Whenever someone purchases bladed pieces of equipment, selecting the appropriate machine of tool is merely half the battle. It is always important to have the required blade in mind, which involves plenty to think about, and not merely what it is made of, or the number of teeth, even though these are very important as well. Below is a guide on picking the most suitable bandsaw blades for your needs.
The first important question to ask is what you intend to cut. Bandsaw blades are particularly proficient in cutting wood, even though this is only one kind of material they are capable of handling. Bandsaw blades have a broad range of features, making them capable of cutting various materials, from oak to vinyl and aluminium. This however all depends on whether you have the appropriate blade for the particular job. On that note, it is always necessary to remember that blades that work forward may not necessarily work for metal regardless of what the packaging may claim. For people that require blades that can handle various materials, multiuse blades come in handy. However, this basis alone does not necessarily make them the best bandsaw blades. Besides wood, think about all the other materials you are likely to work with in order to make a more informed decision about the best blade for your line of work.
The teeth of bandsaw blades generally come in three basic styles i.e. skip, hook and standard. Similar to the pitch, the style of teeth has a direct effect on what type of cut you get from the saw. Some good bandsaw blades do not have exotic monikers at all, and they are simply referred to as regular or standard blades. These blades are often general-purpose and can be used for a broad variety of tasks. They usually leave smoother finishes compared to skip and hook tooth blades. Skip tooth blades feature widely spaced teeth. Their shallow gullet widths keep things from bogging down when sawing through certain material such as softer woods. Hook blades on the other hand have positive rake angles with deep gullets. While they leave rougher finishes, they are excellent for ripping stock and resawing.
The tooth pitch on your bandsaw affects what final product you get. In the woodworking world, TPI is something you will definitely come across very often. Ideally, you should have a minimum of three teeth in any cut however, the number of teeth per inch i.e. TPI is essential. Blades with course tooth pitch at about three TPI are most suitable for thick stock when the finish is not a huge priority, but speed is. Such blades are particularly excellent for resawing, but not for achieving detailed work or fine cuts. Ideally, your blade should have a higher TPI which results in finer cuts while compromising speed. Coarse cuts need fewer teeth and allow workers to go much faster, while a TPI of around 6-8 is generally considered ideal for general usage at best.
Depending on the type of cut you seek to achieve, blade width is another area to pay keen attention to. Different cuts need different blades. If you plan on resawing or ripping wood, getting the widest blade possible for your machine is essential. The tension should be set correctly, even though wide blades are good against deflection.