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Preventing Saw Blade Fractures

There are several reasons why bandsaw blades fail. Weld breakage is generally thought of as a manufacturer problem. The required length of band is cut from a coil and then welded together at both ends. Most weld centers follow the same procedure in creating bandsaw blades. It is important to assure that the two bands are tightly joined to avoid blade fracture at the weld.

Simple adjustments to your bandsaw will put an end to blade problems. Bandsaw operators should be knowledgeable in order to prevent such problems.

Common ways for an operator to prevent blade breakage include:

Accurately setting blade tension.

Finding the correct blade tension for a specific blade type is a crucial step prior to any cut. There are a few techniques to help determine correct blade tension, but using a tension meter/gauge is most accurate.

Accurate feed rate for the type of stock being cut.

Over-feeding cutting stock puts too much stress on the saw blade, leading to blade fracture. Make gradual increases in the feed rate until desired cutting rate is achieved.

Proper blade guide adjustment.

There are various types of guides on bandsaw machines, including roller guides, fixed guides, and pressure guides. If the guides are loose or out of line, the blade has too much flex, which will cause premature fractures. Worn or damage guides should also be replaced as they affect performance while reducing blade life.

Make sure the wheel flange does not rub the blade back.

Faulty bandsaw alignment and adjustments will cause problems — especially on the wheels and the blade tracking. It is important to align the wheels and properly track the blade.

Always use the right blade for the right cutting application.

Blade fracture can be prevented with the correct tooth pitch, width, and type of bandsaw blade for the material to be cut. The wrong blade choice can cause undue stress on the bandsaw and increase operator safety hazard if the blade should break. Ask the blade manufacturer for blade recommendations based on the materials being cut.

Knowing the causes of saw blade breakage and learning the ways to avoid the problem in the future will help to achieve the type of production output desired. Before starting any cutting operation, always perform the blade break in procedure and then properly tune the bandsaw machine.

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