A properly used and maintained bandsaw is a great addition to any workshop. A band saw can perform many of the tasks that your other power tools will not do.
Being able to recognize and understand the various types of band saw blades is just as important to your workshop as a good band saw itself.
With a proper bandsaw blade you get a better, cleaner cut. The job is done safer and in a healthier environment. Having the proper bandsaw blades makes a cut or resaw much more easier to execute for example.
Types of Blades
There are three major types of blades. Each blade offers a cut that is best for the different materials being cut. Using the proper type of band saw blade is an essential part of any bandsaw project.
Regular Tooth – These are the perfect band saw blades for those finer cuts you need to make in wood. The teeth are extremely fine and make for an extremely smooth cut. It is not suggested that you do a resawing project with a regular tooth blade. Instead, use one of the other blades mentioned below.
Hook Tooth – These are the perfect blades for difficult and hard materials. This is an extremely aggressive blade and should not be used by novices to the bandsaw. The hook tooth blade cuts a 10 degree rake angle.
Skip Tooth – These are the perfect blades for softer and easier types of materials. This is considered a perfect all-purpose blade. It is an excellent blade for resawing. The skip tooth blade cuts at a zero degree rake angle making it perfect for the average user. These blades are probably the most used by band saw users.
Tooth Set - The majority of woodworking band saw blades will have what's called an alternate tooth set. As you can see from the image, the each tooth will be pointed outward in an alternating fashion. This does make the kerf wider, but is necessary to clear the area of wood chips as the blades goes through the wood.
The more teeth your blade has per inch, the smoother the cut achieved. However, the smoother the cut, the slower the cutting action. Having at least 3 teeth in your material at every turn of the blade is optimal. This gives added security to your project, keeping you safe from harm. If you want to resaw a piece of material, you need an aggressive blade.
The wider a blade width is, the more stability you will get and the more straight the cut will be. A more narrow blade will give a tighter cut that is perfect for a more detailed project. As a rule of thumb, use the widest blade your project can handle. This adds safety to your project.
Safety should always be your first concern. If you are using the correct band saw blade for the task at hand, not only will the cut be cleaner, but it will be safer at the same time.