I’m Lee’s semi-invisible minion in the making of the KC saws. (I do
the machining on things like the blade clamps) The blades that Lee
installs are usually Antilopes. 3/0 if I remember correctly. But
anything will work so long as they’re the standard 5.125" long. I’ve
used everything from Laser Golds to Hercules, to ancient Vigors with
The only real issue we’ve seen is that the KC saws are so much
stiffer than the old style frames that they are capable of pulling
small blades apart, especially the lever tensioned models. If you’ve
been using a thick blade, remember to dial back on the tension before
you go to lever tighten a small one, or you’ll rip it apart.
(The Antilopes are mostly because we get a good price on them in
large, large batches, rather than any sort of functional
preference.) You can get blades from just about any jeweler’s
supplier. (It’s sort of like bread at the grocer’s. If they don’t
have something that basic…)
(In the US, I’d say Allcraft, Otto Frei, Rio, or IJS. Whoever’s
closest to you, and having a sale.)
How recent is your saw? If you look at the bit of the clamp where
the blade goes in, is it flat, or is there a bit of a funnel?
The newer ones (since about mid-summer last year) have a countersink
to help guide the blade into the hole. They’ve also got a larger
hole for the blade, so they’ll mount anything up to about a #10
blade. If it’s flat, it’ll mount up to about a #6 or so. And they’ll
both mount anything down to 8/0.
(Or, I’ve personally used mine with an 8/0, and had friends who’ve
reported successful use of 10/0’s.)
So, the short answer is: any jeweler’s saw blade will work, provided
that it’s 5.125" long.
For 16 ga jumprings, I’d say… 2/0 or 3/0. Maybe 4/0? You could go
with coarser blades, probably all the way up to #2, but finer’s
easier on wire, especially when you’re just starting out. The extra
few milliseconds from the finer blade will be more than made up for
by not having to fight the coarser one.