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How to Adjust a Band Saw

The band saw has more moving parts than most power tools. To make sure the band saw cuts correctly and runs safely, it's important to keep the parts properly adjusted.

More in Home Improvement

  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Adjust the Saw's Tracking

Unplug the band saw to prevent injury.

If the blade has veered off track, adjust its tracking by turning the saw's top wheel by hand until the blade moves back to the center of the wheel. Keep turning the wheel to make sure the blade remains stationary in the center.

band saw blade should be in center of wheel

Step 2: Adjust the Tension

A blade that's loose won't cut straight, whereas one that's too tight breaks easily. Adjust the tension with the knob that sits atop the top wheel. Align the knob's red mark with the corresponding measurement of your blade -- for example, if you have a 1/4" blade, align the red line with the mark labeled 1/4.

adjust tension of band saw

Step 3: Adjust the Blade Guide and Foot

Adjust the blade guide. To do so, loosen the guide's Allen screw. Fit a small scrap of an index card between the guide and the blade. Tighten the Allen screw until the index card is held tight. This is the correct guide position: it doesn't touch the blade but is only the thickness of an index card away from the blade.

Adjust the foot of the band saw so that it leaves just enough room for the piece of wood. If the foot is tight enough, it will guide the blade to make straight cuts through the work piece.

Step 4: Adjust the Table

The table on a band saw tilts in sequence with the blade. The table needs to begin at a 90-degree angle from the blade. To position the table, adjust the bolt under the table (Image 1). To make sure the table is at a perfect 90 degrees, use a framing square to determine its relationship to the blade.

If the band saw is properly adjusted, but it's still having trouble making precision cuts, the problem could be caused by a dull blade. To change the blade, reduce its tension by turning the knob atop the top wheel (Image 2). This will free the blade for removal. Replace the blade, and turn the knob to tighten the tension on the new blade.

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Resources

  • Tools from Craftsman Tools

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