Bandsaw tires opinions wanted.

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Forum topic by Bill White posted 06-05-2012 08:35 PM 15500 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill White

5121 posts in 4158 days

06-05-2012 08:35 PM

I keep seeing varied opinions on the merits, or lack thereof, for the urethane or rubber tires for bandsaws.
I have no experience with urethane, and rubber tires have served me well.
Just wondering what the bandsaw mavens REALLY think and why.


19 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3183 days

#1 posted 06-05-2012 08:53 PM

My experience with urethane was that they could be worth it, depending on your saw. When I put on the urethane tires, they were thinner than the OEM rubber ones and my saw no longer had the vertical travel necessary to properly tension the blade. Having already purchased and installed them, I shimmed up the upper arm of the saw about a half inch so that I could get the right tension. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would likely go rubber.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View killerb's profile


150 posts in 2596 days

#2 posted 06-06-2012 02:43 PM

All I have used is rubber. They are easy to crown. That’s why I use them.

-- Bob

View Heisbert's profile


34 posts in 2377 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 06:08 PM

When you compare rubber tires to urethane ones, I would say urethane tires stand out. Urethane tires are made of flexible urethane instead of the usual rubber; they stay flexible longer to increase the performance of your blade and; since you don’t need to glue them to the wheel, installing and replacing is much easier, too. Urethane tires may cost more than rubber tires but it’s worth the price. But don’t worry, some websites offer great discount on tires and some band saw parts (like this website) –

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4289 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 06:22 PM

I agree with Heisbert. Been using the tires for a little over a year. They were a bit painful to install, and it would have been easier with another hand, but the benefit was worth the effort. I do some re-sawing using a 3/4 blade and have chewed through a few rubber tires, the urethane tires a holding well with no noticeable ware.

-- Nicky

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2712 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 06:26 PM

I have two bandsaws, one with urethane, one with rubber. They are both 3/4HP, 6” cut height, one is a Reliant, one is a Porter Cable, so neither is a high quality brand. They are almost identical units, save the Reliant with rubber is 11 years old, been moved three times, and sat for two years in an unheated garage while I was in China. They both have been equipped with bearing guides on top, both have cool blocks on the bottom. Tables are about identical. Both are two speed.
The rubber on the Reliant is starting to show the usual shrink cracks, and will soon have to be replaced. It does, however, still perform well and the saw holds vertical nicely. Not bad for 11 years old and not being run for two years.

The newer unit with the urethane tires, I initially liked it a lot – quieter, seemed to track better, and the blade seemed to “stick” to the track better on the urethane. Urethane on this unit came pre-crowned. This saw also tracks vertical very well.
My one hit with urethane, for me at least, it seems like sawdust sticks to urethane way more than rubber. Even the knock-off brush cannot keep up. Almost every resaw, even with vacuum, I have to open the door and run it for a minute and knock off the sawdust with a small wire brush. I never do that with the rubber. It doesn’t even have a knock-off brush. Other than that, I think running them pretty much equally, ten year old rubber against 1.5 year old urethane? And the rubber is still standing? I don’t know. I like urethane, but will it still be as pliable and running in 11 years? Call me…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3441 days

#6 posted 06-08-2012 08:54 PM

Don’t rubber tires have to be glued to the wheels, and urethane tires sit in a groove without glue? The rubber tires on mine gave out within a year. I switched to urethane and they are still good after 5 years.

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2774 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 08:57 PM

+1 for urethane, purchased on Ebay and I’m content with them.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3950 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 09:51 PM

MrRon: Rubber does not have to be glued to the wheels if it is a snug fit. I used to make my own bandsaw tyres out of high density rubber matting and rubber cement. I never glued any of them.

View MrUnix's profile


7038 posts in 2396 days

#9 posted 06-11-2012 06:40 PM

Opinions about rubber vs. urethane is akin to opinions about Chevy vs. Ford! I’m running urethane on my Delta and have not had a single problem with them. They replaced some rubber tires that were dried up and cracking. However, I purchased the machine with those rubber tires already on it, so I have no idea how old or how much abuse they were subjected to.


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

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2371 days

#10 posted 06-13-2012 09:04 PM

Some may like to use urethane over rubber or the other way around, but I would prefer to use urethane tires on my machine’s wheel. For now though, I am using rubber tires because these are original ones installed when I bought this. I am planning to buy new urethane tires at (the least expensive dealer of after market band saw parts I have found as for now). I am just new to using a band saw so I’m not quite as familiar with all of the machine yet. I think a manual would be useful too! Who knows where to find different band saw manuals?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View AHuxley's profile (online now)


852 posts in 3519 days

#11 posted 06-13-2012 10:11 PM

One thing to make not of is many saws are designed in a way that make urethane tires a non-starter. If you have an older saw or an European saw with flat wheels you will need to use rubber or EPDM tires designed for the saw. The place you have a choice is the modern Asian machines along with most of the Delta 14” cast saws and their clones which have crowned wheels that require a thin tire to conform to the crown, these tires do not need to be crowned themselves.

For bandsaws where you have a choice the benefit of urethane is longer life and the lower chance of them developing a flat spot. On these bandsaws I generally use urethane since they are easy to source and are usually cheaper than OEM rubber.

Regarding gluing some rubber tires are not designed to be glued like T-track or safety tires used for example on the older 20” Delta and Rockwell saw and some Italian saws like Mini-Max and others. On smaller slower bandsaws you can often avoid gluing rubber tires but it is good form, larger saws with high SFPM rates one has no choice but to glue, try not gluing a 7,000+ spfm bandsaws tires and see how long they stay on…

View oldcary's profile


3 posts in 2376 days

#12 posted 06-13-2012 10:30 PM

Both rubber and urethane bandsaw tires will do the job. I have 2 bandsaws and have rubber on one and urethane on the other. Urethane will definitely hold up under more usage than the rubber and urethane does not seem to develop “memory” (depressions, grooves, or flat spots) unlike rubber. Thus, the bandsaw I use the most has urethane tires and rubber on the one I use infrequently. Further, I (almost) always release the tension on both types of tires.

-- Make more wood shavings and less dust! Steve, Cary, NC

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4186 days

#13 posted 06-13-2012 11:31 PM

GENERALLY speaking, it is recommended that urethane tires not be glued .. rubber tires should be.

The rubber tires, on most 14” Delta clone units can sometimes buckle & bulge wherever they are unsupported by the bands due partly to their increased mass. Centrifugal force causes them to fly open, and sometimes they don’t fall back exactly where they should, so you can throw a band .. open up the saw .. inspect, finding nothing wrong .. over .. and over .. and over .. so I’ve been told.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Heisbert's profile


34 posts in 2377 days

#14 posted 06-14-2012 02:23 PM

The use of urethane tires over rubber tires is highly recommended. That is because a urethane tire is an improved version of the usual rubber tire that we have. So, urethane tires are expected to yield better results and performance. We, machine users, should be thankful to those who are behind these successful innovation.

View Heisbert's profile


34 posts in 2377 days

#15 posted 06-14-2012 02:41 PM

Everybody’s into this thread about urethane vs. rubber tires lately. Surfside, you may visit They have manuals for different types/models of band saw machines.

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