After wrestling with the ‘right’ size blades for years (the ones
everyone said I should use), I found I work best with a 6/0 blade for
everything. I have done delicate tracery out of 28g sheet worked my
way through double-thickness of 20g sterling, and cut out a sturdy
design from 16g sheet, all with minimal blade breakage.
The ‘right’ blade will have at least 3 teeth in the metal at all
times. Problem is, I can’t drive the saw once I go to thicker
gauges. I try to start the cut and the blade jumps and skitters
across the edge of the metal. Maybe there’s something wrong with my
wrists or fingers, but I fight with blades bigger than 6/0.
I give classes in my shop, and one of them is all about the jewelers
saw. I have my students use the same blade and they love it (women &
men). Most of them have a smidge of experience with the saw and they
are gunshy. It’s due to the effect of the larger blades.
I’ve conducted a series of tests for myself where I cut a
double-thickness of 20g sheet using a #1, a 2/0, 6/0 and 8/0 blade.
I broke all the 8/0, fought withe the 2/0 and gave up on the #1.
I thread my blades quite tight, maybe that’s what helps me. I feel
like the blade slices through metal like butter, it can practically
turn in its own width, and I can cut as fast or faster with it than
I can using other sizes. Though I cut most of my jumprings with a
circular saw attachment to my #30 handpiece, when I want jumprings
RIGHT NOW I use the saw with no problem. Talk about a narrow kerf!
My experience (and my students’); YMMV.