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Best bandsaw blades

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Mike Garnham16/02/2008 20:25:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

I have just bought a new (well, second hand) bandsaw, and the blades that came with it are just awful. 

As this is my first bandsaw, I have no idea where to go for the best blades. Can anyone help? 



Rob Johnson16/02/2008 21:02:00
378 forum posts
19 photos

As Axminster Power Tools have a place near me in Kent I have been using their bandsaw blades which last well and I have not had any problems with them. Tensioning the blades correctly has a great impact on the ease and accuracy of use but as few machines have a tensioning guage this can be a bit of a black art! ( not saying you are having problems due to set up)

Whilst on the subject of bandsaw blades.... It is worth remembering to use the widest blade you have for straight cuts and the narrower ones for curved work. As a rule of thumb here are some blade widths and smallest radius of curved cut attainable:-

   Blade          radius

     3mm           8mm

    6mm           25mm

    12mm         60mm

    16mm         100mm

   20mm          135mm

Hope this info is of use to you all.  Regards Rob

Mike Garnham17/02/2008 08:34:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Rob.

As it happens, my machine is an Axminster, and as it looks like I will have to order a new bearing for the upper wheel, I can get some blades at the same time. However, I do seem to recall reading somewhere that there are some blades that last 5 times as long as the normal ones......... 

I hadn't appreciated what a fiddle it would be to set this machine up! Tensioning is just one problem, but the most annoying is trying to get the correct angle for the rip fence, and adjusting the tension seems to mean altering the setting of the rip fence. Four hours of cleaning and adjusting and I can't cut a straight line!!!

By the way, is blade width measured across the whole width of the band (inc. teeth), or is it just to the base of the teeth? How many TPI do you use? I have one blade with about 18 tiny TPI, which I am guessing is a metal cutting blade, and another with 4 TPI, which seems to wander all over the place in the wood. Neither have any "set" to them. 

Thanks again for your help


PS Have just downloaded the "Wood Whisperer" video recommended by Bigpricey in Baz's thread.........that will probably answer all of the above!!

Rob Johnson18/02/2008 04:10:00
378 forum posts
19 photos

Went and had a look at the Wood whisperer link and thought it very informative and will have answered most of your questions. Blade width is including teeth. Check out the Axminster catalogue they have some more information on the blades page, regarding tooth styles and uses. I have heard of people using stainless steel meat, bone and fish blades for cutting veneers but never had the need to. Keep a steady feed speed and don't try to rush and you will get good results. Stellite tipped blades last longer cost far more and a normally found on big resaw bandsaws that often have power feed rollers.

Regards Rob

Mike Garnham18/02/2008 08:16:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos
Thanks Rob
Olly Parry-Jones20/02/2008 19:13:00
2776 forum posts
636 photos

I'll happily reccomend Dragon Saws to anyone. Excellent quality and truly outstanding service and assistance. They'll even be able to advise you on the specific blades to suit your requirements and offer blades which may not be available in the Axminster catalogue - such as M42 blades, which can cut through metal no problem! (Great when you hit odd bullet, as some people have found out! )

 Dragon Saws Ltd.

Unit 13, Duffryn Business Park, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, CF82 7RJ

Tel: 01443 819910 Fax: 01443 819911 email: /forum/smilies/confused_smiley.gif[/img]] 


Mike Garnham21/02/2008 08:26:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Many thanks, OPJ 

I've just bought some blades from Axminster, but I will put a note by my machine and give Dragon a try for my next blades.


francis dooley16/04/2008 16:47:00
4 forum posts
Dont go to dragon for your blades. buy Hakansson silco.I have tried the 3tpi from dragon they are noisy and rough .the 6 tpi Hakansson is quiet and gives a smooth finish.I am a time served saw doctor i dont sharpen my own band saws i do sharpen my own circular saws.the band saws i work with are upto 12" wide used on a band mills. look on ebay
Olly Parry-Jones16/04/2008 19:39:00
2776 forum posts
636 photos

That's interesting Francis, as I've met plenty of people online who are delighted with the service and quality of blades from Dragons Saws. I've yet to meet anyone who can put a black mark against their name - until here, perhaps...

Just out of interest, was it a skip or hook-tooth pattern you bought from them?

I'm not entirely sure of what you mean when you say they're... "noisy"? If it's making a ticking sound as it's running, it could be that the weld needs a little tidying up - Pobody's Nerfect! With the amount of welding companies like Dragon Saws have to do, there's bound to be the occasional where the weld isn't dead neat.

Have you tried discussing this with Ian John? He's a great man and will do whatever's in his powers to find you satisfaction.

Ian0317/04/2008 07:46:00
2 forum posts

Francis - sorry to hear that you weren't happy with the blades from Dragon Saws, if you would have got in touch with me (I work for them) then I could have sorted it out for you.

You can't really compare a 3tpi and 6tpi blade though as they are designed for different types of cutting - a 3tpi will be noisier than a 6tpi especially on thin stock because it's a courser blade. The 3 tpi is designed for fast cutting of thick timber, which a 6tpi won't do and a 6tpi is a great general purpose blade but you can't use a 3tpi for the same type of cutting that a 6tpi will do.

The most important factor with bandsaw blades is to pick the right width and tooth pitch blade for the type of cutting that you are doing. The type of blade needed can differ from job to job but the right width and tooth pitch blade will make a huge difference to the way the machine performs.

It's not worth sharpening bandsaws as the teeth are hardened (similar to hard point hand saws) so once you grind them to sharpen them, you alter the hardness of the teeth and can make the teeth brittle. Even though the blade will feel sharp after being ground they don't keep their edge long enough to be of any use. The only time that I would ever sharpen a bandsaw is if I was cutting softwood and then only as a last resort.

12" Re-saws are totally different to narrow bandsaws as they are swage set or stellite tipped and can be re-sharpened many times (after being swaged, side beveled and benched in the case of swaged blades) - time served Saw Doctor here as well

If you had come back to us then as a supplier we would have happily tried to sort out any problems with the blade and advise you if you were using the correct blade for the job.


derek willis17/04/2008 08:40:00
2314 forum posts
1 articles

I guess any top saw doctor will sell very good quality lades, I get my best blades from Tewkesbury saw Co. they are excellent.


Roy Goodin09/05/2008 20:23:00
10 forum posts

Hello everyone,

     Having had a mega problems with bandsaw blades, I recently switched blades from  the machines original 1/4 inch blade to a new 3/8 inch blade from Draper Tools.

     The difference was amazing, my machine is now totally transformed and cutting through 3" hardwood with effortless ease.

     A good friend, with forty years woodworking experience,  recently told me that for general cutting he always uses a 3/8 inch blade, and for cutting down thick lengths of wood with the grain he uses a rip fence and 1/2 inch blade.

     He uses the 1/4 inch blade for cutting in tight areas, but rarely uses this type of blade , preferring his tried and trusted 3/8 inch blade for general work.

    So bowing to his experince, I followed his advice and it seems to be working fine.


derek willis10/05/2008 08:39:00
2314 forum posts
1 articles


If you only have a very small machine, then 3/8 blades are fine, but if your machine will take a larger blade then that's what you should do, for ripping anything up to 6" hardwood and for cutting veneer thicknesses, I use a 3tpi hook configuration and 5/8 wide, this gives me a sturdy fast cutting blade that cuts very acurately, and I also get them from a reputable saw doctor of which there are many.


Olly Parry-Jones10/05/2008 10:06:00
2776 forum posts
636 photos

Yes, 3/8" blades seem capable doing most general work on the bandsaw. I rarely use a 1/4" blade either, but I find that on my machine, they're slightly more difficult to track on the top wheel and need to sit very slightly forward of the centre of the blade, as the thrust bearing on the guide assembly doesn't quite go back far enough.

My machine is apparently capable of tensioning a 5/8" wide blade, but not in my experience. I generally find 1/2" to be fine for ripping also, but Ian John (of Dragon Saws) has given me a thinner gauge 5/8" blade to try and see if that will work on my saw... 

derek willis10/05/2008 10:20:00
2314 forum posts
1 articles

Oliver, don't see why not. I found these extra thin 5/8 x3tpi blades in Isaacc Lord a few years ago, they told me they were probably blades for cutting meat, extra thin, ultra sharp and lasted so very much longer that anything else I have ever had, I wish I had some now.


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