Band Saw Buying Guide
Learn everything you need to know before buying a band saw in our band saw buying guide. Explore different makes and models, saw widths and more to find the right band saw for the job.
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Band Saw Blades
Width, number of teeth per inch (tpi), and material composition classify band saw blades. When making your blade selection, remember to match the blade width to the type of cutting you are doing.
Also keep in mind:
- Narrow blades can make much tighter radius cuts, but tend to twist and wander when making long straight cuts.
- Wide blades can't make the tight turns that narrow ones can, but they hold a straighter line than their narrow counterparts.
- The tpi determines the speed with which the blade cuts through an item. Blades with high tpi cut slower but leave a very smooth edge. They are best for detail work on thin items. Blades with low tpi cut quickly and leave a slightly rough edge. They are great for re-sawing or long rip cuts.
- Steel blades are inexpensive and work well for cutting softwood. Steel blades, however, dull quickly in hardwood.
- Bi-metal blades are made of high-speed steel and can cut thin metal or wood.
- Carbide blades are for wood cutting only. They are more expensive than other blades, but stay sharper longer than steel or high-speed steel.
Blade width is important when purchasing a band saw. Most saws accept narrow 1/8 in. blades for cutting detailed designs and tight curves. Better saws also accept wider blades. Wide blades don't flex as much as narrow ones, but they make accurate, straight cuts in thick stock quicker. There are also some wide blades available that can cut metal.
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