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Technical Information


Defining a Band Saw Blade:

Defining a Band Saw Blade Diagram
  1. Width - Tip of the cutting edge to the back of the blade. 
  2. Thickness - Measurement taken on body (gauge).
  3. Blade Body - The back of the blade to the bottom of the gullet.
  4. Tooth - The cutting portion of the blade.
  5. Tooth Pitch - Distance from one tooth tip to the next tip.
  6. T.P.I. - Number of teeth per 25mm (inch).
  7. Tooth Set - Bending of the teeth, right or left, to allow blade clearance through the cut (or kerf) - see illustration A above.
  8. Tooth Face - Surface of the tooth where the chip is formed.
  9. Tooth Back - The angled surface of the tooth opposite the tooth face.
  10. Tooth Rake Angle - Positive (P) or Straight (S) .  The angle of the tooth face measured from a line perpendicular to the back of the blade.
  11. Gullet - The curved area between two teeth.
  12. Gullet Depth - The distance from the tooth tip to the bottom of the gullet.

Tooth Form:  

  • Regular Tooth -  A conventional tooth having a zero degree rake angle and full round gullets. 

Regular Tooth Shape - General purpose cutting blade.

  • Gladiator Tooth - Large teeth up to 12 degrees positive rake angle.

Gladiator Tooth Shape - Production cutting, mild to stainless steels.    

  • Skip Tooth - A tooth having zero rake and shallow gullets.

Skip Tooth Shape - Large sections soft, non-ferrous. 

  • Hook Tooth - A tooth having a positive rake angle and wide gullets.

Hook Tooth Shape - Non-ferrous metals and non-metallics.


Tooth Set:  

  • Raker Set - A recurring sequence of teeth set left and right, followed by one tooth unset.  Frequency of unset teeth on variable pitch blades varies depending on the tooth configuration.


  • Alternative Set - A recurring sequence of teeth set alternatively left and right. 


  • Wavy Set - Groups of teeth set to each side of the blade with varying amounts of set in a controlled pattern.


Band Saw Blade Break-In Procedures:

The proper break-in of a bi-metal blade assures longer blade life, faster cuts for a longer period of time and consistent performance.  Blade life can be significantly compromised if the proper break-in procedures are not followed. 

Start to cut the material at reduced cutting rate.









After break-in when the blade has fully entered the work-piece, increase the feed rate over a series of cuts until recommended cutting rate is achieved.







Easy to cut material such as carbon steel and aluminium:

  1. Run the normal surface feet per minute (SFM).
  2. Adjust the feed pressure to about one-half the normal cutting rate for the first few cuts or for 50 - 100 square inches (323 - 645 sq. cm).
  3. Increase to the normal cutting rate.
  4. Avoid vibration.

Hard to cut materials such as nickel-based alloys like inconel, hardened steels, tool steels and stainless steels: 

  1. Run the normal surface feet per minute (SFM).
  2. Adjust the feed pressure to about three-quarters of the normal cutting rate for the first few cuts or for 25 - 75 square inches (161 - 484 sq. cm).
  3. Then increase the cutting rate part way to normal for the next few cuts.
  4. Then increase to the normal cutting rate.
  5. Avoid vibration.

Please Note:  Always make sure you are removing chips on these types of materials.

Razor Sharp Tooth  








Tooth Correctly Broken In



Tooth Incorrectly Broken In


The teeth on a new band saw blade are razor sharp however, in order to withstand the cutting pressures used in band sawing, the tips of each tooth should be honed, producing an extremely fine radius on the tip of the cutting tooth.  Without this process, damage will be caused to the tips of the teeth, dramatically reducing cutting performance and blade life.

Technical Support: 

Should you require further information, detailed advice or support on band saw blade installation or operation, please contact our Saw Support Team on -

Tel:  00 44 (0)1835 866205    Fax:  00 44 (0)1835 863018