6 Things You Should Know About Slitting Saw Speeds and Feeds


Are you a beginner when it comes to using a slitting saw? This tool is powerful and versatile but 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!

Table of Contents

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 as a couple of different units. The first one is “meters,” used primarily in Europe. If you are in the US or other areas, you might use “surface feet.”

To get the slitting saw speed, you will calculate the desired unit per minute. In most cases, it is 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 use a large slitting saw, you must operate it slowly. Lowering the speed will ensure higher precision and adequate cut smoothness. You could increase the velocity only if you use a generous 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, titanium and hard materials also use low speed. On the other hand, aluminum 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 look at the definition of the feed rate when it comes to cutting tools.

The feed rate describes the cutting tool’s tempo into the material. Similar to the speed, you will have the choice of two units. The first one is millimeters, and the other is in inches. In most cases, you will use inches per minute, also described as IPM.

The tool you use and the workpiece material will affect the feed rate. It would be best if you also considered 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 cutting tools, which is true for slitting saws. The important thing to consider is that you always want to avoid overheating since it comes with many issues. You could damage the workpiece and ruin the cut, but you can also compromise the tool. That means you might be unable to use the unit for other projects, which is bad news.

Now, the general rule is that higher speeds also mean increased heat. If 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, when working with a slitting saw, you could use a lot of water or another method to cool down the temperature. 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, 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 manually entering the slitting saw speed and feed calculation. Some users might tell you that using two teeth at work is the right way, 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 you can use while operating the saw. The critical thing to note is that different materials have various rates for efficiently forming 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 directions regarding the preferred chip load for specific actions.

However, if the materials are not frequently used, 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 sound 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 has 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, minimizing room for human error when 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 the illustration

Once you perform the calculations, you will have the slitting saw speeds and feeds measurements. 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 many 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 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 the manufacturer uses ensures 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 exceed your expectations, don’t hesitate to contact the company today!

Leave a Comment

Need a buying guide?