I've got, if I remember correctly, a 3/4" 4 TPI Timberwolf blade on mine right now, but most of my bandsaw cuts are resawing and other straight cuts.
For all around general use, I think something from 1/4" to 1/2" wide blades would serve well with the 1/4" finding the most use since it is narrow enough to do fairly tight circular cuts and just wide enough to make efficient straight cuts.
I had the same question months ago and there's no real answer. It's like asking 'what is the best all around car?" It just depends on what you're doing with it.
If you're making a lot of straight cuts, stick with a wider (3/8"+) blade. If the stock is thin you need more teeth. If you tend to cut 2" boards, you need less. If you're doing a lot of resaw - another blade. Cutting curves? Another yet!
You need at least three basic blades (IMHO).
1. 1/4" raker, 10-16 tpi (fine and curve cutting)
2. 1/2" regular, 4-8 tpi (larger stock and straight cuts)
3. 5/8-3/4" raker, 3-4 tpi (resaw and large stock cutting)
Optional to have a 1/8" 18 tpi for really intricate scroll saw work too! Glad to have confused you. Have fun now!
They've got real knowledgeable folks workin the phones and they can recommend which blade(s) to order as far as widths and tooth configuration for what you're gonna want to do and based on your saw. BTW, their prices for Timberwolf blades are about 1/2 of those found at Woodcraft.
I have a 1" carbide tipped blade for straight cutting operations in hardwoods, a 1/2" TW PC 6tpi blade for gental curve cutting and straight operations when I don't feel like swaping blades, a 3/8" TW AS 3tpi blade for cutting wet wood (bowl blanks), and a 1/4" 6tpi blade for tighter curves. There is no single, general purpose blade for a bandsaw.
Just to clarify, I was just trying to get a feel for which blades people find they can get the best general use out of, not which blades are purely specific-use.
Clearly, one can't do the same things with a 1/8" blade, and a 1" blade. Based on the discussion above, these would seem to be fairly specific-use blades: 1/8" for "scrollsawing" fairly thin stock, 1" for resawing thick stock or purely for cutting straight lines.
As a new entrant into the bandsaw arena, I'm looking to get a couple of blades, but with the intent of getting ones that will be most useful, instead of very specific-use. In addition to wanting to avoid changing blades frequently, when possible (as I imagine most people desire), since I don't know yet what blades will excel best at which types of jobs, I'd like to get a couple bandsaw blades that will be more multi-usable and spend $50. The alternative is that I have to get 6 bandsaw blades, and spend $150 when I don't need do. After spending ~$600 on the bandsaw (all said and done), I'm feeling a bit light in the wallet for spending a lot of money on blades to begin with.
Based on discussion above, I think I'll look at getting a 1/4" and a 1/2" to start, and see what else I require as the need arises. Thanks for everybody's input so far!
I generally keep a Timberwolf 1/2" 3TPI on my Jet 14" for general work -- does my resawing but is amazingly clean even for smaller cuts. If I had tight curves, would have to swap out blades but mostly I keep that one on.
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