When doing any carpentry, metalworking, or construction, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of the tools you’re working with. A bandsaw is a versatile tool that you can use to cut all kinds of materials, from mild steel to copper pipes to all different types of wood.
The benefits of using a bandsaw are numerous, but to use one properly, you need to understand the various components that make them up. You also need to know how to identify its different parts if you ever need to make a repair or replacement.
When it comes to measuring bandsaw blades, the process for doing so is pretty simple. There isn’t much depth to finding out the length and width of your bandsaw blade, but since the process can be confusing to someone who has never encountered this kind of tool before, we wanted to outline how to go about it.
In this guide, we aim to break down different kinds of bandsaws and blades and whether the measuring process is different depending on what kind you have in your possession.
Types of Bandsaws
There are a few types of bandsaws that you might come across. These include vertical, horizontal, and portable bandsaws. All of these have a different intended purpose.
Vertical bandsaws are ideal for large cutting jobs where you have a lot of wood, piping, or metal that you need to split up quickly. Vertical bandsaws are not the best tool if you’re going to be doing any sort of fine-cutting or detail work.
On the other hand, horizontal bandsaws are a quality option if you find yourself in a situation where you need to make some fine cuts to your materials. If you want to cut out any eccentric patterns from your copper or steel sheeting or have some fine mahogany with which you plan to make a cabinet, a horizontal bandsaw is more likely to give you clean cuts.
Finally, portable bandsaws are ideal when you’re in an on-the-go situation and need to get some rough cutting done. They aren’t the kind of tool you want to find yourself in for a particular professional job, but if you need to split some lumber and don’t have any other options, a portable bandsaw will do just fine.
Types of Bandsaw Blades
There are a few kinds of common bandsaw blades that you are likely to come across while doing various types of work. These include the following:
Skip blades feature widely spaced teeth, which means less chance of clogging the bandsaw when cutting various materials. Skip blades are an essential addition to your bandsaw arsenal, as they’re great for slicing through soft woods and non-ferrous metals without worrying about causing a jam in your cutting equipment.
Hook-type blades are great for when you need to get some serious cutting done. They are perfect for long cuts of lumber or metal sheeting. You can recognize them from their large, tall teeth and the deep gullets between them. If you want to cut through materials of any kind and not worry too much about whether your bandsaw will be able to get through everything, then this is the type of saw blade you’ll want.
As the name might imply, this bandsaw blade is intended for most general cutting purposes. While this might sound slightly confusing to those new to the cutting process, it’s actually pretty simple. Regular bandsaw blades are great for fine or thin materials that don’t pose too much clogging risk and aren’t so strong that they might necessitate a hook-type saw blade.
Wavy-type bandsaw blades are a little less common than the three kinds mentioned above, but you’ll likely run into them if you cut a lot of metal. These blades feature teeth that go in both directions. With this slight bend that goes back and forth, this blade generates a broader cut ideal for thin metals and tubes.
The last type of bandsaw blade on our list is the variable tooth pitch option, perfect for cutting curves or fine lines in carpentry or other types of woodworking. Variable tooth pitch blades feature a wide range of teeth and gully sizes. This tooth configuration is for cuts that are even, smooth, and easy to handle. You’ll see what we mean when you get your hands on a bandsaw that uses this blade.
How to Measure a Bandsaw Blade
Now that you know the different kinds of blades that you’re likely to encounter while on the job, you’re probably wondering how many different measuring processes there are. Well, luckily for you, there’s just one measuring process you need to know to figure out the size of your bandsaw blade.
First, you’ll want to place a marker on the floor or table to signify a starting point for your measuring process. A piece of tape or mark with a writing instrument is ideal, as you won’t want this marker to move once you start the measuring process.
Once you have your marker down, draw a line inside your bandsaw blade. Ensure that this line also extends to meet the marker you’ve placed down.
Next, you’ll want to roll your bandsaw blade for one full rotation. In other words, roll the blade like a hula hoop across your floor or table until the line you marked has gone a full 360 degrees.
Then, lay another piece of tape or make a mark to signify the spot where this has occurred, and measure the blade length between the two marks you’ve made. Once you measure this length, you know how long your bandsaw blade is.
You might be wondering why you need to know the bandsaw blade length. Well, imagine yours breaks or gets to a point where it’s so dull that sharpening it no longer achieves any noticeable results. When this occurs, you’ll probably want to order a new blade.
You’ll also need to know the blade width and type, which is why we broke down how to recognize different blade types earlier. As for measuring the width of your bandsaw blade, all you need to do is take a tape measure or a ruler and see how wide your bandsaw blade is.
For a variable pitch blade, measure the width from various spots, as different lengths might make the measuring process a little bit more challenging to manage.
Now You Know How to Measure Your Bandsaw Blade
We hope this guide proves useful when picking out your bandsaw blades, trying to repair them, or just placing an order for a replacement. When working in a field that requires you to use these types of equipment, it’s of the utmost importance that you know how to use them in every sense.
Now that you know how to measure your bandsaw blades and tell them apart from one another, you’ll be much more equipped to handle the complicated task of cutting metals, non-ferrous materials, plastics, and all the different kinds of wood you’re likely to come across. We hope that we were able to help, and good luck!