Review By Dean Bielanowski  Jet Website - http://www.jettools.com


Jet 14" Bandsaw Blades
 Mini-Review

By Dean Bielanowski

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I own a generic taiwanese-made 14" bandsaw. It is a classic OEM style design that many tool companies have had their name printed on and sold under their own label, in fact. Indeed, I have tracked the origin of my saw and it was likely made in the same factory as some of the more well name branded models, and perhaps is even exactly the same! Nonetheless, whatever bandsaw you have, it is only as good as the blades you put on it, and when it comes to the standard blade supplied in the box with most new 14" bandsaws, just make sure the trash can is near when you pull it out of the box, because that is where most of them should live.

I have read many reviews of 14" bandsaws online from saw owners and a lot of the issues and problems raised by these owners can be directly attributed to their use of the included blade they received in the package. As mentioned, most of these belong in the trash. They are often far from sharp, do not often track well on the wheels and mostly seem to be an after-thought in the books of the manufacturer. Do yourself a favor and order at least one good quality bandsaw blade when you order your new bandsaw. A decent blade makes a world of difference to your cut quality and experience with the bandsaw. A seemingly poor quality bandsaw can be transformed into an efficient and user-firendly cutting machine simply by changing the blade.

This was my experience when I bought my 14" bandsaw many years ago, and since then I have been using quality blades on it with very good cutting results. I wanted to add a few finer cutting blades to my saw recently and also add a wide ripping blade, and since I found some Jet blades on special, I thought I would give them a try.

JET 709359 Bandplus Premium Bandsaw Blade 3/4-Inchx93-1/2-Inch 3 TPI
The Jet 709359 blade is sized to fit all Jet 14" bandsaws as well as many other brand saws as well. Some 14" saws are not made to run 3/4" wide blades, but my saw can handle them without too much trouble. This bandsaw blade offers three teeth per inch. This number is important as it dictates the type of cutting the blade is most suited for. The width of the blade (from front of tooth to back of blade) is also important. The width determines, basically, how tight a radius can be cut (if you want to cut curves on the saw) as well as how much potential for blade flex there may be during a cut. The number of teeth be inch will determine cutting speed as well as cut efficiency and how clean a cut edge can be produced with the blade. This Jet blade is primarily a resawing blade for straight ripping cuts. The 3 TPI configuration allows it to cut quickly and aggressively in both green and seasoned material, with a good ability to remove cut material from the kerf (the blade has deep gullets). Because of it's width, it tends to reduce blade wander as opposed to a thinner blade, but how effective this is does depend greatly on how well the blade and blade guides on the saw are set up.

The blade itself is made from "specially formulated alloy". Now, who knows exactly what that alloy is, however it doesn't seem much different to the other stack of blades I already have, but you can take heart in the fact that it is specially formulated. Whether or not that makes them any better than any other is yet to be decided, or known!

The teeth are hardened and tempered for a longer lasting, sharper cutting edge, but as a result they probably cannot be re-sharpened, so once they become dull, the blade is a throw-away item. The teeth are ground and milled and then consistently set to the required parameters by the manufacturer. The measure of a good blade can be seen by not just how well it cuts, but by how well it runs in a bandsaw. Low levels of vibration and true running over bandsaw wheels indicate a well-made and machined blade.

This Jet 709359 blade does run quite well on my bandsaw. Being a "Premium" labeled saw, I would expect nothing less than the best from this blade. After all, Jet does have a good reputation for quality products. In my testing, I found the blade to cut quite well indeed in ripping and resawing tasks in both green and seasoned wood. It runs true and exhibits quite a low level of vibration. It will cut well and remain relatively true when resawing logs at full depth capacity, which is about 150mm on my 14" bandsaw. You do have to slow things down for a full depth cut using this larger blade, especially if you have anything less than a 1 Hp motor on your 14" saw. Nonetheless it will get the job done.

I have heard reports of this blade dulling quite quickly from other owners. My experience is not the same. While I haven't really noticed any difference between the durability of this blade and other higher end blades, I can't say at this stage that I expect this blade will outperform any others by a long way. Indeed it will hold its edge quite well, especially if the blade is left to cut at its own pace and not forced through a hard cut (perhaps the most common cause of premature blade wear), and I expect this blade to last for quite a while before it becomes unusable. With a properly tuned bandsaw and good cutting technique, the blade does deliver a reasonably good surface finish. It will require additional work to clean up of course (I haven't seen a bandsaw cut yet that doesn't) but the result is quite reasonable in the overall scheme of things. This isn't a fine cutting blade by any means. It is a blade for heavier ripping and resawing and the blade takes quite a load in the process. I have found the use of a bandsaw blade lubricant to be effective in improving cutting performance, reducing heat buildup on the blade through fiction, and ultimately extending the life of my bandsaw blades. For about a fiver ($5) the blade lube stick is a good investment in my opinion.

Overall I am quite happy with the Jet 709359 blade. I do think there are better blades on the market, but if you can get this one at a reasonable price then it is worth trying out for your heavier ripping/resawing needs.

JET 709354 Bandplus Premium Bandsaw Blade 1/4-Inch x 93-1/2-Inch 6 TPI
This was another blade from the Bandplus Premium line I had purchased. It is made from the same material and with the same methods as the larger 3/4" wide blade, but since this one is on 1/4" wide it can handle much tighter radius cuts. I use this one for cutting curves in furniture feet or trim work, and it even handles coping cuts well too (I'm remodeling the house at the moment). It has 6 teeth per inch instead of three, so it produces a finer finish, but because of its size, it is less successful at cutting thicker material, but will happily cut up to 2 inch material with good accuracy and user control. A fair quality blade for finer work requiring curve cuts and cleaner edges.

Jet 709589 Silicon Steel Hook Tooth Band saw Blade 3/8-Inchx 93-1/2-Inch 6TPI
One of the other blades I purchased is from a slightly different blade line. It is a 3/8" blade with 6 teeth per inch. This size blade generally sees the most use on my bandsaw. It is good for both straight cutting and more coarse curve cutting work (with larger radii) and can handle resawing reasonably well too. A good all-around choice if you dislike changing blades regularly, although for work on either end of the spectrum, i.e. heavy resawing or fine scroll cutting, switching to a more suitable blade for these tasks will obviously produce better results.

The band blade body contains more silicone than regular steel bandsaw blades, and the idea here is that more silicone will produce less friction resulting in less heat build-up, which should result in longer blade life and prevent premature dulling of blade teeth. The theory seems to work well. I would have to say these blades last just as long as the Premium line above, although it is difficult to compare this without some serious scientific experimentation, so take my observation with a grain of salt. These blades have hardened steel edges as well, but also claim to have a flexible middle to allow better blade conformation to the bandsaw wheels. I can't see much difference between these and my other non-Jet blades of the same size. They all seem to conform well to me and run quite true. They are no worse than any of my other blades, so that is certainly a good thing. If anything, these blades do seem to run a little cooler than my other blades as my blade lube doesn't seem to melt as readily during heavier cuts, indicating the blade is quite possibly running cooler during a heavy cut.

Overall I am quite happy with the Silicon Steel 3/8" blade. It is the only blade I have from this particular Silicone steel line, but I do plan on getting a few more of varying sizes in the future.

Conclusion
I wont go as far as saying these are the best bandsaw blades available anywhere. However, they are of high quality and do offer good value for money. If you can find them at a good price, then they offer even better value. These blades will fit other popular 14" model bandsaws like Delta, Powermatic, Grizzly etc.

As with any blade, take care not to force the blade to cut, but rather, force yourself to be patient and allow the blade to cut at its own speed, carefully guiding the material through a cut with light pressure against the blade. This will not only prolong the life of your blade, but will also take the load off your machinery, prolong its life too!

Available to Order through these Companies...
Click graphic to go to their direct product page for this item

In the USA
Jet Bandplus Premium Bandsaw Blades for 14" Bandsaws

Jet Silicone Steel Blades for 14" Bandsaws
Jet Bandsaw Blades for Larger Bandsaws
Jet Bandsaw Blades Full Range

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