Slitting saw have been in use for a long time and are popular among users looking to make narrow or deep cuts in metal. However, a common problem is knowing which slitting saw will make the perfect fit for the respective applications.
Manufacturers have catalogues of different slitting saws with various peculiarities for different jobs. This article will look to help you with tips to find the best slitting saws for your application.
Figure 1: Slitting Saw
Slitting saws design requires that there is support for the blade to connect it with the slitting saws assembly. The saw arbour is the shaft that extends from the slitting saw assembly to the blade. It is this shaft that the slitting saw motor drives to rotate the saw blade safely.
It should be evident now that the shaft diameter is an essential factor you must consider when choosing a slitting saw arbour. The hole that the shaft connects to within the blade is the arbour hole. For smooth and effective cutting, both the arbour hole and the arbour must be a perfect fit.
The arbour hole is directly proportional to the slitting saws blade outside diameter. As the outer diameter increases, the same goes for the arbour hole. As a general standard by most manufacturers, blade diameters in the range of 8″-10″ have an arbour hole of 5/8″. Ultimately you must ensure to check the manufacturer’s catalogue to know which arbour hole suits which blade diameter.
Now, if your job description demands that you cut a material that you hold with a vice, you might need a different type of slitting saw assembly. In such peculiar cases, you will a customized saw assembly that has an arbour with a deep cap.
2.Number of Teeth
Having the correct number of tooth count is essential for an effective cut for any project. Depending on some special applications like those demanding a fine cut, you will need a slitting saws blade with a higher tooth count. When it comes to tooth count for slitting saws, there are two major types namely;
1.Standard Tooth Slitting Saw blades
2.Coarse Tooth Slitting Saw blades
Standard Tooth Slitting Saws Blades: are slender with a higher number of teeth than its counterpart, the coarse blade. You will need this tooth count when your job description demands a smoother finish. Since more teeth are available, the feed rate can be higher than that of the coarse tooth saw blades. The only downside to using the Standard tooth saw blade is the cost price, which is considerably higher than the coarse saw blade. It is understandable because of its tooth count.
Coarse Tooth Slitting Saw blades: They are scanty slitting saws with less tooth count than the standard tooth blade. Famous for their simple and basic cutting, they are mostly applicable for large scale cutting with no attention to finish. The coarse tooth slitting saw blades have more prominent flutes compared to the standard tooth rendition. These flutes enable the blade to remove more chip. The coarse tooth saws are usually cheaper than the standard tooth saw blades mainly because of the lesser tooth count.
In the end, the slitting saw blade with more tooth count would cut cleaner than that with a lesser tooth count.
Figure: Slitting Saw Blade Teeth
3.Type of Blade Material
Slitting saw blades often come in different material composition types, and there is a good reason for these varieties. Frequently, users have to cut various metals with different properties, strengths, and compositions. Due to this, users consider many factors before choosing the best slitting saw blade for their application. They consider things like cost, blade life, blade strength, etc. Hitherto, manufacturers have succeeded in having just two variations for the slitting saw blade material, namely;
1.Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade
Making blade tips with tungsten carbide is not a new practice for manufacturers. They are popular in use for most cutting tools. Tungsten carbide comprises of metal joined with carbon with a Mohs Scale rating of about 8 and 9. With a carbide-tipped saw blade, manufacturers often tend to make the body structure compose of steel. They mostly braze carbide tips on to the steel body to make the carbide-tipped slitting saw blade. A decent carbide tip can last up to ten times longer than the HSS slitting saw blade
Most slitting saw blades aren’t made entirely of carbide purely because it is a more economical perspective. For this reason, manufacturers stick with using steel as the body because of its superior strength and durability.
Figure: Carbide-tipped Sawblade
2.HSS cutting blades
High-Speed Steel (HSS) means treated steel. During the treatment process, the steel improves its strength, toughness, and durability. Quality HSS slitting saw blade can cut metal cylinders, auxiliary and strong metallic sections.
The HSS slitting saws blade consists of tungsten and molybdenum. After heat treatment of the steel, the tungsten and molybdenum help to improve hardness and sufficient durability. A specific level of tungsten in the blade is necessary for the right amount to create wear-resistant carbides. The tungsten also helps improve the mechanical endurance of the HSS slitting saws blade.
Figure: HSS saw blade
4.Slitting Saw Blade Thickness
Slitting saws blade thickness is critical as it determines the type of material you can cut. The manufacturing standard of most blade plate thickness is within the range of 1/8 -1/4 inch. Thinner blades, however, have their advantages with lesser waste bye-products. They are prone to wobbling and sometimes overheating. On the other hand, the thicker blade has a firmer grip on the material, providing you with more stability when cutting.
5.Slitting Saw Blade Size (Diameter)
The blade diameter is simply the length of the line between the tips of two of the blade’s opposite teeth, which follows through the blade’s centre. The blade diameter is also the size of the blade. All other segments of the blade are in alignment for the blade’s width. Ordinarily, you can only use specific blade diameters for particular applications. Attempting to use a bigger blade diameter for a smaller application will tie up the saw.
Until recently, the most well-known blade diameters from different manufacturers are in the range of 6-1/2″, 7-1/4″, 10″, and 12″. It is also important to note that you can only use slitting saw blades with a smaller diameter for saw operations. In contrast, bigger diameter blades are famous for their fixed saw application. Blades with smaller diameters are useful for faster cuts, simpler, and thinner metals. Manufacturers have also stated that the cutting ratio of the blade diameter is 0.3.
The width of the slitting saws blade kerf is the widest of the blade tooth. The kerf or blade thickness is an essential part of the slitting saws blade as it is the segment that cuts in the material. It is vital to have wider kerfs for more effective cutting for cutting metals with slitting saw blades. A blade with thinner kerf might have complications like wobbling and sometimes complete breakage. However, the blade kerf width does not stand alone as it is directly related to the blade thickness.
Figure: Blade Kerf
A slitting saw is a cutting tool that is popular among professional, skilled users and unskilled users. The slitting saw is a perfect fit for the different materials you can imagine to cut.
Manufactures have provided different varieties to cater to the demands of different material properties. This article outlays the various tips you will find very useful when choosing to buy a slitting saw.
In conclusion, therefore, as you continue to look out for helpful tips to help maximize the use of your slitting saws, look no further, NCCuttingtools has got you covered. Click for a video with up-to-date information about how to use your slitting saw.