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Let's talk about band saw blade brands

by Surfside
posted 09-17-2012 08:23 PM


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61 replies

61 replies so far

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#1 posted 09-17-2012 09:48 PM

Starrett and Lenox have been in the business for a long time. They are good, but there may be others that are as good. When I need a blade, the first two names immediately come to mind. I prefer to go by “reputation” of a brand rather than an unknown brand. Starrett for example has a great variety of blades for both wood and metal working, but, their woodworking blades are not well known by woodworkers who immediately call out the name “timberwolf” because that’s the only brand they have heard of. Not to place any negativity on that brand, but there are many good brands that typically cater to industrial users, not the DIyer. Having been part of the industrial scene for over 50 years, I tend to look for industrial quality tools rather than consumer grade tools. In the long run, the industrial grade costs less. Please don’t even consider ISO certification as an indication of quality; it is not.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#2 posted 09-17-2012 09:54 PM

I’m a Lenox guy. I run a 1 inch typically. I’d rather buy another smaller saw than wrestle those big blades off my machine. I was unimpressed with the Timberwolf. I wasn’t thrilled with the woodslicer either. However, I think the woodslicer is better than the timberwolf. I’d love a bunch of carbides, but my 20” saw takes a 12 foot custom blade. Adds up, bro.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#3 posted 09-17-2012 09:54 PM

Ron, I would be happy to tell you that the other company who has an ISO certification for their blades is Lenox.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

452 posts in 1023 days


#4 posted 09-17-2012 10:12 PM

ISO 9000 is a hoax thrust upon the consuming public – essentially, it means you’ve documented every last detail of a process – be that process excellence-personified or the fallacy of India-based ‘customer support’. There are several other certification processes which actually mean something.

I’m not disparaging those who have the ISO certification – it means you’ve done your paperwork; as they are primarily Administrative, Management, & Process-centric.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1565 days


#5 posted 09-17-2012 10:54 PM

“Chevy vs Ford” among the major players, IMO.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1064 posts in 1445 days


#6 posted 09-17-2012 11:34 PM

I’m no expert but I like the Carter blades I have used so far. Just sayin’.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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jusfine

2280 posts in 1577 days


#7 posted 09-17-2012 11:37 PM

Lenox carbide-tipped is my favorite as well on my General 15” bandsaw. I hate to agree with Al, but it had given me the best service and results.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View chopper6322's profile

chopper6322

59 posts in 1065 days


#8 posted 09-17-2012 11:50 PM

While my experience is very limited, I have to say I’m a huge fan of supercut blades, I had an amazing customer service experience with them, as you can read in my forum post ( no idea how to link it from an iPad) and their blades seemed to almost completely remove drift from my 12” craftsman bandsaw. Just my opinion

-- "As iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another" Proverbs 27:17

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

379 posts in 886 days


#9 posted 09-18-2012 12:15 AM

Surfside are HaltbarSagen blades good for re=sawing? If so what would you recomend for a 14’’ BS?

-- Jerry

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

123 posts in 1343 days


#10 posted 09-18-2012 06:41 AM

Lenox because it lasts and lasts and lasts…

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fussy

980 posts in 1702 days


#11 posted 09-18-2012 06:49 AM

I use BC Saw from Toronto. They use Starrett blade stock and do aq flawless job welding. Their carbon steel blades cost <$10 each in buys of 10. They cut well, last nearly forever aand are a snap to resharpen.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#12 posted 09-18-2012 01:22 PM

Gerald, they usually recommend me their 201 series hard back carbon blade for re sawing softer woods with a 3-6 tpi. If you’re cutting harder woods, their carbide blade works best. I have both the 201 series and their carbide blade. Although the carbide blade can re saw both soft and hard woods, I still keep the 201 to lessen the work load of the carbide blade. That’s my way to maximize a band saw blade’s life.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#13 posted 09-18-2012 01:35 PM

Wow! Everyone seems to have their own brand though Lenox is obviously taking the lead for the most number of recommendations. So far, these are the brands mentioned:

Lenox
Haltbar
Starret
Carter
Supercut
BC Saw from Toronto (Starret)

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 1019 days


#14 posted 09-18-2012 01:42 PM

I have my blades made by lenox….229 in had no trouble

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1284 days


#15 posted 09-18-2012 01:55 PM

I’ve also had good luck with the two Carter blades I’ve tried.
Available via Amazon w/ free shipping.
I also tried a Morse blade recently – 1/4”. It sucked. Poor weld. Made the blade hard to track.

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#16 posted 09-18-2012 02:00 PM

Man, a good blade should have a good weld. Sad to hear about your Morse blade.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1166 days


#17 posted 09-18-2012 02:31 PM

I’ve currently got a Steel City 1/4” on my Porter Cable, and it has cut more wood in the last two months than I care to think about, and still cuts straight and true. I’ve got a 1/2” Timberwolf on my Grizzly G0513X2BF that has been on there resawing since I bought the saw three months ago. I have taken it off a couple of times to put on an 1/8” Timberwolf to do large bandsaw box work, but put the 1/2” right back on for all my resawing. Both work well. The only ones I DO NOT like are whatever HD puts in their orange packages, and the Blue Lowes packages are junk also, I think Porter Cable.

I agree totally with MJCD on the ISO 9000 lunacy. Having worked in continuous improvement in manufacturing since 1986, and been in manufacturing since 1978, it is nothing more than a statement that you agree to do the same thing over and over, good or bad. ISO inspectors are not there to improve your quality, dimensions, stability, time to market, quality of components, or any other improvement. People think they are a quality organization, but in reality, they are there to make sure you are doing your process your way every time, good or bad. Some people think that is quality, when it is actually a small component of quality.

They show up to make sure your ISO books correctly reflect the process you are currently doing, good or bad. I’ve seen some that will ask why you do something a certain way if it looks bad to them, but as long as you have a reason why your company does it that way, (and they have no real authority over you except to pull your ISO certification), you can justify anything, and put it in the book. And since they are typically in a factory for about 4 days out of a year, they literally have no effect on the other 361 days of the year. You write them a big check, they send you a certification, and you can advertise that you are ISO qualified. Big deal – the Chevy “on-fire” Volt is an ISO 9000 car. So was the Toyota “speed up now” Camery, as is almost every car that has been recalled in the last 20 years or so. And that is only one product line. On the other hand, Pradaxa is made by a ISO pharm company, but it still kills or damages a percentage of people. WTF??
We used to kid that ISO was the German’s way of slowing down the rest of the world so their manufacturing could catch up.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#18 posted 09-18-2012 03:00 PM

But why would a company fail to apply the proper documentation of the processes they take if they really care and look at the quality of their product? Maybe they failed because they’re not following the standards of the industry? What else? A company that prioritize best quality control should observe standards. Administrative matters? If so, then they’re a company worth looking forward to. Because they have a well managed administration. And most companies like this are the ones that give you the best customer services that you need. Well, I am not saying you’re wrong but I guess and ISO certification shouldn’t be neglected as a basis for quality. Yes, maybe some companies went under the table and give out some check for an ISO certification, but not Lenox and certainly not the Haltbar manufacturer.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1166 days


#19 posted 09-18-2012 03:12 PM

I’m not saying any particular company purposely does things the wrong way. Any company has an internal mission statement, and it goes something like this: “To make as much money as possible, (their productivity piece), for as long as possible, (their quality piece)”. Every company has some version of this, and it drives them internally. All the fluff mission statements you read on websites are worthless.

Pay attention to the money…otherwise a company would go out of business if they don’t make any money while making the finest product, staying competitive, producing to a high standard 365. But the real world is full of variance, and companies fight it constantly. Actually, the largest documented variance is their employees. Full of hidden agendas that cause a plethra of variance that is almost uncontrollable.

That being said, you have to make money to stay alive, and the only real way to make money for any length of time is to produce a quality product, generally speaking. I know some companies who produce poor products do so offering their products at such a cheap price that you buy it anyway. Just walk through a Harbor Freight. You know they exist, so it kind of flies in the face of what you ask, that being caring about quality. Some just don’t, and I have worked for some of them.

Many things get in the way, such as piece work, seasonal sales pressures, stockholder demands, profits on the month, filling orders when the proper component is not there, (component substitution), training, employee turnover, poor leadership, not willing to pony up the money for the proper people, just to name a few. By the way, it doesn’t matter what country the product is made in, the same problems exist.

What I was saying that ISO in itself does nothing to make a company produce a quality product. It only show that the company is willing, at least for the few days a year ISO is in the plant, to make the product as their books say they will. There are products in a Harbor Freight and other cheap stores that proudly claim “Made in an ISO 9000 factory”. Doesn’t mean it’s a great product. And all the rest of the year when ISO is not in the plants, well, it is then driven by the other things I mentioned above.
I’ve worked for 15 different companies over 34 years, 13 of them manufacturers. I’ve seen it in action dozens of times.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#20 posted 09-18-2012 03:32 PM

I don’t even know what ISO is, lol. I haven’t tried 1/2 the blades mentioned. Never heard of Haltbar or Supercut. I just seem to like the Lenox over the other popular ones I’ve tried. They ship pretty fast, too, and their custom lengths aren’t that bad. They even gave me a couple free hole cutters and recip blades. Good way to butter me up;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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dbhost

5383 posts in 1883 days


#21 posted 09-18-2012 03:41 PM

I don’t have a huge frame of refernce to pick from. Just the OEM HF blade (junk), Olson blade from home Depot which was fair at best, and the Timberwolf blades from Suffolk Machinery. I like the Timberwolf blades, but have heard excellent things about he Woodslicers for resawing too…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#22 posted 09-18-2012 03:44 PM

Paul, I hate to say this but appreciate the things you’ve said. True, there are companies that apply those actions. But it shouldn’t apply to all the companies out there. For sure , there are companies that are willing by heart to produce quality products or services towards their clients. Very little, though.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#23 posted 09-18-2012 03:50 PM

Looks like I’ve hijacked my own thread, sorry me. Can anyone tell other brands of band saw blades? BTW, don’t forget to mention your blade’s brand of choice.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1166 days


#24 posted 09-18-2012 04:03 PM

Of course there are, Surfside. We have a Volkwagen plant here close to where I live that knocks itself out every day trying to keep up on quality, and their sales show it. Amazon, with their easy navigation of their website, and amazingly quick delivery, all speaks of quality. There will always be a market for quality. And in some cases, you pay for that quality. I don’t think many people would say that a Festool product is anything but quality. Unfortunately there are no Festool products in my shop, because I cannot afford that level of quality. Still, I drool over their quality.

All types of companies, all types of products, all levels of quality. For all types of people. Just remember that the International Standardization Organization cannot gaurantee that you are getting one of those quality products. They can, however, say that the company is doing the job it said it would.

When I went to China to work for a furniture factory, we ISO 9000’ed the factory, even though the furniture and covers we were making were low-end furniture, basically starter furniture that would wear out in 24-30 months. Our leathers were the lowest grade allowable to buy. (there are nine grades, A-1 thru C-3. We bought C-3) Our frames were cheap, Chinese plywood and MDF. Our mechanisms for our recliners were some company down the road I never heard of, and they pounded the swivel rivets together with hammers instead of having a defined clearance on a rivet machine. Some worked, some we made work. But we did what we said we would do, make junk consistently.
But back in Shanghai, GM was making some of the best Buicks I had ever driven, also ISO 9000.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#25 posted 09-18-2012 04:23 PM

Well said, Paul. Let’s talk about blades now! I felt dizzy talking about this ISO thing. lol

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#26 posted 09-18-2012 04:47 PM

Don’t mistake ISO for FDA. Iso certification ends when the company has paid the fee. I’m not saying ISO means poor performance. There are companies with ISO certification that produce quality, but ISO doesn’t guarantee it. FDA on the other hand has a presence in the meat packing plant to ensure compliance. Companies get ISO certification for competition reasons only. It’s like having a PHD on the payroll, although he may not be doing anything productive. Iso is to a company what a BS is to an engineer.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1166 days


#27 posted 09-18-2012 04:53 PM

OK, Surfside, I asked the guys in my shop that do a lot of fab work, since I am now working for a mechanical contractor, and they universally like Lenox for both wood and metal. These are guys who make things for a living.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1284 days


#28 posted 09-18-2012 04:59 PM

FDA on the other hand has a presence in the meat packing plant to ensure compliance.

And USDA does a pretty good job there too ;)

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1166 days


#29 posted 09-18-2012 05:01 PM

Thank goodness, cause I like meat!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3990 posts in 980 days


#30 posted 09-18-2012 06:29 PM

+1 for Timber Wolf blades

+1 for ISO being a paper chase

+1 for meat

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#31 posted 09-18-2012 06:38 PM

+2 for meat. I can’t get lumber here in WV but I can sure get meat. For blade selection, I just read the Iturra catalog. They sell Starrett, Lenox, Blade Runner (classic movie). I tried all three. I used Timberwolfs until I switched to Lenox. I will say that the woodslicer 3/8” makes quick work of smaller passes. I could never find an Olsen that fit. Lenox claims to be the leader in heat treatment, 90 day warranty, 90 year history, and made in America. What’s not to like:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#32 posted 09-18-2012 07:05 PM

Well, you should count 1 more for the meat. I love meat too!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#33 posted 09-18-2012 07:10 PM

Paul, there is no question regarding the cutting performance of Lenox blades. The problem for me is the price. I couldn’t afford to spend more on the blade. That’s why I came up with the best alternative. Well, it’s worth it though.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#34 posted 09-18-2012 07:26 PM

Surf, the Lenox trimaster carbide tipped 1” x 0.35×3/4tpi that I like on my vintage saw is $18.00 a foot. That’s $216 on my machine, about 1/5 of what I paid for the machine! I feel your pain, brother. If only we had a money tree.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#35 posted 09-18-2012 07:40 PM

$216 for a singular band saw blade? WTH? That would mean 6-8 Haltbar blades!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#36 posted 09-18-2012 08:11 PM

^yeah, man. That’s why I don’t have a stack of carbides. The regular tri-metals are around $5 a foot or so. $60 ain’t great, but I can live with it for a wide one. The woodslicer is probably the best bang for the buck in reasonable widths. It’s like Amana router bits. Sure, they’re great, but MCLS ain’t bad either:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#37 posted 09-18-2012 08:50 PM

I think I’ll be loving the cheap ones for the rest of my life.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11236 posts in 827 days


#38 posted 09-18-2012 09:58 PM

I have had luck with some of the brands mentioned here. Lenox and Amada are two of my faves. Worthy to note is the customer service satisfaction I got from sawblade.com . I only bought once for $ 18. Floyd from the customer service treated me like I was buying their entire business.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#39 posted 09-18-2012 10:09 PM

That goes a long way, Fishinbo. I’m on my way over there now.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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gfadvm

10850 posts in 1341 days


#40 posted 09-19-2012 02:11 AM

I have been very pleased with my 1TPI, 1” bi-metal Timberwolf for resawing very tough woods. I’ll look into the Lenox blades as a result of this thread when I finally kill my T Wolf.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#41 posted 09-19-2012 01:55 PM

See? This thread worked out for gfadvm. And Bertha too?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1565 days


#42 posted 09-19-2012 02:10 PM

Has anyone else changed from “Chevy” blades to the “Ford” blades yet? Just wondering… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#43 posted 09-19-2012 02:30 PM

Yep, Surf, it did. I’ve got a couple new (to me) brands to try now.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#44 posted 09-19-2012 02:47 PM

Wow! This is kind of an overwhelming feeling. lol
Bertha, what brand did you get?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#45 posted 09-19-2012 06:24 PM

^I want to try some Haltbars. I might go for the 3/4 to see if I like them. I ripped about half the wood for a project I’m working on. I got tired of resawing and started working on the bottom of two cases. I’ve still got to resaw the rest, so I might grab a new blade soon.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#46 posted 09-19-2012 06:43 PM

Let me know what you got if you pulled the trigger.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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Fishinbo

11236 posts in 827 days


#47 posted 09-19-2012 09:00 PM

You bet, Bertha. Quality wise, pretty much I am satisfied. Money wise, they have got to be one of the most economical I had tried. What is noteworthy to me is the customer service. If I get quality service, I am definitely coming back for more.

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 842 days


#48 posted 09-19-2012 09:10 PM

Tuff tooth Bandsaw Blades…
http://www.tufftooth.com

-- My terrible signature...

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#49 posted 09-19-2012 09:34 PM

Goodness! Check out the prices on Alexandre’s offering above. I’ve never heard of a thin kerf silicone blade. I’m learning a ton on this thread!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3135 posts in 825 days


#50 posted 09-19-2012 09:43 PM

Silicon blades? And what are you going to cut it with? Do they ship outside of Canada?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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