View Full Version : Bandsaw blade thickness .032? .035?

11-30-2011, 03:20 PM
Its come time to change out my worn bandsaw blade and install a fresh one. I have been researching what blade to get next and the one I am interested in is .003" thicker then what is spec'd out for the machine. I have the typical China built 7 x 12 coolant bandsaw. Mine happens to be the Craftex brand sold by Busy Bee in Canada. You can view it here http://www.busybeetools.com/products/METAL-B%7B47%7DSAW-7IN.-X12IN.-1HP-CSA-CRAFTEX.html and you can view the PDF manual here http://www.busybeetools.com/product_manuals/CX103.pdf

Is there are reason why I cannot switch to a .035" thick blade as opposed to a .032"? I realize I may have to reset my guide rollers. Would these blades be considered interchangable?

Thanks for the help (as always)


11-30-2011, 03:24 PM
Thicker blades don't work well on bandsaws with small wheels. You may find your current blades are snaping before dulling, thats a sign of too thick a blade for the wheel radius.

Why do you want a *thicker* blade? I run 0.025 on my 7x12

You do have to adjust both the blade guides when changing blade thickness, make sure they can be adjusted. (Mine uses ball bearings that have considerable force against the blade, you can't 'pull' the blade out between them, you have to roll it at an angle and get it to come out that way)

11-30-2011, 05:06 PM
I'm not whatcha call an expert, but I doubt that the .003" difference would be significant at all; other than the blade guide adjustments mentioned.

I've used both the .025 and .035 on my little 5x6" saw and, other than more aggravation putting the thicker blade on, I've noticed no difference.

11-30-2011, 07:14 PM
.003 will not make much if any difference.

11-30-2011, 07:54 PM
I can't see where .003 will make any difference, but .010 most likely will. My Wilton...... same type as your saw, runs well with .025. At one time when I was experimenting with blades I put a .035 on it and it had a tendency to want to ride off the drive wheel, almost.... Not to mention it wouldn't cut straight. I didn't think .010 would make a diff. but it did. It's a little too thick to take the twist comming off the drive wheel into the guide rollers.


11-30-2011, 08:28 PM
The advantage of a thicker blade is a bit more beam strength.

The disadvantage is earlier fatigue failure from bending the thicker blade across the wheels. Also usually takes a bit more power in the cut -- they may cut slower.

A lot of saws your size take .025" blades.

Realistically, if you can get the .035" blades cheaply enough the lower theoretical life probably isn't a big deal.

11-30-2011, 08:54 PM
I would go with the thinner blades. Whenever I change blades on any bandsaw I back the guide rollers off and then readjust after tensioning the blade. I don't have one of the little saws so I don't know if that proceedure is possible.

One might suggest if the beam strength is that big of an issue, then you are feeding too fast or have the wrong tooth count or maybe both.
Too many teeth can be as big a problem as too few teeth. My recomendation would be the fewest teeth per inch that still gets you 3 teeth in the cut at any time.

11-30-2011, 09:31 PM
Beam strength shouldn't be an issue if you guide are positioned properly, close to the work. If your guides are six inches apart and your cutting 1" dia. material then it could become an issue.


11-30-2011, 09:52 PM
I have the 4x6 bandsaw, and the typical blades I was getting were biting the big one before the teeth were too dull to change the blade out. Then I went to the thinner blade and almost completely solved that problem. The thinner blade is more flexible and has its own way of dying because of that- too much flexibility in the kerf, so the teeth are constantly slamming into the sides of the cut and shortening their lifetimes. I went back to the thicker blade- and back to the cracking problem.

Then I took someones advice and bought a lennox diemaster II blade. It has taken all the abuse I've given it, rode the small diameter wheels without cracking, and cut straight from the start and still cuts straight. It is at the same time the most expensive blade I've bought, and the cheapest because it has lasted.

One thing I've discovered is you don't want the guide bearings pinching the blade. You want them very close, but if they're actually pinching they are working on the blade like an english wheel or a metal stretcher/shrinker. You don't want that, but you can adjust the rotation of the bearing holder to force the blade to run true to the cut line even if there's a thou or more of play between the blade and the bearings. I won't go into depth here on adjusting the guides, etc, except to say that the time you spend now to adjust everything just right will pay off in straighter, smoother, and more consistent, longer-lived easy cutting action, as well as longer blade life in general.

11-30-2011, 10:29 PM
.003 is not that much, but the thicker blades dont work that good on small saws. It could be like the straw that broke the camels back, just enough on thickness it starts having problems breaking blades.

The quality of the blade, plus using the right blade for the job will be most important when buying a blade. Call up any custom blade maker that offers blades for the 3 wheeler type bench saws. They have a blade that is made for the smaller wheeled saws and it will handle the bending & last a lot longer.

As Darryl stated the right blade even at a high price will pay for itself very quick. Not to meantion time & stock saved because of better cutting action. It might also pay to have more than one tooth setup for the saw if you cut many different types metal & thicknesses. The better the blade is matched up to the job the easier it will make the cuts & last longer.

I like the SuperCut blades but there are many that can offer you a good one.


11-30-2011, 10:52 PM
Where do you even get a .032" blade? .035" is an industry standard with a wide variety of blade types available.

11-30-2011, 11:53 PM
Where do you even get a .032" blade? .035" is an industry standard with a wide variety of blade types available.

DR, my Enco Turn Pro came with a .032 blade. Enco doesn't seem to sell a .032 bi-metal blade, so I ordered a couple of .035 blades for it. I have had no trouble running the thicker blades.


12-01-2011, 08:23 AM
Where do you even get a .032" blade? .035" is an industry standard with a wide variety of blade types available.

Measuring error or poor band stock tolerances.


Ed P
12-01-2011, 09:07 AM
I have the Grizzly version of that saw and tried a .035 blade because of the limited choices with .032. The thicker blade broke fairly quickly. Had to go back to the thinner one.

Ed P

12-01-2011, 09:15 AM
I only use .032 on my little 4x6" horizontal/vertical saw,and my 14" vertical. Much thicker on my Roll In saw bimetal blades.

12-01-2011, 11:09 AM
In 3/4" blades, bi-metal is almost always .035 thick. Carbon is almost always .032 thick. So, if you want to run bi-metal, you'll have to go with .035 thick. This will only result in a 9.4 percent increase in bending stress due to the wheel size. Is this ideal?--No, but thousands of guys run these blades on your size saw. Guide rollers need to be set very close, but not dead tight. Think about it--the rollers are what twists the blade, so they need to be tight. Properly set, you'll have a thou or two daylight at the top (back side) of the blade, and the same at the bottom (gullet side) on Opposite sides of the blade. Look closely at your rollers--you only need/want to adjust one side. If you adjust the wrong side, you'll have tracking/derailing problems. I doubt you'll ever want to go back to carbon (.032) blades after you once make the switch. I find 6/10 and 10/14 variable pitches to be the most useful.

Best Regards

12-01-2011, 03:04 PM
Thanks everybody who responded. The information is all fantastic (and consistant). You guys managed to teach me a few things on bandsaw dynamics.
As with most choices, when it comes to tooling, there are always options that need to be weighed. Lucky for me I am not dealing a massive amount of money here where the choice will result in collossal failure. I am going to keep shopping for a blade with my new found knowledge. Right now I am leaning towards the 10/14 .035" bi-metal choice.

Thanks for the help, you guys rock!


12-02-2011, 12:21 AM
Since so many of us have these horizontal band saws of various makes, but all are copies of one another and very alike. Does any one have a small table to convert the saw to an upright??? My Wilton came with a small 7" or so square table. I've used it a couple times on thin sheet metal, both steel and alum.. You can't contour too well with a half inch wide blade and thinner blades can't be found in these sizes unless you have them made up and it's not a good idea to run them any way as the teeth would start to chew into the wheels etc. etc. other alignment problems etc.
But the biggest problem I've found is these saws have bearings for guides, OK for horizontal cutting....... not good for vertical cutting as all the swarf falls into the bearings and is rolled out onto the blade. Eventually it spreads the bearings out and there goes your gap. I was thinking of finding an old blade guide holder and modifying to hold some bronze guides. This thought came to me after I experimented with taping some brass shim stock under the table facing up into the blade to act as a scraper to keep the chips from falling into the bearings. I had limited success with it. I think I once saw some type of brush set up for under the table mounting but cuttings would eventually sift through the brushes. Any one come up with any thing???