When to replace table saw belt?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by ChrisCarr posted 02-13-2011 01:18 AM 7413 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 2802 days

02-13-2011 01:18 AM

Is there a set time for when I should replace my table saw belt? Its been in used for atleast 8 months, and before that since I bought my saw used.

15 replies so far

View lew's profile


11941 posts in 3659 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 04:06 AM

Get one of those “link” belts. You won’t regret it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 02-13-2011 07:26 AM

As long as the belt isn’t too badly cracked or frayed, it should be fine. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen belt replacement as a periodic maintenance requirement for a belt driven tool.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View EEngineer's profile


1092 posts in 3517 days

#3 posted 02-13-2011 07:27 AM

Link belts are overrated and overpriced. A decent regular V-belt will be cheaper and perform just as well.

What link-belts always purport to overcome is “set”; i.e the tendency of belts to form to the pulleys and then vibrate. A good V-belt will not do this. Link-belts are way overpriced, have less contact with pulleys and, thus, less power transfer and have gotten way too much press lately!

So screw lew…

That being said: you replace a belt when it shows obvious signs of wear: frayed edges, way too much shine on the sides of the belt indicating slippage (might also be too little tension) or obvious signs of cracking or crazing on the belt surface.

I have belts that are at least 45 years old in my shop and working just fine.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3657 days

#4 posted 02-13-2011 08:06 AM

The belts on my Jet 3 hp cab saw are the original, and over 20 years old, still look great, as it is hard to get any UV damage where they are and no “set” the saw still passes the nickel test.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5693 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 02-13-2011 08:32 AM

I’ve still got the original belt on my old Crapsman saw, and it’s 26 years old…..Just keep an eye on it and if it shows wear, then replace it if necessary….8 months is nothing on a belt if both pulleys are in-line and the tension is set right… should be good to go for a long time yet…..only if you ran the saw in a production shop for 8 hours evey day, then you might need to start worrying…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 02-13-2011 08:46 AM

My Beaver Rockwell was purchased in 1976, wish the blades would last that long. The weight of the electric motor keeps the belt tight. Looks good with no wear or cracks. I run kevlar belts on the two little tractors I have, kevlar would outlast the saw for sure.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View dbhost's profile


5686 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 02-13-2011 09:11 AM

In respectful disagreement with EEngineer, link belts really do work fine, and even the best V belts WILL get a set to them. Having said that, if you use the saw frequently (more than once a week or so) I wouldn’t worry about set. I put link belts on my band saw because I use it maybe once a month, and it eliminated the vibration that the belts caused… I had replaced the OEM belts with Gates. A single quality V belt runs about $25.00, a quality link belt about $29.00, take your pick…

If your original belt doesn’t have a set to it, isn’t glazed, cracked, or frayed, then leave well enough alone and keep using it.

-- My workshop blog can be found at, YouTube Channel

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2901 days

#8 posted 02-13-2011 03:08 PM

I have my 2nd v -belt on my first table saw, 34 years. I operated my own SEED cleaning plant for many years, slow Rpm, and little torque applications the link belts worked very well. I used them because in some of the machinery you had to take half the machine apart to put on a regular v-belt. Any machine that required HIGH torque or high RPM the link belts didn’t last as long, they were constantly stretching, a proper width V-belt worked better.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 2596 days

#9 posted 02-13-2011 05:11 PM

Unless you absolutely feel the need too replace. Only when it breaks. Save your money. The belts in these application will last a lifetime.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2747 days

#10 posted 02-13-2011 05:39 PM

The only thing I might add to dbhost’s post is to point out that you can adjust the length of a link belt if you need to. I bought a used saw that sat for years, the belt looked great but its “set” caused a lot of vibration. I don’t think a link belt will pick up a “set”. -Jack

View Loren's profile


9941 posts in 3552 days

#11 posted 02-13-2011 07:41 PM

I have read somebody attesting that the rubber belts with the notches
on the inside are just as good as the link belts in terms of vibration.

Unless vibration is bugging you, replace the belt when it clearly needs it.
They last a long time in intermittent (home shop) use.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2754 days

#12 posted 02-13-2011 09:47 PM

I learned from a power transmission guy that the belts you find in the hardware store are substandard to the ones you will find at a PT place. Self serving info it is, but I’ve found it to be true. The difference appears to be in the splice.

I like link belts because they remind me of craft time at summer camp. And they come in pretty colors. I just wish they showed a little more so people would be more impressed that I use them.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3909 days

#13 posted 02-13-2011 10:24 PM

When it breaks.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 2802 days

#14 posted 02-17-2011 05:07 AM

How do you know if the belt has enough tension? My TS motor hangs out the saw and tension can’t be adjusted. The tension is basically the weight of my 2hp motor.

What will the saw do if the belt is slipping during a cut?

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2666 days

#15 posted 02-17-2011 05:16 AM

The motor is what tensions the belt you can lossen the motor’s mounting bolts and adjust it a little . I have bogged my saw down twice today alone and it just kicks the braker on the back of the motor reset it and go back to work

-- As Best I Can

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics