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Olson Mach Series Blades

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image The smaller teeth and wider gullet on the Olson Mach Series blade (bottom) produce a smoother and straighter cut.

Premium performance at standard pricing

The new Mach Series scroll saw blades by the Olson Saw Company provide a middle ground between Olson’s Precision-Ground-Tooth (PGT) design and ordinary scroll saw blades.

The Mach Series blades, like most scroll saw blades, are milled, which makes them more economical than the “ground” PGT blades. But the blade shape, according to Chuck Olson, owner of Olson Saw Company, is based on the PGT design. This makes the Mach Series nearly as aggressive as the PGT blades, and they provide a similar straight cut. Ordinary milled blades tend to drift to one side as you cut because of a burr created during the manufacturing process.

“We wanted to make the tooth tip sharper by changing the back angle of the tooth. This widens the space between teeth, which provides greater chip clearance and reduces drag for faster cutting,” Chuck said. “We believe these factors contribute to the way the Mach blades cut straighter than regular milled blades.”

To test the blades, I attached two pieces of 3/4"-thick pine together with brads to stack cut a project. At first, it took forever to cut the 11/2"-thick stack of wood, but suddenly, the saw let go, and the cutting sped up. I stopped the saw to look at the wood, thinking that there was a knot that I missed when assembling the stack. When I pulled the blank off the blade, part of one of the brads dropped free. Apparently, I had driven the brad diagonally across the pattern line. When I started, I was cutting into the brad. Not only did the blade cut through the brad, but I went on to cut the rest of the project with the same blade.

The Mach Series blades range in price from $2.75 to $4.50 per dozen and are available from most woodworking suppliers. Visit www.olsonsaw.com for a complete list of distributors.

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Bob Duncan Bob Duncan is the Technical Editor of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts and Woodcarving Illustrated. more