Reasonable mileage for a band saw blade

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Forum topic by daddywoofdawg posted 07-26-2015 02:56 AM 951 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1006 posts in 993 days

07-26-2015 02:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blade bandsaw

I bought a couple of Timber Wolf blades in march and have cut 98% of the time 1x pine and the other 2% walnut,The blades are very dull already.My question is what is Reasonable mileage for a band saw blade (how many BF should I expect? Trying to decide if I want to buy that brand again or try another.

10 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1614 posts in 1734 days

#1 posted 07-26-2015 04:22 AM

Depends upon whether you’re resawing or ripping. I’ve generally estimated around 200 lineal feet of cutting for resawing 6” wide hardwood with a standard carbon steel blade. After that the blade is still useful but resawing becomes slower and less predictable.

Over-heating the blade by using too small of tpi will shorten the lifespan. Cutting plywood, mdf and especially particle board will shorten it even more. Sawing dirty lumber will dull it faster.

Carbon steel blades are pretty cheap though at $16 or less per blade.

-- See my work at and

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1006 posts in 993 days

#2 posted 07-26-2015 04:30 AM

other than timber wolf what blade would you choose? may try another brand and see how they hold up

View ForestGrl's profile


445 posts in 504 days

#3 posted 07-26-2015 05:32 AM

It’s really important to order/use the best blade configuration for the job, not just tpi, but thickness and set of the teeth. Suffolk has so many choices, sometimes it’s best to call and get their reccomendation. What kind/size saw do you use? What tasks predominate?

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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Combo Prof

2237 posts in 695 days

#4 posted 07-26-2015 05:38 AM

other than timber wolf what blade would you choose? may try another brand and see how they hold up

- daddywoofdawg

For re-sawing I buy Highland Wood Working Wood Slicer 3/4 inch Resaw Bandsaw Blades. but they are over $35 and I think worth it.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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1006 posts in 993 days

#5 posted 07-26-2015 06:15 AM

resawing,some cross cutting,some curves but not scroll work,my last set was a 3 tpi 1/2” timber wolf and a 1/4” 6 tpi timber wolf.I don’t feel like I got much mileage out of them,great blade just don’t stay sharp long.can I get better mileage out of the Olson pro series?

View AHuxley's profile


424 posts in 2739 days

#6 posted 07-26-2015 07:12 AM

It is difficult to put a number on bandsaw blade life due to the huge number of factors involved. Plus, as I am sure you know board feet isn’t a good indication of tooling life. Lineal feet is also more or less useless especially in the case of a bandsaw since a foot of cut could be ripping a 3/4” board or resawing a 15” wide board, though each a lineal foot the latter is 20 times the amount of wood cut by the blade. While you could use something like cut inches, in the example above the first would be .75 cut inches and the latter 15 cut inches, most of us don’t think like that. So it is often very hard to say how “long” a bandsaw blade will last because even if you can describe the exact usage most of us don’t have an exact frame of reference, we have a feel for how long a particular blade will last. Also keep in mind the size of saw can make a huge difference because someone with a 36” saw will see blades lasting close to 3 times as long as someone with a 14” cast saw with no riser since there is nearly 3 times the amount of blade (~93.5” compared to over 250 inches).

Getting the most “mileage” means first making sure you have the right blade for the job. You can start by describing the exact way you use this blade (along with the saw you are using) and get recommendations for a blade to use. Next cutting a lot of pine means you will probably have pitch issues and need to keep the blade clean. Heat can also be an issue. Heat is the nemesis of all cutting tooling and it is even more of an issue when you are using tooling with edges made from spring or carbon steel, they just can’t take heat buildup like carbide or bi-metal blades. Also make sure the blade’s teeth don’t touch the side guides (unless you are using a soft block guide).

Again, assuming you are picking the correct blade, using proper setup, and using a proper feedrate for a given cut/blade/wood/saw combination you don’t need to worry too much about blade life, you will get a feel for it over time. I do suggest always having spare blades for every type you use often, it is a pain to have to get another blade mid-project.

A word about the blades mentioned in the thread. The Woodslicer as sold by Highland has impulse hardened spring steel teeth, these are very soft in tooling terms (roughly Rc50) and will dull very quickly. They are a niche blade and their primary purpose is making extremely smooth resaw cuts in dry wood where a very narrow kerf is needed. They will match the best carbide resaw blades for finish and wast much less wood, though the carbide blade will outlast the Woodslicer by a factor of about 50, yes 50. The other niche application is since it has a very thin backer smaller, less rigid saws like 14” Delta cast saws can tension a wider blade. Note the bladestock for the Woodslicer is from the meat cutting industry and is sold by Iturra for less (Bladerunner) and by Spectrum for a lot less (Kerfmaster).

The Swedish or silicon steel blades from Timberwolf et al have their own characteristics. They also have teeth that are softer than standard carbon steel blades (Rc60 vs Rc64) so they dull fairly quickly. They are also initially sharper than carbon blades, just like the hardened spring steel blades. Given they are more expensive than carbon bands and don’t last as long I see no reason to use them unless I had a specific need for the initial sharpness. They are marketed as low tension blades, I am dubious as to whether there is any scientific reason for this. The only benefit of a “true” low tension blade would be their use on small less rigid bandsaws and I have never seen them be any better on a 14” Delta than a carbon blade EXCEPT initially they will cut better on any saw since initially they are sharper.

In general carbide blades last the longest, followed by bimetal, carbon, high silicon steel and spring steel and it simply equates to the difference in abrasion resistance each material has. As long as the particular saw can handle the extra tension needed by a bi-metal blade it is usually the sweet spot for hobby users for most types of blades. It seems the OP has a pretty set pattern of usage knowing more about the saw and the specific type of cuts (since it seems rather repetitive) it should be easy to suggest a specific blade type.

For more of my basic bandsaw musings you might try my posts in this thread:

View johnstoneb's profile


2104 posts in 1590 days

#7 posted 07-26-2015 02:20 PM

For resawing I have gone to carbide blades. They cost alittle more up front but last for a long time, cut straight (no set to worry about), They leave an extremely smooth cut.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Aj2's profile


624 posts in 1216 days

#8 posted 07-26-2015 02:54 PM

I also find my blades don’t stay sharp very long.I buy olsen blades at a local rocker store 93 1/2.As others have mentiond really depends on what’s being cut.My favorite blade is 3/8 4tpi skip tooth .020.I also like to check the weld before I buy.
I also have a larger bandsaw that takes 14ft blades.Thats one of advantages of having the larger saw.I get more miles out of the blades.So it’s not all about resaw height.

View gfadvm's profile


14928 posts in 2108 days

#9 posted 07-27-2015 12:15 AM

I agree with the bi-metal comment. My bi-metal Timberwolfs have worked very well on my 17” Grizz. They cost more but are supposed to last “10 times longer”.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2340 days

#10 posted 07-27-2015 12:15 PM

For resawing I have gone to carbide blades. They cost alittle more up front but last for a long time, cut straight (no set to worry about), They leave an extremely smooth cut.

- johnstoneb

I also have gone to carbide blades for re-sawing six inch cedar and maple. Woodslicer blades cut well but do not last as long as cheaper, carbide blades from “Supercut” I pay about $25 for a 105” blade there. I recommend them.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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