The Best Bandsaw Blades: Easily Cut Wood and Other Materials
Make sure you’re choosing the perfect bandsaw blade thanks to our informative review and buying guide
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON November 23, 2020
When you need to cut lumber into irregular shapes, a band saw is your biggest ally. This handy woodworking power tool can handle irregular cuts without any issue, and it can also be used to cut curves, tackle thick pieces of lumber, crosscut short pieces, and rip lumber into thinner slabs of wood. But in order to accomplish any of these tasks, you need both a band saw and the right band saw blade. Band saw blades are available in different lengths, widths, thicknesses, and styles of tooth configuration — and each of these different qualities can affect the outcome of the project. If you’re searching for quality band saw blades, check out the following top options.
- Highly affordable bandsaw blade
- Made with premium materials to resist heat during use and to function with smooth, wear-resistant operation
- This blade is great for making rough cuts, but may not be the best choice for fine woodworking
- Made out of high-grade carbon steel, which provides heat resistance
- Reliable enough to cut consistently and precisely on any job
- Not compatible with all bandsaw brands
- Some concern over the long-term durability of the blade
Built with a Matrix II high-speed steel edge that’s resistant to heat and wear, this blade also features eight percent cobalt to increase its durability and ability to combat dulling.
- Blade teeth are RC 65-67 in hardness so they too can resist wear and tear
- Suitable for cutting thin, medium, and thick metals
- Pricier than some other brands
- Some concern over the long-term reliability of the weld on the blade
In the market for a new band saw? Check out our top picks here.
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Benefits of Bandsaw Blades
- Versatile. Bandsaw blades are strong and durable and as such, they’re not restricted to cutting one specific material but are suitable for wood, metal, plastic, and more.
- Improved precision. The results obtained from bandsaw blades are far superior when it comes to accuracy and precision than many other cutting or sawing methods, thanks to blade tracking adjustments and dual bearing blade guide rollers
- Improved efficiency. Bandsaw blades have a smaller kerf than many other saws or cutting tools, which results in much less wasted product and more efficient use of materials. The thinner the blade, the less waste.
- Increased control. Bandsaw blades have the capability of accurately and precisely cutting or trimming irregular shapes easily and quickly and are far superior to other methods of creative cutting.
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Types of Bandsaw Blades
Regular Tooth Bandsaw Blades
Regular tooth bandsaw blades are the most common type of saw blades. Their teeth are proportionally spaced out, making them ideal for general purpose cutting and contour sawing. The teeth have a straight face and an even gullet with a straight or zero-degree rake, making them great choices for cutting thin materials in which you want a fine finish. They’re most commonly used with wood and general metals.
Hook Tooth Bandsaw Blades
Hook tooth bandsaw blades have a deep gullet, larger teeth that are more widely spaced, and a positive 10-degree rake angle. They are used to make faster, more aggressive, coarser cuts in thicker woods, hardwoods, plastics, and metals. They’re also great for making longer cuts since the deep gullet and positive rake angle efficiently and quickly move material out of the way.
Skip Tooth Bandsaw Blades
Skip tooth bandsaw blades are sort of a cross between regular tooth and hook tooth blades. They have a shallow gullet with widely spaced teeth and a zero degree rake angle. Commonly, they have a 90-degree tooth. This allows for clean, unclogged cutting of softwood, plastics, and non-ferrous metals that might normally gum up the blade.
Read up on our favorite hand saws here.
It all began when Raymond DeWalt perfected the first woodworking machine in 1922. DeWalt has multiple manufacturing and distribution centers throughout the United States that deliver innovative products like the DeWalt 20V Max Brushless Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit and the DeWalt 20V Max XR 3-Speed Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit.
Bosch was founded in 1886 in Stuttgart by Robert Bosch. Today it is a globally reaching organization that gives millions of dollars to charities each year and manufacturers reliable and trusted tools like its line of cordless power tools and high tech appliances like its line of induction cooktops.
Based in Waukegan, Ill., PowerTec has long been producing trusted and durable tools and accessories. Some of its more popular products include the PowerTec Belt and Disc Sander and the PowerTec Benchtop Thickness Planer.
Lenox began in 1915 with a team of 10 people and a passion for bringing customers faster-cutting, longer-lasting hacksaw blades. Now, more than 100 years later, the company has diversified to offer helpful products like the Lenox All-In-One Screwdriver and the Lenox 18-Piece Precision Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver Set.
See our recommendations for reciprocating saws here.
Bandsaw Blade Pricing
- Under $10: Bandsaw blades in this price range are for the extremely budget-conscious. Made from mid-grade materials, they’re great for the occasional sawing job but do tend to dull faster than some higher-end options.
- $10-$15: Bandsaw blades in this price range start to get sturdier and longer-lasting. They’re made from reliable metals that don’t tend to dull or break too quickly.
- $15 and up: This price range is where you will find higher-end bandsaw blades that are some of the longest-lasting, best-engineered blades available. This is also the price range where you will find multi-blade packs for people who use their bandsaws frequently.
Making sure you purchase a bandsaw blade that is the correct length is imperative to ensure proper function. Some bandsaws allow for up to a 2-inch margin of error in which they will still be able to function reliably, but really, the more accurate, the better. Be sure to check your user’s manual or use this equation to measure what length you need: (2xA) + (3.14xB), where “A” is the distance in inches between your bandsaw wheel centers with the upper wheel midway in its adjustment range, and “B” is your bandsaw’s wheel diameter.
Blade width is very important based on the type of job you want to do. If you want to make straight, larger cuts in thicker pieces of wood or other material, you want a wider blade width. If you’re looking to do more accurate or curved cuts, you’ll need a smaller blade width. Generally, for curved cuts, you want a blade width that is just slightly less than the radius of the curve you want. Several woodworking or manufacturer websites have helpful charts like this to aid you in selecting the proper width for your bandsaw blade:
- Width of Blade: 1/8 and Min. Radius: 3/16
- Width of Blade: 3/16 and Min. Radius: 5/16
- Width of Blade: 1/4 and Min. Radius: 5/8
- Width of Blade: 3/8 and Min. Radius: 1-1/2
- Width of Blade: 1/2 and Min. Radius: 2-1/2
- Width of Blade: 5/8 and Min. Radius: 4
- Width of Blade: 3/4 and Min. Radius: 5-1/2
- Width of Blade: 1 and Min. Radius: 7
Selecting the appropriate blade thickness is important because continued heating and flexing of the blade can cause untimely metal fatigue and failure. The blade’s thickness depends on the diameter of your saw wheels. A thicker blade is fine if you’re doing mostly straight cutting without a lot of curved angles, where the blade will tend to break faster. Lighter, more precise work requires a thinner blade. This handy chart shows you ideal blade thicknesses:
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 4 – 6 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .014
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 6 – 8 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .018
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 8 – 10 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .020
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 11 – 18 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .025
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 18 – 24 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .032
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 24 – 30 and Blade Thickness (Inches): .035
- Wheel Diameter (Inches): 30+ and Blade Thickness (Inches): .042, .050, .063
- Number of Teeth. This is measured in something known as “TPI”, which stands for “teeth per inch”. A blade with many teeth will have a smoother, more defined finish, but will take longer to complete a cut than a blade with fewer TPI. If you plan to saw through a thicker material, a TPI of 2 or 3 is likely sufficient, but if you’re doing something more intricate, you may want a TPI of around 14. A TPI of 6 to 8 is usually good for general purpose sawing.
- Saw Tooth Orientation. The teeth of your bandsaw blade can be oriented in different directions to achieve different results. A “raker” tooth is one tooth that points to the right while the next tooth points to the left, followed by a straight blade. It’s ideal for rounded parts and smooth joints. An alternate teeth style is teeth that alternate facing left, then right, left, etc. with no raker in between. A wavy tooth set has groups of teeth set left and then right with an unset raker in between. This tooth set is used for cutting very thin materials.
- Saw Blade Material. The two common materials that saw blades are made of are carbon or bimetal. Carbon saw blades are best for cutting aluminum, carbon, brass, graphite, and bronze. Bimetal bandsaw blades are best for cutting aluminum, non-ferrous materials, alloy steels, carbon steels, stainless steels, and tool steels.
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- Always be sure to release your blade tension at the end of the day to promote longevity and reliability not only in your saw blade but also in your band saw.
- Be sure to frequently clear sawdust and debris away from the table insert blade guide to allow for accurate and safe cutting.
- Keep the blade guide bearings and drive components of your bandsaw well lubricated and clear from sawdust build-up to promote smooth bandsaw operation.
- Be sure to frequently lubricate your bandsaw blade during use, regardless of what material you’re cutting to get the cleanest, smoothest cuts.
- Feel free to round the back of your bandsaw blades with a file to remove any manufacturer’s defects or imperfections from the blade surface to prevent scraping of the thrust bearings and bindings when cutting curves.
- Always clean the surface of your bandsaw’s table, fence, and miter slots. You can even apply a good quality wax to help minimize friction during cutting.
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Bandsaw Blade FAQs
Q. What is the best general-purpose bandsaw blade?
A bandsaw blade with a TPI of 6-8 with either a regular, or variable tooth setting is usually a great choice for general-purpose cutting.
Q. How do I choose a bandsaw blade?
Your user’s manual for your bandsaw should tell you exactly what specifications you need for your particular bandsaw. Our informative buying guide should be able to answer any other questions you might have about selecting the best bandsaw blade for you.
Q. What is the best bandsaw blade for cutting steel?
A bimetal bandsaw blade with a hook-style of teeth and a wavy tooth configuration is usually the best choice for cutting steel.
There are many things to think about when selecting the appropriate bandsaw blade to suit your needs. From the Bosch Heavy Duty Stationary Band Saw Blade to the PowerTec 13104X Band Saw Bladeor something in between, there’s a saw blade out there to suit the needs of any bandsaw user.