- Should I buy a carbide blade or a bi-metal blade?
Carbide blades provide resistance to high heat and stand up well while cutting materials as they resist abrasion. For the most part, carbide blades cost less and handle aluminum, copper, brass, and bronze aptly. Bi-metal blades stand up better to cutting at high speeds and therefore can handle super alloys. Bi-metal blades cost more than carbide ones, but they will perform up to five times longer.
- What thickness and width do I need in my saw blade?
You need to consult the manual for your bandsaw. The needed length correlates with the wheel diameter.
- What is tooth pitch?
Pitch refers to the distance from the tip of one tooth to the next one. Small pitch means more teeth are close together while large pitch means the teeth are spaced farther away from each other. TPI (teeth per inch) refers to how many teeth are in an area. It is important to have at least 3 TPI in the material you are cutting. 6TPI and 10TPI are popular as they cut most materials smoothly. 14 TPI works beautifully with thinner materials like plastics and non-ferrous metals.
- What is tooth rake?
Tooth rake refers to the angle of the hook. A positive hook angle allows for aggressive cutting as blade grabs deep into the material and cuts faster. A low or negative hook angle controls the feed rate and prevents the blade from climbing the material being cut. The low or negative hook angle provides a smoother cut requiring little to no sanding.
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