Do You Know Where Your Chip Brush Is?
Ask an Expert with Andy Attaway
Andy Attaway has been an industrial supply salesman for ten years, he’s quickly becoming an expert in all things band saw. Andy walked us through the essentials of chip brushes, offering insight into how this often overlooked feature plays a key part of every sawing operation.
The Importance of Chip Brushes
Chip brushes are essential to the longevity and cost-effectiveness of band saws and sawing machines. The chip brush, a round wire brush, is responsible for knocking chips off the blade. This action will extend the life of your blade by getting rid of the chips before they can travel around the wheels of the band saw. “If the chips are able to get stuck in the wheels of the bearing, or back into the carbide guides,” said Attaway, “then it will harm the cutting ability of the blade.” Since chip brushes are located where the blade exits the housing, they’re often forgotten — until something goes wrong.
Types of Chip Brushes
There are three types of chip brushes:
- Brushes that only use the blade’s passing to move
- Brushes powered by a tiny wheel that rides along the band wheel, allowing the brush to spin alongside.
- Brushes powered by hydraulics
Most chip brushes typically cost around 10 to 15% of the cost of the blade. Chip brushes are a very cost effective method of extending the blade life. Attaway explained: “Chip brushes are the unsung heroes of the cutting process. They are like Seal Team 6. Not many people know about them, but they are one of the most important parts of the saw.”
Chip Brush Texture
It’s also important that your chip brush isn’t too rigid. If it’s not flexible enough, the brush will wear on your band saw blade, eliminating any benefit that the chip brush may have offered. It can even hinder the band saw operation.
Chip Brush Maintenance
Chip brushes endure a lot of use, but it can be tough to tell when they need to be replaced. “It can be very difficult to know when a chip brush needs replacing without comparing a brand new chip brush with your used one,” advises Attaway. Sometimes the bristles can melt due to over use, or can be worn down so much that they no longer touch the blade. Chip brushes should be checked periodically to ensure they’re in good shape.
The right chip brush can improve your operation and help you save money over the long term. If you need to learn more about chip brushes, have your saw serviced, or learn about replacement parts, please visit sawblade.com.