Since starting in 2004 one of our major focuses at KR Saws & Roentgen is cutting stainless steel and we became the first metal cutting saw blade supplier to partner the BSSA.
When it comes to sawing stainless steel with a band saw blade there are two options, bi-metal or carbide tipped.
Here are six frequently asked questions we commonly encounter and answers which will debunk various myths.
- Will tool life be better with carbide than bi-metal when cutting stainless steel?
There is a common misconception in the market place that blade life will improve when converting to carbide from bi-metal band saw blades, In fact the main reason for using carbide is to improve production rates as a carbide blade can cut twice the speed of a bi-metal.
- Can carbide band saw blades cut stainless steel faster than bi-metal?
The answer to this question is yes, however there is a catch, which is the diameter of the material being cut.
The biggest gains to production rates are materials over 90mm, that’s because the finest tooth pitch for a carbide blade is 3/4. When you get below 90mm it is more viable to use a 4/6 TPI bi-metal band saw blade.
- Do you only use carbide for cutting harder duplex stainless materials?
No, you can use a carbide blade to improve cut times for many types of stainless steel such as 303, 304, 316 which are some of the most common 300 series material in the UK.
- Is there only certain machines that can use a carbide blade when sawing stainless?
Yes, the larger machines with wider and thicker bodied blade will give a much better advantage. For example cutting a 300mm billet with a 27mm blade is near impossible if you want to cut in a reasonable time and straightness
- Do you get a better surface finish with a bi-metal or carbide band saw blade?
Carbide! Straight grinding on the carbide provides a better surface finish and doesn’t produce the ring effect that is created by the set on a bi-metal blade.
- Is there a special blade for cutting stainless steel
We often get asked for “a blade to cut stainless steel” well there isn’t a band saw blade predominately for cutting stainless but there is advantages to using a ground tooth blade such as blade life and surface finish, but essentially you can use an M42, M51 and carbide blade to cut all types of stainless steel including duplex’ with the correct advice and technical support.