Best bandsaw blade for cutting 316 stainless bar

Hi Fellas,

I've got to cut up a bunch of 1/2" 316-stainless round bar this weekend, and am looking for a good bandsaw blade that won't leave me cursing halfway through the job. I've hear Starret and Lennox bi-metal are the way to go. Any recommendations?

My saw uses 1/2" X 64-1/2" blades.

Thanks for any help.

Reply to
Andy H.
Loading thread data ...

I just machined a 1-7/8 inch piece of round stock on the lathe. Just a hint of standard sulferized black cutting oil and it cut with a glass smooth surface. I was expecting this to be horrible, but if it is "non free machining" then something went wrong with how easy I found it to result in a surface finish that only the pro's can produce. ignator

Reply to

OH forgot the OP reference to bandsaw cutting, and using a cheepo carbon steel band saw blade in my quasimoto 6x4 bandsaw, cut super easy. Just a few drop of cutting oil. This was 316L (low carbon) razzle frazzle ignator

Reply to

" Andy H. " fired this volley in news:

Andy, use any-ol', but use as coarse a pitch as the work will stand (looks 'bout 8-10 teeth, based on 1/2" work), make sure it's brand, spankin' new-sharp, use as much down-pressure as you dare from the very instant it kisses the metal, and low surface speed with coolant or oil.

The big problem with 316 is work-hardening. Never, ever, ever, EVER let the blade dwell in the work with too little down-pressure, or you'll throw both the blade AND the cutoff away.

As you surmized, the bi-metal blades are longer-lasting, but still will be polished into pretty metal (toothless) ribbons by any non- aggressive cutting.


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

How about getting a cheap chop saw?

Reply to
Rick Samuel

Hmm, that sounds like the ubiquitous 4x6" Chinese bandsaw - right? If you have hydraulic feed, the welded bimetal blades are supposed to be great. Starrett sent me an unsolicited bimetal blade, of the $50 sort. I had doubts, but put it on the saw to see what would happen. Well, with the spring feed, it stripped teeth off within the first minute, and quickly lost inches of teeth. Glad I didn't pay for that mistake! So, unless you have a hydraulic feed (which some people have retrofitted to these saws) or are cutting some very large diameter work where you will hand-feed at the beginning and end of each cut, I don't think you want to mess with them.

But, that leaves you with a problem. A carbon-steel blade, run at the low speed, WITH coolant, won't last real long on 316 stainless. Without coolant, on the high speed, you'll only get a couple minutes per blade.

I weld my own blades from 100' roll stock, so a burned-up blade is not a great hassle to me, and I use cheap carbon steel blades. I also cut mostly aluminum and mild steel, where they work fine. I have cut some 1/8" SS rod and such with them, and it is not an immediate problem, but I suspect that it does wear the blade a LOT faster than softer stuff.


Reply to
Jon Elson

I would use a cutoff saw instead of a band saw.

Reply to
Calif Bill

Except for cracking I've had good luck with Lenox bimetal blades, cutting mainly mild steel with a little stainless. I set the spring light and add hand pressure to get large chips, then adjust the spring.

Currently it has a $12 tool steel blade from Grizzly, at the lowest speed, to see how well they hold up. I've seen mixed results from blades, some wear dull, others break while still sharp enough.

Reply to
Jim Wilkins

I've had good luck with IIRC Lenox blades bought off J&L in the UK cutting 2" to 3" stainless with a normal 4" x6" bandsaw, no coolant. The only issue I have occasionally is cutting larger Al such as 4" or greater where it may bind without occasional lubrication. My saw lives on the highest speed always as it works well that way for all I cut. I have buggered a blade or 2 by cutting thin material with an inappropriate blade, ie too few teeth, but that is my fault.

A minor glitch recently was cutting 6" round steel and the material pinched the blade part way through due to residual stresses I suspect.

A point of interest about the 4x6 bandsaw assembly in China is that I guy I know in the UK bought an ex demo (apparently) 4x6 and it had the V bely pulleys assembled the same way round, ie max diameter to max diameter, must have been a Monday or Friday machine. He was happy though as with a bit of sorting he got a working HV bandsaw for about £100 instead of maybe £170. I suspect the company didn't want to correct the problem and sold cheap but having had a 4" x 6" for many years I can't fault the small input in time for the usefulness of the tool.

Reply to
David Billington

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.