Choosing the Right Blade for Your Bandsaw

There is much to consider when choosing a blade for your bandsaw. The most prominent are the model of your saw and the type of cuts, you are planning to make with it. Thoughtful selection of a bandsaw blade will not only be a guarantee of quality cuts, but will also make sure the blade will last you longer. On top of that, it also affects the noise level of your bandsaw and through that the quality of your work environment.

Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

What to keep in mind when you’re choosing a bandsaw blade? Let us give you an overview of all the important aspects.


How to determine the proper length of a bandsaw blade?

Length is likely the first thing that comes to mind when choosing the blade. It always depends on the specific type of machine.

  • Exact information should be found either on the manufacturer tag on the saw itself, or in the user’s manual.
     
  • If you somehow don’t have the manual and the information is not to be found on the saw, you can measure a used blade.
     
  • If that is not at your disposal either, the last option is to use a string which you can wind through the saw’s wheels and then measure. In this case, be advised that the measured value is likely to be slightly inaccurate, generally shorter than the desired blade. For this approach, it is also crucial to have the upper wheel lifted into fitting position.
     
  • Alternatively you may try the manufacturer’s website or their telephone helpdesk.
Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

Thin or Thick Belt – Which Is Good for What?

Bandsaw blade should always be as thick as possible, depending on the circumstances, however never thicker than what your saw allows. The information should also be available in the user’s manual.

Blade life

The thicker the blade is, the stronger pressure it can withstand without deviating. Thick bandsaw blades generally have longer life and overall durability and are also more accurate when making straight cuts.

Cut radius

Another key factor for determining the right blade width is the intended cut radius – for making curves, a thinner blade is ideal, while for straight lines you will need a thicker one. The thick blade is also good for resawing.

Note:
It is generally advisable to reserve specific blades for specific tasks. The way the blade is being used and the types of cuts it makes affect its shape over time – that is why for instance thin blades used for cutting curves are not suitable for making cuts of straight parts.

Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

Blade width

Minimal radius

13 mm

63 mm

10 mm

27 mm

6 mm

19 mm

5 mm

13 mm

3 mm

10 mm

Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

Tooth Pitch or TPI

Coarse  tooth (tpi 2, tpi 3 and tpi 4)
It is used for for deep cuts and quick rough wood splits. It is suitable for cutting longitudinal, soft and raw (green) lumber.

Middle tooth (tpi 4, tpi 6 and tpi 8)
It is used for normal cutting and is the most commonly used tooth size. Used for longitudinal and transverse cuts, it offers the best ratio between speed and cut clarity.

Fine tooth (tpi 10 and tpi 14)
It is used for fine cutting and where high cut purity is required. It is most often used for cutting plywood or board material up to 10 mm height.

TPI designation

Distance between peaks in [mm]

2 TPI

13 mm

3 TPI

8,5 mm

4 TPI

6 mm

6 TPI

4 mm

8 TPI

3 mm

10 TPI

2,5 mm

14 TPI

1,8 mm

Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

TPI stands for “Teeth Per Inch”. The higher the TPI, the smaller the pitch.

CUT SMOOTHENESS
A rule of thumb is that higher TPI is capable of making smoother more accurate cuts while low TPI makes rough cuts which don’t require too much accuracy and finish quality.

SPEED AND HEIGHT OF CUT
Higher TPI however means lower material clearance as well as smaller maximum diameter of material (height of cut).

So logically, higher TPI is to be used for fine and precise work on thinner workpieces while low TPI is fit for deeper cuts or swift and coarse cutting of raw material.

 

Low TPI

High TPI

Cut characteristic

rough

fine and precise

Diameter of cut

higher cuts

thin cuts

Cut speed

high speed

lower cut speed

Direction of cut

across the grain (cross-cut)

with the grain (rip cut)


REGULAR, HOOK or SKIP? Choose the right teeth shape.

Teeth on a bandsaw blade can come in various shapes. Generally, you’re likely to see these three most widely used types – Regular, Hook and Skip.

 

REGULAR

  • Universal most frequently used type
  • The teeth have a regular shape with a 0° angle
  • Tends to have a higher TPI
  • Mainly suitable for fine cuts in most wood types

SKIP

  • Similarly to Regular has a 0° angle teeth curvature
  • Teeth are far apart, almost like every other tooth is missing
  • Not as aggressive as Hook, but not for smooth cuts either
  • Highly suitable for rough cutting of raw material.

HOOK

  • Usually has a lower TPI
  • Teeth are curved at a 10° angle
  • Capable of aggressive cuts, for instance in harder and more resilient wood
Zvoľte správny zub. REGULAR, SKIP, HOOK

Blades with Carbide Teeth

Just like table saw blades, bandsaw blades are also available with carbide teeth. Their main advantage is that they are durable and precise and also have an exceptionally long life. With carbide teeth, it is possible to make otherwise very difficult cuts, whether in the sense of wood hardness or need for material economy.

Jak vybrat správný pilový pás

This makes such blade very useful for work with more valuable, for instance exotic types of wood, for which thin and fine cut is of utmost necessity so that there is as small a kerf as possible. It also reduces the need for planing – the edges require merely just a little sanding.




Back to what's new