Carbide-tipped bandmill blades

      The pros and cons of carbide-tipped blades for bandmill operations. June 20, 2000

Has anyone experience with carbide-tipped band blades in hardwoods?

Carbide tips are very brittle, and so when sawing dense woods like oak, especially if the knots have dried out, the tips will break. You will need to have your own tipping and sharpening operation to make this work, although you can send the saws out for other repairs.

I know of several mills that have switched to stellite instead of carbide -- it is less brittle. But the saw maintainance needs to be done by an outside shop, since the equipment is very expensive -- unless you have lots of saws and so can afford doing it yourself.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

You can buy narrow, carbide-tipped bandsaw blades, which are used for metalworking. However, in wood cutting, the cost of hitting a nail is too awful to contemplate. They are also used for salvaging boards from old pallets.

Stellite performs better and is widely used for wide bandsaws. Thirty hours sawing should not be a problem, although cracks would occur before that.

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