Optimising Blade Performance

Blade Break in

The correct break-in of a bandsaw can extende blade life by up to 30%.

M42 bi-metal Blades

To break in a new blade for metal cutting;

  •  Set the band speed to the recommended surface feet per minute (SFPM) or (MPM) for the materials to be cut.
  •  Intially set the feed rate at 50% of the normal cutting rate.
  • Gradually increase feed rate up to the normal recommended rate.

Carbon Blades

To brake in a new blade for wood cutting;

  • Set the band speed to the recommended surface feet per minute (SFPM)
  • Before cutting the material run the blade for 5 minutes
It is very important that the blade always produces chips during break-in to avoid making the tooth tips dull. Increase the feed as necessary to produce the chips.
millmaster bandsaw blades

Machine Setup

It is essential that all machine guides including; roller guides, fixed guides and pressure guides are set properly and replaced when worn or damaged to avoid premature blade life.


  • Correct wheel alignment is critical to blade performance.
  • Worn bearing causing gulleted cracks.
  • Check that the wheel flange does not rub the blade back causingback edge cracks to occur.

Blade tension

Tension on the blade is essential to prevent it from flexing during the cut.


Cutting Fluids are recommended to reduce the frictional heat generated at the cutting edge and wash chips away from the blade. Please see our range of high performance cutting oils, we have a diverse range of products to suit all types of applications

Carbon Flexback15 - 20,000100 - 140,000
M42 Bi-Metal25 - 40,000170 - 210,000


The band speed is measured in surface feet per minute (SFPM) or surface metres per minute (SMPM).

To calculate SFPM or SMPM use the following procedure;

  1. To determine the RPM: refer to the machine manual or clock the revolutions per minute of the wheels.
  2. Measure the diameter of the drive wheel.

S.F.P.M = Wheel Diameter in inches x 0.262
S.M.P.M = S.F.P.M x 3.28

General Guidelines for Band Speeds & Feed Pressures:
Carbon Steel1055 - 1095Bimetal50 - 70m
Stainless Steel308 - 348Bimetal25 - 40m
Titanium6AL4VBimetal25 - 35m
BronzeMostBimetal70 - 100m
Aluminium2011 - 2075Bimetal400 - 500m
Cast IronClass 40Bimetal40 - 60m
CopperBimetal80 - 100m
Die SteelA-2, D-7Bimetal25 - 60m