Harbor Freight Bandsaw Blades.

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I'm fully aware of the crapshoot involved when buying stuff at Harbor Freight. My theory for HF is the same as for Radio Shack. 75 percent of their stuff is pure, unadulterated crap. 20 percent is usable if you're not expecting the kind of quality you get with... well, real quality. And 5 percent is actually pretty good stuff.
So where do the bandsaw blades fall in those categories? I'm thinking of picking up some of their -$10 ones. They have $20+ ones, too, but if I'm going to spend that much, I'll go to Woodcraft.
Anyone actually use their blades? Are they..... Crap? Ok for the money, but don't expect much? Better than average, a good bargain? Diamond in the rough?
Or the final choice... Wait for my Iturra Design catalog because they have great blades under 10 bucks?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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IMHO BS blades are so inexpensive to start with, why pinch pennies here. I would certainly give 1 a try and compare it to a better quality blade. Then there is my 150" x 1-1/4" Resaw King that costs me $1.50 per inch but it does leave a very smooth surface when resawing and it cuts through hard maple like butter. For general purpose cutting the $10 blades may be just what you are looking for but for the better cut you are probably going to buy a better blade. Keep in mind that Timberwolf makes good blades and are probably cheaper than Woodcraft.
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Leon wrote:

That's certainly true, especially when you consider what we're asking them to do. Compare that to a a good circular blade and yeah, we're getting off easy.

Thanks for the endorsement of Timberwolf. I was wondering about them.
--

-MIKE-

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-MIKE- wrote:

The Olson All Pro blades are also good and somewhat less expensive than the Timberwolf and Woodslicer.
http://www.olsonsaw.com /
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Nova wrote:

I saw those on the Woodcraft site. So are the regular Olson's any good, or just the same as the cheap generics?
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-MIKE-

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RE: Harbor Freight
If you value your time, you probably don't spend it shopping at Harbor Freight except possibly for disposables.
Lew
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I value my time AND money, but thanks for the condescension. :-p If I have more disposable time than money, HF pays off occasionally.
Like you said about disposables, I'm usually there getting things on sale like rubber gloves, magnets, parts bins, and those nylon-insert nuts I seem to use a million of. So why not check out the disposable tools, too.
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-MIKE-

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Lew Hodgett wrote:

In time, even bandsaw blades are disposable.
--
Frank Howell



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I've been using Olson blades, both metal cutting and for wood, and have never had a complaint. I have a 1/2" blade that I use for re-saw and I don't get any drift at all. (Delta 14" bandsaw)
Max
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Thanks, Max.
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-MIKE-

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I should add that when I bought my metal cutting band saw (from Grizzly) I bought 2 blades with it. Both blades broke after short use. I still have , and use, the Olson blades.
Max
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Since this old Jet is a three-speed, that advice is welcomed.
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-MIKE-

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For sure, I'd get a bi-metal blade or two to take advantage of the higher speed.
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MikeWhy wrote:

Help me understand this. Because the blade has HSS teeth, you don't have to worry about heat fatigue when running fast? When cutting metal, too?
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-MIKE-

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High carbon steel loses its temper when heated to relatively low temperatures. Has more to do with hardness and edge retention more so than fatigue strength. HSS is much more tolerant of high heat. Since it can tolerate high heat better, you can run the saw at higher speeds, getting faster and smoother cuts (assuming it has enough power).
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metal cutting feeds and speeds are more dependent on the material (alum vs steel) than the application. Also, metal cutting typically uses a wax type lubricant.
nb
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I've had consistently better results than I should with Olson (hss) blades on my '54 Delta 14" w/riser. I'd bet there are better blades... I'd bet there are better woodworkers, too. On my little 9" benchtop (Sears Companion), I use either Sears (far east blades in Sears packaging, I'm sure) or Delta branded (same thing, I'd bet), with fine results.
Personally (and take it for what it's worth), I think taking your time is the lesson to learn as for as bandsaws go, regardless of the blades you use.
Ed
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Anyone for whom I've done work will tell you I lean more towards quality than quantity. :-)
I'm just looking forward to the improved performance over my little, el cheapo 9-inch (insert euphemism, here).
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-MIKE-

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Olson All Pro definitely better than Timberwolf and cheaper too. You might wanna check here for cheap Olson bandsaw blades:
http://www.coastaltool.com/a/accessories/saw/bandsaw_14.html http://www.cherrytreetoys.com/Olson_C149.cfm?strSortBy=&Page=3
I bought my from Costal Tool (Disclimer, no relation with either one).
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WD wrote:

WHOA! Thanks for that link. Those blades are 20 bucks at Woodcraft. Your link has them at HF prices. Nice.
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-MIKE-

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