OLSON All Pro PGT Band Saw Blades - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A premium quality general purpose blade.

OLSON All Pro PGT Band Saw Blades

OLSON All Pro PGT Band Saw Blades



A band saw is one of the most versatile machines in your shop. It beats a jigsaw or scroll saw for cutting curves and irregular shapes, particularly on long or wide stock, does an excellent job of ripping lumber, and can't be beat for resawing lumber into veneer. But, just like a tablesaw, cut quality is largely dependent on the blade. 

Olson has introduced a new line of All Pro PGT (Precision Ground Tooth) blades that could easily become your favourite all-purpose blade.

The All Pro PGT blades are manufactured from European hardened and tempered alloy carbon steel, with the back of the blade hardened to between 45 and 48 Rc, and the teeth hardened to between 60 and 67 Rc. This gives a more flexible band with harder teeth. You'll find that most better quality band saw blades are made of carbon steel, as they offer a good compromise between cost, durability, and longevity.

olson_allpro_2
Hook style blade with 5° rake

The All Pro PGT blades come in two styles: standard and raker. The standard blades are available in 1/8" and 3/16" widths only. They have equally spaced teeth without any rake and small gullets, giving very smooth cuts. 

The raker style blades are available in 1/4", 3/8". 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 1" widths, in lengths from 70-1/2" to 142". The blades have right and left set teeth followed by a straight tooth (no-set), All the raker style blades have a hook tooth design with a moderate 5° rake, which makes them cut fairly aggressively. As you can see in the photo above, the gullets are quite large, making for efficient chip removal.

The 1/4" blade I tested is rated at .025" thick with 6 teeth per inch.

olson_allpro_1
Flawless welds

The weld is ground smooth to perfectly match the thickness of the blade. If the weld is thicker than the blade you'll hear a ticking constant noise every time the weld passes through the guides. This can cause damage to the guide blocks.

olson_allpro_4
olson_allpro_5
Smooth cutting and minimal kerf marks

I used the All Pro PGT to cut the curved legs on four Sapele blanks, and found that the blade cut quickly, smoothly, and left fine kerf marks on the stock. I could easily remove the kerf marks with a single pass of a hand plane.

The general rule is that fewer teeth per inch on a blade provide a faster, but rougher cut, while more teeth provide a smoother, but slower cut. So, I expected that I would have to reduce my feed rate because of the 6 teeth per inch on the All Pro PGT blade. However, I was able to feed stock at about the same rate I normally do with the 1/4" by 4 TPI that I normally use. I also used the blade to cut the shoulders on a number of 3" tenons. The results were so good I didn't see a need to clean up the cheeks before gluing.

olson_allpro_6
An all-round premium quality blade

I haven't put the All Pro PGT to a lot of use, but so far, I'm quite pleased with it's performance. At approximately $23 for a 115" blade (.20¢ per inch) the price is right. If you're disappointed with the performance of your current blade, then you'll want to give the All Pro PGT a try. I think you'll be quite pleased.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Precision ground teeth
  • Hardened and tempered alloy carbon steel
  • Tooth hardness: 60-67 Rc
  • Back hardness: 45-48 Rc
  • Rake angle of 5°
  • Standard rake set (right, left, straight)
  • Tooth forms available: Regular, Hook
  • Available sizes: 1/4" to 1" in various lengths

COMPANY:Olson Saw
MODEL:All Pro PGT
PRICE:
from $17 (1/4" by 70-1/2") to $35 (1" by 142")
MADE IN:USA
SOURCE:Olson Online
August 2014

Author: 
Carl Duguay
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!