Saw Blades and the Importance of TPI
Photo is courtesy of Milwaukee
We all have cutting projects that need to be done around the house. Maybe you have to work on some trim. Maybe you have some work on the siding of your house. Or maybe you have a pipe you need to cut down. Either way, it’s important to know when using a saw to cut wood or other materials for your project, you want to make sure you have the right kind of saw to give the best cuts that are appropriate for what your are trying to do.
One thing that can help you when preparing for a project is know how many TPI or teeth per inch your saw blade has. The importance of having the right TPI makes a big difference on the finish of your project.
18 TPI Band Saw Blade photo courtesy of Milwaukee.
Now before you get worried, TPI is pretty easy to understand. The more teeth in a saw blade, the smoother the cut. Saw blades with fewer teeth have a coarser cut and a rougher finish, but is more aggressive when cutting wood and other materials. This is because the fewer the teeth, the deeper the gullets in-between the teeth which stores the sawdust until the dust clears the blade.
Now before you think more TPI is the way to go, you need to realize that the more teeth a saw has, the smaller the gullets in between the teeth. This means that the cut will be slower and less aggressive. Also, the slower the cut, the bigger the chance the wood and other materials could be damaged. Remember, if there is no place for the sawdust to go…this produces more friction and well…that would cause you problems and produce less than desirable results. It’s important to strike a balance between the two.
Table Saw Photo courtesy of DeWalt.
So, how do you know which one you need? If you’re cutting thinner woods such as trim or other similar materials, you should use a saw with more TPI. If you have a thicker piece of wood, you don’t need as much TPI and your cuts should finish faster. Here’s a chart that should give you a good idea of what you need:
|TPI||Minimum Material Thickness|
Chart and information courtesy of All Band Saw Blades’ website.
A good rule of thumb is to have a diverse set of blades appropriate for your project. If you’re going to be working with thicker wood, you should probably use a blade with smaller TPI. If you’re working with thinner materials, then your saw blade should have more TPI.
Thanks for reading. Make sure you keep an eye out for other future content from all of us here at Toolbarn.com!