Lenox Tri-Master Carbide-Tipped Bandsaw Blades - Tool Review
by Jeffrey Fleisher
New Market, VA
Click on any picture to see a larger version.
Lenox Tri-Master Carbide Tipped Bandsaw Blade
gives me a cut surface that looks like it just came off of my planer. It is accurate, stable and provides an exceptional cut.
About a year ago I decided to upgrade my bandsaw because I was doing a lot of bent lamination and veneering work. I wanted a saw that I could dedicate to resawing and create cut boards that didn't require a lot of post-processing since they would typically be very thin boards. I purchased a 16" Hammer Bandsaw and a
Lenox Tri-Master Carbide Tipped Bandsaw Blade
. As I'll show in this article the quality of cut from the Lenox blade is very impressive and after a years worth of moderate use in various hardwoods, it is still going strong.
First, a little bit about the blade itself. The Tri-Master Blade has a triple chip grind and comes in both 3/4" and 1/2" widths. The thickness of the 3/4" blade is 0.035" and has a 0.0625 or 1/16" kerf. There are 3 teeth per inch (tpi). The 1/2" width blade has a thickness of 0.025". It has a kerf of 0.05" or 3/64". It also has 3 tpi. The 3/4" blade comes in standard lengths from 93-1/2" to 150" and the 1/2" blade comes in standard lengths from 70-1/2" to 166". If you need a custom size blade, you can call Highland Woodworking at 800-241-6748 and they will custom order the length you need.
You will notice that the kerf is slightly wider than a conventional bandsaw blade but since the wood requires almost no clean-up after resawing you save wood there. The Hammer bandsaw does not have crowned wheels so I have no drift associated with my cuts. I have not tried this blade on a bandsaw with a crowned wheel so I cannot address the issue of drift.
If you look at the blade closely you can see the carbide-tipped tooth. As mentioned, it does provide for a wider kerf but I have not seen any significant degradation of the quality of the cut after a year's worth of moderate use. I typically cut cherry, walnut and mahogany for furniture parts, hard maple for drawer sides and a variety of exotic hardwoods for handle blanks that I turn for mallets and awls for a business I own.
The next picture shows a piece of tiger maple being cut at about an 1/8" thick. I typically apply just moderate pressure to the board as it is being cut and it moves past the blade with very little hesitation.
It is hard to show the quality of the cut in a photograph but here are the two boards after the cut. I tried to angle the boards to get more side lighting but as you can see there are almost no cut marks due to the Lenox Carbide-Tipped Blade. The feel of the boards are as if they just came off of my planer. I do not have to put them through the planer to clean them up. The next step would be straight to the sander. In addition, I have found that I do not have to go to the jointer and clean up the cut side on the thicker board if I want to make repeated cuts. This also saves a lot of wood when trying to get multiple pieces out of a single board.
Here I am cutting a wider walnut board again at about an 1/8" thick. Since I get no drift and no bowing of the blade during the cut I seldom use a tall secondary fence or tall 'feather board' to hold the piece tight to the fence.
Here is what the two wider boards look like after the cut. Again, very little marks from the saw blade. I did get a small burn mark in the example but that was because I stopped moving the board during the cut when my cell phone rang! I definitely learned a safety lesson there!
In addition to cutting wood, the Tri-Master Blade is advertised that it can also cut the following materials (assuming you have a bandsaw equipped to cut them.)
I have to say that I have not tried these other materials because I'm keeping this setup dedicated to resawing wood. I may have to get another carbide-tipped blade for my 14" bandsaw someday because there are times I would like to cut some aluminum and carbon steel rods. I also have some alabaster stone I need to cut for some turnings on my lathe!
Overall, I am very impressed with the Lenox Carbide-Tipped Bandsaw Blades. They are not inexpensive but given the quality of the cut, the wood saved, and a much lower frustration level when resawing a wide piece of wood, I believe they are definitely worth the price!
CLICK HERE to find out more about Lenox Tri-Master Carbide-Tipped Bandsaw Blades
Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at