It’s easy to see why DIY enthusiasts, woodworkers and carpenters want the best band saw blades. With the right equipment you’ll be able to make precise cuts, create veneers and cut materials at the thickness you prefer. But how do you choose the right one? This is where the best band saw blade reviews can help. Buying a band saw blade is no longer as difficult as it used to be. With a few points and clicks you’ll be able to order the product and have it delivered. But first you have to make sure the blades are really fit.
- 1 Things to Consider before Buying a Band Saw Blade
- 2 Choose Your Blade by Cutting Type
- 3 Our Pick For Best Band Saw Blades
- 4 Short Review Of Best Band saw Blades
- 5 How to Install a New Saw Blade
- 6 Safety Tips
- 7 Maintenance Tips
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 Final Word
Things to Consider before Buying a Band Saw Blade
Type of Pitch: There are two basic types, constant and variable.
- Constant: All the teeth have rake angle, gullet depth and evenly spaced. You can identify them by a pitch number. They’re for general cutting.
- Variable: The depth and size of the gullet vary. This helps cut down vibration and noise for smooth and quick cutting. These blades have two pitch numbers.
Tooth Pitch: The best band saw blades – and all saw band blades – are identified by the number of teeth per inch (TPI). Aggressive blades have a low pitch number. This also leads to a faster cut but the surface has a rougher appearance. Higher pitch blades produce a smoother but slower cut.
Width of the Blade: Wide blades are stiff and ideal for making veneers, thinning a board or straight cuts. For tighter curves, narrow blades are recommended. Narrow blades come with more teeth per inch.
Blade Thickness: The thicker the blade the wider the kerf is going to be, and vice versa. A narrow kerf leads to easier cuts. Thickness is usually not a factor except when cutting veneer or working on green wood.
Tooth Styles / Geometry: Band saw teeth come in different geometries including standard, raker, hook and skip. A hook tooth is suitable for general band saw work. Standard, raker and skip teeth produce clean cuts. However they are not as fast as a hook tooth.
Tooth Sets: The best band saw blades are compatible with a wide range of tooth sets.
- Wavy Band Saw Blade Set: the set comes with teeth on the left and right. Un-set raker teeth keep them separate. They’re used mainly for cutting small shapes, thin sheets, pipes and tubes.
- Alternate Band Saw Blade Set: also known as double alternate sets, they are suitable for wood cutting. They produce smooth and fast cuts.
- Raker Tooth Set: they are comprised of one unset raker tooth, one tooth on the left and another on the right. These are for sawing thick metal parts on cutoff, horizontal equipment. They’re also used for re-sawing and contour cutting vertical band equipment.
Tooth Material: Majority of saw blades have a bi-metal construction, carbide tipped teeth or carbon steel. Hardened carbon bade is the most affordable. The most expensive and durable are carbide blades. Bi-metal blades are in-between carbide and carbon blades in terms of longevity and cost. With so many choices, it might seem more confusing than helpful. However they’re actually helpful when you need to do specific cuts. In most cases a hook tooth (TPI .1/2” x 3) can handle general purpose sawing. You only need to get into the nitty gritty specs if working on projects with special requirements. Carbide blades are the most dependable, but most people find bi-metal blades a reliable alternative. If your budget allows for carbide blades get them. But if not bi-metal blades will do fine. Of course you should buy from reputable brands.
Choose Your Blade by Cutting Type
Re-sawing and Ripping: The best band saw blades for this are 1.3, 2 and 3 TPI. These are thick stock and make very aggressive cuts. 2 TPI can cut 50 mm thick wood and higher. 1.3 cuts 100 mm and above and 3 TPI is used for wood that is 25 mm thick and higher.
Metal Cutting: The tooth pitch and cutting speed determine its efficiency. Most band saws have two speed settings for cutting metal. The rule of thumb is the harder the metal the slower the cut has to be. The slow speed on your band saw can be used for aluminium, brass and other non-ferrous metals.
Bowl Blanks: Coarse teeth blades are the most practical option. They’re especially good for hard wood. For straight cuts you’ll need a wide blade. For radius cuts, the 3/8” will do. For thin stock 4 to 6 TPI will suffice. For general cuts 3 TPI works fine.
General Cutting: Everyone has their own idea of what general purpose cutting is, so the definition is a broad one. Anywhere from 4 TPI to 10 TPI works fine, both 1/2” and 3/8”.
- 4 TPI is what you’ll use for wood at least 20 mm thick with good finish.
- 6 TPI is more suitable for 10 mm thick wood and is going to give you superior finish.
- 4 TPI and 10 TPI are most appropriate for 6 mm thick stock and above.
Veneer: The most popular choice is the 3 to 4 TPI. Look for band saw blades that reduce waste. They’re also ideal for cutting 25 mm and above stock.
Cutting Shapes, Radius and Boxes: Narrow blades such as ¼”, 1/8″ and 3/16″ are the most practical. The majority of band saws are set at ¼” to be the narrowest. Not all band saws can do 3/16″ or 1/8″. However you can work around this by placing a narrow piece of wood over the guide.
Tooth Pitch Guidelines:
- 14 TPI is going to provide the smoothest finish. This is best used for thin materials like acrylic, plastic and wood. 14 TPI can cut thick stock but it’s going to take more time.
- 6 TPI and 10 TPI are good for general purpose work.
- 4 TPI is often used for cutting thick stock. You’ll want to use this only on stock that doesn’t require a fine finish or will be sanded.
Our Pick For Best Band Saw Blades
We made a short list of 5 best band saw blades for you. Let’s take a look at our best pick.
Short Review Of Best Band saw Blades
Here is the short review of each best band saw blade that we selected for you.
1. DEWALT DW3984C 24 TPI Portable Band Saw Blade
Some of the best band saw blade reviews have been given to the Dewalt DW3984C, and we say it’s well deserved. With 24 TPI the blade is capable of cutting through a wide range of materials. We like its quality and the finished cut has decent finish. We also notice that it can handle hard steel well. We have come across a number of good blades for and saw. However, the Dewalt is one of the most durable we’ve seen. For its price and quality we recommend this without hesitation. The fact that it’s in a 3-pack means you don’t have to worry about buying a replacement soon. Its ideal for thick metal, medium metal and thin gauge metal cutting.
- Matrix II High Speed Steel Edge for Heat and Wear Resistance.
- 8% Cobalt Content For Added Durability & Wear.
- Rc 65-67 Tooth Hardness For Increased Wear Resistance.
- Teeth Per Inch: 24
- Alloy Steel Backer for Fatigue Resistance.
- Cuts thin, medium and thick metal.
- Designed for heavy duty use.
- Doesn’t wear down quickly.
- Not prone to overheating.
- Does not need frequent sharpening.
- The blade seam could be stronger.
- One customer review complained the blade breaks quickly.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The best band saw blade reviews have given this the thumbs up. The majority have given it 5 stars for reliability and ease of use. One customer says he’s very happy with how the blade works and will buy again. Another reviewer says he’s used the blade on sawing thread, struts and other materials with ease.
A lot of the customers are happy with the Dewalt blade’s performance. A few reviews are negative. However the majority speak highly of it. After reviewing these blades we have to agree with the feedback.
2. Timber Wolf Bandsaw Blade 3/4″ x 93-1/2″, 3 TPI
Any compilation of the best band saw blade reviews should include the Timber Wolf Blade. Quality wise it is one of the best we have tried. The low carbide steel and high silicon combo are ideal for re-sawing. It’s built is similar to the more expensive blades. However it is more affordable and lasts longer. Timber Wolf manufactures a lot of good blades, and we have to say this is one of their best yet. Not all blades are good at re-sawing, but this is. With its low tooth and width, the blade cuts through materials without trouble. It runs cooler and lasts longer and ideal for resawing thick stock.
- High silicon, low carbide steel.
- Blade has over 60% of the speed capabilities of a hook blade.
- Couple that with the special 6.5° rake, 5-tooth set pattern, and .025″ thick thin-kerf blade.
- Runs under low tension which requires less horsepower.
- Blade is not prone to overheating.
- Kerf is narrow.
- Compatible with low power band saws.
- Combines the best features of a skip and hook tooth.
- Designed for continuous use.
- One customer says the blade dulls too quickly.
- Tensioning instruction could have been better.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The best band saw blade reviews have given the Timber Wolf 5 stars. The majority of reviewers say it works well at re-sawing. One customer says he was having trouble cutting thick logs. He then purchased these blades and he got through the logs quickly. This sentiment was shared by other customers.
Aside from re-sawing, the Timber Wolf blades have also gotten praise for being quiet. As many reviewers have pointed out, the blade produces a smooth cut. One customer also said that it cuts very well, sips quickly and arrives well packaged.
3. Olson Saw FB14593DB HEFB Band 6-TPI Skip Saw Blade
The Olson FB14593DB saw blade earns a place in our list because of its superior quality. The blades are made in China, but we found them durable and dependable. We also like the blade’s versatility. Most people use it for wood, but it’s just as effective for non-ferrous metal. The blade tracks accurately. Cutting speed is good and lasts longer than most. The blade cuts straight and doesn’t require as much force. This is great for all vertical, stationary,floor standing 2-wheel band saws. At last we can say that these are heavy duty, durable,commercial grade band saw blades for industrial,woodworking, DIY, and professional craftsmen.
- Easy installation and easy handling.
- The blade produces a smooth cut.
- Can be used on plastic and other materials.
- Blade construction is of professional quality.
- Ideal for home use, carpenters and craftsmen.
- Compatible with a wide range of band saws.
- A few customers say the blade dulls quickly.
- One customer says the blade arrived in busted package.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The Olson has received some of the best band saw blade reviews online. One buyer says it’s worth every cent. Another reviewer says it offers good value and quality. Another person bought the blades online and says he was not disappointed with the performance. This view is shared by a lot of customers.
The blade has gotten favorable feedback too from long time DIY enthusiasts. One customer says the blade cuts wood and metal smoothly. A furniture maker also bought the blades online. In a review he points out its superiority compared to other blades. By and large the feedback has been favorable.
4. Timber Wolf Bandsaw Blade 1/4″ x 93-1/2″, 6 TPI
Timber Wolf makes some of the best band saw blades, and this is one of their top releases yet. What we like about this blade is it doesn’t need as much power as other blades. Most require powerful band saws and high tension. With the Timber Wolf, we’re able to cut wood and metal without trouble. If you’ve got a low power band saw and want to increase its capacity, these blades will do. It’s dependable, durable and a good value purchase.
- Length: 93-1/2″
- Width: 1/4″
- Type: Carbon steel
- TPI: 6 Pos Claw
- Gauge: 0.025″
- Band wheel using 30% less tension
- 50% sharper out of the box
- Gets rid of work hardening zones.
- Doesn’t need a lot of power.
- Works with low tension.
- Doesn’t wear out quickly.
- Instructions could have been clearer.
- Blade welding may cause a bit of vibration.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
We have to agree with the best band saw blade reviews that the Timber Wolf is a good blade. A custom woodworker says he’ll recommend the blade to his friends. Another reviewer says it’s true the blade doesn’t need as much tension. A customer who bought the blades says performance is good whether it is metal or wood. While there are a few negative reviews, most are favorable.
The Timber Wolf has received a lot of 5 star reviews for its quality. A lot of people have also given this high marks for its longevity. When everything is taken into consideration we have to agree with these.
5. Bosch BS6412-24M 64-1/2-Inch by 1/2-Inch by 24TPI Metal Bandsaw Blade
This is one of the best band saw blades we’ve tried. The quality is top notch and it has a solid feel to it. The geometry is well-designed and works well with different types of cuts. We also like the ease with which you can install it. Once in place the blade cuts through wood, metals and others materials smoothly. The blade works fine on different materials, but we find it works best on fine materials. Cutting angles is made easy too. We like how quickly the blade cuts, saving you time.
- Blade Length: 64.5
- Blade Thickness: 0.02″
- Length: 64.5″
- Material: premium grade steel
- Teeth Per Inch: 24
- Thickness: .020″
- Width: 0.5″
- Works well for cutting narrow stock.
- Cuts metal well.
- Sharpens easily.
- Resists heat build up for longer life.
- Optimized tooth geometry for best cutting performance.
- Holds up well to long term use.
- Quality comparable to more expensive blades.
- Some reviewers find the cutting too fine.
- Heats quite a bit when used extensively.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Reviews for the Bosch are mostly favorable. One reviewer says the blade is easy to use and cuts metal “like it was butter”. Another customer simply said the blade is worth the money. A lot of the 4 and 5 star ratings all agree the blades work like they should and remain sharper than other blades.
Not all customer reviews are positive. Some complain the blade teeth are too fine. For the most part the feedback is positive and that says a lot about the blade’s quality. Aside from the blade’s good quality, customers say it’s also easy to order.
How to Install a New Saw Blade
- To install the best band saw blades, start by wearing gloves and eye protection. Turn off the blade and unplug from the power source if necessary.
- Loose the blade guides according to the instruction manual. Release its tension and take out the old blade carefully.
- Get your new blade. Position the blade using the guide bearings. Tighten the tension, holding the saw firmly. It is important that you tighten the blade but not to overdo it.
- Re-adjust the blade according to the instructions in your user manual.
- Check the blade and make sure it is installed properly. Test the blade. If there is vibration, adjust the tension. Keep making adjustments until the vibration has disappeared.
This is a general guideline only. The user manual that came with your band saw may have more specific or different instructions.
- Even if you’re using the best band saw blades, take all precautions. Wear a face shield or safety goggles.
- Read the safety guidelines in your user manual.
- Hearing protection will be necessary especially if you’ll be doing a lot of woodwork.
- Protective footwear keeps saw dust off your feet.
- Make certain the saw is well oiled.
- Work only in a well-lit and clutter free environment.
- Ensure each guard is properly set.
- The height of the blade guard should be 1/8" or 3 mm over the stock you’re cutting.
- The blade has to freely run against the lower and upper guide rollers. Don’t use the blade unless it’s properly tracking.
- The blade needs to have the proper tension. Here an auto tension feature comes in handy.
- Use only blades with the proper TPI and it should be sharp.
- The stock should be firmly set against the table so it doesn’t move.
- De-tensioning After Use: The best band saw blades should be de-tensioned if you won’t be using it for an extended period. De-tensioning methods vary but usually it involves adjusting a lever to release the tension. There are a lot of band saw users who don’t see the need for de-tensioning. However it helps prolong the blade’s lifespan.
- Maintaining Proper Lubrication: Lubricating is essential to ensure top performance. Apply the lubricant as directed. Apply on each side of the blade. If there’s a lot of noise from the blade, apply lubricant every 5 minutes while the blade is running. Repeat this until the noise dissipates by at least half. Do not use water for lubrication.
- Regular Maintenance for the Bearings: Take off the band saw cover. Make sure the bearings can move without obstruction. Spray the bearings with lubricant. The belts have to be tight. Replace worn out belts. Finally, use an air compressor to get rid of the saw dust.
- Sharpen the Blade: Sharpen the blade on a regular basis to ensure optimum performance. This isn’t as hard as you might think. You just need a sharpening stone and rub it on the blade’s sides. You can also maintain the gullet by rubbing the stone at its bottom.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are bimetal blades durable?
Answer: It depends on how you use the blade. But on the average they’re going to last 5 times longer compared to carbon blades.
2. What are bimetal blades made from?
Answer: They are constructed from different metals and joined together via an electron beam.
3. What types of metals can a band saw blade cut?
Answer: It depends on the blade you’re using. Most can handle ferrous and non-ferrous metals like titanium, stainless steel, steel, bronze, brass and aluminum.
4. What are the uses of a band saw blade?
Answer: There are band saw blades for lumbering, woodworking and metal cutting. Some blades are also designed to cutting different types of materials.
5. Can I use a carbon steel blade for metal cutting?
Answer: Carbon steel blade can be used on non-ferrous metals, bronze and mild steel. For intensive use, bimetal is recommended.
There are a lot of reasons why band saw blades are mainstays in workers’ tool sheds. They’re versatile, powerful and can be used in a wide range of applications. If you’ve ever used one of these before you know powerful they can be. But finding the right blades can be difficult unless you know what you’re looking for.
With our reviews of the best band saw blades here, you shouldn’t have any more problems deciding what to buy. With the additional information you also now have an idea of how they work and what features really matter.