Glossary of Bandsaw Terms

Alternating Set - tooth set where the pattern is left, right, left, right, etc.

Beam Strength - the ability of a blade to resist deflection (lead or wander) caused by excessive feed pressure

Binding - when the material being cut is under tension and pinches the blade. Also, if the material being cut is too thick for the tooth pattern of the blade, causing the waste material to not be removed from the cut and thus catching the blade - this can severely damage the blade

Blade Back - the edge of the blade opposite the teeth

Blade Body - from the bottom of the gullet to the back of the blade

Blade Width - from the tip of the teeth to the back of the blade

Body Swaging - when the guides on a bandsaw are incorrectly set too tight they can squeeze the blade and actually reshape it, thereby ruining the blade

Bowing (Cupping) - the tendency of a blade to cut a bowed vertical cut - often caused by too little blade tension or excessive feed pressure, thereby affecting beam strength

Break-In - starting a new blade out by cutting with a lower feed pressure for the first 10-20 cuts, which greatly improves blade life

Catch Blocks - small waste blocks of wood that are glued in the bandsaw guards in position to stop a blade when it breaks to prevent excessive damage to the blade upon breakage

Chatter - vibration that is caused by either too much or not enough feed pressure - will quickly damage a blade

Chip - the curl or waste that is removed by the tooth when cutting

Chip Clearance - the extra room in the cut channel that allows the chip to clear the cut and be removed

Contour Sawing - curve cutting on a bandsaw

Coplanar - referring to the blade wheels of a bandsaw being in the same plane of adjustment

Crosscut - sawing a piece of wood across (perpendicular to)the grain

Crown - referring to either the curved, convex surface of a blade wheel on a saw - or a blade that has a swaged curve to its body

Feed Pressure - amount of force applied to push the material being cut into the blade

Feed Rate - the speed (inches per minute) that the blade is cutting through the material being cut

Feet Per Minute (FPM) - the rate at which the blade is traveling around the wheels

Fence - a rigid device that the material being cut slides against to maintain consistent cut thickness

Flutter - referring to a bandsaw blade rapidly moving side to side- usually caused by too little tension

Fretwork - delicate inside cutting in material to produce decorative work - usually done on a scroll saw

Galling - the tendency of certain materials (like aluminum) toad here to the teeth or sides of a blade

Guides - either rollers or blocks on a bandsaw that limit a blade’s side to side movement and keep it cutting straight

Gullet - the curved bottom section between the teeth of a blade

Gullet Cracking - cracks that appear in the bottom of the blade gullets - caused by excessive feed pressure or blade fatigue

Hook Teeth - tooth shape that has a positive degree of tooth angle

Kerf - the width of waste that the blade takes out of the material being cut

Lead - when a blade wanders to one side while cutting due to the grain direction of wood, hard spots in what is being cut, or because the blade has been damaged

Loading - the inability of the teeth to remove the waste in a cut- usually caused by trying to cut too thick of material with too fine of a tooth pattern, leading to burning of the teeth

Modified Set - tooth set where the pattern is left, right, left, right, straight, etc.

Points Per Inch - generally the way a hand saw is measured which involves counting how many points or teeth fall inside of an inch measuring tip to tip

Raker Set (also called standard set) - tooth set where the pattern is right, left, straight, right, left, straight, etc.

Release Agent - a substance that is designed to be applied to the blade prior to cutting a material prone to galling

Resawing - sawing thick pieces of wood into thinner pieces

Ripping - sawing a piece of wood in the same direction as(parallel to) the grain

Scroll Cutting - sawing with very small turning diameters - often intricate decorative work

Set - bending of teeth right or left during manufacture

Skip Tooth - tooth design with wide, flat gullets between teeth with zero degree tooth angles

Single Point Fence - style of fence with a single point of contact with the material being cut - allows for adjustment of material being cut to the lead angle of the blade - useful for cutting veneer

Teeth Per Inch (TPI) - number of teeth within one inch as measured from gullet to gullet

Tension - force applied to tighten or loosen a bandsaw blade, thereby increasing or decreasing beam strength

Tires - material stretched around bandsaw wheels to provide a slip resistant surface for the blade - also allows the use of various widths of blades without damaging the set of the blades

Tooth - the actual cutting projection of a blade

Tooth Angle - angle of the tooth face in respect to an imaginary line perpendicular to the blade

Tooth Back - the surface of the tooth opposite the cutting edge

Tooth Face - the surface of the tooth that faces the direction of travel

Tooth Pitch - the measurement from the tip of one tooth to the tip of the next tooth - usually measured in tenths of a inch

Tracking - process of balancing the blade on the blade wheels so it won’t run off front or rear of wheels

Variable Pitch Teeth - combination of regular teeth of different pitches, gullet depths, and set angles - not a consistent measurement from tooth to tooth

Work Hardening - the tendency of steel to become harder as it is repetitively cut or flexed