Cutting 1/4" steel rod with band saw

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Forum topic by Deadend posted 02-22-2018 06:59 PM 1196 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 1059 days

02-22-2018 06:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Would it be safe to cut 1/4” steel rod to size with a 14 TPI blade on a band saw?

-- I might not do good work, but I'm slow.

13 replies so far

View TJones's profile


8 posts in 1728 days

#1 posted 02-22-2018 07:07 PM

Steel rod? I wouldn’t think so. Wood bandsaws and their blades are for wood and non ferrous metals only.


-- Tony, Sullivan IL

View Loren's profile


10571 posts in 4494 days

#2 posted 02-22-2018 07:08 PM

On a woodworking band saw the blade speed
is too fast for cutting steel and the blade
will wear out very quickly. Wood/metal saws
are available that have a range of speeds.

Once years ago I cut about 12” of 16 ga. sheet
steel on my band saw and that ruined the

View LesB's profile


2598 posts in 4289 days

#3 posted 02-22-2018 07:14 PM

There are blades for cutting metal and they are rated for the thickness they will safely cut. I think 1/4” steel is going to be a stretch.
Why don’t you use a cut off wheel on an inexpensive angle grinder. I have seen them for as little as $30 and the cut off wheel for about $3. Also if you don’t have a grinder you will find a lot of other uses such as sharpening your lawn mower blade, garden tools, and the list goes on.

The second thing I am concerned about is getting those steel particles into the band saws internal parts like the rubber wheel bands and bearings.

-- Les B, Oregon

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26439 posts in 3529 days

#4 posted 02-22-2018 07:19 PM

Sawzall? Maybe a good hacksaw with a new blade?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8211 posts in 3045 days

#5 posted 02-22-2018 07:25 PM

This came out of an old Delta bandsaw manual and might help:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 2287 days

#6 posted 02-22-2018 10:22 PM

Jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade, or cut-off wheel in an angle grinder. A V-groove block with a stop can give you consistent lengths.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View runswithscissors's profile


3110 posts in 2871 days

#7 posted 02-22-2018 10:28 PM

+1 for the angle grinder with abrasive wheel. I use the 1/16” thick wheels all the time. They cut quickly and cleanly. You can get a 4 1/2” grinder at HF for as cheap as $15 on sale/with a coupon.

As for bandsaws, years ago I converted a Grizzly 14” bandsaw to cut metal, by using step pulleys and a jack shaft. This reduced blade speed to around 350-400 feet per min., still a bit fast, but works okay. I have my local saw shop make me up bimetal blades, 1/4” wide, with variable pitch, which allows cutting a wide range of thicknesses. The narrow blade lets me cut curves. I can easily cut 18 gauge up to well over 1/4”. The advantage of a bandsaw for this is that the long blade has plenty of time to cool as it makes its way around the wheels. I do cut aluminum with it, though it tends to clog the teeth. WD40 sprayed on helps. Works great on brass or bronze, and even stainless steel (stainless is notoriously hard to cut with a jig saw because the heat builds up almost instantly, destroying the blade). One of these blades lasts me a very long time. I have never had a problem with metal “sawdust” damaging any parts of the bandsaw.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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John Smith

2648 posts in 1009 days

#8 posted 02-22-2018 10:32 PM

how many do you have to cut ?
seems like a good time to invest in an angle grinder with some cut-off wheels.
check your local pawn shops before purchasing a new one.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Andybb's profile


2831 posts in 1449 days

#9 posted 02-22-2018 10:35 PM

Aluminum yes, steel no. If you have a bandsaw I figure you must have at least one of the aforementioned tool alternatives. 1/4” isn’t that thick so It could be done on a bandsaw but the blade would be useless afterwards so if you have a spare blade, give it a try if that’s your only option.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Kazooman's profile


1535 posts in 2798 days

#10 posted 02-22-2018 10:42 PM

This came out of an old Delta bandsaw manual and might help:


- MrUnix

Geeeez…. I love this list! Delta managed to cover all the things that anyone could possibly want to cut on their band saw. “asbestos sheets!!!”. “Bakelite”, “brake lining”, “fiber”, “mica”, “pipe – (material not specified)” as well as several other gems. Who knew you would ever want to cut your brake linings on your band saw. Not certain about the fiber either. Is it whole grain or gluten-free. I guess the fine details are left to the end user.

Thanks for sharing an insight into the past. I recall several similar examples of handy information provided with Craftsman and other tools.

View Ocelot's profile


2578 posts in 3484 days

#11 posted 02-22-2018 11:43 PM

If you have a compressor, for $8 at HF you can buy a 3” cutoff air tool that will cut bolts, rods etc. easily.
If you don’t have many to do, it’s what I would use.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Deadend's profile


17 posts in 1059 days

#12 posted 02-23-2018 01:31 AM

Thanks for all the help folks.
I didn’t think it was a good idea. I’ve done the hacksaw and jig saw before just clean up the burrs with a belt sander.

-- I might not do good work, but I'm slow.

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3736 days

#13 posted 02-23-2018 01:41 AM

HF has a sale on a 3” angle grinder electric for $20.00

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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