For those who haven’t already heard the good news, Ian John (formerly of Dragon Saws) is back in business selling bandsaw blades to both trade and public!
Before Dragon fell victim to the Recession (almost twelve-months ago, now), Ian built up a reputation for supplying good quality bandsaw blades at an affordable price, with outstanding customer service to match. Now under the name of Tuff Saws, Ian currently offers a range of thin-kerf (.020″) bandsaw blades, between ½in. and 1in. wide (this range is expected to grow, in time). Standard .025″ blades (and .022″) are also available. However, the big advantage of a thin-kerf blade is that will run smoothly on almost any bandsaw. Modern machines are made using sheet steel welded together, which creates an insubstantial frame for properly tensioning a wide blade (at least, in the sub-£1,000 bracket). In my case, the manufacturers (SIP) claim they saw is capable of taking a 5/8in. wide blade… Sure, it will fit on the tyres nicely but, the saw itself is not built to withstand the strain of a .025″ blade wider than ½in.
This Supertuff brand is sold exclusively by Ian and Tuff Saws in the UK. Just before Christmas, Ian sent me a few blades to try. So far, I’ve only had a chance to use a ½” x 4tpi thin-kerf blade for ripping and the performance has been excellent. It runs beautifully on my £200-saw and even leaves a decent finish on hardwoods, softwoods and the odd bit of MDF I’ve cut recently. Also exclusive to this range are the Supertuff Fastcut blades (.022″ thick). I’ve not yet had a chance to use mine but, with an variable tooth pitch (alternating so that every other tooth is large or small, to prevent the removal of saw dust), these look well-suited to deep-ripping where a fast rate of cut is required. I’m looking forward to trying this one soon and will try to shoot a short video so you can see how well it performs for yourself. It is possible the finish won’t be as good but, when you’re working with solid timber that’s going to be put through a planer/thicknesser anyway, I’ve never seen that as an issue.
Ian has also confirmed that he will re-weld (or replace, if necessary) any Supertuff blade that breaks prematurely on the weld, at no extra cost to the buyer. There may also be a sharpening service available in the future, for planer knives and the like. At present, we’re still waiting for a Tuff Saws website and Ian will be looking to sell blades again through eBay, when he’s ready.
For more information, you can e-mail Ian directly:
You can request a free .pdf file with more information on the Supertuff range at the same time.
I hope to report back in a few weeks with that video I mentioned!
Thanks for reading.