What Do You Call a Band Saw Blade With No Teeth?

Imagine this:

You’re manufacturing a product and find a need to refit your band saw with a new blade.

You’ve been less than pleased with your current blade’s performance and think the blade’s teeth are part of the problem, so you don’t want the new blade to have any. At the same time, you still want a proper cutting edge that will do the job and fit your current machinery.

When you make that call to your machine blade supplier, what do you ask for?

A “toothless band saw blade” perhaps?

A “razor sharp bandsaw with no teeth teeth” maybe?

Something else, perhaps?

This seems to be a common issue around the web. Shop guys (and gals) seeks some elusive-mystical blade that cuts without teeth and fits on the standard band saw. Where many have a need but few have a definite answer, a number of economical recommendations surface:

  • “turn your old blade around and use the flat side” …and…
  • “get some metal strapping and rig THAT to your band saw” …or even…
  • “why not install the blade upside-down so the gullet can still aid in material removal?”

One of the oldest “toothless bandsaw” references I found to this issue was actually addressed in a 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics (left).

And while these are all innovative, and perhaps to some extent effective, ideas – I’d be remiss to let you go on thinking there wasn’t another solution.  Especially in the case where you’re working in a manufacturing environment where consistency, precision, and value are key to your success.  In those cases, the “toothless band saw blade” you seek likely isn’t a saw at all.  It’s actually a machine knife.

Toothless Saws Aren’t Saws at All

Band knives, like most band saw blades, are a flat length of narrow steel you would mount onto a band-style cutting machine (sometimes called a “toothless band saw”) to slice, slit, or score material.  Where band saw blades have teeth with a definite kerf – the width of the metal blade itself which results in material waste during the cutting process – band knives typically do not.

A band knife’s cutting edge is designed to slice through material leaving minimal waste in the process. An upside-down or backwards band saw blade doesn’t offer that sort of precision, not to mention the fact that repurposing an already used-and-stressed blade could lead to blade breakage or operator injury.

On the other hand, using something like metal strapping in light of something actually engineered to be used as a high-speed cutting tool could potentially cause its own issues.

I’m not discounting the notion that these DIY tools may work to make a cut – but they don’t account for blade materials, coatings, machine stress, or performance the way a dedicated band knife would. Simply put: they just might not be best choice for industrial cutting applications.

Think about it.

When it comes to the products you make every day, can you really afford to jeopardize profit, health, and productivity for a “good for now” fix?

Why not put a century’s worth of blade manufacturing expertise to work for you, instead?

York Saw & Knife prides itself at producing high-quality manufactured band knives that aren’t just cost-effective: they’re typically available at 50-70% shorter lead times than other. Besides, with free quotes and absolutely no minimum order, what have you got to lose?

Whether you’re a small job shop or major manufacturer, our engineers will work with you to develop a cutting solution tailored to your situation exactly: your machines, your materials, your application.

Want to learn more? Explore YSK’s full line of band knife blades made-to-spec for your band saw, band knife machine, or toothless band saw.

Need to source band knives for your next job? Request a free quote now →