6 Things You Should Know About Slitting Saw Speeds and Feeds

A metal saw
Caption: A metal saw

Are you a beginner when it comes to using a slitting saw? This tool is powerful and versatile, but it also requires knowledge to use its fullest potential. Among other things, you should get familiar with the unit’s speed and feed rate.

In this article, we will be discussing details about slitting saw speeds and feeds. From learning the basics of these measurements to discovering how to calculate them, here is everything you should know about these features!

Chapter 1.Slitting Saw Speed Basics

Slitting saw speed illustration
Caption: Slitting saw speed illustration

What is the cutting speed when using a slitting saw? Although you might assume, it is worth defining the basics before you get to work. The speed can refer to in a couple of different units. The first one is “meters,” and it is used primarily in Europe. If you are in the US or some other areas, you might use “surface feet.”

Either way, you will be calculating the desired unit per minute to get the slitting saw speed. In most cases, you will find it described as “surface feet per minute” or SFM. As for the surface fleet, it aims at the speed of the cutting edges as they come in contact with the material.

The general rule for the speed is that it is reversely proportionate to the tool’s size. For example, if you are using a large slitting saw, you will need to operate it slowly. Lowering the speed will ensure higher precision and adequate cut smoothness. You could increase the velocity, but only if you use a generous amount of coolant.

If you use a cutter with a smaller diameter, you will need to use a bigger number of RPM because of the different distances from the middle. Although it depends on other conditions, too, titanium and hard materials use low speed. On the other hand, aluminium and other light materials go with 2,000 SFM or bigger.

Chapter 2.What Is a Slitting Saw Feed?

A worker cutting concrete with a diamond saw
Caption: A worker cutting concrete with a diamond saw

Now that we got the speed basics out of the way, let’s discuss slitting saw feeds. First, let’s take a look at the definition of the feed rate when it comes to cutting tools.

The feed rate describes the tempo at which the cutting tool gets into the material. Similar to the speed, you will have the choice of two units. The first one is millimetres, and the other in inches. In most cases, you will be using inches per minute, which also described as IPM.

The tool you use and the workpiece material will affect the feed rate. You also need to consider the effective inserts placed in the tool. The positioning of the inserts could affect the feeding rate. You want to know if each insert follows an identical path during the cutting process.

You can use this formula to determine the feed rate in some tools:

IPM = (feed per insert) x (number of effective inserts) x (revolutions per minute)

Chapter 3. Beware of Extreme Heat Ruining the Slitting Saw

Steel cutting tools used for cutting with sparks
Caption: Steel cutting tools used for cutting with sparks

Excessive heat is never good news for the cutting tools, and that is true for slitting saws, too. The important thing to consider is that you always want to avoid overheating since it comes with a myriad of issues. You could damage the workpiece and ruing the cut, but you can also compromise the tool. That means you might not be able to use the unit for other projects, which is bad news.

Now, the general rule is that higher speeds also mean increased heat. If you are cutting the material fast, you are at a bigger risk of overheating. That is why you should be careful when increasing speed.

If necessary, don’t hesitate to use the coolant. Furthermore, you could benefit from using a lot of water or another method to cool down the temperature when working with a slitting saw. If you are a beginner, it is essential not to force things. Take it slowly and try to estimate whether the heat level is optimal. If you notice that the temperature is too hot, either reduce the speed or find an alternative to reduce the heat.

Chapter 4. Slitting Saw Calculating Speeds and Feeds Manually

Using a calculator to calculate slitting saw speeds and feeds
Caption: Using a calculator to calculate slitting saw speeds and feeds

Your first approach is to enter the slitting saw speed and feed calculation manually. Some users might tell you that using two teeth in work is the right way to go, but that isn’t necessarily true. It is a rule that operators commonly use with band saws. However, it is only partially true when it comes to slitting units.

The rotations per minute requirement should be calculated depending on the material of the saw. For example, if you are using a carbide blade, it won’t have the same RPM as high-speed steel. That is why you want to consider the tool material first.
The overall equation used for calculating the speed is the following:

(Speed for doing the cutting) / (Diameter of the tool) x 4

That calculation will result in the rotations per minute (RPM) you should use during the operation. Now, that is only the beginning of the procedure. The next thing to do is to consider the feed rate.

Here is the general calculation to use:

(Number of teeth) x (number of teeth) x (chip load per tooth)

The result will be the feed that you can use while operating the saw. The critical thing to note is that different materials have various rates for efficient forming of the chips. That is why you might want to turn to ratings of machinability. The odds are that the manufacturer or the internet can provide you directions when it comes to the preferred chip load for specific actions.

However, if the materials are not the ones frequently used, having sufficient practice is the only way to secure an optimal calculation.

Chapter 5.Pros and Cons of Using Software When Calculating Speeds and Feeds

Man pressing the buttons on a laptop
Caption: Man pressing the buttons on a laptop

Does calculating slitting saw feeds and speeds manually sounds difficult? Would you like an easier way without going through the trouble of doing the math yourself? If the answer is yes, perhaps you can consider using specialized software when calculating speeds and feeds.

It might sound tempting, but using these programs comes with both advantages and drawbacks. The main benefit is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of doing the calculation yourself. The machine will divide and multiply everything required, which minimizes room for human error when it comes to calculating.

However, that doesn’t mean that mistakes can’t happen. Even the software relies on the user entering the required information. That might imply measurements like saw diameter and other details. They need to be accurate so that the program can calculate the required measurements easily.

Depending on the app you use, they might suggest the preferred speeds and feeds depending on the material you are cutting. That could give you useful pointers on where to start when cutting.

Chapter 6.Double-Check Everything Before Starting

Double-check illustration
Caption: Double-check illustration

Once you perform the calculations, you will have the measurements required for slitting saw speeds and feeds. If you entered all the information right, the data you received should be reliable. However, if you want to be sure, double-check everything again.

You don’t want to risk cutting with wrong measurements because that can bring a wide range of issues. Apart from taking longer for an optimal cut, you risk damaging the workpiece and the entire tool.

That is why you must secure accurate information before starting. The crucial thing to note is that the measurements you received are merely initial points. No calculations can beat the actual user experience. If you feel that a faster or slower speed should be better, or the feed rate should be different, go for it. However, most users try with the initial settings first and then make the desired adjustments.

The conditions you work in could also impact the targeted slitting saw feeds and speeds. The sharpness of the saw and other details affect the ideal settings. The good news is that calculations will provide somewhat accurate guidelines so that you know where to start. Once you begin, make sure that everything looks and feels right.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the cutting process, using a high-quality tool is imperative for its success. That is why you should only rely on extraordinary devices and blades, such as the ones made by NCCuttingTools.

As a company that has been in the business for over two decades, NCCuttingTools has experience in making durable and reliable units. Their products fit users’ requirements perfectly, and the expert engineers always follow instructions to the smallest detail. The modern equipment used by the manufacturer makes sure they can respond to even the most complicated customer demands.

NCCuttingTools is proud of making top-quality products in the shortest possible timeframe. You can expect a quick turnaround and delivery time regardless of the order size. If you are interested in durable tools that will exceed your expectations, don’t hesitate to contact the company today!

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