There are many things that can go wrong when you’re using a bandsaw. It’s often frustrating, especially when you struggle to find explanations for why something went wrong.
We’ve been in the industrial cutting sector for over 30 years, and you can trust us when we say we’ve seen our fair share of bandsaw blade problems. That said, more often than not there are simple solutions that you can implement to improve the cutting performance of your blades.
In this article, I’m going to explain the top 5 things that might be a source of grief to a bandsaw blade operator, and how to fix them.
Top 5 things that are causing issues with your bandsaw blades
Tooth pitch is too coarse
Tooth pitch is too fine
Worn side guides
Worn back guides
Worn damping rollers
1. Your tooth pitch is too coarse
Do your teeth chip and fracture? Are there microcracks in your blades?
If so, it’s possible that the tooth pitch you’re using is too coarse. When this is the case, the teeth have no guide in the cutting channel. All of the cutting load is placed on the tooth at the cutting point. Essentially, there aren’t enough teeth in the cut to effectively cut the workpiece. The blade will lose its cutting capacity quickly.
Solution: use a finer tooth pitch.
The optimal TPI is 5-7 teeth in the cut.
If you’re unsure of how to calculate what TPI you need, you can download our tooth selection chart to help you out.
2. Your tooth pitch is too fine
Does your bandsaw blade ‘bounce’? Does it cut crooked, or get too hot?
This means that your tooth pitch might be too fine. In this instance, chips overfill the tooth gullet, which makes the blade lift over the course of the cut, then drop heavily when the overloaded gullet is cleared. This is because there are too many teeth in the cut. The swarf builds up within the gullet, causing the blade to lift. When the blade is forced back into the cutting channel, it places a shock load on the teeth, causing breakages.
In addition to this, it results in frictional heat that decreases the life of the blade and causes cut deviation, meaning your cuts won’t be straight.
Solution: use a coarser tooth pitch.
3. Worn side guides
Do your blades have microcracks or breakages?
If this is the case, misaligned or worn side guides might be to blame. When there is too much pressure on the guides, or they’re dirty, it creates friction against the body of the blade.
Solution: Reduce pressure on the side guides. Clean side guides.
4. Worn back guides
Does your blade have body cracks? Is it brittle?
If so, it could be that your back guide is worn. A worn back guide creates brittleness from the constant friction along the top of the blade. This leads to cracks.
Solution: replace the worn back guides.
5. Worn damping rollers
Is the body of your blade rupturing?
This is a case of damping rollers that are either too tight, or are blocked. When this happens, there is increased pressure on the body of the blade, and high levels of friction which leads to the body rupturing.
Solution: Reduce the contact pressure so the rollers can be rotated with little effort or replace the rollers.
And that's it! 5 things that might be causing issues with your bandsaw blades, and how to fix them.
Below is a table that provides a quick reference for the cause of any of these issues you might be having.
However, sometimes there are more complex issues that require external professional help.