How to Install Band Saw Tires

What You'll Need
2 Replacement band saw tires
Dial indicator
Steel brush
2 Slotted screwdrivers
Pocket knife
End wrenches
Black marker
Eye protection

All blades band saws run along strips made out of rubber or urethane, called band saw tires. The job of these tires is to shield the blade and the wheel from coming to contact against each other. These tires will eventually have to be replaced. Bad tires are the chief cause of poor band saw performance. There are a lot of manufacturers of band saws, but the process for replacing the tire is typically the same. While the difficulty level to replace the tire is moderate, most people with this piece in their shop should have the ability to fix it on their own. Here’s how:

Step 1: Safety Considerations

As with any project, you will want to wear the prescribed safety gear. In this case, eye protection and gloves are recommended. Double check the band saw is turned off and unplugged.

Step 2: Ensure Placement

Make sure the wheels are correctly placed. You can do this by making sure the side facing out is marked both on the front of both band wheels using the black marker. Remove the cutting blade and band wheels with the appropriate sized wrenches. If you accidentally forget to mark the wheels or the mark has worn off, most wheels have one or more small balancing divots drilled in one side.  Mount the wheels with the divots facing backwards.

Step 3: Remove Old Tires

Place the band wheels on the floor. Remove the old tire off the band wheels. If necessary, cut the tire from the wheels using the pocket knife.  Using the steel brush, clean the surface of the wheel to get rid of any debris.

Step 4: Position New Tires

Position the new tire over the metal wheel. Use the two screwdrivers to help fit the tire over the metal rim.  Take your time and don’t force it on. Be careful as to not damage any parts. Remount the band saw wheels onto the unit.

Step 5: Rotation

Rotate the wheel by hand. Check the new tire for any high and low points. Slide the tire over the wheels to get rid of any uneven surfaces. 

Step 6: Finishing Up

Reinstall the cutting blade back onto the metal wheels. Set the tension of the metal blade to manufacturer specifications. Mount the dial indicator to where the stem will ride against the blade. Again, rotate the metal wheels by hand and watch the indicator. There should be a range of +/- .025 in. for a tire that is in round. Measure both upper and lower tires. A measurement that is greater than this could cause uneven cutting. The blade should be the same thickness throughout to avoid uneven cuts and an unstable blade.

Band saw tires will have to be replaced at some point. You can purchase the tires in larger packages of 4 or more tires. It's always a good idea to do this so they are on hand if you should need to replace one. After you've done this a few times, it will become a simple process that will only take a matter of minutes.