Bandsaw Blade

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The bandsaw blade you opt for will be determined not only by your specific woodworking projects, but the quality of the lumber as well. Fitting a blade that's inappropriate for the task at hand is a good way to ruin an otherwise fine piece of wood. True craftsmen are like doctors who assess their patients' overall health before determining the proper course of action.

Three basic grades of bandsaw blade are more than capable of addressing 99 percent of your needs: carbon steel blades, bi-metal blades, and carbide-tipped blades. Carbon steel blades are optimal when it comes to softwoods such as pine and poplar. Their heat-treated teeth make for precision cuts, and their strong fatigue life means they'll give you years of reliable performance.

Other Types of Bandsaw Blades

Bi-metal blades are better with hardwoods such as walnut and oak. These wood species require more forceful cutting, which is exactly what bi-metals are meant for. Many of them boast up to 10 times the life expectancy of a standard carbon blade. You'll also tend to get smoother cutting from your bi-metal blade, which is important since harder species of wood can be tougher on your woodworking equipment.

Finally, there are carbide blades, which are suited to tropical hardwoods such as ebony and koa. These blades offer the fastest cutting of the three varieties as well as enough smoothness to eliminate the need for three-quarters of the usual sanding that's required. Before you plow forward on your next woodworking project, stop and take stock of the materials you're using to help you better determine the most suitable tools.


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