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Battle of the Saw Blades

Which Jewlers saw blades are best

One question we’ve been getting a lot lately – which brand of saw blades are the best for making jewellery?  Now first let me say – the best saw blades are not cheap – if you can get a gross (a gross is 144 blades by the way) for $5 – I can almost guarantee they’re going to be pretty shite – they’re gonna cut wonky, break regularly and generally make you feel emotionally worthless – it’s not a nice feeling, I know this from experience!

Generally decent saw blades will cost you over $20 for 12 dozen.  But…. I would love to be proven wrong on this – so if you have had consistent success with cheap saw blades, please let me know where to buy them!  

So what’s the plan to find the best saw blades?

We bought 4 different brands of great quality saw blades a size 2/0 and then did a blind test.  Which brands did we choose? Here they are:

Rio Grande Laser Gold – available from riogrande.com – $27.60 per gross

Fabrik Marke – available from our tool store in Malaysia – honestly I cant find them online anywhere – $21 per gross

Super Pike – available from gesswein.com – $21.95 per gross

Pepe Tools Nano – available from pepetools.com – $24 per gross

Sawblade

For the test, I didn’t know which brand was which – I could only see A, B, C or D on the tape that the lovely Vennice wrote out for us and kept secret.  Our studio assistants Fatima and Sanja also joined in for the test too just to make things even.  Other than Vennice, who wasn’t taking the test, none of us knew which blades we were using, and we were all using a standard German style cheapy saw frame.

So we all had our coffees, and then got to piercing out one of our mandala designs, continually changing our blades regularly, and making super sure we kept them in order (honestly this was the hardest part).  After a few hours of piercing – we all selected our favourite and least favourite blade based on the letters, and wrote it down… want to know which were our favourites?  Not yet!!!

That was just round one! The next day, we had Vennice do exactly the same thing again, but change the codes on the blades so they were different again… and off we went again piercing our little hearts out – FYI discussion of which blades we liked best was not allowed during the process.

Sooo, which was our favourite blade?

Outcome 1

Even though on both days, we we’re all adamant we had a favourite blade and one we liked the least, it turns out we didn’t.  

  • The first day we all selected blades as our favourite and least favourite
  • The second day we selected our favourite and least favourite

The blades we selected as favourites and least favourites on both days were different, clearly none of us could agree (even with ourselves) on our favourite and least favourite blades.

But what does it mean? For me personally, I think that we get in the way of ourselves’ way too often, we believe in limitations that aren’t real – just imagined “I can’t saw because I don’t have this brand of saw blade or this brand of saw frame”.

I seriously thought I had a favourite blade and that made me better at saw piercing, I also thought I had a least favourite which was making me worse.  But as you can see, my least favourite blade on the first day was my favourite on the second….. It was all just the little monsters in my head messing with me – assholes!

After all that talk about blades being equal, I want you to remember one thing, I’m talking about good quality blades that cost over $20 for a gross!

Cheap saw blades are still utter shite in my humble opinion

Happy smithing you crazies, big hugs!

Lucy xx

Want to learn more?

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10 thoughts on “Battle of the Saw Blades”

  1. PATTIE MCKELLIP-FOWLER

    From this list, I have only used Rio Grande lazer gold so I honestly wouldn’t know about the others. I can say though that the blades I used prior to switching to Rio Grande lazer gold were an exercise in futility and torture. Perhaps someday I’ll find a blade that makes me feel even better but really if what I’m using works and helps me accomplish what I set out to do, why spend too much energy searching elsewhere?

  2. I’ve only ever used laser gold by Rio and have had good success with them. I purchased 2 sizes of nano blades but not used them yet. I find the results of the experiment not unusual as the three of you have a unique way of holding your saw frame but there could be other factors besides our brain.

  3. I got the Lazer gold last year to replace cheaper ones I had from Rio, and they were game changing. I definitely won’t touch the cheapies again!

  4. Thank you, this has come just in time for me to quit worrying about what I buy. All I have are unknown brand blades that were gifted to me. I’ve been trying to decide for days which quality blades to buy. Now I can just select one of the above and saw on with confidence!

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