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FAQ – Band Saw Blades: Bi-Metal, Carbon, & Carbide Blades

Detroit Band Saw provides you with everything you need for your band saws. We will share our expertise and knowledge with you anytime.

Q. What is the difference between Carbon Hardback and Carbon Flexback?
Though both blades will cut most of the same applications, there is a slight difference. Hardback blades have heat treated teeth and a heat treated backer. The heat treated backer allows for stronger beam strength and are ideal for straight cuts. Flexback blades have heat treated teeth leaving the backer a bit more flexible. The flexible backer helps absorb the stresses of contour cuts.

Q. What is the difference between a Hook tooth and a Skip tooth?
A hook tooth has a 10 degree positive rake angle. This design allows the blade to dig deeper into the material for a faster cut. A skip tooth will not cut material as quickly, but will leave a smoother finish and need less sanding.

Q. Is it okay to use a Carbon Steel blade to cut metal?
The answer to this question depends on (A) What type of metal you plan to cut and (B) How often/how much you plan to cut. Carbon Steel blades can be used to cut the following: mild steels, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and other non ferrous metals. If you only plan to use your machine every now and again, or only have a few pieces to cut, a carbon steel blade will work just fine. If you use your machine often and plan to cut a lot of material, we suggest using a bi-metal blade. The best way to describe a carbon steel blade is it is an economical band saw blade used for general purpose cutting.

Q. After putting your blade on my machine, it looks like the teeth are pointing the wrong way.
There is an 80/20 rule in the band saw world. 80% of machines are built with the teeth pointing one direction, while 20% are built with the teeth pointing the other. We weld all of our blades to comply with the 80%. Thankfully, there is a simple solution. If your teeth are pointing in the wrong direction, place your hands at 9 and 3 (think of a clock). While pinching the blade between your fingers and thumbs, rotate your hands so that the blade will flip itself “inside out”. The teeth should now be pointing in the right direction.

Q. What applications are bimetal bandsaw blades used for?
Bimetal blades are metal cutting blades. They are used on band saws to cut carbon steel, tool steel, structural steel, stainless steel, pipes and tubes, die steel, angles and flat stock, and mixed metal applications. Our clients who use these metal cutting bandsaw blades include steel service centers, small to large manufacturers, fabricators, maintenance shops, job shops, tool and die shops, and anyone interested in saw cutting a broad range of shapes, structures, and solids.

Q. So can bimetal blade cut nonferrous metals?
Yes, they can cut ferrous or nonferrous metals such as aluminum, brass, bronze or steel, stainless steel, titanium.

Q. What sizes are available in bimetal bandsaw blade?
Bimetal band saw blades are available in widths as small as .25 inch and as wide as 3.125 inches (3 1/8“). On our site, we sell bi metal cutting blades with a length as long or as short as you need them. We custom make weld to length blades so call us for the size you need. 1-877-421-3636.

Q. What are bi-metal blades made from?
They are made from 2 metals – M42 tool steel is welded via an electron beam to a flexible backer. (look at sawing reference)

Q. How long will a bi-metal blade last? How often do I need to replace a bi-metal blade?
It depends on the material you are cutting, condition of your band saw, speed and duration of production (22 variables…) They typically last 3-5 times as long as a carbon blade (Flexback and hardback.)