Bandsaw blade choice question

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Forum topic by McLeanVA posted 03-18-2011 04:53 PM 2875 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View McLeanVA's profile


493 posts in 3941 days

03-18-2011 04:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw blade

I recently purchased a Rikon 14” bandsaw. The blade length is 111” and I bought a 1/2” @ 3TPI blade for resawing lumber into thin strips for cutting board projects.

I noticed, when I experimented with a scrap piece of wood that I wanted to cut an arch shape, that the 3TPI made the cut edges pretty rough. It makes sense. I also noticed that my arch/curve was limited by the thickness of the blade and that it didn’t like tight turns. This also makes sense to me.

So, here is the question.

Could anyone recommend a good thickness and TPI for cutting curves in 3/4” wood that would yield a cleaner finish? And to clarify my term “curve” I’m not thinking intricate scrollsaw work here, just larger rounded shapes such as 48” diameter or bigger.

Hope this makes sense and I thank you for your time.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5227 posts in 4467 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 05:25 PM

You have thickness and width mixed up. The dimensions I will mention are the widths of the blades. The 1/2” 3 tpi blade is for resawing thich boards into thin boards. Think of the board standing on edge and you’re tryin’ to slice it in half. The 1/2” bl;ade will rip. THink of the board laying flat and you’re cutting strips from the edge (as you stated).
I use a 1/4” blade for most bandsaw tasks (except resawing). I also have some 1/2” 6 tpi for ripping as well as a 1/8” blade for intricate detail work. Thumb rule: Lotsa teeth-smoother, slower cut—-fewer teeth-rough, faster cut. Wiude blade for straight cuts-narrow blade for curved cuts.
There is no general purpose/do anything blade.

-- [email protected]

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 3431 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 08:44 PM

As Bill said there is not a one job does it all Bandsaw Blade. Although I keep a 3/8” x 12 tpi or 1/4” x 14 tpi blade in my PMBS-14, with the tension released of course. There is a decent article in Woodsmith no. 192 that might be of interest.

If you are serious about doing volume re sawing you will probably want to get a High Speed Steel or Carbide Blade. They are $50 + but will last much much longer.

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View McLeanVA's profile


493 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 09:22 PM

Thank you both for the great info. Bill, sorry I did mean width… not thickness. That would be an incredibly fat kerf indeed.

I’ll take a look at the 1/4” blades and find a good TPI and experiment. I bought a Carter with my bandsaw, as I read in the reviews of the Rikon “Step 1: Throw out the factory blade”

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3643 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 09:50 PM

I use the factory blade for a “beater blade”, and Highland Woodworking’s Wood Slicer (1/2”) for resawing.

-- Greg D.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3681 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 10:11 PM

I’ve found that a gent by the call sign of “Van Huskey,” over at SawMillCreek, knows about EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know about band saws and BS blades.

Here’s HIS take on the matter:

To the extent that I’ve taken his advice, in MY blade selection, I’ve been extremely happy that I did :-)

-- -- Neil

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 3472 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 10:31 PM

Chris – I agree with GregD on his review of the Highland Wood Slicer. It is OUTSTANDING, not cheap though. I have had several and one of the first ones snapped at the weld so I called them and mentioned what happened and they told me to send it back and they would give me a new one and also pay for all the shipping. Great people to work with. I just bought some from Grizzly and the 3/4” resaw blade they had lasted about three cuts on my South American hardwoods so I called them and they refunded my money + shipping. I should have been leary when the blade showed up with a big wowie at the weld. I have some of their smaller baldes that I use for articulated cutting and they are good for the price but I am sure there are better but will cost more. Not sold on their blades though. I use a 6tpi 3/8” blade (& sometimes a 1/4” blade) for most of the curvy cutting and have acceptable results. Although, the cuts are not real smooth as I would like. I guess I just need to buy a better steel blade to get the results that I wish for. I hope this saved you from buying a blade that I have already spent good money on and wouldn’t buy it again. PM me if you find something that gives you some real good results.


-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3891 days

#7 posted 03-18-2011 10:54 PM

GregD is right about the Woodslicer being a good blade, but it’s definitely not what you need for curves. For curves, I bought a general purpose 1/4” 6TPI blade, also from Highland Woodworking when I bought my last resaw blade and it has worked well for me. It doesn’t exactly leave a smooth surface, but nothing a spindle sander wouldn’t clean up super quickly, or since I don’t have one of those, I smoothed it with just a few passes with a small sanding drum on a drill. Although the 6TPI will give a smoother cut than 3TPI, so will slowing down on the curves a little in my experience. I’m happy with this blade. I just looked and it’s 17.99 plus S&H for the 111”.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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