Bi-metal bandsaw blades

Discussion in 'Tools' started by cfellows, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. Mar 29, 2008 #1

    cfellows

    cfellows

    cfellows

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    Does anybody on the forum have any experience with bi-metal blades on their 4" x 6" bandsaws? Just wondered if they are worth the extra money.

    Also, what's the deal with the vari-tooth bandsaw blades I see at various places?

    Chuck
     
  2. Mar 29, 2008 #2

    Brass_Machine

    Brass_Machine

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    Chuck,

    I am not 100% sure if the blade I am using is bi-metal or not. I got it from Home depot. I honestly don't remember, but I am not happy with it. I was going to put up a post like this shortly asking for peoples opinions on the blades they are using.?.

    Eric
     
  3. Mar 29, 2008 #3

    bentprop

    bentprop

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    I bought 2 bi-metal blades about 2 years ago,and they seem to last a long time .I couldn't say that of the carbon blades I used to buy.They would break with amazing monotony.For awhile i silver-soldered them back together,but that gets old very quickly.Spend the extra for the bi-metal,it'll save you money in the longer term.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2008 #4

    13AL

    13AL

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    Brass_machine-
    I have been using the Ridgid made blades from Home Depot, they are carbon steel, the last one I bought had such a poor weld I brought it back.

    13AL
     
  5. Mar 29, 2008 #5

    DICKEYBIRD

    DICKEYBIRD

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    The "pundits" say that bimetal is the only way to go. I've used Starrett brand bimetal blades on mine and they do cut better and last longer on harder metals. However, I had trouble with them shedding a tooth or 2 due to operator error I assume and then they went downhill fast, losing many more teeth quickly.

    I broke the last one on a weekend and ended up buying a couple of made-in-Mexico bimetal blades at H/F for less money. They work great and either my technique has gotten better or they're more durable because the same one has been on there for a long time now. Next time, I'm considering buying a higher quality carbon steel blade from a proper supply house and seeing how that works. Should reduce the teeth stripping issue.

    Speaking of the 4x6, anyone have any suggestions how to "suggest" the blade back onto the drive wheel? Mine runs about 3/16" out from the flange no matter what I do with adjustments. It's gotta be wearing the wheel incorrectly.:(
     
  6. Mar 29, 2008 #6

    13AL

    13AL

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    The blade back support bearings, upper and lower, should be backed off completely when adjusting the tracking, that should bring the blade closer to the flange, but not touching!, then reset the back bearings to "just touch" the blade, if you have done all this and still have an issue you may need to use a straight edge across both wheels to see if something is actualy misaligned, that bottom wheel can be adjusted in or out on the shaft.

    13AL
     
  7. Mar 29, 2008 #7

    jwsvandr

    jwsvandr

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    I have used both types of blades and will always buy the bi-metal blades. They last longer and on my machine cut a lot better. The variable tooth arrangement is to get a better cut over a larger range of sizes. You need at least three teeth (I think) touching the metal at all times during the cut. If you have too many it will cut too slowly and if too few will have a chance of breaking off a tooth. The variable tooth blades are a compromise but I have used them and really like them. If you are cutting one size a lot it might be better to get a blade with the correct tooth spacing but for a general hobby shop I would recommend the variable tooth blade. I personally like the 10-14tpi
     
  8. Mar 29, 2008 #8

    rickharris

    rickharris

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  9. Mar 29, 2008 #9

    compound driver 2

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    HI
    Personaly I hate bandsaws although I have to have one for a lot of jobs.
    My choice would always be a power hacksaw.

    My reason for the hatred stems from Bi metal blades mostly all from Starret. We had a long term issue with the blades cracking along the length of the band. Our saw doctor in the end replaced all the rollers and re machined the wheels. All this solved nothing! What did solve the problem was going back to cheap carbon steel bands and the problem vanished.

    My power hacksaw although slower never seems to want for anything and has worked well for 20 odd years.

    Cheers kevin
     
  10. Mar 29, 2008 #10

    Loose nut

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    What you are cutting makes a big difference on blade life. I personally just use the cheaper blades because I only cut bar occasionally, not like in a production shop were it could be in use all day long, and they hold up quite well. I also put a hydraulic downfeed (homemade) on it instead of the spring tensioner that came with it. This helps the blades last because you have much better control of the pressure on the blade and not putting to much downforce on the blade helps to keep it cutting true, It doesn't matter if it's a hacksaw at the bench or a bandsaw, forcing the cutting action will cause the blade to twist and you get one of though nice diagonal cuts we all love so much.
     
  11. Mar 29, 2008 #11

    Alphawolf45

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    I also put a hydraulic downfeed (homemade) on it instead of the spring tensioner that came with it. This helps the blades last because you have much better control of the pressure on the blade and not putting to much downforce on the blade helps to keep it cutting true, .
    [/quote]
    .
    I write the date on the box when I start using a blade and then I know how long it lasted once it is used up..I find I get average of 2.5 times the life from a bi-metal band as a carbon band but the carbon band is half the price so I dont see much clear advantage of one type over the other..Its a personal choice.. I rather use carbon blades
    ..
    My big 9 by 17 inch bandsaw has hydraulic downfeed and flood coolant and its sweet.The slow downfeed does indeed help to keep the cut be straight.....I still also keep a 4 X 7 incher bandsaw but the small diameter drive wheels really work a band hard to twist in so short a distance..Band life is much better on bigger saws.
     
  12. Mar 29, 2008 #12

    DICKEYBIRD

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    Thanks! That makes perfect sense. I'll give that a try.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2008 #13

    Stan

    Stan

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    I go to a place that sells nothing but bandsaw blades. They make your blades while you wait. I buy two at a time, both bi-metal varipitch. One is 6 TPI and one is 10 TPI. These get used cutting 6061 and 1018 and 4140 bar stock, but nothing under 1". I cut plate over 1/4" by cutting on the flat, not the edge. Anything under 1/4" I use a cheap carbon steel blade (14 or 18 TPI) because that is where I have trouble stripping teeth.

    I should point out that I changed the motor on my Chinese 4 x 6 to a 1 HP US made motor. It makes less smoke in the shop and can haul a coarse blade in aluminum for a fast straight cut.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2008 #14

    Airhead

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    Another vote against the Starrett bimetal blades! I had Lenox bimetal blades before I bought these Starrett blades and I liked them a lot.
     
  15. Apr 16, 2008 #15
    starretts tend to lose teeth quickly, which then has you losing more teeth, and before long, the entire saw is bouncing up and down while cutting and the blade snaps and the industrial supply place isn't open again until monday

    i also had a batch that broke at the welds

    i think my best experiences were lenox diemasters, but i can't remember for sure. i now have a 7x12, and curiously enough, i'm still using the blade that came on it when i bought it from HF. I have another HF blade as a "emergency reserve" and a Lenox in the box. Right now, I think the HF original blade has about five teeth left, but it still just cut a piece of 2" square hot rolled without difficulty, followed by a piece of 1/2 x 5 CRS and 1/2 x 1 CRS

    So I don't get it.

     
  16. Apr 16, 2008 #16

    Jadecy

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    I love my Lenox bi-metal blades. I use them on my cheap hf bandsaw and have abused them over and over again and they keep their teeth and keep on cutting. I've cut 4130 (.120 wall) aircraft tubing, wood, aluminum, brass, cast iron... and have had the same blade for over a year. I saw a large block of aluminum last night as well (approx. 5"x8"x10"). It took a long time with my saw (way to TPI for what I was cutting.). Still seems sharp.

     

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