Ask WWGOA: Bandsaw Resaw Blade Size

logs to lumber

Q: I just picked up an older 14” bandsaw on Craigslist, and I want to set it up to do resawing. What kind of blade should I get? I’ve seen carbide tipped resaw blades; will those give me my best quality?

A: Congrats on picking up a bandsaw; you’re going to love the versatility that this tool provides. For resawing, look for a blade with a low TPI (tooth per inch) count, as this will reduce the burden on the motor as you perform tall resaw cuts.

I like to use a 3TPI blade for resawing, as that generally gives decent speed with good cut quality. I’d suggest keeping the blade width to ¼” less than the maximum size that your machine allows. So, if your saw is a typical American style 14” bandsaw, the maximum blade size might be ¾”, so therefore I would recommend a ½” blade.

Wider would be better for resaw quality, but the slightly smaller size gives you some flexibility when tracking the blade, as you don’t want the blade popping off the back of the wheel.

As far as carbide tipped resaw blades, these offer a great durability advantage over traditional steel bandsaw blades, and they can typically be resharpened if they become dull, but they do not necessarily deliver better cut quality. I would consider them only if you plan to do a lot of resawing that would go through a large volume of traditional blades. For occasional resawing, a 3TPI ½” blade will serve you well.

If you’re looking to learn more, we’ve got lots of great info available that covers how to use a bandsaw, including resawing.

Paul

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Discussion
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23 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Bandsaw Resaw Blade Size”
  1. TC Wilson

    I hope someday to adapt a large bandsaw into a sawMILL, actually shaving 8′ or longer logs by making and using a sled to grip and roller advance the log. Any others tried that?

    Reply
    • Stanley Richardson

      Several years ago I purchased a very large bandsaw with a 2″ blade at a bankruptcy auction. I discovered very quickly the power of the bandsaw made it difficult to safely control and saw flitches off a log.

      So, I began buying pre-slabbed logs (beams) from a local with a regular bandsaw mill. Those were much better and easier to work with as I could select the best looking side and the resaw process was much safer.

      Reply
    • Chester

      Others have, see u-tube videos. If you want to make it a business then a sled is the way to go. Other wise buy the cants or use an Alaskan Chainsaw, as I do to pre-cut my 30″ to 12″ diameter trees into manageable cants and slabs. Buy yours at baileysonline.com Then all you need is a slippery table top or off-the-shelf materials handling roller-decks.

      Reply
  2. Mark

    The reason to avoid a blade wider that 1/2″ on a 14″ saw is because the bigger blades are thicker at .035″versus the standard 1/2″ which is usually
    .025″. The thicker blades develope cracks and often break or even shatter.

    They also require much more tension.

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hello and thank you for your inquiry. There are many good choices on the market today. I’d start by determining whether you want a stationary or benchtop tool. If you are looking for a benchtop design, I don’t know as much about this landscape, as I’ve mainly used stationary tools. That said, I’ve been extremely impressed by what I’ve seen of the Rikon benchtop saw (10-305). This is beefier than most benchtop offerings, and seems to be capable of some serious woodworking.
      In the stationary world you’ll have lots of good options. In the 14″ category, I like Jet, Powermatic, and Laguna. There are lots of fans of Grizzly bandsaws as well, but I don’t have as much direct exposure on those so I can’t comment directly, but they are probably worth a look. Here is a review on the Laguna 1412. http://www.wwgoa.com/article/laguna-1412-bandsaw-a-cut-above/
      After you choose a good bandsaw, you’ll want a good blade to install on it. Typically the blades that come with bandsaws are not that great. There are several good options to choose from these days. Some of the good candidates include:Timberwolf (great versatile lineup of blades)OlsenWoodSlicer (mainly for resaw)Laguna (Proforce for general purpose, Resaw King for resawing).
      Good luck with your purchase!

      Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hello and thank you for your inquiry. There are many good choices on the market today. I’d start by determining whether you want a stationary or benchtop tool. If you are looking for a benchtop design, I don’t know as much about this landscape, as I’ve mainly used stationary tools. That said, I’ve been extremely impressed by what I’ve seen of the Rikon benchtop saw (10-305). This is beefier than most benchtop offerings, and seems to be capable of some serious woodworking.
      In the stationary world you’ll have lots of good options. In the 14″ category, I like Jet, Powermatic, and Laguna. There are lots of fans of Grizzly bandsaws as well, but I don’t have as much direct exposure on those so I can’t comment directly, but they are probably worth a look. Here is a review on the Laguna 1412. http://www.wwgoa.com/article/laguna-1412-bandsaw-a-cut-above/
      After you choose a good bandsaw, you’ll want a good blade to install on it. Typically the blades that come with bandsaws are not that great. There are several good options to choose from these days. Some of the good candidates include:Timberwolf (great versatile lineup of blades)OlsenWoodSlicer (mainly for resaw)Laguna (Proforce for general purpose, Resaw King for resawing).
      Good luck with your purchase!

      Reply
  3. Gerry

    I use and recommend the Woodslicer from Highland Woodworking. However,
    Just as important is the set up, tuneup, of your bandsaw.

    Reply
  4. Ray Calkins

    I find it imposable to log in!!! The site is of no value if I can’t get access !

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Ray. We are sorry to hear you are having trouble logging into your account. Please contact us at 1-855-253-0822; our Customer Service Team would be happy to assist you.

      Reply
  5. ROBERT

    I am a fairly new member from Canada. I am in the market to by a mid range 14″ bandsaw. I want to ask George if a three speed is better than just a one speed and the throat size on the bandsaw is only 6″. Should I wait until I have enough money to buy something with a bigger throat size as I have a lot of resawing to do?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello and welcome to WWGOA. If you are only cutting wood with your bandsaw, then a single speed is fine. Some bandsaws are designed for cutting both metal and wood, so they provide two speeds with the slower speed being used for metal. The throat size is a function of the wheel size, so a 14″ bandsaw should have something close to 14″ throat, probably in the range of 13″ or so. A resaw height of 6″ is pretty limiting if you plan on doing a lot of resawing. Some saws that have a 6″ resaw height can extend this to 12″ by installing an accessory called a riser block, which essentially heightens the spine of the bandsaw by 6″. That should give you plenty of resaw capacity. Or you can go with a European style bandsaw which normally start in the 10-12″ of resaw capacity range and move up from there. For resawing I’ve had a better experience with a European style saw, but many woodworkers have good success doing resawing on a traditional American style bandsaw.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  6. Roy A

    Bandsaw’s being such a versatile tool has become an integral part of any woodworking. Any respectable wood shop has one. Whatever your saw, it is only as good as the blade you put in it, so always use the best – and at the correct cutting speed too of course.refer Woodfordtooling For size of bandsaw blades online

    Reply
  7. Davis Newman

    I watched your video on Milling small logs on a band saw. You used the plain/flat sawn technique. Why not use quarter or rift sawn technique ?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Flatsawn is easy and makes good use of the material, but you can use other approaches if you prefer. Paul

      Reply
  8. Duane

    Watched the recent video on cutting acrylic on the table saw. What about cutting acrylic on the bandsaw? Blade suggestions?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Duane. It depends on the thickness of the material. A good guideline for choosing a tooth count for cutting any material on a bandsaw is to choose a blade that will have at least 2.5 teeth in the material at all times. So, if you were cutting 1″ material, a 3 TPI blade would be sufficient, while 1/2″ material would require 6 TPI. The width of the blade is determined by the radius that you want to cut. If you are cutting tight curves then you’ll want a smaller blade, such as 1/8″ or 1/4″. For gentle curves and straight cuts, a 3/8″ or 1/2″ blade works well.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  9. hickshardwoods

    Kitchen Cabinets,
    I am in the process of researching the materials used to build cabinet doors and drawer fronts. I am going to build the carcass with birch plywood and my question to the wwgoa community what is the good, better and best paint grade material used for the stile, rails and drawer fronts. Since I am the builder saving the cost of having it done, I’m wanting to use money saved for high end material and storage hardware.

    Ed

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello. I would suggest either birch, poplar or maple. Whatever you can get in the best quality and price in your area. These will all be virtually equivalent since you are painting the cabinets.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply