Winander wrote:...One thing I did have a problem with was distinguishing different 'sizes' of blade. I bought a packet of various sizes but they all look the same to me. Is it just the teeth per inch that differs? I was expecting some blades to be bigger.
Yes it is basically the teeth per inch than counts, though as the teeth get less frequent, the blades do get (just) visibly thicker. It is difficult to tell similar grades apart. I find I can get a reasonable comparison between two blades by running my finger nail down the teeth, but I do wonder if jewellers have a better method which doesn't involve a magnifier and counting teeth.
If your careful and the blade is nice and taught they shouldn't break all that often. I can get quite a bit done with a single blade over several sessions and it will only break when it starts to wear out. But then one night, when I'm being particularly careless or cack handed I can get through several very quickly. That is either a sign that I'm using too course a blade (not enough teeth) or that I really should go and do something else.