Bandsaw Blades 101
There’s no doubting that wood bandsaw blades are essential for anyone looking to go beyond just a basic type of cut. Bandsaws offer much more versatility, ease-of-use, and precision when it comes to making intricate cuts – but ensuring you have the correct blade for the job is what will allow peak performance and yield the results you’re looking for.
Selecting the right wood bandsaw blade will primarily depend on your particular application.
There are four essential factors to consider before selecting the right wood bandsaw blade for the job: tooth profile, number of teeth, blade width, and blade thickness. Each of these factors influence the final cut result.
Tooth Profile and Number of Teeth
There are three general tooth profiles that blade teeth tend to fall into – the standard profile, the skip profile, and the hook profile.
- Standard profile: this profile is defined by its alternately set teeth. Standard blades provide stable cuts when cutting through thinner materials
- Skip profile: the skip profile is similar to standard profiles – except it has about half as many teeth. This serves to increase the size of the gullet and works to minimize the chance of clogging.
- Hook profile: hook profile-type blades are defined by their slight positive hook angle. Due to the slight hook angle, the blade is able to cut through material more aggressively while also requiring less feed pressure overall
In general blades with more teeth will cut through material smoother (i.e. applications that require cutting through a tight curve), blades with hooked teeth will cut through material faster (i.e. general applications), and blades with skip teeth will run cooler in thin stock (i.e. for re-sawing applications).
Blade Width and Thickness
Bandsaws are chosen for their ability to seamlessly cut curves through a material. But blade width and thickness are essential when considering the outcome of continual flexing, heating, and cooling of the blade. It is widely understood that blade width informs the intended radius cut. Thicker blades offer more resistance to the effects of continual flexing, whereas thinner blades are optimal for lighter work.