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Trying to justify cost of 1/8" bandsaw blades. Start the Flame Throwers!

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Forum topic by Tennessee posted 01-06-2016 01:08 PM 1492 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1976 days


01-06-2016 01:08 PM

I make a LOT of bandsaw boxes, and other things that require substantial bandsaw time with narrow, small blades. I often find that my Porter Cable 14” gets more saw time than my big Grizzly 17”, since a lot of what I do is cut out drawers, making small cuts in a pickguard, and other small, tight corner cuts that only an 1/8” blade can do.

Up until yesterday, for me the Bosch blade sold at Lowes were a stopgap…a backstop for when I absolutely ran out of good, 1/8” by 93 1/2 blades. I would groan, get in the truck, pop on over to Lowes and buy one, then order more from Timberwolf.

Until yesterday.
I finally realized that I am NOT getting twice the life out of higher quality blades than the Bosch, ONLY On This Particular Size, 1/8”.

I had to order blades yesterday, since I have a lot of bandsaw boxes coming up in the future. I started looking, and to be honest, I found it impossible to justify the cost difference between a high quality blade like Timberwolf, and the Bosch.

Here’s the breakdown:
All costs quoted are for ONE 1/8” by 93 1/2” blade, 14TPI. (Ironically, the Bosch is 15TPI) You typically have to go to 5-6 blades for a 10% discount, and over 10-12 blades for a slightly larger discount from the higher cost houses. Neither are earth-shaking.

Timberwolf: $19.59 PLUS shipping
Grizzly: $18.95 PLUS shipping
USA Quicksilver: $19.74 PLUS Shipping
Carter: $23.50 PLUS Shipping
Starret: $19.99 PLUS Shipping

Bosch: $9.99, FREE Shipping

As a matter of fact, Lowes online shipped it same day with Free shipping, and it is scheduled to arrive at my door today, although they give themselves three days total. I bought 5, with tax it came to $53 and change. That is about the cost of TWO Timberwolf blades, including the shipping they tack on.

I find that on this one size, 1/8” by 93 1/2” 14-15TPI, I just cannot justify the cost difference. I do not get twice the life out of a Timberwolf over a Bosch. Maybe 40% more. And the Bosch, with the 15TPI, seems to cut very smooth, if not smoother than the Olsen’s, Timberwolf’s, Lenox’s, and others I have had on that saw.

OK, flame on…

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


9 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1635 days


#1 posted 01-06-2016 02:39 PM

If your happy with the Bosch blades buy them. I don’t understand why that would even be an issue. There is probably only two or three places stamping out blades and all other names buy from them any way.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

827 posts in 684 days


#2 posted 01-07-2016 05:25 PM

My usual blade vendor only goes down to 1/4” (about $15 each), but I think you have answered your own question. Aside from life, quality/speed of cut is also to be ‘priced in’ as value added. Since you get an acceptable cut, you have what you need!

What is determining ‘end-of-life’ for you? Getting dull/burning or breaking?

You might play a bit with your tension and or cutting speed to see if that helps extend the life. 15TPI requires a slower cut (but will leave a finer surface. A coarser blade may last longer (but with a rougher cut).

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2880 posts in 2989 days


#3 posted 01-07-2016 05:54 PM

Are you releasing the blade tension when not in use? Just kidding, just kidding …

If you are happy with the performance of the Bosch blades and they turn out to cost less given your usage of them as a “consumable”, I say go for it.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1612 days


#4 posted 01-07-2016 06:07 PM

I haven’t used them yet, but have seen a lot of recommendations for buying blades here. http://www.woodcraftbands.com/Pricing%20page.htm

Have to call, can’t order online.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1976 days


#5 posted 01-07-2016 09:13 PM

For me, when I start to see some drift in my cut, I know the blade is on a short clock, and will be replaced very soon. I used to try and tighten them up to buy some more time out of them, but I would either break the blade, or once I actually cracked the upper wheel pivot. Argh!

I’ve used the lenox – I don’t find it any better than the Bosch, and Lowe’s offers free shipping.

I cut another box up today with the same blade as the last box, and so far, with about 20 mean cuts in, it is holding its own. But still, I can feel the speed dropping. Next will be some drift, and off it will come. I think if I get three BS boxes out of a blade, I will be happy. These are 5-7 drawer BS boxes. I also take into consideration blade chatter and the coarseness of the cut. Sanding is the worst thing ever on bandsaw boxes.

Still, for $9.99, that is better than throwing away a blade you paid $18-22 for.

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

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

327 posts in 1774 days


#6 posted 01-07-2016 09:43 PM

Tennessee – I’m beginning to think I’m pushing the useful life of the my blades too long. Your boxes have a lot more cuts than mine, but after reading your experiences I think I might be better off changing more often & investigating other blades including the Bosch. I’ll have to see what they have for my Rikon 10-325 (111”).

As you know, there’s a lot of cutting & sanding into these type boxes & not changing the blades can ruin a piece.
Thanks for the post.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile

TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 392 days


#7 posted 01-07-2016 11:18 PM

I was trying to decide wether or not to buy Timber Wolf blades, and it semed hard to justify paying $20 plus shipping for a 1/8 blade. If they were $15, i would go for it.
After reading this thread i went to amazon and 1-click bought a Bosch blade for $10. Thanks for sharing your experience with blades!

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1640 posts in 1779 days


#8 posted 01-08-2016 03:32 AM

I don’t get pricey Timberwolf blades but neither do I buy the stuff at the Big Box stores. Starrett high carbon blades or Morse high carbon blades are my favorites. They run around $15 apiece and are very effective.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

864 posts in 2527 days


#9 posted 01-08-2016 04:22 AM

This is great insight and buying advice. Thanks for sharing.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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