First Bandsaw Blades - Advice

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Forum topic by seabiscuit posted 11-02-2011 07:39 PM 2151 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View seabiscuit's profile


95 posts in 2423 days

11-02-2011 07:39 PM

I recently picked up a new Grizzly 14” Bandsaw. I have read around and everyone seems to agree to ditch the installed blade and get new ones right away. I have no idea where to even begin. I get the basics (TPI – more equals slower but cleaner, less = rougher but faster. Thickness: thinner = more control and tighter curves, thicker = straighter cut (resawing).

I am currently playing around with the bandsaw. I don’t have any major plans for it at the moment. It doesn’t have the riser kit yet, so no resawing will be done for the moment.

Either way, I just wanted to get a nice set of blades for “all purpose.” This would either be one blade that is good for general purpose (I want tighter curves than my current 3/8” offers) or a package of blades that covers a variety of situations.

I saw this on amazon. What do you think of it and what would you suggest?

Thanks in advance

16 replies so far

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3321 days

#1 posted 11-02-2011 08:14 PM

The Olsons are not bad but they are also not the best on the market. They are decent for everyday cutting but their limitation is their durability. They are made solely out of pressed steel and they don’t do any hardening of the teeth.

I would recommend a Woodslicer from Highland Woodworking for any resawing you may do (1/2” or wider) and possibly a Timberwolf for a thinner blade (3/16 for cutting curves, etc.).

I hope that helps.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View pintodeluxe's profile


5659 posts in 2812 days

#2 posted 11-02-2011 08:19 PM

I like the Olson All Pro models. They are about $20 but seem to cut really well.
Also – just becuase you don’t have the riser block doesn’t mean you won’t be resawing. You can resaw plenty with a 6” capacity.


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View knotscott's profile


8014 posts in 3374 days

#3 posted 11-02-2011 08:38 PM

I’d call Sulfolk Machinery. They’ll ask you a bunch of pertinent question about your saw and what you cut, then will make a recommendation for some Timberwolf blades. Ask if they still offer their 4-4-3 deal…4 blades for the price of 3 to new customers.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3194 days

#4 posted 11-02-2011 08:39 PM

We have bought Timberwolf replacement blades for our Rikon 14” deluxe BS. Seems like most manufacturers put crappy blades on their new saws.

Don’t have any experience with the Olson or Woodslicers but, they seem to have high ratings on LJ’s

Good Luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#5 posted 11-02-2011 08:42 PM

In my opinion, Olson is a mid-level brand. I agree on the Woodslicer for resawing and the Timberwolf for thinner blades.

You should be guided by what you want to do. Don’t bother with a resawing blade unless you plan to resaw. Note that you have a bandsaw that can do some resawing but it is not ideally suited for it.

I particularly like the 3/16” blade for tight curves. It is much more nimble than 1/4” blades and, IMO, 1/8” blades are just too thin and they break easily.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View seabiscuit's profile


95 posts in 2423 days

#6 posted 11-02-2011 09:18 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys. A few new questions that your posts have made me think of.

What makes a blade a mid level? Is it what they are made out of (steel, vs. carbide, etc). Are there other factors.

What makes Timberwolf’s the best for smaller sizes and the Woodslicer for larger?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#7 posted 11-02-2011 10:46 PM

I’m not sure I can give you really good answers to your questions but I will try.

I consider Olson blades to be good blades but not “top of the line”. It may have more to do with image as opposed to substance. It’s sort of like comparing a Bosch tools (mid level) to Black and Decker (low level) to Festool (top-of-the-line). Sometimes you are hard pressed to identify explicit features that make a tool or blade low, mid, or high level.

The woodslicer has, for some time, been considered the best for resawing. I can’t say much more because I have not used one. I know that many other people swear by them.

I have used Timberwolfs and I am very impressed with how they cut. Based on my experience, I consider the Timberwolf to be the best blade I can buy. I am thinking of easy, clean cuts and the ability to make sharp curves.

I really don’t understand this, but Timberwolfs are designed to work better at slightly lower blade tension than other comparable blades.

I am not aware of a carbon tipped bandsaw blade. I know that some have a hardened steel versus others with regular steel. I don’t consider a bandsaw blade as being sharpenable (is that a word?). You normally use it until it gets a little dull and dispose of it. Hence, I want a blade that will last as long as possible.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#8 posted 11-03-2011 05:12 AM

Carbide tipped bandsaw blades are available. Very pricey and used almost exclusively for resawing. I would get a set of different width (1/8, 3/16, 1/4, and the widest your saw can handle). Unlike Rich, I really like mt 1/8” blades and have yet to break one. I can cut a 3/16” radius with my Carter Stabilizer and a 1/8” Timberwolf. I have cut stock up to8” thick (bandsaw boxes) with my 1/8” blades. Hope this helps. I do tension my T wolf blades less than my Grizz blades and they work great. Don’t know why. I also use the tensioning method suggested by Sussex (Timberwolf).

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

View weedsnager's profile


59 posts in 2434 days

#9 posted 11-03-2011 05:47 AM

I use the Olson all pro and timberwolf and have been very happy with them.

View seabiscuit's profile


95 posts in 2423 days

#10 posted 11-03-2011 02:37 PM

Since I’m relatively new to wood working and just got the bandsaw (not doing anything too extensive on it yet, just playing around), I ordered the Olson All Pro 3 pack. That gives me a variety, including the ability to do some resawing if I want. And at the price, it is hard to beat (basically 3 blades for the price of one Timberwolf).

Thanks for the advice. When I get into some more meaningful projects, I will probably try a Timberwolf and then I can have a good baseline to see how much better they are.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#11 posted 11-03-2011 10:39 PM

Some tools just work well enough to be good deals at just about any price and some tools work so bad they would not be a deal if they were free.

A cheap paint brush is not a deal if it can’t produce the quality of finish an expensive brush can.

A cheap file is not a deal if its teeth clog up on the first stroke while an expensive file might cut sharply for weeks before the teeth need cleaning.

I hate paying $29 for a wood slicer when I could get just about any other blade out there for less, but it just works, doesn’t load my small saw’s motor down, makes clean smooth cuts that need very little cleanup and it lasts a very long time.

It’s fine to go for a bundle of blades to gain experience and see what you like and don’t like. I’m just suggesting you not cross the premium blades off your wish list until you have tried them.

View seabiscuit's profile


95 posts in 2423 days

#12 posted 11-04-2011 10:37 PM

@ crank

Totally agree. I am buying them to see the difference between sizes first hand, do some basic resawing and get a feel for the tool. Once I know what I’m doing and have an actual direction, I will spend the money on the quality ones.

Plus then, when someone asks this question on a later date, I can say, “I’ve used the Olsons and the Timberwolves and x is better than y because” instead of saying I’ve never tried the crap ones, but these ones are expensive so they must be better…

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3531 days

#13 posted 11-04-2011 11:54 PM

I have used Olson in different sizes. I don’t like them, I bought them because they were locally available.

I really like Carter.

1/4” x 4 TPI and 1/2” x 3 TPI will do anything I need them to do.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

#14 posted 11-05-2011 12:21 AM

Woodslicer and Timber Wolf rock.
Do it!!!
Set up the Grizz correctly. It is worth the time you’ll spend ‘cause a pi$$y BS sucks. The Grizz will do a great job.


View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3741 days

#15 posted 11-05-2011 12:57 AM

You may also want to check out Grizzly’s carbide embedded blades or SuperCut carbide impregnated blades. They are not carbide tipped, but use carbide in the manufacturing process to ‘beef up’ the teeth.

I used the SuperCut blades on my 14” (+riser) bandsaw and they cut well and outlasted any carbon steel or bi-metal blades that I used, including Timberwolf and Wood Slicer (both excellent blades, btw).

-- Mark

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