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Steel City bandsaw blade - fooled me

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Review by Tennessee posted 10-23-2012 03:33 PM 3151 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Steel City bandsaw blade - fooled me No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

On this site it seems like everyone has their favorite blade. To me, longevity is a biggy, as it is with most woodworkers. For a long time I struggled to find a good bandsaw blade, and it never seemed like I could get more than two months out of a blade. Months ago, back when I was still a one bandsaw shop, (so this has to be before my Grizzly, maybe five-six months ago?), I ordered four Steel City bandsaw blades, 93 1/2, 1/4” thick, 14TPI, from the Home Depot website.
The order got messed up, but eventually I got my blades. So long ago I forget what month. I’ll go with five months. I do remember that I needed the 1/4” right away, so one went on immediately. I will say that I have bearing guides both top and bottom on my Porter Cable, an upgrade that I think helps greatly with straight cutting, and my saw has been setup correctly as advocated by the Carter Systems Youtube video.

Yesterday I was in my shop as usual, and I decided to take a look at my bandsaw blade stock. Realize now that for the last two months I work in my shop four days a week, usually making things with curves, like guitars and bandsaw boxes. Before that it was five nights a week. TONS of time on the bandsaw. And I have my big Grizzly set up mainly for resaw. I get a 3/4’ blade on there, I hate to take it off, so most of the tight, close work goes through the Porter Cable. I realized that out of the four Steel City blades I had bought for the Porter Cable, three were still in their shrinkwrap cards in the cabinet, and the first one is still on my Porter Cable bandsaw. Still cutting true and straight, not hitching or catching, just making sawdust. Been on there so long I forgot I have not changed it out!

I literally cannot remember ever, ever getting a blade to last this long. Either I got lucky and got the best blades ever made by Steel City, or these are top quality blades. They are my first and only purchase of Steel City blades, and I bought them because they were 1/4”, and my local big box stores didn’t carry any 1/4”, and I was still mucking around, not thinking of all the great bandsaw blade sites on the internet.

By the way, I didn’t pay the $25 they now want, it was something less, I know that. So this blade has been on my saw long enough to go through a price increase. Glad I still got three of them in their shrinkwrap cards.

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




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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1181 days



8 comments so far

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DaleM

921 posts in 2050 days


#1 posted 10-23-2012 11:54 PM

I would never have guessed it would last so long. I bought a Steel City saw that came with a 93 1/2” blade, but since I bought a 6” riser at the same time, I never used the original blade. If it’s that good, maybe I can cut it down and make a bowsaw out of part of it.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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MrRon

2848 posts in 1910 days


#2 posted 10-25-2012 05:30 PM

I would doubt Steel City makes their own blades. They are most likely made by someone like Lenox, Vermont American, Starrett, etc.

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Surfside

3199 posts in 840 days


#3 posted 10-25-2012 07:37 PM

I got my very first bandsaw on www.utilitybandsaw.com . For me, they have the great quality and deals as well . I got some of my saw blades on www.sawblades.com for pretty cheap cost and not to mention , they had given me great options or advice on blades selection. There blades are perfoming perfectly. I never would have thought that I already made several orders with them. Because I was once a customer of Grizzly. Seriously.

Of course, we have to be smart , we always go for a brand of bandsaw and saw blades that’s not that expensive but will never compromise the quality.

-- "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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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1181 days


#4 posted 10-28-2012 11:33 AM

Surfside, I might feel the same had they completed my order in any reasonable manner. After receiving two blades within 72 hours, each one in a seperate box, I still had two blades outstanding. My account was charged with four. I waited four days, and called, only to be told they had completed the order of two 101 series, and two 201 series. Didn’t I get two boxes? After describing the boxes, which were clearly marked with one 201 each, I was told an e-mail would arrive in my inbox within a couple hours, describing the “work service order”, that would be initiated. I was also given a non 877 number to follow up with which turned out constantly went to voice mail. 30 hours later and no e-mail, I went back to the 877 number and the same customer person answered immediately, and I wanted to know where the second set of blades were, the 101’s. She hestitated, and finally said they were “backordered”, and they would ship that Friday, three days away. They came the next day, two blades in one box. Huh?

Now that I have a 201 on my Grizzly, aside from price, I don’t see it as any great shakes. Leaves slightly more saw blade marks on the cut than the TW blades, and so far, the only real advantage they hold is price. I’m not a real fan, so far, of sawblade.com.

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

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Surfside

3199 posts in 840 days


#5 posted 10-29-2012 09:25 PM

Too bad that you encountered that situation with www.sawblade.com . That must be really frustrating .
I had once experienced inconvenience with them but the good thing is,they were able to fix everything.
I’ve been purchasing blades with them and so far so good.
By the way , how’s your Grizzly 201 working so far?

-- "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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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1181 days


#6 posted 11-07-2012 04:13 PM

Surfside, the 201 on my Grizzly leaves a rougher cut than then TW blades I bought did. It is probably in the strange kerf of the teeth, where the teeth that ride into the wheel are straight out, and the opposing teeth are bent at about a 8 degree angle outwards. Not only does this leave a repeating mark on the outside cut, it causes the blade to drift and chatter more than I think it should, at least more then the TW blades did.

Also, I have been further contacted by a service rep supervisor from sawblade.com, who had me repeat the whole story. I told her the truth, and she assured me that no further problems would happen with any new orders. Fair enough, nice. But then I get an e-mail with them again, “following up”, with a built-in ad asking if I needed any parts for my bandsaws. Give me a break. She also wanted to call me again next Monday to see how the blades are performing since I have to cut some purpleheart over the weekend. I didn’t sign on to be a tester and take all these phone calls and e-mails, I just bought a couple blades. Give me a break!

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

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Surfside

3199 posts in 840 days


#7 posted 11-09-2012 09:38 PM

That is extremely disappointing! And how irritating that might be. Did they even care to meet you halfway for all the inconvenience that they have caused on you?

-- "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 ward63's profile

ward63

319 posts in 1753 days


#8 posted 11-17-2012 03:26 PM

Has any body dealt with http://www.bandsawbladesdirect.com/ ?
I usually can last about 2 months on a 2” wide stellite-tipped blade
slicing walnut, ash, chestnut etc. And get about 4 sharpenings out of it.
But at $150.00 each, I need to look elsewhere.

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