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For this type of cutting, narrow blades are used with 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4" being the most popular.
Most bandsaws are set up to run 1/4" as the narrowest blade so please check your bandsaw specification before ordering narrower blades.
The main reason that a lot of bandsaws have difficulty running 1/8” and 3/16” blades is down to the amount of adjustment on the guides – most bandsaws can be modified to run the narrower blades and this can be as simple as fitting a thin piece of sacrificial wood over the current guides.
If the side guides are not set correctly they can damage the set on teeth which will then cause the blade to wander when cutting.
Cutting tight shapes on a bandsaw does take a bit of practice to get the method correct and from personal experience; I tend to run the narrow blades in the centre of the top wheel or just behind the centre of the wheel as I find this gives me more control and stability. 1/8” blades can be a little more difficult to set up correctly for new users and a lot of customers will start with a 3/16” or 1/4" blade initially and then, once comfortable using them, they will progress onto the 1/8” blades.
The best tooth pitch will depend on the thickness of the material being cut and importance of the finish.
14tpi will give the best finish and is the better option for thinner material (wood, plastic, acrylic etc). 14tpi will cut thicker stock but with a slower cut – a lot of bandsaw boxes have intricate curves and a fine tooth pitch such as 14tpi will minimise the amount of finishing required.
6tpi and 10tpi are great general purpose tooth pitches and 4tpi is ideal for thicker stock where the finish is not so important or the material will be sanded afterwards. 4tpi can allow a tighter radius/curve to be cut as it creates a little more kerf giving the blade more room when turning.
Some people round the back of the blade using a diamond file and this can stop the blade catching the material as it’s turning but usually this isn’t necessary and if this is an issue switching to a narrower blade will eliminate the problem.
The 1/8” and 3/16” blades are available from the SuperTuff Carbon range and the 1/4" from the SuperTuff Carbon, SuperTuff Premium or M42 ranges. In 1/4", the Premium blades tend to work better on smaller bandsaws (up to around 1715mm blade length) and above this length the Carbon or the M42 tend to be a better option with the M42 lasting around 5 – 10 times longer.