Vibration is the enemy of smooth band saw cuts. If your saw will quickly wiggle any unattended piece of stock off the edge of the table, you’re definitely not getting the quality of cut you deserve, and in all likelihood, don’t look forward to using your saw all that much. Fortunately, solving band saw vibration problems is often just a matter of maintenance, and comes with the option of making an upgrade or two that can really make a difference.
With all of the moving parts on a band saw, possible sources of excess vibration are many, but none are so likely and easy to correct as a worn or inferior drive belt. Old, worn out v-belts, or a cheap belt rife with lumps and inconsistencies, will unquestionably translate into unnecessary vibration on any power tool. But surprisingly, many people will go right on using these inferior drive parts, regardless of the sacrifice they suffer in the tool’s performance and the hit they take on its longevity.
Getting rid of a questionable drive belt is a great opportunity to bring your saw’s vibration output to an all time low. Yes, it’s true – the belt you choose does make a difference. And for smooth operation and ease of installation, we don’t know of a better choice than the unique and clever Power Twist Link Belt. Made up of interlocking segments of polyurethane elastomer and multiple plies of polyester fabric, the Twist Link can be tailor-made to the optimal length for any power tool. Once it’s there, the elastomer and fabric links will retain their shape, provide smooth and consistent power transfer and reduce vibration by up to 35 percent. The change can be dramatic, as we read in our Twist Link customer reviews:
“I'd been intrigued by these belts for some time, and finally took the plunge. First to upgrade was my 14" band saw. What a difference! The saw runs quite smoothly and quietly now whereas it used to shudder and bump along all the time. I shouldn't have waited. I've now gotten belts for my Delta floor-standing drill press and my Dewalt Heavy-Duty 10" Woodworker's Table Saw - DW746. Both were improved as a result. Highly recommended.”
Peter Dixon, from Ben Lomond, CA
“When I first heard of this, I thought it was just hype, but my saw had a vibration that was driving me nuts.... Let me tell you, this product works better than advertised. I am now replacing the belts on all my tools. It looks pricey, but it's worth twice the cost.”
David White, from Richmond, KY
“This is a "MUST HAVE" item for anyone with V groove pulleys on any woodworking equipment. I changed out my old v belt on a 10" contractors saw and WOW what a difference!! I'll be changing the one on my band saw very soon as well. You gotta have this!!”
Harley, from Florence, AL
“Don't burn brain cells thinking about buying these belts! You can't go wrong. I have installed these on my table saw, jointer and bandsaw. Even new v-belts have taken a "set", much worse older belts left under tension. Most remarkably, my Delta 14" bandsaw is silky smooth. Just buy it.”
Joseph, from Sonora, CA
“I have to say, I half expected this belt to not perform as advertised. But I decided to try it on the recommendation of a friend. Wow! What a noticeable difference! I have since added this belt to two other tools and, in time, will add it to each of my belt-driven tools.”
Daniel Schumm, from Carmel, IN
Band saw tires are another likely source of vibration. Tired tires, caked with pitch and dust or full of cracks and missing chunks, can not only contribute to blade and saw vibration but can also cause major blade tracking problems. Assuming the drive train is in top working condition, a new set of tires is your best bet in smoothing out your saw’s performance. And here again, you have the opportunity to reap the rewards of using premium band saw parts. Urethane Band Saw Tires stay smooth and flexible far longer than standard rubber band saw tires, improve tracking, and give your blade a soft, consistent ride.
Even better, they go on without messy glues or the down time that standard rubber tire R & R usually involves. To install urethane tires you just heat them up in a pan of hot water and stretch them into place. And even though the process can take a little muscle and a couple of clamps, the comparatively easy installation is just about tied with performance for what our customers like about them most:
“Great Product. I put these tires on an old 1920's Boice-Crane band saw. They go on really easy as long as you heat them in water. The saw is absolutely quiet now and tracks true all day long.”
Ben, from Silverdale, WA
“Great Replacement! I have an old Jet 14". In the process of refurbishing it. These tires worked great. I was able to stretch them on without water. It took some muscle and about 3 clamps but there is no down time if you don't use hot water.”
Ryan, from Ellensburg, WA.
“Just replaced the factory tires on my 14" Rigid bandsaw. They were easily installed by myself. I used two spring clamps and a woodworkers bench vise. I was able to stretch the tires over the wheels without any assistance. Within 20 minutes I had both tires replaced including removing/reinstalling the wheels. Rockler can add the Rigid to their list of bandsaws that the urethane tires fit. Before I replaced the factory wheels I experienced a lot of vibration. Once I replaced the tires the vibration was eliminated by at least 75%”
Danny Carley, from Wamego, KS
“I bought a used Jet 14" band saw but it vibrated. I had no trouble replacing the tires and the vibration is gone.”
Joel Anderson, from Anchorage, AK
In a vast majority of cases, these two relatively easy maintenance steps will greatly smooth out a shaky saw. But you don’t have to wait until your saw’s wiggling its way across your shop floor. For the cost and the amount of time involved, even a saw that seems okay can be a good candidate for vibration therapy. In about a half an hour you can have the whole treatment done, and you may find that you just didn’t know smooth your saw could run.