Who said the English had bad teeth?

Our friends stateside think the English are too polite, are obsessed with football and have incredibly bad teeth. Well, they might be right about our manners and the beautiful game, but they’re further from the truth about our teeth than Land’s End is from John O’Groats. That’s of course if we’re talking bandsaw teeth, or more specifically, teeth on a Dakin-Flathers carbon bandsaw blade.

You see, our teeth are absolutely perfect, but it’s not just about the superior carbon steel we use or our unique manufacturing processes to create them, there’s something else that has a major influence on their performance…TPI.

The number of teeth per inch (TPI) defines the pitch of a blade and incredibly can vary from 1 to 32 TPI – some blades even have different TPI’s on the same blade! It’s this TPI that is all-important when it comes to selecting the right blade for a particular type and thickness of material being cut. If you don’t get it right, you’ll dramatically cut down the life of your blade making your job hard work. Get it really wrong and it won’t cut at all.

So how do you choose? Well, we actually make that easier than you think.

The general rule of thumb is that for wood and soft materials, go for a blade with 3 to 6 TPI in the cut. For metals and harder materials, aim for between 6 and 24 TPI. If you’re in any doubt at all, give Dakin-Flathers a call and we’ll be more than happy to advise.

Now, if you ever decide to make “21st Century Bandsaw Teeth” your specialist subject on Mastermind (see link for a brief overview), here are a few nuggets that might prevent you from sounding like a parrot that’s just learnt the word “pass”.

Did you know, for instance, that too few teeth in the cut may actually straddle the work and break the bandsaw blades teeth? Conversely, too many teeth in the cut can cause “gullet overload” and strip the teeth clean from the blade. Something you may have experienced? Well, now you know why!

Now there’s the material itself. Hard materials demand more teeth to share in the work of cutting. Softer materials need fewer teeth and more gullet capacity – BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! “I’ve started so I’ll finish”. Why? Because they need it to clear the larger chips they generate.

It’s a fair bit to remember, but luckily for you, we’ve prepared the very handy ‘TPI Selection Guide’. You might want to forward a colleague the link too – just a thought. One other point, if you’re cutting various thicknesses and types of material you probably will need a different TPI for each.

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