A Complete Guide to Band Saw Blade Types
A band saw is a power tool that is used to cut a variety of materials, most commonly wood, metal and plastic. It uses blades made of a band of metal with teeth on one edge. The metal band is held in place by two pulleys that allow the band to move in a circular motion. They are especially good for cutting curved, rounded or irregular shapes, but can also be used to make straight cuts.
There are five different types of band saw blades, regular tooth, hook tooth, skip tooth, variable tooth and diamond blade. The type of blade that should be used depends on the type of material that you want to cut.
Regular tooth blades are ideal for cutting metals. The teeth are very fine and make an extremely smooth cut. It is the perfect blade to use for any fine cuts that you need to make in the material.
Hook tooth blades are good for cutting difficult and hard materials such as hard woods and plastics. It has widely spaced teeth and cuts at a 10 degree angle which produces an aggressive cutting action.
Skip tooth blades are good for cutting soft materials such as soft types of wood or metal and is also good for resawing. It cuts at a 90 degree angle making it easy to use for the average user. It is considered an all purpose type of blade.
Variable tooth blades are good for cut-off and contouring work. They are also considered an all purpose type of blade because they have varying set angles and gullet depths. The variable tooth cutting edge decreases vibration and absorbs the impacts of cutting in and out of spaces.
Diamond blades are good for cutting very hard materials such as glass, concrete, brick, and stone. A diamond blade grinds rather than cuts. They have rectangular teeth that contain diamond crystals, making them extra tough.
In addition to choosing the best type of blade for the job, you also need to choose the right tooth set. For soft metals, choose a coarse tooth that has fewer teeth per inch. For hard metals, choose a finer tooth that has more teeth per inch.
Length and Width
Once you have chosen the right blade type and tooth set that you need for the material you are cutting, you also need to determine the right length and width of the blade. Band saws come in different sizes. The length and width needed for the blade depends on the specifications of your machine. The manual that came with your machine should provide that information. If it’s not specified in the manual, you can get the information from the manufacturer.
Safety is very important when using a band saw. Always wear protective eye glasses and make sure to keep your hands away from the blade as much as possible. Adjust the safety guard so that is just above the top of the material you are cutting.