How to Replace Your Band Saw Blades

What You'll Need
band saw
new band saw blade
eye protection

Eventually, no matter how well you maintain your band saw, you will have to replace your worn out band saw blades. While there is a great deal you can do to extend the life of your blades—in particular, using good cutting technique and maintaining your band saw properly—they will eventually wear out no matter what you do. Replacing a band saw blade can be a little bit intimidating at first. In reality, replacing a band saw blade is a straightforward procedure that you can do easily, assuming you know how to go about it. What follows should give you a good idea of how to replace your band saw blades.

Step 1 - Getting Ready

Band saw blades are notoriously difficult to repair. Whether your blade is cracked, missing teeth, or just not as sharp as it used to be, you will almost always be better off replacing it.

New band saw blades come coiled up tightly. While they are safe to handle in this form, it can be very difficult to open one without it suddenly slipping free and cutting you. To avoid this, first put on eye protection and gloves, and make sure you are fully covered with long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Next, hold the blade together to keep it from opening and cut the ties holding it together. Finally, throw the blade outside, far away from you, and let it uncoil on its own.

Step 2 - Preparing the Saw

In order to replace the old blade, you will have to gain access to it first. Before you do anything, turn your band saw off and disconnect it from any power sources.

Next, loosen both of the band saw's blade guides. Finally, you will have to release the tension on the old, worn out blade. Use the tension wheel to do this. Once you have done this, you can remove the old blade safely. Roll it into a coil and tie it up.

Step 3 - Replacing the Blade

Now that your band saw is ready, you can install the new blade. First, use the guide bearings to hold your new blade in place. Hold the saw in place as you tighten the tension. Once the saw blade is held in place properly, hard enough that you do not have to hold it in place, you can tighten it fully.

Once you have done this, you can reverse your steps to get your band saw ready to use again. You will need to close everything up and re-adjust the blade guides so they are useful again. 

Step 4 - Finishing up

Once you are finished installing the new band saw blade, you can plug it in and test it. Be sure to check if the blade is vibrating. If it does vibrate you will need to increase the tension on the blade again.

You will also have to dispose of your old band saw blade properly.