Just because it is Halloween doesn’t mean you need to get all afraid of your tools. Your shop isn’t possessed, even if things are acting strange. Maybe you just need to brush up on tools and techniques. Let’s start with definitions. Slitting and slotting saws are nothing more than a tool with a special purpose. They make deep and narrow slots. Use a slotting saw to slice material from stock. Slitting saw arbors are just the piece that keeps the slitting saw on the spindle. Slitting and slotting saws are better than endmills for cuts that are deeper than wide. See, that’s not scary at all.
Don’t buy crap just because it is cheap. You lose money in the long run. First, look at the number of teeth on the blade. Get a high tooth count for a clean, finished cut.
Pick the right blade material for the work you are doing. Slitting saw blades are generally carbide or high speed steel.
Always pick the thickest saw blade the job can take. You get more stability as the blade gets thicker. Stability means rigidity. Rigidity is your friend.
Be sure to select the right size blade. Most slitting saw blades have a 3” to 4” in diameter. Go big and go home with runout, wobbling, and staggering.
Run the Right Feeds and Speeds
When are feed and speed not important? Never! But cutting with a slitting saw is literally make or break territory. Calculate wrong, and sacrifice your blade. While you want all cuts to be precise, slitting cuts are extra precise. Ensure your software handles slotting and slitting saw cuts. Bad feed and speed setting will destroy your slitting saw blade faster than Sharknado 3 destroyed DC.
Pick a Cutting Technique
There are two techniques for making deep cuts. You can make a series of multiple cuts. At the start, you cut shallow and then cut deeper and deeper. Another technique is to just dive in and make the full cut in one pass. The single pass approach avoids the problem caused by chips that don’t clear and foul the blade on subsequent passes. However, if you use the right feeds, speeds and fluids this shouldn’t be a problem. Experienced machinists use for the series of cuts technique.
Use the Best Slitting Saw Arbors
That slitting saw blade deserves the best of slitting saw arbors. After all, you used care in picking your blade. Use care in picking your arbor. You will never go wrong if you buy slitting saw arbors made by Sierra American Multi-systems. Their slitting arbors are heat treated to prevent vibration. They also have deep, low-profile caps that add rigidity. The result is less blade slippage. They make individual slitting saw arbors and sets with several sizes.
Every tool sold made by Sierra American is made right here in the USA. Slitting saw arbors are covered by a full 5 year warranty. If your supplier sells lesser quality, demand Sierra American by name.