September 16, 2014
I’m not great at sawing or piercing, and I will be the first person to tell you that.
Which is why, when I needed to buy more blades for my saw (I bought the first batch under the tutelage of my teacher in Mexico), I went to Rio Grande and bought a gross (that’s 144!) of the cheapest 3/0 blades they had.
I figured two things: I’m going to break ALL THE BLADES, ’cause it’s what I do, and how bad can they really be, if Rio is selling them?
Guys, don’t bother. Don’t buy cheap blades. They’re not worth it. Here’s why:
– They dull out quickly. I used two blades to saw through 14-gauge metal to make rings. Figure less than 8cm of sawing action, with BurLife lube, in 14ga. metal. I should *not* have gone through two blades, but they got so dull, so fast, that I was working way harder than I needed to be to cut the metal. Also, using dull blades is a great way to lose control and cut yourself. (And we’ll pretend I didn’t learn that lesson by bleeding all over the studio sink…)
– They break more easily. Any saw blade will break if it’s dull, or if you torque it the wrong way, or if you don’t relax while you’re sawing. But these guys snap if I look at them wrong. Good thing I have a boatload?
– This is the biggie (for me, anyway): THEY’RE TWISTED! Ok, not all of them. But in my batch of 144, it seems like every other blade is twisted. Which means they don’t saw in a straight line, no matter how hard you try. Like I said, I’m not great at sawing, so the first few times I used cheapie blades and couldn’t get a straightish line, I figured it was my fault. But then I realized: some of these blades are physically not straight. They won’t saw consistently no matter how hard you try.
So now I have nice, quality Laser Gold blades on order. I haven’t used these, so I’m going a little on faith and a solid customer review. Plus, to be stereotypical, they’re Swiss-made, and the Swiss know what they’re doing. I’ll let you know how it goes!