March 4, 2022
One excellent tool that could expand your woodworking capability is the bandsaw. With it, you can do things that you haven’t done before using other power tools. You can cut curves and circles and resaw larger pieces of lumber using it. You can also cut notches using the bandsaw and engage in book matching. Moreover, you can use it to repurpose old wood and cut and shape metals according to your design and plan.
Nevertheless, it will help if you use specialized bandsaw blades when cutting metals. Such saw blades usually come with bent teeth. The bend in the bandsaw teeth produces a slightly wider kerf than the saw blade’s actual thickness. This wider thickness helps prevent the metal from pinching the saw blade.
Understanding Bandsaw Blades that Suitable for Cutting Metals
When choosing a bandsaw blade, you will soon discover three patterns of blade teeth: raker, straight, and wave. If you would engage in metal cutting, it will be best to utilize the raker pattern. Nevertheless, you can surely go for a wave tooth pattern if you cut thin sections like angles, channels, and tubing. Using this blade pattern, you should ensure that at least three bandsaw blade teeth come in contact with your workpiece at all times. In this way, you will prevent shearing off teeth and chatter. It will be best likewise to use fine-toothed saw blades when cutting tubing and sheet metal.
The quality of finish when cutting using a bandsaw depends on the saw pitch. You can produce a finer finish if you use a finer blade and give it a faster speed rate. You can also infuse cutting fluid to improve the cut finish. However, if you desire to produce the most refined finish, you can use a saw blade with fine pitch, give it a high speed, and a light feed.
Be wary of the fact that bandsaw blades get dull after several usages. Yet, if you are careful enough and follow some precautions, you can prolong the lifespan of your saw blade. Avoid using inappropriate blade pitch for too hard metal. Otherwise, you will get abnormal wear on your saw blade. You should also not feed the saw blade heavily, especially if the saw blade has a fine pitch.
What Made A Great Bandsaw Blade for Cutting Metal?
When it comes to cutting metal, you got two excellent options of saw blades: carbon steel blades and bi-metal saw blades. You can use the carbon steel blades to cut mild steel, copper, aluminum brass, bronze, and non-ferrous metals. Moreover, if you only use your bandsaw once or twice a week and only need to cut a few pieces, you can use the carbon steel blade.
The carbon steel blades will work fine. However, if you intend to cut many materials, it will be best to use the bi-metal saw blade. The carbon steel blade is your economical option for any cutting, but the bimetal is better.
The bimetal blade can cut various materials like carbon steel, structural steel, tool steel, die steel, pipes, tubes, flat stock, and angles. You can also use it for mixed metal applications. You can use it for cutting nonferrous and ferrous metals like brass, aluminum, bronze, titanium, and steel.
The Best Metal Cutting Band Saw Blades
If you’re new to using a bandsaw for cutting metal, you may find yourself a bit confused as to which bandsaw blade to select. So, it will help to know the following most recommended bandsaw blades for cutting metals:
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1) Lenox – 29232CLB72360
The Lenox – 29232CLB72360 is a classic bimetal bandsaw blade that features a unique design. This design reduces tooth stripping. It also comes with a positive rake angle as well as a wavy tooth set to enable you to make thin cuts on alloy, carbon steel, structural steel, tool steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. This wavy tooth set prevents the blade from stripping the piece when cutting.
The Lenox – 29232CLB72360 comes with teeth made of high-speed steel (M-42). Moreover, it can cut through rectangular, cylindrical solids, and structural shapes. Besides, it features a constant pitch wherein the teeth come with uniform gullet depth and spacing.
- Features teeth with positive rake angle
- Comes with a wavy tooth set
- With constant pitch
- Teeth made of high-speed steel
- Might not last longer
2) BOSCH BS9312
The BS9312-18M is perfect for cutting into metal. It features a standard design. Hence, you can use it with other brands of the same size. Its size is 93.5 inches. You can use it to cut aluminum with thickness not greater than a quarter of an inch.
It will help to lubricate the blade when cutting aluminum; otherwise, the teeth might fill up and heat up intensely. You will cut fine if you take it slow with this saw blade while frequently lubricating it.
- Offers precision cutting
- Comes in standard size
- Made of durable material
- Features optimized tooth geometry
- Teeth may be a bit soft.
3) BOSCH BS6412
Another excellent option is the BOSCH BS6412. It features twenty-four TPI, making it a high-tooth count saw blade. Thus, it can make smooth cuts on non-ferrous materials and metals. It is of high-quality steel. This steel is heat-treated for improved durability and enhanced hardness.
Moreover, it features excellent tooth geometry for enhanced cutting performance. This unique tooth geometry limits the strain on the bandsaw and its blade.
- Not expensive
- Comes with fine teeth
- Features geometric tooth design
- quickly dulls
- Not suited for all bandsaws
4) POWERTEC 13213
This bandsaw blade is 56-7/8-inch long. It is of high-quality carbon steel. Moreover, it is heat resistant and durable. It is designed for precision cutting and features geometric teeth for seamless cutting. Besides, it can work well with soft and hardwood and non-ferrous metals. This blade features a 14TPI.
- Made of premium grade carbon steel.
- Heat resistant
- Optimal geometric tooth design
- May not suit other bandsaws
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the most recommended bandsaw blades for cutting metal, it will also help if you are mindful of the following FAQs about bandsaw blades for cutting metal:
How Should I Choose a Metal-cutting Bandsaw Blade?
When selecting a bandsaw blade for cutting metal, it will be best to match the saw blade with the material you will cut. The harder the saw blades are, the harder the materials they can cut.
Yet, the speed also matters. If you utilize the wrong saw blade for your workpiece and apply the incorrect speed rate for cutting, the bandsaw blade will wear down quickly.
What Bandsaw Blade Should You Use for Cutting Steel?
The two bandsaw blades you can use to cut steel are carbon steel and bi-metal saw blades. You can use the carbon steel blades for cutting carbon steel, aluminum, graphite, bronze, and brass. The carbide bandsaw blades offer high resistance to wear. They also provide toughness when cutting metal.
On the other hand, you can use the bimetal saw blades for cutting non-ferrous materials and aluminum. You can also use it to cut alloy steels, stainless steels, carbon steels, and tool steels.
Additional Tips When Cutting Metal Using the Bandsaw
You should run the bandsaw blade in when you cut metal, especially if the saw blade is new. The reason is when the saw blade is new, it has very sharp teeth. Thus, you need to slightly round the shape of the teeth of the saw blade.
You can achieve this slightly rounded shape by utilizing a slow feed rate at the onset. In this way, you can prolong the usefulness of the saw blade and enhance its cutting performance. Moreover, you should use cutting fluid if you want to keep the saw blade’s teeth sharp.
You will find the bandsaw a very versatile tool for cutting different materials. As mentioned above, the harder the steel you will cut, the slower the feeding rate should be. If you would cut thicker materials, your saw blade should also be coarser.
Besides, the thinner your material, the finer should be the tooth pitch of the saw blade. Remember that the resulting finish will depend mostly on the saw pitch and the blade speed. So, it will help if you strike a balance between feed rate and the saw pitch.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.