How to tell when your bandsaw blade is nearing the end of its life

Image of a old, worn, rusty bandsaw bladeImage of a old, worn, rusty bandsaw blade

Published 4th March 2018

Yes, it’s a pain when all you really want to do is get the job done; time has value, but then again so do good results, and a job well done. If your bandsaw blade is on its last legs, then it is unlikely to be performing at its best, and if it that is the case then neither are you.

Here are a few of the most common signs that your bandsaw blade is due to be replaced, if you notice one or more of them, don’t put it off, replace your blade.

 

Teeth are starting to strip after a long period of use

Slower cutting, a need for increased feed pressure or noticeable slowdown of feed rate can all mean that your bandsaw blade’s teeth are starting to strip. This issue also generally causes the blade to heat up significantly more than if its teeth were in good condition, and that points to one thing; it is definitely time for a change of blade before the excess heat and added stress cause other issues.

 

The blade becoming noisy and squeaky

If you have used your bandsaw for any significant amount of time, you’ll be familiar with its sound, its feel and the speed at which it does the jobs you need. If you start to notice it getting louder or squeaking, or cutting slower than it used to, that’s a sign that it might be time to think about changing your blade before it lets you down.

 

The blade doesn’t move consistently whilst cutting

This issue can combine with other unusual things you might notice whilst using your bandsaw, such as odd burning smells, or a greater degree of burn marks on wood and timber that didn’t burn before. It may be that a fatigued blade is not turning on its wheels as well as it used to, and a blade that is old and fatigued will not thank you for more tension, it might have had its day.

 

Hairline cracks appearing showing signs of stress and over use

A dull blade will heat up much more than a blade in good condition, and typically with older and well used blades one problem can quickly lead to several more in a very short space of time. One of those problems is hairline cracks. If you notice hairline cracks in your bandsaw blade when visually inspecting it, bear in mind there are those who would not even consider using it, and with good reason! Time to seriously consider changing it ASAP.