What bandsaw blade to use?

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Forum topic by lumberjuniorvarsity posted 09-15-2019 10:19 PM 778 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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90 posts in 2228 days

09-15-2019 10:19 PM

Ok – because I know someone who has a 14” Jet bandsaw and no home for it, it is now sitting in my garage. He benefits because it’s in a secure location, and I benefit because I get to use it free of charge! It needs to be cleaned and tuned up, but then I plan on using it, initially to make end grain cutting boards. I also have a table saw but it’s bogging down and I haven’t been able to diagnose the cause… I was also hoping to minimize waste.

That being said, I know very little about bandsaws. I watched the Alex Snodgrass tuning video, and will probably watch it several more times.

What I don’t know is what type of blade I should be getting – brand/model/size, etc.

I’ve tried searching Google and in this forum for guidance but it’s eluding me. Can anyone point me in the right direction – at least in terms of blade size and type? I know the brand will be a ‘best fit for your budget’ type of discussion. Thanks!

10 replies so far

View JayT's profile


6444 posts in 3544 days

#1 posted 09-15-2019 10:43 PM

Blade selection totally depends on what you are planning to do with the saw. For ripping, I have been using a Woodslicer and really like it. Clean cuts with a thin kerf. It is not an ideal blade for cutting curves, however, due to that thin kerf—it doesn’t leave enough room to maneuver the piece if doing even a moderately tight radius. I use my bandsaw mostly for ripping, so it works great and stays on the saw most of the time.

For curves, I just use the standard Olson blades that can be found at many stores. They are good value and for no more often than needed in my shop, work fine. If I was doing a lot of scrolling cuts, then I would probably look at some other brands.

For ripping you want a 1/2 wide blade on a 14in saw with a low tooth per inch count—the Woodslicer is a variable pitch blade, alternating sections of 3 and 4 TPI, which helps with creating a clean cut. For curves, a narrower blade allows cutting tighter radius and a higher TPI will help with giving a smoother cut that requires less clean up. I keep a 1/4 inch blade on hand for that duty.

Blade length depends on the saw. A 14in iron framed JET bandsaw will use a 93-1/2 inch blade, like many other similar saws. If it has a riser block installed, then it needs a 105 inch blade.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Andre's profile


4998 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 09-15-2019 10:58 PM

I have a 17” General and run a 1/2” 3 tpi blade. have tried many different types but now run a “Bahco” custom made from a local sharpening, blade shop. I can get 2 blades cheaper than One “brand” name, and they seem to last longer? He sells carbide tipped stock but explained to me with a smile that I could go through 10 Bahco blades for the price of one carbide. and assured me carbide would be dull long before that!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1907 days

#3 posted 09-15-2019 11:09 PM

This primer can give you an idea based on your thoughts of what you want to do with it.

Through the end of the month WoodCraft is having a sale on their Starrett blades. They will serve you well.

On a Jet 14” if the distance between the table, and top of the blade guard fully raised is 6” that is the standard saw. it uses a 93 1/2” blade. If the distance is 12” then it has a riser block on it, and you want to get 105” blades.

Do watch that Alex video, it’s got good info, and there are many great videos online from both Alex, and Michael Fortune for tips, jigs, fences, and a lot. Come back with any questions.

Have fun.

My biggest tip is use one of these for cutting small parts, so you don’t cut yourself. Put the part in it tight, and lay it flat on the table.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CaptainKlutz's profile


5150 posts in 2827 days

#4 posted 09-15-2019 11:16 PM

IMHO – Band saw blade choices can be confusing.
Discussions between different mfg can almost feel like a religious dissertation? :-0)

IME Timberwolf saw blades work well and provide decent value? They run well with lower tension than other brands, which reduces stress on utilitarian 14” bandsaw cloned by many?
I really like the blade selector on their website to help understand width, TPI, and tooth type for different applications?

Have also used Lennox blades successfully. Mostly bi-metal blades on non-ferrous metals and extremely hard woods as they last slightly longer. IMHO – Overall value of the bi-metal blades is about same as standard blade due price difference? Often can find a local band saw blade supplier that uses Lennox stock to weld up blades on demand. If not, Spectrum Supply has reasonable prices.

Note: Regardless of what you read in mfg manual, suggest the maximum width for std 14” saw is 1/2-5/8” wide. Many will claim to be 3/4” capable, but often they can not be tension-ed properly. This leads to blade drift during re-saw work and much frustration. Have seen old Delta band saws with heavier steel wheels handled 3/4” OK. If you have light weight aluminum wheels, stick with 1/2” max.

as always, YMMV

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View lumberjuniorvarsity's profile


90 posts in 2228 days

#5 posted 09-15-2019 11:29 PM

Thanks for the info and links, guys!

I should have mentioned I’m in Anchorage, AK and I have pretty much one store that MIGHT have bandsaw blades for sale (other than the big box stores), otherwise I’m looking at online purchases. And yes, it’s a regular 14” saw (no riser), so a 93 1/2 blade…

For now I’m planning on primarily doing straight cuts, so it’s looking like a 1/2” blade, 4tpi, hook…

View Axis39's profile


581 posts in 930 days

#6 posted 09-15-2019 11:53 PM

When I bought my Rikon 14” bandsaw last month, I picked up a couple of Starret blades from Woodcraft (where I was buying the bandsaw). I grabbed a 1/2” 4 TPI and a 1/4” 4 TPI, still haven’t put the 1/4”-er on there yet.

I would like to grab a wood slicer for resawing, but really that 1/2” Starrett seems to be a great general purpose blade.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View swdst's profile


123 posts in 2424 days

#7 posted 09-16-2019 02:38 AM

Another vote for the thumb slicer, er, woodslicer (dont ask, stitches in the thumb are a pain). They are awesome blades

-- The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for. Louis L'Amour

View dbw's profile


661 posts in 2970 days

#8 posted 09-16-2019 11:52 AM

I use Timberwolf not only because of reputation but also because I have A Craftsman Professional and it has a weird blade length. Timberwolf can make any length you want. They have a very good blade selection guide and their tech support people know what they are talking about.

A note about tension: I took a band saw class at Woodcraft and the instructor demonstrated to us how running a blade more loosely gives you a better cut. He lowers the tension until the blade starts to slap the inside of the blade channel and then increases tension until the slapping just starts to go away.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

View fivecodys's profile


1767 posts in 2969 days

#9 posted 09-16-2019 04:42 PM

I have the Jet 14” and have been using Timberwolf blades without issue. I hear a lot of good reviews of the wood-slicer brand and I might give them a go next time I need a new blade.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View fivecodys's profile


1767 posts in 2969 days

#10 posted 09-16-2019 04:46 PM

I have the Jet 14” and have been using Timberwolf blades with out issue.
I hear a lot of good reviews of the wood-slicer brand and I might give them a go next time I need a new blade. I probably use my 3/8” the most and I think it has 6-teeth per inch. I do have a 3/4” 3TPI that I use for resawing and that blade is a beast.
Makes me nervous just uncoiling it.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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