Do You Lubricate Your Bandsaw Blades?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 03-05-2013 05:49 AM 18053 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 2017 days

03-05-2013 05:49 AM

Timberwolf says:

CHOOSING THE PROPER BAND SAW BLADE LUBRICATION NEVER USE WATER as a lubricant on band saw blades. Water is NOT a lubricant and is the WRONG thing to use for many reasons.

1. For the woodworker using 1″ and 1 1/4″ bands, not only is water unacceptable as a lubricant, but it also rusts the bands causing deep pitting, and inappropriate chip swelling. This prematurely destroys the body of the band and its gullets. It also dry rots your tires or V-belts.

For proper lubrication mix HIGH ADHESION CHAIN SAW BAR OIL, with 50% kerosene or diesel fuel. Apply the solution with a spray bottle to BOTH sides of the band about once every four minutes, while the machine is running. When this lubrication is applied, the sound of cutting decreases over 50%. DO NOT APPLY AGAIN until the sound of cutting starts increasing. I guarantee you will be amazed! Longer life; No pitch buildup; No rusted or pitted bands! A great delivery system is the 12 volt windshield washer assembly out of an old car!

2. “Pam” spray-on vegetable shortening is a great lubrication for 3/4″ WIDTH AND UNDER band saw blades on vertical saws. (EXAMPLE: Delta, Grizzly, Jet, etc.) Unplug the machine. Spray Pam vegetable shortening on a rag and wipe on both sides of the blade while turning the upper wheel by hand. You will hear a 50% sound reduction when cutting.

A band saw blade is a tool. You must lubricate both sides!

In both cases, we know for a fact that lubrication of the body of the band increases band life by over 30%. Applied sparingly, you can cut grade lumber with NO staining to your product.

What do you do?

28 replies so far

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Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2499 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 06:13 AM

Actually water is a very good lubricant, but it has a very low boiling point and viscosity index. If you don’t believe it, think about ice skater and skiers, they are “gliding” on a very thin sheet of water.

Anyhow, the above was an FYI. Now that you mentioned I have used my BS for years, I have dialed it down to where I get perfect cuts, no drift etc. And I never thought of lubricating the blade, It makes perfect sense and I will try it next run.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View bobasaurus's profile


3482 posts in 3207 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 07:33 AM

I imagine that any wax would work well, maybe paste wax though it wouldn’t last long.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2538 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 12:41 PM

That lubrication instruction seems suspiciously like what I used to see as a maintenance manager for multiple companies, concerning metal cutting blades and saws.

I have worked in three furniture building companies who used a lot of bandsaws, and of course I have owned my own, various sizes, for about thirty plus years. Never lubed up a saw blade cutting wood. If I did, it would be only water. Maybe, on rock hard wood like cocobolo or kingwood, some parrifin. Last thing I want is any kind of petroleum or vegatable oil product in the wood I cut. And the factories I worked for agreed.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2511 days

#4 posted 03-05-2013 01:05 PM

Yup, agree with Tennessee..... Looking at a lot of his other posts, this guy seems like just another shill.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2321 days

#5 posted 03-05-2013 02:35 PM

spit on it<<<<<

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2538 days

#6 posted 03-05-2013 03:36 PM

I do have a bad habit of occasionally spilling beer on some of my wood. Does that count?

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Pimzedd's profile


606 posts in 4166 days

#7 posted 03-05-2013 04:45 PM

Been running bandsaws for over 4o years on wood and plastics. Never heard of lubricants for bandsaw blades.

Increases blade life, maybe. Blade life is mostly based on time of operation. Blades break due to the metal crystallizing due to repeated bending and straightening; like bending a wire back and forth to break it.

Use lubrication if you like, will not hurt. Will it help. Not much. Just the opinion of and old guy.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 03-05-2013 04:53 PM

Blades break due to the metal crystallizing due to repeated bending and straightening

this is due by heat, isn’t it? not necessarily by the repeated bending, which causes heat, just like a wire. So anything that reduces heat should be beneficial to the blade. The OP might be a shill, but I think the idea deserves some examination.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2948 days

#9 posted 03-05-2013 05:13 PM

Here is a link for band saw blade lubricant. I bought some from Milwaukee years ago and haven’t seen it in my shop for awhile. I’ve been using bees wax since I can’t find it.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2786 days

#10 posted 03-05-2013 05:14 PM

Tried the STUPID “pam” method, ala Capt Eddy, the blade slipped right off both wheels !!! Had to disassemble the saw to get all that slick s* off the saw. Even tried the “wax method” I got from Rockler – WHAT A MESS !!! Had to disassemble the whole saw to get all that wax off – AGAIN !

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 2434 days

#11 posted 03-05-2013 05:28 PM

I have used Pam to lubricate my resaw blades for many years. I don’t know if it extends blade life, but I definitely saw a huge improvement in how the saw cut when resawing very thick pieces of exotic woods for acoustic guitar backs.

Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

I apply it by spraying each side of the blade while turning the blade manually (spinning the wheel by hand, that is). Then I use a paper towel to remove the excess (again, while spinning the wheel by hand). I would say the noise level drops by a lot more than 50%. You can tell when it’s time to reapply because the saw starts to cut noisy again.

As for Druid666’s concern about the blade slipping off the wheels, I have never had that problem. Can’t help with that.

-- Kelby

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3332 days

#12 posted 03-05-2013 06:36 PM

I use the Olson band saw blade lubricant. Works good. A band saw blade…like any other blade…need to be cleaned for pitch removal occasionally.
You wouldn’t ignore cleaning pitch off your table saw blade, jointer knives, planer knives or miter saw blade so it is obviously just as important on a bandsaw blade.

View DocSavage45's profile


8589 posts in 2866 days

#13 posted 03-05-2013 06:37 PM

As I read through this I said yep, works with my chainsaw. And as I continued to read I said Hmm the tires might get slippery? And Druid666 confirmed that thought. I think lubing and or just cleaning a blade, but wipoing it down might reduce pulp buildup,or resin. so cleaning the blades with the solution might keep them cutting longer, and easier?

I have a lot of summer humidity and the floors sometimes sweat. Everything that’s metal wants to rust. LOL!

Just posted. Greg..there you were. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3267 days

#14 posted 03-05-2013 06:44 PM

When cutting metals, I use parafine wax. For wood, no lubricant.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2197 days

#15 posted 03-05-2013 10:01 PM

In lubricating band saw blades, I suggest to use pam . I’ve tried WD40 on metal cutting blades.

-- "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"

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