Bandsaw blade life

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Forum topic by Firefighter posted 02-01-2011 02:27 AM 3174 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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96 posts in 3655 days

02-01-2011 02:27 AM

I bought a 14” shopfox saw and used the 3/8 factory blade to make a couple band saw boxes and then re-sawed 3” wide maple to make crib slats (26). The blade is pretty much shot. I bought a 3/4” blade and used it to cut a couple cedar logs for the bandsaw boxes as well as something else that I can’t think of right now. I am not sure if the blades don’t last long or if I am doing something wrong. I am not a band saw expert (never used one until i got mine). Also, do the blades stretch of their life? It seems that with the tentioner set the same way it used to be the blade is now looser. Thanks for the advice.

4 replies so far

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3565 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 02:44 AM

blades do stretch. that’s why they recommend reducing tension when you aren’t using them (but few people do that and when they do, they tend to forget to retension when they use it the next time). I think some of the newer models have a lever to do the work so I’m sure it is a common problem.

Realize maple is very hard and your supplied blade might have been a little light for that. When I do hard wood I go for an aggressive tooth pattern to minimize the heat that kills blades…more finishing work but I get longer blade life. Cedar should not have been a problem but the blade was probably already toast.

Other than that, I have found another blade killer is improper tracking. blade on metal is a bad thing and it can happen if you don’t do several revolutions on the upper wheel by hand, keeping an eye on all upper and lower guides and anything else that impedes the tracking of the blade (like on the Delta the front blade guard).

Now this is going to sound stupid, but when you are aligning blades and doing the manual spinning, watch your fingers or you are going to find one of those ugly blood under finger nail pinches .

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3931 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 02:57 AM

Since I bought my used 14” Delta, I’ve remembered to release the tension every time I’ve used it but once, and I used it the next day. I leave it untensioned, and the upper door open so that I remember to retension it. I actually take all the tension off of it so that it’s loose. A little extra work, but no more than a minute total.

I actually purchased the Carter quick release, but have not yet installed it.

Using the improper blade for a task can also kill the blade faster. For instance, don’t use a 10TPI blade for resawing. If you were making bandsaw boxes and had your guides fairly tight, trying to cut tight curves and not allowing the blade to flex, you probably removed a bit of the set of the teeth too.

It also seems that certain brands of blades are better at certain tasks, and blade quality definitely makes a big difference.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3565 days

#3 posted 02-01-2011 03:13 AM

agree Jonathon…

Resawing on my 14” Delta I use 3/4” Delta blades with I think are 6 tpi. It makes for a rough cut but the planer isn’t that far away and I end up with a nice piece of wood for small boxes that otherwise would go to the floor as shavings.

View 12ftguru's profile


31 posts in 4455 days

#4 posted 02-01-2011 03:15 AM

For the most part, blades included with your saw are uniformly awful. Never judge blade life expectancy by that first blade. I tend to keep a couple of different ones on hand for different uses. A wider blade (3/4) for resawing and a narrow one (3/8 or 1/4) for tight corners smaller work. I also keep one specialty blade on hand for cutting green wood (I do wood turning). I tend to go with ’s wood-slicer and greenwood slicer for most things.

Blades also come in just about every length under the sun so make sure to check the manual for the right length for your saw. I would also do a quick youTube search to see video of someone doing a bandsaw setup. This has to be done each time the blade is changed. It’s tedious, but essential to decent cuts and a longer blade life..

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