Bandsaw tention

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Forum topic by majuvla posted 06-17-2016 06:54 AM 1257 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13220 posts in 3041 days

06-17-2016 06:54 AM

Hi all fellow LJs

Can you please tell me, can I keep my bandsaw under tention when not used or should I pull handle down to release tention?
I read somewher about scrollsaw, that its’ good to release tention when not used, in order to prevent bearings to get flat spots by the time. Does same apply to bandsaws?
Thanks for all answers in advance.
Best regards

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

23 replies so far

View Jerry's profile


2850 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 06-17-2016 06:59 AM

Ivan, you should always, always release the tension on your band saw blade when you are not using it. If you don’t, it will cause the blade to become permanently oval shaped.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View runswithscissors's profile


2872 posts in 2199 days

#2 posted 06-17-2016 07:15 AM

On the other hand, I never release the tension on mine.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MrUnix's profile


7005 posts in 2373 days

#3 posted 06-17-2016 07:25 AM

On the other hand, I never release the tension on mine.
- runswithscissors

I never do either… last time I released tension was to change blades.


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

View stefang's profile


16063 posts in 3508 days

#4 posted 06-17-2016 08:58 AM

It is considered good practice to release the blade tension, but many don’t do it. I do it if I remember, but that is not so often.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2270 posts in 1237 days

#5 posted 06-17-2016 09:01 AM

See Roland Johnson, for instance:
I think that, with grown-up floor-models, it’s a bigger issue. But, bench-tops, not so much.

-- Mark

View Redoak49's profile


3596 posts in 2162 days

#6 posted 06-17-2016 10:46 AM

There have been other threads about this with no clear consensus.

I think if you are using a small blade 1/4” or less it would be a good idea. On larger blades not necessary.

But you will find a lot of different opinions and you can just pick one.

View hairy's profile


2780 posts in 3706 days

#7 posted 06-17-2016 11:48 AM

How often do you use the bandsaw? If it sits for long periods of time I would. I use mine frequently. I don’t release the tension.

-- My reality check bounced...

View majuvla's profile


13220 posts in 3041 days

#8 posted 06-17-2016 12:18 PM


I don’t use it a lot, but, it will not be any damage if I release tention, rather than keep under it.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View jolly64's profile


7 posts in 892 days

#9 posted 06-17-2016 12:54 PM

It is recommended to release the tension on the blade, which can lessen the strain on the blade, bearings, and wheels. As a reminder to self, write in big bold letters on the upper housing – BLADE TENSION.

View johnstoneb's profile


3035 posts in 2347 days

#10 posted 06-17-2016 01:04 PM

Given the size of the band saw the amount of tension and the type of bearing material you will not flat spot bearings on a band saw or a scroll saw. If you want to release tension do it if you don’t release tension you are not going to damage anything. You sure can cause a big discussion though. The only place I have seen damage to stationary bearings is on a rock crusher that sits in one place with weight on the wheels. The vibration from the crusher will eventually beat the bearing into the race and ruin the bearing. We are talking about 80,000 lbs of weight vibrating in one spot 8 to 20 hrs a day months at a time. A band saw or scroll saw doesn’t get anywhere near that pressure.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21522 posts in 3279 days

#11 posted 06-17-2016 01:06 PM

Hi Ivan. I release the scroll saw all the time but I never release the bandsaw blade tension. I use it every day and it would be an extra thing for me to remember each time I use it. I like it “ready to go” and it has worked fine for 15 yrs.

Cheers, Jim

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

View majuvla's profile


13220 posts in 3041 days

#12 posted 06-17-2016 01:08 PM

Thanks Johnstoneb,

Very picturesque description.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4914 posts in 886 days

#13 posted 06-17-2016 01:40 PM

learn something new everyday
I have never heard of this in my whole life
I would not think it would hurt the wheels or bearings
and as far as the blade well I like mine in an oval shape LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View splintergroup's profile


2341 posts in 1396 days

#14 posted 06-17-2016 02:03 PM

As stated, It’s more a personal choice and there is a lot of science and fiction in the reasonings on both sides.

Keeping something under stress when not needed seems counter productive. Things like tires can get permanent impressions.

For a small blade, the tension is low so bearings and other metal parts see less stress, but the tires could begin to develop a narrow trench.

Personally I always de-tension. If it is a simple operation like just pulling a de-tension lever, might as well do it. If de-tensioning causes other grief like requiring the guides to be reset, then maybe just leave it tight.

View rockmolsen's profile


278 posts in 1747 days

#15 posted 06-17-2016 04:09 PM

From my perspective and maybe a bit of laziness, once I get it set and running true I just leave it alone and don’t release the tension. Hasn’t caused any noticeable problems. I have a Grizzly G0555 Ultimate 14” Bandsaw and generally have a 3/8 or 1/4 blade for radius cutting. The manual does state that failure to de-tension the blade is one of 10 common causes for blade breakage.

-- Rick --------The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

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