There is nothing quite as satisfying as sawing wood with your bandsaw.
However, as with all power tools, your saw is only as good as the blade. So, having the best blade for resawing is crucial if you want the best outcomes.
We wanted to put resawing blades in the spotlight, to give you the lowdown on exactly which bandsaw blades are the best.
- Thin kerf
- Runs under lower tension
- Stays cool and runs longer
- Cobalt alloy steel
- Quieter running
- Reduces vibrations
- Comes in packs of 3
- Scores 65 to 67 on the rockwell scale
- Cobalt high-speed steel
- All-purpose blade
- Cuts hard and softwood
- Cuts mild steel & non-ferrous metals
- Great all-rounder
- Cuts awkward angles
- 64 to 66 on rockwell scale
What is a Resaw Bandsaw Blade?
A resaw bandsaw blade is a blade that allows you to make cuts along the grain to make extra boards or veneers. Resaw blades are wider, typically up to 2 to 3 inches, and have a small kerf to cut down on wastage. The kerf is the slit made by the saw.
Bandsaw resaw blades cut straighter and have less flexibility. This reduces bowing while the stock passes through the blade. Also, resaw blades need to be tensioned correctly to make sure the blade deflects no more than 0.25 inches when pressed in the middle. The pre-tensioning of the blade ensures a neat and accurate cutting line.
How Do I Choose a Resaw Bandsaw Blade?
Several factors affect the accuracy and reliability of your resaw blade. We’ve picked out the pertinent points to help you make the right choices.
Thinner blades are better suited to cutting awkward angles and curves and generally have a higher tooth count. Wider blades provide more tension and less bowing, meaning that if you are splitting boards or making long, straight cuts, you get a more exact line.
Wider blades tend to have a lower tooth per inch (TPI) count and so are better suited to chewing through hardwood and making rip cuts.
Want to make veneers? Then try choosing a blade that combines tooth counts with less width and opt for something in the middle.
The thicker the blade, the wider the kerf. If you are resawing boards, a thinner kerf will yield better results. For a 14-inch bandsaw, the blade should be no thicker than 0.025 inches. Any thicker and the blade will have problems tensioning.
Type of Blade
For general-purpose resawing now and again, a flex-back or hard-back blade will work best. If you are hardcore resawing from dawn till dusk, a hard-back or bi-metal hook-tooth blade with a TPI of 3 will do the job.
Hook-tooth blades have a deep gullet with wider teeth that work well with most materials. The other advantage of a low tooth count is that the blade will gum less with sawdust and debris. The fewer blades help to scoop the waste matter away from the cut, making it easier to control the workpiece and for you to clearly see what you are doing.
The blade material often dictates the price you pay. Carbon steel is softer and generally suited to cutting wood and plastic. For this reason, carbon steel blades are cheaper. However, this could be a false economy because while the initial purchase costs are lower, replacement costs are a lot higher.
Cobalt blades have at least eight percent cobalt mixed with the steel to create a hard-wearing alloy. These blades last longer than carbon steel varieties and also have a higher resistance to heat, which means they can run faster for longer. High temperatures are the biggest reason why your saw blades dull.
Carbide-tipped blades have teeth that are either coated in tungsten or titanium to give them even better protection against dulling and heat damage.
Did You Know?
Tooth Pitch and TPI
The TPI dictates the pitch of the teeth. A higher TPI value means that you get a smoother cut but a slower result. If you are resawing boards, you should look for a blade with a TPI of 14 to 18.
If you are cutting lumber, a blade with a greater pitch and a lower tooth count will suffice. Look for a blade with 3 to 6 TPI. For general resawing, you will need a high enough tooth count to achieve that smooth finish.
The Best Resaw Bandsaw Blades of 2020
We scoured the internet and looked at dozens and dozens of bandsaw blades to gauge what their strengths are and what they are best suited to. We categorized them to create a clearer picture for you and to help you make the right choices.
1. Timber Wolf 1/4-Inch x 1/2-inch 6 TPI Bandsaw Blade
This Timber Wolf blade has over 60 percent of the speed capabilities of other thin kerf blades. That’s thanks to the high silicon carbide steel qualities of the material. It is an ideal blade for resawing thicker stock, and it runs under lower tension, which requires less horsepower.
Carbide has the advantage of running cooler for longer. This means you can keep working with this blade, safe in the knowledge it will last the distance.
Timber Wolf blades are not cheap, so for some, the budget might not stretch that far. Also, if you are a beginner with the bandsaw, you might be tempted to learn on a less expensive blade.
All that aside, if you can afford it, the Timber Wolf is almost all things to all sawing situations.
- Thin kerf.
- Ideal for thick stock.
- Runs under lower tension.
- Stays cool and runs longer.
- Expensive to buy.
|Dimensions||11.2 x 13.8 x 0.6 inches|
2. Milwaukee 48-39-0511 44-7/8-inch 14-TPI Bandsaw Blade
These Milwaukee blades are high-speed steel and 8 percent cobalt to make it super-durable. The teeth points are electron-beam welded to a special backing that ensures a long life and teeth that dull three times slower than conventional saw blades.
The tooth angles and deeper gullets also reduce the vibrations, which results in a smoother cut with less noise. Because of the TPI, this blade will saw through metals like aluminum, stainless steel, and bronze.
Milwaukee states that this is American made, but they also say the blades are imported. It would seem that the steel is Chinese, and the blades get assembled and welded in the United States.
On the plus side, you get a quality blade that comes as a pack of three, so when the first blade dulls, you have spares at hand.
- Cobalt alloy steel.
- Quieter running.
- Reduces vibrations.
- American-made, but Chinese steel.
|Dimensions||19 x 6.9 x 0.2 inches|
3. DeWALT 32-7/8-inch Portable BandSaw Blade
This DeWALT portable bandsaw blade set is constructed from 8 percent cobalt and high-speed steel. Unsurprisingly, it has the heat resistance and durability you need to keep your saw blade sharp.
The teeth score an impressive 65 to 67 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, so they won’t dull as quickly as carbon steel blades. It also means this blade can run at high speeds, and for longer. This blade also has an alloy steel backer for fatigue resistance.
This DeWALT blade is ideal for cutting thick, medium, and thin gauge metals, thanks to the high tooth count and the thin kerf. It comes as a set of three blades, so it will keep you resawing for a long time.
The other star point about these blades is the price. They cost a fraction of the price of the Timber Wolf blades but still score highly for customer satisfaction.
- Great price.
- Comes as a pack of 3.
- Scores 65 to 67 on the Rockwell Scale.
- Cobalt high-speed steel.
- Only suitable for portable saws.
|Dimensions||14 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches|
4. Olson Saw FB14593DB HEFB 6-TPI Bandsaw Blade
This Olson saw has a skip saw blade, which means the blade has a zero-degree rake angle and widely spaced teeth. That makes it the perfect tool for cutting through hardwood.
The advantage of a zero-degree rake is that the blade gums less during sawing because the teeth scoop out a lot of the debris and sawdust. This stops the blade from overheating and dulling more quickly. It also means you can keep a clear view of the cutting line, so you get a more flawless finish.
This is the ideal all-purpose blade. Not only does it cost less, it caters to beginners and less experienced bandsaw users at a minimal cost. It cuts through hard and softwood, plastics, non-ferrous metals, and mild steel.
It is compatible with most stationary, floor-standing, and vertical two-wheel bandsaws.
- Great price.
- Ideal for beginners and tradespeople alike.
- All-purpose blade.
- Cuts hard and softwood.
- Cuts mild steel and non-ferrous metals.
- Made in China.
- Thicker joint may vibrate.
|Dimensions||10.2 x 10.9 x 1.0 inches|
5. Powertec 13117X 93-1/2-Inch Bandsaw Blade
This Powertec saw blade has a raker set of teeth that scoop the excess debris and sawdust away from the blade more efficiently. That means the blade heats less, and there is less friction. This all serves to reduce heat, which preserves the blade’s teeth.
It has a TPI of 10, which means it can cater to softwood and non-ferrous metals and still produce a neat cut. Also, it cuts plastics and aluminum. This is thanks to the teeth that score 64 to 66 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.
The blade is constructed from high-carbon steel, which provides an ultra-sharp cutting edge, but does tend to dull quickly. While it will saw through hardwood, if you want to preserve the life of the blade, stick to softer materials.
Also, carbon steel is flexible, so if you want to create something with awkward angles, this is the blade to do it. It has far more flex than the harder cobalt and carbide steel blades.
The only downside with carbon steel is that it dulls more quickly when compared to cobalt or carbide steels. But that is a small complaint when you consider the price of this blade. This great value means that you could buy three of these blades for the cost of one Timber Wolf blade.
- Excellent price.
- Great all-rounder.
- Ideal for beginners.
- Cuts awkward angles.
- 64 to 66 on the Rockwell Scale.
- Carbon steel dulls quickly.
- Better suited for softer materials.
- Some welding issues.
|Dimensions||10 x 10 x 1 inches|
|Timber Wolf 6 TPI Bandsaw Blade||Carbide Blade||1.5 oz||11.2 x 13.8 x 0.6″||6||Thin|
|Milwaukee 48-39-0511 14-TPI Blade||High-Speed||8.6 oz||19 x 6.9 x 0.2″||14||Thin|
|DeWALT 32-7/8-inch BandSaw Blade||Portable||5.6 oz||14 x 5.2 x 0.6″||18||Thin|
|Olson Saw FB14593DB HEFB Blade||Hardwood||1.76 oz||10.2 x 10.9 x 1.0″||6||Medium|
|Powertec 13117X Bandsaw Blade||Budget Pick||1.6 oz||10 x 10 x 1″||10||Thin|
How Do You Set a Bandsaw to Resaw?
Knowing the correct procedure for setting your bandsaw to resaw is crucial if you want the safest and neatest results.
1. Choose the Right Blade
Choosing the correct blade for the task at hand is vital. If you are resawing boards and want something that will remove the debris and waste material efficiently, go for a blade with a lower tooth count and deep gullets. Also, resawing typically requires a saw blade that is thicker and cuts a straight line.
2. Tension the Blade
The correct blade tension keeps your stock centered and gives you better control. It also stops the saw flexing, which could be a problem if your margins of error are minute and you don’t want the saw blade to cut through the wall of the stock and into your hand.
With the saw unplugged, install the blade using lateral guides, and the thrust bearing opened and backed off. Make sure this is done above and below the table, ensuring they make zero contact with the blade. Now it’s time to add tension to the blade.
3. Adjust the Blade Guides
With the saw blade tensioned correctly, before bringing the lateral guides and thrust bearings close to the blade, close the wheel covers and power up the saw. This way, you can check how the blade tracks and adjust the speed to see how it behaves at full throttle.
Remember to adjust the tracking as necessary while observing the blade.
If the blade starts to vibrate, increase or decrease the tension a little until this stops. Once you reach the correct tension, you will hear a change in the volume levels of the saw. It also helps it cut neater lines when you eliminate the flexing in the kerf.
4. Lateral Blade Guides and Thrust Bearings
Now that the blade is running smoothly and is tensioned correctly, switch off the machine. Bring the thrust bearings and the lateral blade guides close to the blade. Make sure they are snug because this helps guide the blade.
Now switch the machine back on and start resawing your first piece of stock.
Blade Runner or Blade Stunner
Choosing the best bandsaw blade for resawing presents so many options. You should start with the material you are resawing and look at the tooth count of the blade. Higher TPI values means it caters to metals, hardwood, and other materials that require a neat cut.
Low TPI values lend itself better to lumber and materials that require a rougher edge. Also, if you are resawing boards, think about the width of the blade, because the more extensive the blade, the greater the rigidity, which means a more accurate cut and less flexing.