Three Things to Remember When Changing Your Saw Blade

By Brian Thornton

Just as there are many ways to learn something, there are many ways to teach. Moreover, there are many ways in which you can teach the same information. While not definitive (feel free to reach out for training and help!) I want to share 3 key points to make every blade change on your cold saw a success. 

1. Keep It Clean 

In this post, I discussed how to keep your saw cutting straight. I reminded the reader there that “clean” is a relative term when we’re in the manufacturing world. Over time, your saw will accrue the patina of a machine that has been well-used.” That being said, when you change your saw blade you need to wipe down every contact point that the blade or material touches. This means wiping down (never use compressed air) the blade guides and internals of the saw head. It also means opening the vises and cleaning material buildup that will accrue over many cuts, and finally, checking to make sure the chips don’t build up under the cutting slot. If you don’t keep your machine clean, you shouldn’t expect it to run properly.

2. Remove Backlash 

To properly mount a blade when cutting metal, you need to make sure the teeth are pointed towards the material, and the backlash is removed. Popular blade manufacturers like Kanefusa will always mill the pin holes to have extra room in them. To properly remove backlash, hand tighten the center bolt and, before completing with a wrench, rotate the blade counterclockwise (on Nishijimax) or the opposite direction the blade will rotate. Once you have done this, you can finish tightening the blade and you are ready to move on to step 3. If you forget this step, you run the risk of creating a premature blade failure, and potentially endangering your personnel and the machine. 

3. Adjust the Brush 

Most of my customers forget that if they don’t replace and adjust their chip brush, their blade life will suffer. You only need to cover the first few millimeters of a tooth for proper placement. You need to remove the brush when it has lost all “spring” in its bristles. If you place the brush too far in, it can cause your teeth to wear and push the blade out of alignment. If the brush is not engaged, you are recutting chips (solid pieces of metal) and potentially fusing them to the part you are trying to make. I’ll be honest with the reader, placing a chip brush takes a little more finesse than putting a blade on, but when done right, you lower your blade changes overall. More uptime means more money for everyone. 

About the Author

Brian Thornton is a professional saw blade expert at Pat Mooney Saws. As an Account Manager, he specializes in metal cutting and finding the best sawing solutions for his clients.