De-tensioning bandsaw after use?

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timwhatley

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I've just had a bandsaw blade snap on me - I've only had the blade on the saw a few months, with weekend use including some resawing. Mostly hardwoods.

The saw is a Record Power Sabre 350 (14"), running a 5/8ths Tuffsaws blade.

I contacted Tuffsaws, who suggested this was because the saw was left under tension between uses..

However I've never heard of anyone doing this before? Does anyone here take the tension off their blade after every use, and then re-tension it every time before using it again? It just seemed a bit surprising to suggest that a blade snapping is reasonable if you don't take the tension off every time... I can imagine this would create it's own issues if you forget to re-tension properly before firing it up!

Edit: I should also mention that the blade didn't snap at the weld
 
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RobinBHM

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Band resaws have to be untensioned immediately after use - they only have a short runtime before needing to be sharpened and retensioning anyway.

narrow bandsaws generally can be left tensioned
 

Ttrees

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I think the jury is still out on whether it matters or not, but I play it safe.
Definitely not unheard of, as many machines come with a quick release lever.
Some have interlock switches included, maybe some of the American ones like Rikon, or maybe some Lagunas.
Its a good way of selling you a machine with a less than ideal tension screw, if one was to go by the manufacturers max blade recommendations.
A large hobby/small industrial saw will have beefier threads, which doesn't take long to tension up,
so no need for complications.
 

deema

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You should detention a blade if it’s to be left for any period of time. Daily use, no need, but leaving it tensioned has two effects, firstly if left for a period the rubber tyres on the wheels can take a set, this will create an out of round wheel with flatter spots on it. Secondly, the wheels run on bearings (usually ball) which if left will indent the race causing them to fail prematurely.
 

Sandyn

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I never bother de-tensioning my blade, but I use the saw most days. If I left it unused for a longer period of time, I probably would. It hasn't seemed to cause any problems....yet.
 

Bristol_Rob

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I have the Sabre 350 and use Tuffsaw blades.

I never release my tension as a weekend woodworker.

I've never had one snap.

Sounds like a flaw in the blade, or you had over tensioned the blade - replace and move on ;)
 

Keith 66

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I dont bother, old blades that have been resharpened many times may start to show cracks at the bottom of the teeth gullets, then its time to junk them. Today blades have efectively become throwaway items & dont last long enough to crack in this way.
As for the bearings getting indented? This may be an issue if the bearings are made of cheese but you may as well jack your car up onto axle stands every night in case the same thing happens.
My old wadkin wheels had bearings of such size & quality that after nearly 80 years they still ran perfectly & that was always left tensioned.
 

paulm

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Have never bothered de-tensioning my startrite and not had any issues in the last thirty odd years of sporadic use :)

Sounds like over-tensioning and/or duff blade to me.
 

Craig22

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There seem to be opinions either way. FWIW I take the tension off on mine (an old industrial grade Multico). Three half turns of the adjuster, and I leave an access door open to remind me to re-tension when next I use the bandsaw.
 

HamsterJam

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I always take the tension off mine when I’ve finished for the day
This is recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook (Inca) and I never really questioned it.
I guess not only does it reduce the stress in the blade but also the frame, bearings, tension spring etc.
 

Jacob

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I've neither snapped a blade nor taken the tension off in ten years.
Nor me. Braking blades usually means too high tension. The rule is to have tension just high enough to keep the blade working without slipping, though they are more precise with higher tension, if needed.
 

AES

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I also fully remove the tension from my (terrible cheapo) Einhell table top band saw. Though it does have Tuffsaw blades.

The reason for de-tensioning is because knowing NOTHING at all about band saws, when I bought the saw, I also bought a set of 3 (I think it was) DVDs by one of our resident gurus here, Steve Maskery ("Workshop Essentials"). No longer a member here I think, but easy to find on the net, on YouTube, and on "the other Forum".

The "Manual" that came with the saw says not a word about blade de-tensioning, but to me, Steve definitely IS a guru, and those 3 DVDs were one of the best twenty or so quid I've ever spent on this hobby. I know there's a lot of f.o.c. info on the Internet, but like the above posts, lots of it is conflicting. But as said, for me anyway, if "Uncle Steve" says take the tension off, then that's what I do. Not broken a blade so far, though I should also say the band saw is seldom used.

Anyway, if you're not really sure about anything band saw-related, those Workshop Essential band saw DVDs are highly recommended.
 

mondo

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I also fully remove the tension from my (terrible cheapo) Einhell table top band saw. Though it does have Tuffsaw blades.

The reason for de-tensioning is because knowing NOTHING at all about band saws, when I bought the saw, I also bought a set of 3 (I think it was) DVDs by one of our resident gurus here, Steve Maskery ("Workshop Essentials"). No longer a member here I think, but easy to find on the net, on YouTube, and on "the other Forum".

The "Manual" that came with the saw says not a word about blade de-tensioning, but to me, Steve definitely IS a guru, and those 3 DVDs were one of the best twenty or so quid I've ever spent on this hobby. I know there's a lot of f.o.c. info on the Internet, but like the above posts, lots of it is conflicting. But as said, for me anyway, if "Uncle Steve" says take the tension off, then that's what I do. Not broken a blade so far, though I should also say the band saw is seldom used.

Anyway, if you're not really sure about anything band saw-related, those Workshop Essential band saw DVDs are highly recommended.
Could you be more specific on who "the other Forum" is?
 

Spectric

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However I've never heard of anyone doing this before? Does anyone here take the tension off their blade after every use, and then re-tension it every time before using it again?
Yes I always leave my BS400 untensioned, not only removes the strain from the blade but also the machines frame and the rubber tyres on the wheels, simple enough to do, I just use the de-tensioning lever. When looking at bandsaws at Biven machinery sales I was going for the BS350, but it did not have the de tensioning lever so I got the Bs400 instead which did. Your 350 Sabre has the lever so simple to leave without tension.
 

paulm

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Yes I always leave my BS400 untensioned, not only removes the strain from the blade but also the machines frame and the rubber tyres on the wheels, simple enough to do, I just use the de-tensioning lever. When looking at bandsaws at Biven machinery sales I was going for the BS350, but it did not have the de tensioning lever so I got the Bs400 instead which did. Your 350 Sabre has the lever so simple to leave without tension.
It may well do all of those things, but simply not necessary on a well made machine.

No harm in it if you want to do it of course, but it really is not necessary, or at least hasn't been for me for the last several decades of use :)
 
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