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Thread: Olson bandsaw blades

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Olson bandsaw blades

    I just got my first bandsaw a Rikon 10-324 and need it pick up some blades. I did not want to spend to much rite now after buying the saw. Looking at cheaper blades till I get a feel for how I will use the new bandsaw Then buy better blades next time.

    Olson has the all pro pgt for $27 at rockler and the flex back for $16 on amazon?
    So how do the 2 compare?
    Are they good blades?
    Is it just blade life or will the all pro pgt all so leave a better cut?

    I am thinking about getting a 1/2 3tpi and a 1/4 6tpi or a 3/16 10tpi if I get the pro pgt

  2. #2
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    I like the pro Olsen blades. They do last longer I use Olsen blades on my 14 pm.
    I cant say for sure if the cut would be better for you.Too many variables between the wood and your saw.
    But thatís the fun part you get to sort out. Then youíll know your saw like no one else
    Aj

  3. #3
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    Feb 2017
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    Northern Illinois
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    I've used Carter's blades, Highland Woodworking Slicer, Olson, Timber Wolf, and recently bought a Starrett (because of a good price). I just put a 1/2" Carter blade on the other day and found it to be very sharp, but don't know how long it will last. Carter generally has good deals on multiple blade buys at Woodworking Shows if there is one nearby where you live in the near future.

  4. #4
    I have an Olson on my Rikon 10-325. Works just fine.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    Start cheap. Go from there.

    John

  6. #6
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    I've used Olson Pro on my smaller woodcutting bandsaw. The cheaper blades are fine but just don't last as long.

    Another place to check is someone who makes blades. A local company keeps bulk Lenox blade stock and makes blades to order. I usually sharpen two or three times before I switch blades. (I only sharpen the 3 or 4 tpi blades, the finer toothed blades take too much time for the 142" blades I use.

    I recommend having an extra blade on hand in case you damage one or want to change quickly to a sharp blade.

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    I just got my first bandsaw a Rikon 10-324 and need it pick up some blades. I did not want to spend to much rite now after buying the saw. Looking at cheaper blades till I get a feel for how I will use the new bandsaw Then buy better blades next time.

    Olson has the all pro pgt for $27 at rockler and the flex back for $16 on amazon?
    So how do the 2 compare?
    Are they good blades?
    Is it just blade life or will the all pro pgt all so leave a better cut?

    I am thinking about getting a 1/2 3tpi and a 1/4 6tpi or a 3/16 10tpi if I get the pro pgt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
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    26,796
    I have had good luck with the Olson bimetal blades on my MM-16.
    Ken

  8. #8
    I use my 14" bandsaw mostly for resawing musical instrument parts from rough planks. I have used most of the various brands and models of blades suitable for my saw. I have flip flopped on what I like. I was infatuated with some premium choices that I later decided were not all that. Timberwolf kind of fell into that category. They were great when new, but didn't last all that well and weren't enough better than run of the mill blades. So while they are okay I have fell out of love with them.

    The Infinity Cutting Tools resaw blades are pretty good, but again I am not sure they are that much better than the run of the mill blade or hold up any longer.

    I am trying the Highland Woodworking blades for the first time and my first impression is really good as are the reviews. They are very sharp and the welds are smooth as any I have seen. The first cuts are super smooth. Time will tell how they hold up.

    That said, buying the lower priced Olson blades and replacing them as needed isn't a bad way to go. It is kind of heartbreaking to ruin a new premium priced blade by carelessly running the teeth into something they shouldn't touch. Much more painless if it is a cheap blade. They work well for a reasonable life span, just change them when they don't.

    I find that using 3/4" blades, even thin blades (0.022" thick") like the timberwolf blades, is a bad idea on my saw. The 5/8" infinity are okay, but it is probably better to stick with 1/2" for resawing with my saw. Your saw may be able to tension better, but I have found 1/2" to be a good limit. For cutting curves obviously narrower blades will be used.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Staehling View Post

    That said, buying the lower priced Olson blades and replacing them as needed isn't a bad way to go. It is kind of heartbreaking to ruin a new premium priced blade by carelessly running the teeth into something they shouldn't touch. Much more painless if it is a cheap blade.
    I bent the stock blade in less than 5 minutes when the 2x4 I had fell into the blade.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    I bent the stock blade in less than 5 minutes when the 2x4 I had fell into the blade.
    I'm curious how a 2x4 fell into a blade. Do you mean it was standing on edge in front of the blade when the saw was running and it tipped over somehow for an instant unsupported cut?

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    Feb 2017
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    Northern Illinois
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    I'm sure there are other bandsaw blade comparisons online but this might help with comparing Timberwolf to sawblade.com blades. The sawblade.com blades are cheaper and, according this video, wear about as well. Not a scientific comparison but interesting. Andrew Klein is usually very thorough and his videos are always interesting.

    https://youtu.be/XyGaQ4bNMuk (Can't paste a link so this is the URL.)

    I don't have any direct experience with using 3/4" blades on a 14" bandsaw, but Alex Snodgrass from Carter Products has always said that, on a 14" bandsaw, 1/2" is sufficient for resawing. Plus, 3/4" blades require more from the motor to drive the blade; more wood being removed and, to some extent, blade mass to move at the bandsaw's speed. Anyway, when my bandsaw is setup the way it should be, the 1/2" blades work great. 3/4" blades on a 14" saw just don't seem necessary. The guy from Stockroom Supply (a Canadian company) used to resaw all day at woodworking shows with a 3/8" blade with great results.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Heinemann View Post
    ... 3/4" blades require more from the motor to drive the blade; more wood being removed and, to some extent, blade mass to move at the bandsaw's speed. ...
    3/4" blades on a 14" saw just don't seem necessary. ....
    Worse, 3/4" blades might push the ability of some saws to tension properly. According to my tension gage, 3/4" is even at the edge of what my 18 Rikon can handle unless it's a thinner blade. The proper tension makes a huge difference in the cut. I'm happy with 1/2" blades on that saw.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I'm curious how a 2x4 fell into a blade. Do you mean it was standing on edge in front of the blade when the saw was running and it tipped over somehow for an instant unsupported cut?JKJ
    yes that is about what happened. I had the blade guide up higher than I needed and was flipping around the 2x4 and it ended up in the blade. I do not think I will be making that mistake again.I ended up buying 2 of the cheaper olson blades witch should be here Thursday.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    yes that is about what happened. I had the blade guide up higher than I needed and was flipping around the 2x4 and it ended up in the blade. I do not think I will be making that mistake again.I ended up buying 2 of the cheaper olson blades witch should be here Thursday.
    Yikes, I'll bet that was scary! That has been on my list of things to be aware of but a reminder is good for all of us. I'm teaching another short bandsaw class in a couple of weeks and I'll point that out. I'm also careful about using pencils and measuring tapes and such on the table while the blade is running in case one is dropped.

    I've had two unsupported bandsaw "learning experiences" and fortunately no injuries. On the first one, about 15 years ago, I was trimming some of a block probably 3x3 when it broke along a bark inclusion, twisting and bending the blade and slamming the small Delta to a halt. I learned not to cut wood that could possibly come apart. I saved that piece for years as a reminder.

    The second one was just a couple of months ago. I was cutting a little off the end to square up a small piece of perfectly solid wood, probably 1"x1" by 6" long. The old plywood insert on the table gave away and the end of the block went down and twisted, bending the blade and slamming the big Rikon to a halt. Although I've been making and using such inserts for at least 10 years to save a few bucks, I learned to buy metal or plastic inserts instead. That piece is now by my bandsaw as a reminder.

    Let us know how you like the Olson blades.

    JKJ

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