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FAQ – General Band Saws and Band Saw Blade

How can I obtain replacement parts for band saws?
We can supply you replacement parts for most bandsaw machines. Saw guides, band wheels, chip brushes, etc. Contact our parts department by calling 877-421-3636, or submitting your request here.

Can you help me run my band saw blade properly?
Absolutely! We have the technical expertise to solve all of your band saw cutting issues. We can assist you with all aspects of band sawing. We have over 20 years experience and a lot of reference material on our site. See problems and solutions, sawing basics, or the 22 variables that effect saw blade life. If you still need help, or would prefer to speak directly to a band sawing expert, call us at 877-421-3636.

I want a bandsaw blade, but I am not sure what to buy. Can you help me?
Absolutely. We have band saw blades for every application you can imagine. Please reference our sawing basics guide on our website. If you still have questions about the right band saw blade for your application, give us a phone call/fax/or email.

Band Saw Blades – Purchasing and Settings F.A.Q.s

Which type of band saw blade do I use?
Carbon FlexBack – Low cost blade for plastics, woods, and non-ferrous applications.
Carbon HardBack – Greater rigidity than flexback allows up to 25% more performance
Bi-Metal M42 – Resists heat and wear at higher speeds and feeds
Carbide Tipped – For use with highly abrasive metals and non-metallic composites
Set Tooth – for nonferrous foundry applications such as cutting gates and risers, some exotic applications
Triple Chip – for cutting exotic metals and for high production applications, some nonferrous foundry.

Which tooth pitch should we use?
Number of teeth in the cut:
Minimum – 3 teeth in the cut. If there are too few teeth in the cut, the teeth can straddle the work piece, which can cause stripping.
Maximum – 24 teeth in the cut
Too many teeth in the cut may cause the gullets to “overload”, because there is not enough gullet capacity

The “optimum” TPI is 6 to 12 teeth engaged in the cut at one time
Conditions that influence pitch selection:

Soft materials: Require fewer teeth and more gullet capacity (Aluminum, Copper, Bronze, Carbon Steels)
Tough Materials: Use a moderate amount of teeth in the cut – in the 12 to 18 tooth range (Inconel, Hastalloy, Waspalloy, Monel, Steels)
Hard Materials: Use more teeth in the cut – in the 18 to 24 tooth range (D-2, Die Steels, Stainless Steels)
Machine capabilities: constant feed machines can use a coarser pitch, whereas gravity feed machines typically require a finer pitch
Production or blade life:
For production cutting, use tooth pitches near the coarse end of the range
For good finish or smoother cut surfaces, use finer teeth
For best blade life, run in the middle to the fine end of the recommended tooth pitch range.

What blade speed should we use?
Material Machinability Rating – The lower the machinability rating the slower the band speed will need to be.
Blade Selection – The cutting edge (tooth tip) of the blade will govern the speed at which the blade can run (FlexBack = Slowest Cutting, Carbide = Fastest Cutting)
Cutting Noise / Vibration – Cutting noise or vibration is a killer to a cutting edge – if either is present, the speed must be decreased
Coolant / Cutting Fluid – If the coolant is adequate, use the standard cutting chart speeds. When cutting dry, reduce the speed by 40-50%.

What is the rake angle of your saw blade teeth?
Most bimetal bandsaw blades vary in rake angle from 0 to 10 degree positive rake angle. A positive rake angle will provide a faster cutting action, and enable you to penetrate harder materials easier. Tooth patterns that are 5-8 and finer typically have a zero degree positive rake angle, while more aggressive teeth are manufactured with the higher positive rake angle.

What is the relationship between feed and speed?
Feed, Speed and Tooth Pitch are directly related.
To change the cut result, change only one variable at a time.
Increasing the Work Size will decrease tooth penetration.
A larger Tooth Pitch will increase tooth penetration.
A smaller Tooth Pitch will decrease tooth penetration.
Increasing the Blade Speed will decrease tooth penetration.
Reducing the Blade Speed will increase tooth penetration.
Why do we need a cutting fluid?
Lubricating the cutting edge will reduce the heat that is generated by cutting friction – too much heat in the cut is one of the main reasons for blade failure.

A flood of coolant helps wash the chips from the gullets
º Chips become work-hardened in the cutting operation
º If chips are dragged back through the cut a second time, they can damage teeth
A flood of coolant helps cool the blade’s cutting edge and saw guides, extending blade life.
Remember: flood coolant whenever possible and only use coolant where chips are present – do not use coolant on materials that produce a powder, such as gray iron.

Band Saw Blades – Using New Blades F.A.Q.s

Why do we need to break a band saw blade in?
New, sharp teeth are more fragile than lightly honed teeth
Break-in hones the teeth and helps make all teeth the same height
Proper break-in results in less blade stripping and longer blade life
Break-in Procedure:

Set proper blade speed for the machinability and size of material to be cut
Reduce the normal feed rate by approximately 50% of the regular rate for the first few square inches
Watch the chips
Small flakes = Insufficient feed
Heavy blue chips = Excessive feed
Spring curled no color = Proper feed rate
(During break-in, it is important that the band always produces chips)
As you break-in the blade, graduate the feed rate to 100%.

Please see our blog post regarding why blade break in is important.

How do I fold/unfold or coil/uncoil my new band saw blade?
Please view the video below, “How to Fold/Unfold a Band Saw Blade”, for the instruction.