you need to figure out the width of the blade that will work for the type of cut you plan to make.  Typically, wider widths make straighter cuts in thicker materials.  If you want to make a curve, your blade width should be slightly less than the radius of the curve you plan to make.  Many blade manufacturers offer charts to help you pick the right width – like this one.  You can find charts like this on most major bandsaw blade websites.

The number of teeth per inch will also affect the cut you will make.  Generally, the more teeth per inch, the finer the cut will be; the fewer teeth per inch, the rougher the cut will be. 

Once you determine length, width and teeth per inch, you need to figure out what type of tooth configuration is right for the cut type and material you are cutting.  There are three main types of bandsaw blade teeth: regular, hook and skip.

Regular-tooth bandsaw blades are the most common type.  They have straight faced teeth that are evenly spaced and deep gullets.  Most regular-tooth bandsaw blades have straight or 0° rake.  Regular-tooth bandsaw blades are used for general purpose cutting – either cutoff or contour sawing – in thin material.  They can be used to cut most general metals and wood.


Hook-tooth bandsaw blades have a deep gullet with larger teeth that are widely spaced.  Often they feature an undercut face with a positive 10° rake angle.  These can be used to make faster, more coarse cuts primarily in plastic, metal, thicker wood pieces, or hardwoods.  Hook-tooth bandsaw blades are also used when making longer cuts as the deep gullet and rake angle help move cut material out of the way.


Skip-tooth bandsaw blades have a shallow gullet and widely spaced teeth.  They commonly have a 90° tooth and 0° rake.  The sharp angle at the tooth gullet allows the chips to come out cleanly.  Skip-bandsaw blades are used for a variety of woodworking applications, especially when you need to reduce clogging or when using a material like softwoods, plastics or nonferrous metals that could gum up the blade.


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