Will the bandsaw we have work cutting 1/8" mild and also tool steel if I buy a metal blade for it? Or is it only suitable for cutting wood?

I want to try making a knife via the stock removal method and therefore want to cut the basic shape - first with mild steel to figure out what I’m doing and then later with 01 tool steel.


I would think so with a metal blade and gloing slow it shouldn’t be a problem. I have cut 1/2" aluminium with a metal blade using it. Lots of cutting fluid and moving slow, wasn’t any problems.


My gut says no - I tried cutting some 1.5" aluminium round bar a few weeks ago (with a metal blade of course), and it stalled ~5mm in - and that was going very slow, practically applying no pressure. Al is more gummy than steel (especially when hot), but this was still cold as it’d barely cut yet so I don’t think that’ll make a significant difference unfortunately. Maybe you’ll have better luck, but imo it’s just too underpowered.

You will have much better luck with an angle grinder and a cutoff wheel.


You could use the cnc and leave tabs to hold it in place. Then just knock out the shape after.


A bunch of us made marking knives out of an old sawblade with an angle grinder. I think with an appropriate set up (clamping, cooling) done in the loading bay (don’t move that many sparks around in the shop please) it should be possible.


Thanks for everyone’s feedback. I don’t want to break the bandsaw and will use my angle grinder and regular hacksaw. I have files and a belt sander for the final clean up


Hi Steve,

by the way, cutting 01 tool steel will definitely require an angle grinder or a cut-off wheel. No bandsaw blade will be tough enough to cut through that.

When it comes to tool steels, the bulk of the shaping is generally done before the hardening process (quenching in oil followed by tempering). A surface grinder is needed to do any further (flat plane) shaping after hardening.



O1 should be able to be cut with a Horizontal bandaw in it’s pre hardened state. No reason it can’t. But the saw needs to be slow. If you plan on working it by hand I would stay away from a cut off wheel simply for the fact that the area you are cutting will work harden from the heat affected zone from the grinding action.


Great timing for this video from Jimmy DiResta, A Knife Making Lesson. Uses an angle grinder to profile a kitchen knife from O1 toolsteel. :slight_smile:


Also this from Walter Sorrells:


He also has this video on sharpening kitchen knives: