How to Choose a Steel Band Saw Blade

How to Choose a Steel Band Saw Blade

Avoid personal injury by using proper PPE, adjusting machine settings and following blade sharpening techniques. Always use proper feed pressure and avoid bending or forcing the blade during cutting.

The primary cause of blade failure in fabrication shops is tooth stripping from overloading forces during cutting structural shapes and bundles. LENOX bi-metal and carbide tipped band saw blades can provide toughness and edge holding ability for these tougher metals.


The length of a metal band saw blade can be determined by rolling it down a sheet of paper until it comes back up and hits the floor. The distance between the marks made on the floor is the blade’s length in inches.

Knowing the material’s machinability is important, as some types of metal need to be cut at certain speeds or the blade will wear quickly. It’s best to consult a metal fabrication expert or the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine what speed to use for each type of material.

There are many different tooth shapes available for metal cutting bandsaw blades, with the three most common being regular (which has a straight zero-degree rake and is used for general purpose jobs), hook (which has a 10-degree positive rake and cuts a wide range of nonferrous materials quickly), and skip (which has both a positive and negative rake and cuts a wide range or ferrous and nonferrous materials). Make sure to properly break in a new blade before you begin cutting, and check the bearings supporting the blade wheel shaft to ensure they’re running smooth. De-tension the blade when it’s not in use to extend its life.


A narrow general purpose blade that cuts a variety of common materials, especially those that are soft or non-abrasive. It’s a great choice for maintenance shops that cut a variety of materials, as it saves on blade changes.

The body of this band saw blade is heat treated for extra stability while cutting. The teeth are Steel band saw blade made from M42 cobalt high-speed steel that is triple tempered for longer life and to help withstand the occasional nail that may strike the blade. The blade is available in various lengths from 15″ to 26″.

Choosing the right blade for your materials can save you money, waste material and time. It’s best to have several different types of blades on hand, so you can switch between them depending on the material and shapes you’re cutting. The key to selecting the correct blade is to match the tooth configuration, width, pitch and gullet size with the hardness of your material. Using the wrong blade can result in damage to your equipment and an inefficient or incomplete cut. The proper blade will ensure a clean cut with a fine surface finish.

Tooth Pitch

The tooth pitch of a band saw blade determines how many teeth contact the workpiece at a time. It is an important measurement because it directly influences the kind and quality of cut a blade produces.

For example, a blade with a higher tooth pitch (and corresponding TPI) will produce a smoother but slower cut than one with a lower TPI and smaller tooth pitch. Choosing the right tooth pitch for an application depends on both the type of material and the workpiece size and thickness.

The optimal bandsaw blade for interrupted cutting has both flexibility and wear resistance. Tooth geometry is key to this: a bimetal blade’s unique grooved-tooth design limits damage caused by the highly varying stresses that occur during interruptions, especially when cutting bundles of Tinplate steel plate manufacturer structural shapes. Bimetal is made from a combination of tough and wear-resistant materials, which gives it its flexibility, and it’s joined together using a process that minimizes heat-induced stress at the joining zone. This makes the resulting joint stronger and less likely to strip the teeth.

Tooth Rake Angle

The thickness of a band saw blade’s kerf determines its speed and feed rate and partially defines its compatibility with specific saws. The kerf also influences the type of small-radius contour cuts that can be made with a given blade.

The toothrake angle, or shape, of a bandsaw blade’s teeth is also critical to its cutting capability. The rake angle of a tooth can be negative, neutral or positive. Aggressive, hook-shaped teeth are suitable for fast cutting in soft woods but can cause premature dulling and poor surface finish.

For most interrupted cutting applications, a variable pitch/variable set blade with varying gullet depths and tooth rake angles is the best choice. This design helps reduce vibration and noise levels as well as heat and wear on the blade. Many structural pieces, tubing and solid workpieces tend to pinch blades, so they require wider tooth sets that create a larger kerf to minimize this effect.


The number of teeth per inch (TPI) on a band saw blade is one of the most important measurements when choosing a metal cutting band saw. TPI determines how quickly and smoothly a metal band saw can cut into the material. The higher the TPI, the smoother and faster the cuts will be.

TPI also determines how wide a metal band saw blade can be. The wider the blade, the more material it can cut. The blade should be wide enough to fit the bandsaw’s wheel diameter, but not so wide that it creates excessive heat or has trouble turning.

If you’re looking for an all-purpose metal cutting band saw blade that can handle ripcuts, crosscuts, and mild curves, go with a 3/8 in., 6-tpi hook-tooth blade. This blade has a broad enough width to work well on most materials and will leave you with quality cuts.