For cutting structural steels, the band saw blade’s teeth are exposed to different stresses in different angles. For example, when you are cutting a piece of steel tube, the blade is required to cut through two walls, thus causing a damaging action where the tooth is being released in a forward motion by both the speed of the blade and a downward motion feed pressure. Similar shocks can occur when cutting other shapes such as angles, channels, and I-beams.
In the case of solids or shapes, the number of strikes per pass increases considerably. These repeated impacts, and the stresses from the cutting of these heavy-duty metals, can cause the teeth of the band saw machine to crack.
The no. 1 reason these band saw blades fail in fabrication shops is the repetitive shocks or impacts on the blade, and not through excessive use.
It is NOT possible for just one blade to work well for every purpose – like a jack of all trades as you might say. You need to know the type of band saw blade that is strong enough to resist the forces being applied to it while providing a smooth cut without having the need for any secondary applications such as filing and grinding.
For the next tip in how to maintain your horizontal band saw machine, we’ll talk about determining what materials to cut.