How do I interpret the tension spring on a Jet 14" bandsaw

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Forum topic by kanihoncho posted 06-22-2010 06:00 PM 4119 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kanihoncho's profile


56 posts in 2496 days

06-22-2010 06:00 PM

I know there is a lot of discussion on the proper way to tune a blade. My question is on the tensioning spring located on the top back. I have a 3/8” blade on the saw. Do I turn the tension knob so that the bottom of the spring is level with the 3/8” indicator? The manual doesn’t tell how to interpret the blade guage.


6 replies so far

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2623 days

#1 posted 06-22-2010 06:33 PM

The most accurate way is to use a band saw tension gauge. Other wise, crank the handle to the middle of the blade size on the cover, then run a test piece of lumber and check for drift, tighten if necessary. Make sure your rollers or blocks are also properly set.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5107 posts in 2617 days

#2 posted 06-22-2010 06:49 PM


+1 for Union Label….. that’s how I’d do it… A lot of times I just push on the blade with my thumb till it

touches the roller bearing, then move it side to side and check the tension that way.. If it’s too lose I tighten

it… if it’s too tight, I loosen it…. you will learn just by feel….... piece of cake…....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3095 days

#3 posted 06-22-2010 06:54 PM

Tension the blade up just past the 3/8 mark, fire up the saw, back off on the tension slowly until the blade starts to rattle a bit, then do quarter turns until the saw blade quiets down again. And you’re good.


View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2955 days

#4 posted 06-22-2010 07:44 PM

I line up the red indicator with the size of the blade I’m setting up. Then just a little tighter. It may not be right, but that has never stopped me before.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View kanihoncho's profile


56 posts in 2496 days

#5 posted 06-22-2010 08:04 PM

No red indicator on mine! That would have made it easy!. I just wanted to cover my bases. Many thanks.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#6 posted 06-22-2010 10:36 PM

In general, the markings on the sides of the band saw are very inaccurate. You want your tension at about 20000 foot pounds per square inch. I have a tension gauge and I need to tighten significantly tighter than the markings on the side of the saw indicate (e.g. I tighten a 1/4 inch blade as if it were a 1/2 inch blade).

Lots of bandsaw users get pretty good at adjusting tension by feel and/or sound (from plucking the blade).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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