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How to Choose the Right Bandsaw Blade

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 8, 2024

Equipped with the right blade, the bandsaw can make almost any possible cut that a person may need.

However, finding the right bandsaw blade may be hard sometimes, since there are many available. 

When choosing the right blade for your machine, you have to think about the task you need it for, and about its features.

Here we are going to give you a guide on how to choose the right blade for your tool.

What will you need to follow this tutorial?

To follow this tutorial you need to have a band saw. You have to know that the blades can differ in width, length, thickness and tooth type. Changing the blade is a process that can take up to 30 minutes, depending on your tool.

So, you do not need more than a bandsaw, some patience and time to read, then choose the right blade. It is important to mention that using the right blade is an important part of achieving the perfect result with your bandsaw.

Step by step guide

In order to choose the right blade for your tool you have to consider some of its features. There are many different types of blades, so if you want to choose the best one for you, you have to take into account the task you are going to accomplish with it.

Length of the blade

You can find the right length of the blade you need in the User’s Manual, or in the manufacturer’s website. it can also be seen in the spec lebel on your bandsaw.

Of course, if you have trouble finding the length of the blade you can call the manufacturers, they will be happy to help. You should not buy a blade of a different length, so this feature should be considered first.

Width of the blade

Next, it is important to choose the right width of the blade. Our advice is to use the widest blade you can use, since it is stronger than others, and this will make it possible to keep up with bigger feed pressures without flexing.

Of course, you need to check which is the maximum, and the minimum blade width that your bandsaw can work with. This can be seen in the manual of the machine, or in the manufacturers’ website.

You should also consider the task that you need to accomplish when choosing the width of the blade. You can check the radius of the curve you need, then the blade width you can accomplish it with.

Teeth style

The third thing that you have to keep in mind is the style of the teeth. You have to choose the teeth fully depending on the tasks you intend to accomplish. So, you need to know if you are going to do rip cutting, or maybe cross cutting. The main styles are:

  • Regular teeth- they have evenly spread out TPI and most often used around the curves of the material you are using. Perfect for common settings.
  • Skip teeth- widely spread out teeth that are good for cutting soft wood.
  • Hook teeth- deeper and bigger than others, they have an angle and they are perfect for cutting thick and medium material faster than usual.
  • Raker- one tooth that is pointed in one way, the opposite is followed by a straight blade.
  • Wavy teeth blades- blades in groups that are pointed in the opposite direction from each other. Good for thin materials and small projects.

If you will be doing rip cutting, you will need a skip tooth blade, however, if you are going to do cross cutting you will have to work with triangular, or regular tooth blade.If you are making long cuts in thick wood, plastic or metal you need a hook tooth blade.

The material you are using

It is important to consider the material you are using. For example, if you are using a metal you may need a stronger and wider blade. If you are working with wood you do not need such a strong blade.

If you want to choose the right blade for your saw, you should always think about the type of work you will be completing and the material you will be using. For more details you can check the manual or the manufacturer’s website.

Of course, you can always ask for help from professionals if you do not know which exact type of blade you need for the specific material you are cutting.

The type of project you are working on

One of the most important things to consider is the type of project you will be working on. If you will be working on a small project, you will need a smaller and thicker blade. However, if you need fast cuts you should think about the teeth of the blade.

You have to think about the project and if you need help you should always ask professionals for advice on which blade to choose for the specific task.

The TPI you need

The TPI, or in other words- teeth per inch, are very important. You would like to find the balance finish and feed rate, if you want to have the perfect cuts. Here is a guide about the TPI:

  • 3 TPI- if you are going to make deep cuts, or rip cuts, then you need 3 TPI. These blades will give you a rough sawn finish, even though it may take longer than usual.
  • 4 TPI- if you are going to make general cuts, then you will be happy with a blade that has 4 TPI.
  • 6 TPI- perfect for general purposes and cross cutting at the same time. You can make cross cuts up to 150 mm, ,and rip cuts up to 50 mm thick.
  • 10 TPI- perfect for cutting plywood and MDF. If you are going to work with plastic or metal, 10 TPI is a good choice. If you are using a harder material such as cast iron, you better reduce the speed.
  • 14, 24 and 32 TPI- these blades are good for slow speed and cutting non-ferrous metals.

The blades that have more teeth are slow and make smooth cuts, while blades with less teeth are fast, but they do not make smooth cuts. If you need precision, you will have to keep at least three teeths in the material all the time. 

The material your blade is made out of

You can get two most common materials. The blades can be made of carbon band or bimetal band. So,  the carbon band saw blades can be used with almost any material including copper, plastics, bronze, carbon, aluminum and fiberglass.

The bimetal band saw blades can be used with less materials such as alloy steels, carbon and stainless steels, tool steels and aluminum.

In conclusion we would like to say that the bandsaw is one amazing machine capable of achieving almost any cut when it is equipped with the right blade. In order to choose the right blade for your saw you must consider the type of work you will be doing and the features of the saw. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what size bandsaw blade I need?

You can see the size of the bandsaw blade that you need in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Most of the time it can be seen on a label placed on the machine too. However, if you can’t find it you can always call customer service on the manufacturers’ website.

What is the best TPI for cutting wood?

If you are going to cut wood, or other soft material, then you need TPI of 6 up to 20.

What is the difference between bandsaw blades?

The bandsaw blades can differ by teeth type, size of the blade, TPI, material of the blade and width of the blade. You have to choose the best one based on the tasks you will be accomplishing.

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