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The only 3 bandsaw blades you need

when was the last time you had to buy a band saw blade it was confusing wasn't it there are different types of metal different tooth counts and tooth geometry and all of these are not meaningless choices choosing the right blade can make a big difference in how your next project turns out years ago I made a comprehensive tutorial about this subject but today I want to simplify it for those who just need to know what to buy so they can get back to work so this is a shortened version let's start with blade width generally you want to use the widest blade you can for the cut that you're making because a wider blade works a lot like the rudder on a ship it guides your cut and helps keep it on course for example you can cut a gradual curve with a 3 16 inch blade but it's likely to be a smoother more even cut if you use a wider one because that extra width will prevent you from over correcting as you steer here's a guide to choosing the right blade width for the cuts you most often make this is of course not to scale but you see the minimum radius each blade width will cut of course you don't need a different blade for each radius I'm going to recommend a couple general purpose widths in a minute but first we have to deal with perhaps the most confusing issue when it comes to choosing bandsaw blades the type of Steel and the type of teeth now as for steel you're likely to find carbon steel and bi-metal bandsaw blades when you go shopping bi-metal blades are more expensive because the toothed Edge is made from a harder strip of Steel so they're more durable and they're going to last longer and these are more commonly used for cutting metal carbon steel blades are more economical for Woodworking and they stay sharp plenty long you'll also find a hard back and a flex back variety hardback blades are heat treated all the way through the steel so they're stiffer and they tend to drift less when you're cutting straight lines such as ripping boards or resawing or cutting joinery on the bandsaw Flex back blades on the other hand are heat treated only along the teeth that leaves the back more flexible so it can better absorb the stress of cutting curves in most cases I recommend Flex back blades because they're more versatile and they seem to break less that brings us to the teeth themselves and here we have to consider both the number of teeth and their geometry the fewer teeth on a blade The Wider the gullets between the teeth are likely to be wider gullets clear sawdust from the kerf more efficiently so the blade will cut faster and it won't Scorch the wood or drift within the cut as much but if you have more teeth on a blade you're usually going to get a smoother cut so you have to find the right balance that also brings us to tooth geometry the most common types of teeth are standard hook and Skip tooth and let's just do those quickly one at a time standard teeth are evenly spaced and are for general purpose cuts skip tooth blades are missing every other tooth and that leaves wider gullets between them than you could otherwise get on a really narrow blade where the collets can only be so deep skip tooth blades are good for cutting tight curves and thicker materials or for finished quality resaw cuts hooked tooth blades are very aggressive and they're most often used for fast rips and other coarse Cuts or to cut thick stock where fast cutting is important because it'll prevent overheating now let's distill all of that information into some actual blades that you might want to have in your shop if you mostly work with three quarter inch thick boards as a lot of people do then a 3 8 inch wide Flex back Blade with three standard teeth per inch would be a good choice it's just narrow enough for the most common curves you're likely to cut and it's just wide enough to cut straight lines and even do a little bit of resawing I also like to have a quarter inch flex back Blade with four two maybe even six teeth per inch these finer teeth give me a smoother cut on stock especially if it's thinner than three quarters of an inch and I can cut some tighter curves with it if you do a lot of bandsaw joinery or your resaw boards wider than three or four inches then you might want a half inch or wider three tooth per inch blade I like skip tooth blades for that of course there are other blades for other situations but these three will cover almost all of your needs as for a brand well you get what you pay for I recommend avoiding the cheapest Brands because they tend to drift more and break more frequently I've had a lot of success with several Brands Sterling blades have always been good for me but there are other decent choices out there and I don't think you have to lock into just one if you have a recommendation by all means leave it in the comments below but before you do check this out is the sort of small business I like to support Stefan is a great guy and he can find you knives and Cutters for almost any Joiner planar shaper or molding machine and his are the best prices if you're planning to upgrade to a helical carbide cutter head please use the link below this video to check with him before you buy somewhere else some small businesses are just worth supporting

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