A bandsaw is one of the most useful tools for cutting a variety of materials.
The unique structure allows for complicated cuts that many other saws can’t make.
Unfortunately, the bandsaw is useless – and dangerous – if the blade keeps slipping off.
What’s worse is that there are many reasons why a blade can fall off a bandsaw.
This is why your bandsaw blade keeps coming off. Four common factors can cause the blade to fall off your bandsaw are:
- Insufficient blade tension
- A dull saw blade
- Worn out rubber tires
- Damaged wheel bearings
Thankfully, there is a way to check each component to figure out the root of the problem.
We’re going to cover possible causes, as well as what to do to keep your bandsaw blade from slipping and when it may be time to replace your blade.
Ready to get your projects – and your blade – back on track?
4 Possible Reasons Your Bandsaw Blade Keeps Coming Off
There are many working parts inside of a bandsaw, and if one part isn’t working properly, the entire machine could break.
When a blade slips off the bandsaw, there are a handful of areas you can inspect.
For any part of the machine you are checking, be sure to use cut-resistant gloves in case anything goes wrong.
1. Blade Tension Is Too Loose
The first place you can check is the actual blade itself.
The most common reason why the blade is slipping off is that there isn’t enough tension to keep it on.
Blades can slowly become loose after years of wear and tear, and eventually, you’ll need to tighten or replace them.
Some woodworkers have an expensive tool called a tension meter to check this out; others go by the sound of the blade.
If you don’t have the tool and you want something a bit more reliable than your ear, here is what you do.
To check tension, carefully press against the side of the blade while the machine is off.
If the blade pushes more than ¼ inch, then it’s time to tighten your blade tension.
Here’s a video from Wood Magazine that shows one way to do it.:
Consult your manual to adjust the tension on your particular saw.
Test out your tension before you get into your next project – and hopefully, that slipping blade is fixed.
2. You Have a Dull Saw Blade
Another factor to check on the blade is how sharp the blade teeth are. A dull saw blade is just as detrimental as loose blade tension.
When the saw blade is dull, it won’t cut through material is easy, forcing the machine to exhibit more force to cut it.
As a result, the blade could be pushed off the wheels.
There are several ways to determine if your bandsaw blade is dull. First is by looking at it carefully.
If you can see damages or obvious dullness, it’s time to replace the blade.
Another way to check is by carefully touching a blade tooth with your fingernail.
A sharp blade will leave a scratch on your nail, while a dull one will only slip across the nail.
The last way you can determine if your bandsaw blade is dull is by using the bandsaw.
Observe how the saw operates and how smoothly it cuts.
Here are a few things to be on the watch for while using the bandsaw:
- Jagged cuts
- Inconsistent cuts
- Harder to push materials through
- Tear outs
- Inability to cut through dense material
If any of these changes become apparent to you, then it’s time to replace your blade.
To avoid these problems, clean your blade after a few uses. After a couple of cleanings, you should also resharpen your blade.
3. Your Saw Has Damaged Rubber Tires
Another area to check (if the blade looks to be in good shape) is the rubber wheels.
If your blade slips off after you exert additional pressure, yet the blade isn’t dull, then your blade may be falling off of the rubber tires.
The best way to see if this is the culprit is by simply checking for any wear and tear on the rubber tires.
Any indication of damage could be enough to slip the blade of your bandsaw.
To avoid this, keep the rubber tires in good condition by cleaning them with a wheel brush.
Another way to prevent damage to your rubber tires is by taking tension off of the blade when it is not in use.
Doing this will prevent ruts from forming into the tires.
4. Your Saw Has Wheel Wobble
The last possible reason why your bandsaw blade keeps coming off is from wheel wobble.
This occurs when the bearings can no longer support the wheel.
As a result, the wheel shifts back and force, potentially knocking the blade loose.
You can check this by manually spinning the wheel. If there is any wobble while you spin it, then you might have to replace the bearings.
**Having a hard time maintaining blades? Know some of the ways to extend the longevity of your bandsaw blades!!**
Other Bandsaw Problems
Sometimes, a simple fix just isn’t enough to get your bandsaw back to how it was.
After years of use, the bandsaw will experience common wear and tear that can’t be fixed.
If you’ve checked the entire machine and you feel like it just doesn’t work like it used to, then it might be time to buy a new bandsaw as a whole.
Here are a few indicators of severe wear and tear.
Your bandsaw has a very distinct sound it makes when it is in use.
After a couple of years, you might notice the noise sounds different, perhaps squeakier.
If you notice additional noise or squeaks, then your blade might be worn up and needs to be replaced.
As mentioned earlier, inconsistent cuts may be another problem that can come from anywhere.
One common culprit has stripped teeth on the blade.
You can tell your cuts are inconsistent when the bandsaw jumps or skips while cutting, or when it starts to get harder to push through the blade than normal.
The best way to keep your bandsaw from experiencing inconsistent cuts is by continuously maintaining the machine and replacing the blade every few months.
After a while, you might notice some hairline cracks in your blades.
These are never advised to work with, as they can potentially break the blade off the bandsaw completely.
Hairline cracks can come from time or from cutting rough material.
Always inspect your bandsaw blade before using it to avoid injury.
Related Article: Choosing a Bandsaw Blade, factors to consider!
How to Maintain a Bandsaw
The first way you can figure out the status of your bandsaw and if it needs additional maintenance is by carefully, and while the bandsaw is off, inspect all parts of the blade to make sure they are clean and in working order.
Here are a few things to check before using a bandsaw:
- The tension of the blade
- Sharpness of blade
- Missing blade teeth
- Band wheel damage
- Oil and fluids
- Band speed
Cleaning Your Bandsaw
After inspecting all of these parts, you will likely have a better understanding of what needs to be focused on. In general, you should always clean your bandsaw after you use it to guarantee it stays well maintained.
- First, clear debris from all parts of the bandsaw with an air compressor while the machine is off.
- Remove as much dust/dirt/ and rust as possible by rubbing the table with steel wool dipped in liquid rust remover.
- Apply car wax to the table and remove the blade with protective gloves.
- Use liquid rust remover on the blade to clean it.
- Finally, clean every part you haven’t touched with a wire brush and some resin remover.
When Your Band Saw Is Not in Use
The last way you can do to preserve your bandsaw is by properly maintaining it while it is not in use:
- Always wipe the bandsaw after every use.
- Put a cover over your bandsaw.
- Loosen the tension of the bandsaw blade to avoid damage to your rubber tires. (Remember to tighten this back up when you’re ready to use the saw again.)
Overall, bandsaws are a great tool to have, and they will last a very long time if you know how to maintain them.
In the event, your blade keeps coming off your bandsaw, remember the four possible causes, and how you can fix them.