The Right Band Sawmill Blades

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  • Category: Custom Band Saw Blade Blog
  • May 14, 2013
The Right Band Sawmill Blades

Choosing the right blade in general can make a significant difference in your application’s productivity level. There is a fine balance between picking an economical blade option versus a longer lasting and quicker cutting band saw blade. When it comes to portable sawmills, the cutting tool can only be as great as the band sawmill blades used.

The Best Band Sawmill Blades

Choosing the right blade and maintaining that blade for your sawmill will quickly decrease your downtime changing blades. First of all, sawmills typically use a “raker” style tooth set. This is very important to cut those difficult logs. Just to clarify, a raker toot set simply means a three sequence toot set: one tooth is set to the right, one is set to the left and the third tooth is set straight up and then the tooth sequence starts over. The amount of the tooth set depends on the wood being cut with a general rule of thumb, “the harder the wood, the less the tooth set”.

Band Sawmill Blade Material

There are so many options in band saw blade material, how I you know what is the best for my application? The blade material is the largest factor in how long your blade is going to last, but unfortunately also directly relates to the price point of the blade. The most common blade type for sawmill applications is the carbon steel band saw blade. It is the best combination of price and durability. To make the carbon steel blade last even longer, many manufacturers will offer a “tooth hardening”. To keep your blade sharp for more than a few cuts in sawmill applications, it is a necessity to have teeth hardening for your band sawmill blades. Many of the top blade manufacturers will use an induction tooth hardening to create more even tooth wear such as the Woodmaster C by Lenox along with Starrett’s Woodpecker blade products.

Band Sawmill Blade Options

Now that we have found the correct sawmill blade, we still have to choose width & pitch options. The average width for sawmills is 1 ¼”. This depends on what your portable sawmill will accept. There are a few will can also use the 1 ½” thick blades. A thicker blade will last longer, but cost more so it depends on your quantity & type of wood. Larger commercial sawmills will use the thicker blade to limit their downtime, but it may not be economical for your sawmill. The last thing to consider is the blade pitch. The pitch simply means the distance from tooth tip to tooth tip. A 7/8″ band blade tooth pitch is standard for all-purpose applications and general wood cutting. If you are cutting a more dense hardwood then you need to consider changing to a ¾” tooth pitch or less. If you are cutting soft woods, then increasing to a 1″ band blade tooth pitch can increase your cutting speed.

There are many band sawmill blade options so keep your specific application in mind with the few tips mentioned above. offers all these options for wood cutting band saw blades.

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