Choose a Width
Determine how tightly do you need to turn - Horizontal metal-cutting bandsaws are typically designed to use only one width of blade. Vertical metal-cutting bandsaws and woodcutting bandsaws have the capacity to run a wide range of widths. Here are some minimum turning circle diameters for our most common blades:
Choose a Tooth Pattern
Metal-Cutting Bandsaws - The correct tooth pattern for metal-cutting is determined by the thickness (cross-section) of material you are cutting. There should be between 2 and approximately 10 teeth in contact with the material at all times. Generally, choose fewer teeth per inch for thicker materials and more teeth per inch for thinner mate- rials. The chart below will give you some basic guidelines for choosing the correct number of teeth per inch.
Wood-Cutting Bandsaws - There is a wide range of what is considered correct for tooth patterns on a woodcutting bandsaw. The general rule is that fewer teeth per inch provide a faster, but rougher cut; and more teeth per inch provide a smoother, but slower cut.
Solids vs Structural Shapes - It is simpler to determine the correct tooth pattern for solids than for structural shapes. Structural shapes such as square tubing and angle pieces need to be cut at the correct angle to keep the teeth in contact with the thinner portion of the cut. For example, if you are cutting a piece of 4" angle with a 1/4" wall, you should match the tooth pattern to the 1/4" thickness (10-14 Variable or 14 Raker) and not to the 4” thickness (3-4 Variable or 3 Hook). Therefore. the 4· angle should be placed in the saw so it sits as a pyramid instead of an "L." The following diagrams show the correct orientation for cutting various structural shapes:
Stack Cutting - Stack cutting should always be avoided where possible, because regardless of how the material is clamped in the vise there will always be varying thicknesses to cut and you cannot match teeth properly. Also, vibration is a major problem when stack cutting - if you must stack cut, make sure to tack-weld the ends and band the stack together as tightly as possible to reduce vibration or movement between the pieces.