Bandsaw Blade Size Matters

May 02, 2019

We constantly have customers come into our shop in Phoenix and ask about the correct bandsaw blade for their equipment and stock they are cutting. Selecting the proper bandsaw blade is an important factor in quality cutting and safety. Every bandsaw requires a specific length for its blade, depending on the machine. Since it's crucial that the blade fits the machine, choosing customized cut-to-length bandsaw blades is an effective strategy.  

How Stock Thickness Affects Blade Size

One of the primary factors to keep in mind when pursuing cut-to-length bandsaw blades is the thickness of the stock you plan to cut. For thin stock you can use a blade with many teeth. Thicker stock requires less teeth. If you need to cut various types of stock then you will need different blades for specific projects. Three teeth per inch of the stock you're cutting is generally appropriate. 

Blade width is just as important as blade length, as thinner blades correspond with cutting tight curves, while thicker blades work for resawing projects. For certain wood cutting projects you may decide to use a riser block.

Determining Proper Blade Length

Bandsaw blades are big loops that wrap around the two pulley wheels, which is why blade size matters. You can determine the right blade size from this equation: half the circumference of the top pulley half the circumference of the bottom pulley the lengths of each leg, which can be measured by the distances between the pulley axles. One way to write this equation is:

1/2 C of P1 1/2 C of P2 L1 L2 = blade size

(where C = circumference, P=pulley and L=leg)

Another way to calculate a pulley value is by measuring the radius multiplied by pi (3.14). The legs can be measured by doubling the distance from one pulley axle to the other. Then adding up all these values gives you the size of the blade you need. 

How Correct Blade Length Avoids Damage

Blade length must be accurate or you can damage your machine and stock. It helps to analyze a checklist of variables which include operator skill level, equipment properties and surface feet per minute (SFM), which is rated by the manufacturer. 

Even though bandsaws are considered relatively safe compared with other electric saws, you can still get injured if you do not use the right equipment and protective gear. If all these details seem too complex, consider working with an experienced expert who can guarantee appropriate cut-to-length bandsaw blades. 

For proper use of a bandsaw, cut-to-length bandsaw blades help ensure safe, effective cuts. Echols Saw & Supply is a family business that's served Arizona for over three decades. Call us at (602) 278-3918 to learn more about how we can provide quality cutting and fabrication services.