Breaking bandsaw blades on Rikon 10-325

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Forum topic by Sandra posted 11-07-2015 02:29 AM 1531 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7207 posts in 2072 days

11-07-2015 02:29 AM

I’ve had my Rikon 10-325 for a couple of years now, and have learned a lot about mechanics by constantly having to adjust, fiddle, and figure out some of the issues that have cropped up.

The first issue was the belt walking off the pulley. Turns out that the pulley was too close to the frame. Loosened the set screw and moved it back a hair and that problem was solved.

Then began the struggle to get the blade to track. It’s a constant process of adjusting for drift etc etc…
About a month ago, I was cutting a batch of clothespins and “TWANG” the blade broke. When I got my heart rate back to normal, I took a look and saw the part of the bottom guides was also missing.

I splurged for Carter guides, and that seems to have improved the tracking. I switched to another blade but was getting a ripple cut. Tensioned the blade up a bit more and got ‘satisfactory’ cuts. Until, you guessed it, second evening using it it broke.

By this point I figured that the blade must be dull and switched to my last blade. I’m cutting 3/8 ” maple so I’m not doing heavy cuts by any means.

Tonight, blade number 3 broke. It was a 1/2” blade that I bought less than a year ago (mid-range price, don’t have the brand)

If I tension the blades any less than I have been, the cut is terrible.

So is it simply a question of over tensioning the blade? Or could something else be going on?

(Yup, should have bought a Laguna. No need to rub it in)

Thanks for any suggestions

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

22 replies so far

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7888 posts in 2147 days

#1 posted 11-07-2015 02:40 AM

What brand of blades are you using?

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 11-07-2015 02:48 AM

One of the blades was a Wood Slicer from Highland woodworking. Another was the stock blade that came with the saw. It hadnt seen a whole lot of use. Third one I dont remember.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Lazyman's profile


1956 posts in 1384 days

#3 posted 11-07-2015 04:09 AM

Any noises coming from the saw when it’s not sawing? I’m not that experienced, but when my blades are properly tensioned and the guides are set right, my grizzly band saw is pretty quiet. There shouldn’t be any rubbing noises and certainly no metal on metal sounds. Also note any clicking sounds that might occur when a damaged or kinked part of the blade goes through a tight spot in the blade path. Did the blades break at the welds. How clean was the break and are there any signs of of rubbing not associated with the act of breaking?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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6709 posts in 2196 days

#4 posted 11-07-2015 05:30 AM

Check the break. If straight, then it’s either from over tensioning or too fast a feed rate. If irregular, then it’s usually due to improper material handling. If it’s at the weld, then it’s a defect… but on three different blades from different manufacturers, I doubt that is the reason.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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986 posts in 1518 days

#5 posted 11-07-2015 06:23 AM

I would put my money on over-tensioning. I usually don’t hear a “twang” when a blade breaks. Usually it’s a “thwap”. Are your guides set right ? Sometimes the wood can cause the blade to chatter, especially if you’re cutting directly across the grain. Try a faster or slower feed to cut down on the attenuation. How many teeth in the blade you’re cutting 3/8” material with ? Do you set your guides as the last step when you change a blade ? The stress improperly set rear guides can put on a blade could break it, especially on a tightly strung blade.

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1798 posts in 2314 days

#6 posted 11-07-2015 06:37 AM

Over-tensioning or a dull blade could both be potential issues. I’ve broken several blades from pushing them far beyond their useful life. Probably the extra heat caused too much stress.

If your saw is making a ripple cut, there’s probably something off about the setup and I’m not referring to the tension. A blade should cut straight even if the tension is too low. A crooked weld joint, improper setup of the upper guides, excessive saw vibration and bad bandsaw tires could all be possible issues.

Start troubleshooting from the ground up. Does the saw run smooth without a blade? When the blade is mounted and the guides are backed away does it track smoothly or move around or vibrate?

It’s also possible you’re expecting far too much life from your blades. How much cutting is actually done with those blades? Resawing wears them out fast. Cutting particle board will ruin them immediately. Once they are dull they will eventually break if you keep forcing them to cut.

-- See my work at and

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Jim Jakosh

20482 posts in 3102 days

#7 posted 11-07-2015 01:08 PM

Hi Sandra. Did the blades break at the welds? If so It might be the guy that welded them. I buy all my blades from Tubergen locally ( and you can buy there too- they ship all over). They have high quality industrial blades but they are welded manually by Chris there and one time I had one break at the weld and he repaired it for free.
As for the ripple cut, there may be a twist in the blade. I recently ordered 2 new 1/4×10tpi blades from Tubergen and when I got there they gave me 4…. 2 were free. Chris said the free ones had a twist in them and I cannot see it at all, but I have one of the free ones on now and it cuts with a ripple. First time I ever had that but he could identify it in the blade stock. I cut aluminum with it and go back to cutting logs cross wise and lengthwise and it is still going strong but with a ripple in the wood.
Andy Tubergen owns the place- great people. The number is 616-534-0701

Another thought is that you are using 1/2” blades and they will not cut a very tight corner. You could be stressing them sideways in a corner cut. Try a 1/4×10 from Andy!! And if you get the urge to replace the saw, look at the Grizzly 14” Ultimate band saw!

Cheers, Jim

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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7207 posts in 2072 days

#8 posted 11-07-2015 01:26 PM

Good morning gents and thanks. I’m off to check the break and I’ll post a picture.

Yonak – a “thwap” sounds pretty accurate.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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1008 posts in 2815 days

#9 posted 11-07-2015 01:36 PM

I have the same saw and had issues with the pulley that frustrated me for quite a while. It turned out that the bottom wheel of the saw was misaligned, in the sense that it wasn’t parallel to the frame, which meant it wasn’t parallel to the pulley wheel from the motor. This robbed me of power and made me use up several belts and eventually break a blade. Since I adjusted the bottom wheel (using the north-south-east-west screws on the back of the saw) I’ve been amazed at how easily I can resaw and cut with it. It may not be your issue, but it might be worth a check.
To clarify: I’m not talking about co-planar between the top and bottom wheels, but ensuring that the bottom wheel ligns up to the pulley wheel from the motor.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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7207 posts in 2072 days

#10 posted 11-07-2015 01:43 PM


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#11 posted 11-07-2015 01:43 PM

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#12 posted 11-07-2015 01:47 PM

The break is straight, but not on the weld.

As to curves, I don’t use the blades for any curves. 99% of the usage and each time I broke one I was cutting clothespins, which are cut with the grain.

I’ve ordered new blades. Another Wood Slicer from Highland and 2 viking low tension blades from here in Canada.
Once they’re in, I’ll have to start at ground zero.

When the blade is set and tensioned, I can turn the wheels by hand and don’t hear anything.
After the second break, I set the lower rear bearing further back from the blade thinking that may be the cause.

It does make sense that it’s the tension, but that has seemed to be the only way to get decent cuts.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#13 posted 11-07-2015 01:53 PM

As to usage, I’m somewhere around 1800 pins that I’ve produced, which would require 3600 halves.

Each half is 3.5 inches long, so if my math is accurate, that’s 1050 linear feet.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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2914 posts in 2170 days

#14 posted 11-07-2015 03:07 PM

I think you probably have to much tension. Once tracking has been adjusted the thrust bearings should be adjusted so they just tick against the blade when it is running unloaded then when you start to saw it immediately makes contact with the blade.
The only time I have broken a blade was resawing bloodwood with a dull blade and forcing the issue. I wasn’t really surprised when it broke.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3425 days

#15 posted 11-07-2015 03:28 PM

Heat (friction) causes most breaks. Find the cause of the heat.
1. Tension
2. Dull blade, though 1050 with 3 blades doesn’t seem excessive.
3. The blade should just kiss the back up bearing when not cutting.
4. guides? Cool blocks might help and can be set to ‘0’ tolerance.
Rikon is out of my wheelhouse, but Jeremy’s suggestion re: the bottom wheel has merit. That would cause undue friction.
Good luck finding the problem(s).

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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