Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Another Bandsaw Blade Discussion Thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL
    Posts
    6

    Another Bandsaw Blade Discussion Thread

    I am looking to start a more current bandsaw blade discussion for more recent information, recommendations and answers to some questions.

    Specifically I have a circa 2004 MM16 Bandsaw with a 149 inch blade and the Euro Guides. It is time to order some more blades and I figured it would be a great time to update my knowledge of blades with the experiences of the users here before ordering.

    I have 3 general blade use cases: Resawing, circle cutting, and general purpose.

    1) Resawing:

    For resawing I have mostly used The Highland Wood Slicer (1/2"), but now considering the KERFmaster that Spectrum sells. The Wood Slicer is now available in 3/4" also (.022" thickness). Based on reviews and feedback, it appears that the KERFmaster makes similar cuts to the Wood Slicer and a lot of people are satisfied with it at a much lower cost than the Wood Slicer. I do not extensively resaw, so a Lenox Woodmaster CT is not a good option for me. For the KERFmaster, I am looking at the 3/4" x .022' x 3/4T (vari-tooth) as opposed to the 1/2" x .022" x 3/4T version. The MM16 should have no problems tensioning the 3/4" model and THEORETICALLY should give an easier cut. IF ANYONE HERE HAS opinions/experience of the 1/2" and 3/4" models, I'd like to hear them. I am aware that the Wood Slicer and KERFmaster both wear out much faster than the Woodmaster CT.

    2) Circle Cutting:

    After 18 years I finally made a circle cutter. I had the Wood Slicer on the saw at the time and can 100% verify that a 1/2" resaw blade does a POOR job with a circle cutting jig. :-) The minimum radius I could cut was about 9 inches without the saw protesting, which is to be expected with a resaw blade. I put an older, fatter kerf 1/2" blade on the saw and the circle cutting markedly improved, but still had room for improvement (ie., much smaller diameter circles.) Since I don't have a 3/8" blade, I will be purchasing one for use with the jig. I'd rather not go smaller with the Euro Guides. For this blade I am considering The Lenox Diemaster 2. This bi-metal blade in 3/8" only comes in .035" thickness (in a 4 or 6 TPI hook flavor -- the other TPIs are too fine for wood use), Since i want the 3/8" blade I will need to go with the .035" thickness. I am considering the 4 hook variety as opposed to the 6 TPI hook flavor, BUT looking for a recommendation here. Most of my circles should be less than 2 inches in thickness. The other option in 3/8" is the Flex Back in .025" thickness. Tooth patterns are 10 or 14 TPI Raker, 3, 4 or 6 TPI Raker Hook and 3 TPI Alt Hook. I am completely unsure of which tooth pattern is best here.

    3) General Purpose:

    For general purpose usage I am looking at a NON RESAWING 1/2" blade since I already will have the above 3/8" Diemaster 2 that I will use for circle cutting. For this blade I can get another Diemaster 2 in 1/2". The 1/2" comes in both .025" thickness (4 or 6T Hook) and .035" thickness (3, 4 or 6T Hook) unless I go with a 6/10 or similar vari-tooth in .025" thickness. I am not sure which TPI model is best here. The other option is the 1/2" Lenox Flex Back (.025") in 6, 10, or 14T Raker or 3, 4, or 6T Raker Hook. Again, not sure which Tooth Pattern is best here or even the best TPI for a general purpose blade.

    ------

    So, looking for feedback on the KERFmaster in 1/2" or 3/4" resaw applications, the Diemaster 2 or the Flex Back in 3/8" for circle cutting, and for a general purpose blade, is the 1/2 Diemaster 2 or Flex Back better and in which tooth configuration. I have read that the .035" blades have more metal fatigue than the .025" blades, but no practical experience on this. For the circle cutting I am inclined to go with the .035" blade since it may enable tighter circle diameters, but open to suggestions. The Diemaster 2 since it is bi-metal will have a far greater life than the Flex Back blades, but there is a 2.5x price difference.

    Thanks again for feedback and recommendations.

    George

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    8,889
    Why would you not consider the Woodmaster CT? A 1" x 0.035", 1.3 tpi blade at Spectrum Supply costs $115.50. The CT will cut faster and almost as smoothly as the Woodslicer and last 10X. Seems like an easy decision to me.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,431
    I’m not so sure a Carbide blade is a good choice for him John.
    He mentioned his wheel size 16. It’s kinda small
    George you wrote a lot of information I’m confused what it all means. How about a picture I do much better with pictures
    Aj

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL
    Posts
    6
    Hi John. A 149" 1.3 tpi is $124.99 plus shipping. The 2 tpi is $145.44. Good prices, but the KERFmaster is $20.89. I know that the CT blade will last much longer than the KERFmaster, but that is quite a price difference for the amount of resawing I would do. Also, less grief if I break the blade or bend or nick it over the years. But I did strongly consider it. And the smaller wheel of the MM16 as opposed to say an MM20 would put more stress on the 1" blade over the years and potentially break the blade (which they have a history of doing!). And yes, I do have FORREST blades on my tablesaw and mitersaw which are more than the price of the CT Blade . So, I do buy expensive blades when I know I will heavily use them. I just don't think that the CT is worth it to me at this time. I'd rather go with 6 to 7 blades for the money and still be able to use them for general purpose blades if they start to drift in resawing operations.

    If I was going with the 3/4" wood slicer at $52.99 then I would consider that to be a no-brainer decision to get the CT. If the KERFmaster turns out to be a really bad blade, then the CT would be my next choice. But if it is as good as the wood slicer, then definitely a good choice in my opinion.

    Thanks for the feedback ... much appreciated. Looking forward to other comments.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL
    Posts
    6
    Hi Andrew ... a picture, eh??

    Envision if you will a picture of my head ... then envision a hundred different inputs going into my head (blade size, tpi, tooth type, brands, suppliers, etc.). In the next picture envision my head exploding like an overfull and split dust collector bag spilling its contents everywhere.

    I hope that clears up the confusion that I created.



    George

  6. #6
    For your general work, how thick will the stock be that you are cutting? The thicker the stock, the fewer the TPI you will want. For my main uses of the bandsaw, I'm prepping a lot of bowl blanks, and generally buy based on thicker cuts, so I tend to go for the lowest TPI offered. I now use carbide tipped blades for resawing (I have been using a resaw king for years, and just purchased some woodmaster CT blades, but they are welded at an angle, so I need to get that sorted before actually trying them). For everything else, I just use dimaster 2 blades from 1/2 down to 1/4. I have a Laguna 18 BX, so I am ok with .035 over the .025, but for smaller wheels, the .025 would definitely be preferred.

    If you do a lot of thinner stock cuts, getting a higher TPI could make more sense. If you do a good mix, you may even want to consider multiple options to keep on hand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,431
    Quote Originally Posted by George Menz View Post
    Hi Andrew ... a picture, eh??

    Envision if you will a picture of my head ... then envision a hundred different inputs going into my head (blade size, tpi, tooth type, brands, suppliers, etc.). In the next picture envision my head exploding like an overfull and split dust collector bag spilling its contents everywhere.

    I hope that clears up the confusion that I created.



    George
    Thanks that’s much clearer.
    My bandsaw blade experience has lead me to invest on coils and welding my own. It something I wish I had done years ago. Most of the time I use regular carbon steel 3 and 4 th 3/8 wide. My blades are 14ft 10 inches so they really last a long time. It’s a lot of teeth
    I also have woodmaster on standby most for cutting precision laminations.
    Good Luck on your journey find your perfect setup.
    Aj

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Melvin Feng View Post
    For your general work, how thick will the stock be that you are cutting? The thicker the stock, the fewer the TPI you will want. For my main uses of the bandsaw, I'm prepping a lot of bowl blanks, and generally buy based on thicker cuts, so I tend to go for the lowest TPI offered. I now use carbide tipped blades for resawing (I have been using a resaw king for years, and just purchased some woodmaster CT blades, but they are welded at an angle, so I need to get that sorted before actually trying them). For everything else, I just use dimaster 2 blades from 1/2 down to 1/4. I have a Laguna 18 BX, so I am ok with .035 over the .025, but for smaller wheels, the .025 would definitely be preferred.

    If you do a lot of thinner stock cuts, getting a higher TPI could make more sense. If you do a good mix, you may even want to consider multiple options to keep on hand.
    Greetings Melvin ... I definitely need to use my Bandsaw more ... it was a bit of an overkill back in 2004 for me ... but when Minimax was in Austin, I was also there (worked at IBM). The wife and I visited the store a few times, and after a nice Sales pitch by Erik on the various bandsaws, the wife said to get the MM16 as opposed to cheaper competitor models (great wife, eh). So I ordered it on the spot with Erik and the local store even personally delivered it to my house and cleaned up the packing grease and set it up (it was a great team they had back then.) I have started using it more in my hobby woodworking and I am still glad I purchased it.

    That history being said, any resawing I do is mostly 8 inches or less, so I am hoping the 3/4" KERFmaster will work. My circle cutting will be mostly 2 inches thick or less. My general usage is 90% less than 3 inches, with 75% being less than 1.5 inches (lots of craft items for the wife). I'd also like to be able to cut some plexiglass with the bandsaw.

    So, taking into account your comments .... you seem to like the Diemaster 2 for general usage (since you actually use it). So for my circle cutting and the 3/8" blade, I have to go with the thicker .035" blade (.025" not available). My choice is 4 or 6 tpi. I am leaning towards the 4 tpi blade based on 1-2 inch diameter cutting mostly. I feel that 6 tpi may be pushing it.

    For general cutting with the 1/2" Diemaster 2, you now have me leading towards to .025" blade as opposed to the .035" blade (due to my 16 inch wheel) in either 4 or 6 tpi. Maybe this should be the 6 tpi style to give me more flexibility and smoothness since I still have some older 3-4 tpi wood slicers I can use for general use. Plexiglass probably needs between 4-6 tpi, so the 6 tpi should work here --- especially in the thinner blade thickness. BUT the hook configuration may be too aggressive for plexiglass. Guess I need to determine if the Diemaster 2 will work good with plexiglass. I don't have a lot of experience in tooth form and set. But Lenox does not list the Diemaster 2 for plastics, but recommends more a skip tooth design for plastics. More research is needed.

    I still need to evaluate if I should get some of the Flex Back blades to round out the selection.

    Thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to further discussion.

    George

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    8,889
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Iím not so sure a Carbide blade is a good choice for him John.
    He mentioned his wheel size 16. Itís kinda small
    George you wrote a lot of information Iím confused what it all means. How about a picture I do much better with pictures
    I bet if you do a survey, you'll find plenty of people using a carbide blade on 16" wheels, some a Resaw King, others a Woodmaster CT or Trimaster. The only ones that have broken on my 17" wheel BS, running at nearly 25 ksi, have been at the welds. Of course, there is a lower limit to wheel diameter where breakage does become a problem, but it appears to be smaller than 16". The Resaw King has a gage of 0.025" I think, and you can get a Trimaster in 1/2" x 0.025 x 3 tpi. That gage is consistent with typical carbon and bimetal blades run of 14" saws.

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    augusta, GA
    Posts
    358
    I have the exact same saw and use a 1" resaw king. Beautiful cuts, no problems with breakage, but I only put it on when I am resawing and take it off afterwards. Of course, it is more expensive than the others you have mentioned.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by George Menz View Post
    Greetings Melvin ... I definitely need to use my Bandsaw more ... it was a bit of an overkill back in 2004 for me ... but when Minimax was in Austin, I was also there (worked at IBM). The wife and I visited the store a few times, and after a nice Sales pitch by Erik on the various bandsaws, the wife said to get the MM16 as opposed to cheaper competitor models (great wife, eh). So I ordered it on the spot with Erik and the local store even personally delivered it to my house and cleaned up the packing grease and set it up (it was a great team they had back then.) I have started using it more in my hobby woodworking and I am still glad I purchased it.

    That history being said, any resawing I do is mostly 8 inches or less, so I am hoping the 3/4" KERFmaster will work. My circle cutting will be mostly 2 inches thick or less. My general usage is 90% less than 3 inches, with 75% being less than 1.5 inches (lots of craft items for the wife). I'd also like to be able to cut some plexiglass with the bandsaw.

    So, taking into account your comments .... you seem to like the Diemaster 2 for general usage (since you actually use it). So for my circle cutting and the 3/8" blade, I have to go with the thicker .035" blade (.025" not available). My choice is 4 or 6 tpi. I am leaning towards the 4 tpi blade based on 1-2 inch diameter cutting mostly. I feel that 6 tpi may be pushing it.

    For general cutting with the 1/2" Diemaster 2, you now have me leading towards to .025" blade as opposed to the .035" blade (due to my 16 inch wheel) in either 4 or 6 tpi. Maybe this should be the 6 tpi style to give me more flexibility and smoothness since I still have some older 3-4 tpi wood slicers I can use for general use. Plexiglass probably needs between 4-6 tpi, so the 6 tpi should work here --- especially in the thinner blade thickness. BUT the hook configuration may be too aggressive for plexiglass. Guess I need to determine if the Diemaster 2 will work good with plexiglass. I don't have a lot of experience in tooth form and set. But Lenox does not list the Diemaster 2 for plastics, but recommends more a skip tooth design for plastics. More research is needed.

    I still need to evaluate if I should get some of the Flex Back blades to round out the selection.

    Thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to further discussion.

    George
    With my circle cutting jig, I actually use the 1/2" blade, but I am doing bowl blanks for the lathe, so typically larger in diameter and thicker as well. I didn't make it clear in my initial post, but with the dimaster 2 blades that I have, I always selected the lowest TPI available for the size and thickness due to how thick I needed to be able to cut. Your cuts don't seem like they will be as thick, so you could get away with a higher tpi and slightly slower cuts.

    I don't cut much plastic on my bandsaw, so I can't really speak to that, though I tend to think a significantly higher TPI would benefit plastics, but again, that is not based on any science or lengthy personal observation. The times that I've cut some random pieces, I've just used whichever blade I had on it, and dealt with any chipping. I don't recall it being a big issue one way or another though (this includes cutting plastic with the resaw king blade).

    I don't really use the 3/8 or 1/4 all that much anymore though for my projects. I did some bandsaw boxes a long time ago and some reindeer that I wanted to try with the narrower blades, but I haven't done those smaller projects in a while now.

    For resaw, see how long the kerfmaster blades work for you. I have read over and over that initially the cut is very nice, but that they dull very quickly, especially on woods higher on the Janka scale. My first resaw blade was a 1 inch timberwolf, and it did ok, but I only used it while waiting for my first 1.25" resaw king (I bought the resaw king at the same time I bought the 18 BX, but it took longer to be delivered than the machine!). The resaw king when sharp can easily cut through 16" dried hardwood without issues. It is actually a bit terrifying how efficiently it cuts through that much wood. A resaw king lasts me 8 months to a year or so with how I use it, and then I send it to be sharpened. I keep a spare on hand so I can just swap it out (and I just bought two Lenox woodmaster CT blades to try, but they were welded incorrectly and aren't straight and have a forward/backward oscillation on the saw, so I'm trying to get replacements for those). All this to say, it may be worth it in the long run to get a carbide tipped blade, as it could very well be a superior blade and last you many years with your use.

    Going back to the dimaster 2 blades, I think they are fantastic for my general use. I had started with some timberwolf blades (I had bought their 5 blade variety pack which included a resaw to curve cutting set of blades), but they seemed to dull pretty quickly. The dimaster 2 blades aren't offered in all configurations, and especially on thinness, I don't know if they go as thin as other blade stock, but I don't worry too much about the width of the kerf at this point. They do require more tension, but I believe your saw should be able to handle them without issue. I did snap my first 1/2" blade eventually, but I had been using it a lot and was probably pushing it too hard when it was finally dull. I had no qualms with ordering another one, and this time I bought a .025 in addition to the .025, though I've been keeping the .035 on the saw the most.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    5,331
    I'll keep it simple.

    For me, I have a resaw blade on my big saw. I use either a 3/16 or 1/4" (your choice) on my 14" for general use AND cutting circles.. don't need to change.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •