Link belts???

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Forum topic by ClayandNancy posted 11-05-2012 04:40 PM 1366 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 2979 days

11-05-2012 04:40 PM

I added a link belt to my table saw and plan on putting one on my jointer and possibly some of my other tools. I have seen where some of you have changed the v-pulley to a machined pulley, is that necessary, have I screwed up?

11 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2597 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 06:10 PM

If I understand your question: Some stock, cast pulleys are not perfectly round and/or have other manufacturing defects. Machined pulleys tend to be of better quality and run smoother.
If the stock pulley is in good shape, a new pulley likely won’t offer much added performance. On that note, I don’t personally think a link belt is worthwhile unless the pulley is crap. I have a link belt on my jointer and bandsaw, but installed good quality rubber v-belts on my table saw and drill press. I don’t personally think the link belts are the magic bullet that they’re made out to be. They just cost 3X more and you don’t have to go to the trouble of measuring the old belt. Often times, people remove an old, cheap, beat-up v- belt; then install a link belt and notice an immediate improvement. Gee- I wonder why??
That said, you might take a chance and install a gates brand v-belt on your remaining machines and save some cash.
Sorry to expand on your original question. Just trying to help.

View Loren's profile


10252 posts in 3612 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 06:22 PM

If your cuts seem compromised by vibration the machined
pulleys may help a little.

I may be going out on a limb, but I’ll suggest that link
belts were designed to make belt changing easier in
industrial settings where some machines require partial
disassembly to change belts. Link belts solve the disassembly
problem neatly and since they are user sizable stock
on hand can be interchangeable. They save downtime.

Marketers selling to woodworkers saw an opportunity to
claim more power and less vibration could be easily got from
lighter weight machines. There also emerged the opportunity
to sell machined pulleys, thin kerf blades and so forth.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 06:54 PM

Tedstore and Loren makes some valid points….link belts can work very well when replacing a bad v-belt, but they’re not magic, and won’t fix a problem that doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t change a pulley or a belt unless there was an obvious vibration issue. Replacing a rubber v-belt that’s performing perfectly with a link belt isn’t likely to help you. In such a case, it’s likely that the link belt will actually have more wind noise than a good v-belt. If the tools you mentioned are vibrating excessively, a new belt is a logical solution….and possibly even the pulley if the belt doesn’t do the trick.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2899 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 07:07 PM

I changed the pulleys on mine and noticed a big difference. I then added a link belt and my TS runs like new. I did a review on the pulleys.

View DIYaholic's profile


19596 posts in 2639 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 11:24 PM

I did the machined pulley & link belt “upgrade” (also installed PALS) on my new to me C’man contractor TS. As I had not really run my saw, prior to the upgrade, I can’t verify any improvement. However, I needed new pulleys & belt any way. Tthe pulleys are inexpensive & Harbor Freight has the best price for link belts, so to me it was a no brainer.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View patcollins's profile


1683 posts in 2829 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 11:31 PM

I’d rather spend $25 on a link belt than spend $25 in gas running arround finding the right V belt. There is the whole issue of what my time is worth too.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2597 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 03:39 AM

Nothing wrong with that. But I doubt you’d have to travel too far. Your average auto parts store typically stocks several hundred v belts. Take the old one into the store and have the clerk find a similar size. It doesn’t need to be exact. You can install that $5 v belt that same day, instead of waiting 7-10 days for HF to ship you a $25 (plus shipping) link belt. I dunno. I think the v belt is the better value any way you look at it. Especially if you equate time to money.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2899 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 03:45 AM

The $25 HF link belt is worth the money. I have 2 of them.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2152 days

#9 posted 11-06-2012 05:02 AM

I put a link belt on a contractor’s table saw and the improvement was amazing. On a drill press it was a waste of time.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3545 days

#10 posted 11-06-2012 05:20 AM

I have link belts on my jointer, BS, wood lathe, & drill press & vibration disappeared from all of them. No room for a table saw & instead use my RAS bought new in 1958 which is a heck of a lot more versatile than a TS & built by American Machine & Foundry before Black & Decker bought their tool line & promptly cheapened the design.


-- Lee

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 2979 days

#11 posted 11-06-2012 01:49 PM

Thanks guys. I put the link belt on my TS more or less to try it out and am quite happy with it. I have refurbed a Boice Crabe 6” joiner and it needs a belt. I thought the link belt might be easier to size then the v. I know how to measure for the v but still sometimes it’s a hit and miss meaning as Pat said could be a lot of gas back and forth.

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