METAL CUTTING BANDSAWS: Use Carbon Tool Steel or Bimetal Blades
Small to large, horizontal or vertical, metal cutting bandsaws generally use either High Carbon Steel or Bimetal blades. High Carbon Steel blades are cheaper to purchase, while bimetal blades are generally more economical to operate in the long run, since they can outlast carbon blades by up to 10 times if used properly. Carbon Steel blades will cut mild steel if used at speeds under 200 feet per minute (fpm) for best results, preferably with coolant. But if you are cutting harder materials (such as stainless steel), sawing in a production setting, your saw is in good repair and adjusted correctly, and want the longest life blade available, then you should consider Bimetal bandsaw blades.
BANDSAW BLADES FOR WOOD: Use High Carbon Steel or Carbide tipped for the most abrasive tropical hardwoods.
Vertical woodcutting bandsaws from 10” and up will use Carbon Tool Steel blades for most sawing needs. Thin kerf, carbide impregnated resaw blades are particularly useful for resawing expensive hardwoods when conserving material is very important.
SMALL 2 AND 3 WHEEL TABLETOP WOODCUTTING BANDSAWS: Use “The Three Wheeler” Blades
Blades for three wheel bandsaws are made from a special steel that is thinner (.25), tougher and heat-treated to withstand sharp flexing around smaller diameter wheels.
CHOOSE YOUR WIDTH, LENGTH, TOOTH NUMBER AND TYPE.
If your Operating Manual is unclear on the specific blade you need for your particular cutting application, here are some handy guides that will walk you through the process of selecting or designing the specific blade you need. But remember, our experts are always ready to help you through the selection process and insure your acquire exactly what you need for the job you have at hand.
Bandsaw Recommendation Guides:
How to choose the correct bandsaw blade length
How to choose the correct bandsaw width
How to choose the correct number of teeth per inch for bandsaw blades
Bandsaw blade tooth shape styles
MAINTAINING YOUR BLADES.
There are a number of different aspects when it comes to getting the longest life out of your bandsaw blades.
Perform Regular Maintenance on the Bandsaw:
First of all, it is extremely important to perform regular maintenance on your entire bandsaw and not just the blades. If you are in the middle of a project when a belt breaks, it is likely to break your blade as well. Regular maintenance of the bandsaw as per the Operator’s Manual will save your blades, save you money, and save projects that otherwise might be damaged should a band break mid cut.
Break-In Your New Blades:
Now that you have taken care of the maintenance of the saw itself, it is important to know how to take care of the blades. For best performance and longest life, you need to break in any new blade before normal use. The most common consequence of missing this step is broken teeth, guaranteeing only a fraction of the life you could have gotten out of your investment.
To get the most out of your brand new blade, it is important to begin by reducing speed to half of what is normal. Reduce the feed quantity and cut about 50 square inches of material. This will wear down the extra sharpness of new teeth extending their usefulness, durability and improving the quality of your cutting.
Lubrication Is Key
When it comes to cutting metal with your bandsaw, lubrication is a must. Apply the lubricant to both sides of the blade. While running your bandsaw, apply the lubricant approximately every 4 minutes until the cutting sound has been quieted by at least 50 percent. Lubricant will not need to be reapplied until the cutting sounds increases again.
No matter what type of material you are cutting, never use water as a lubricant.
Release Blade Tension
When you have finished with your project, it is utterly vital to release the tension from your blade. When cutting materials, your blade heats up. As it heats, it stretches. As it cools, it shrinks. This shrinking can cause tiny cracks in your blade if it is kept under tension between jobs.
Remember, when in doubt, you can call on the experts at L.A. Grinding to answer your most difficult questions regarding your bandsaw blades or other industrial knife questions. As the largest distributor of industrial knives in the Western United States, our investment in research and development has given L.A. Grinding the ability to provide solutions to complex problems you may not even realize you have yet.
Let us be part of your competitive advantage and your success.
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