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Become More Proficient at Picking Your Band Saw Blade

August 15, 2019

While all band saw parts inevitably contribute to the function of a band saw, it is ultimately the blade that performs the arduous duty involved in cutting away material during production or fabrication of your project.


By this measure, it is important to know the fundamentals around choosing band saw blades as they come in a multitude of widths, tooth designs, and configurations.  


Let us get started by outlining the primary tooth blade styles known as regular, skip, and hook-tooth blades. This will be the first step in selecting the correct band saw parts of your blade for your unique cutting work:


Regular Tooth Blades – defined by its evenly-spaced tooth design, ranging from 3 to 32 teeth per square inch, regular tooth blades are efficient at cutting into thin materials and leaving a smooth finish. The utility of this tooth style is centred on sawing for a broader-spectrum of purposes and is preferred for usage on ferrous metals. Additionally, it is suited for contour cutting on more intricate geometric shapes.


Skip-Tooth Blades – distinguished by having widely space teeth, ranging from 2 to 6 teeth per inch, the skip tooth blade is employed for typical usage in woodcutting, and, in particular, nonferrous metals. This is because of its characteristically sharp angles between the tooth and gullet, and its straight 90° faces that prevent it from clogging the blade.


Hook-Tooth Blades – while they do possess the same tooth spacing as seen in skip-tooth blades, they are designed with deeper gullets in mind that seamlessly transition to the teeth which have a 10° undercut seen on this style of blade. These qualities make this blade adept at handling tougher nonferrous alloys, and plastics.


Lastly, another feature to have clarity around when deciding on band saw parts for your blade is its tooth set, which you can identify by looking down upon the teeth of your blade. Similar in vein to tooth styles, there are three fundamental types of tooth sets:


Alternate Tooth Set – true to its namesake, this tooth set is designed so that every tooth along the blade is set either to the left or to the right in an alternating fashion. This set is well suited for multifunctional cutting that requires a smooth finish.


Raker Tooth Set – identical to the alternate tooth set, bar every third tooth not being set. A perfect set for materials where the dimensions do not vary drastically as the unset tooth helps keep the kerf clean.


Wavy Tooth Set – when the blade is viewed from above, the teeth should demonstrate a wave-like pattern that flows left to right, making for virtually rip-proof teeth. This set is usually applied to smaller toothed blades for general-purpose cutting.


Hopefully, with the above, it has imparted a sense of appreciation as to why, of all the band saw parts, coming to a conclusion on the style and set of your blade is of the utmost importance. As a provider and servicer of band saw parts here at Industrial Bandsaw Services, we can put our decades’ worth of experience in the cutting industry to give holistic solutions to your band saw queries.