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Breaking bandsaw blades

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Oxymoron02/12/2019 17:33:08
43 forum posts
18 photos

I seem to be breaking bandsaw blades too frequently and wondering why.

I've got an Axminster engineering series band saw. Using axcalber blades. 1440mm x 1/2" 10TPI. Blades seem to break along the welded join long before the blade becomes blunt. Generally the saw starts to 'jump' when the join passes over the cut metal and if I look at the join it shows a crack starting to form. Shortly after it will break. Its hard to guess how long I've used a blade, maybe an hour total time.

I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. I tend not to release the tension when its not being used, is that bad practice? Should I be using a different manufacturer? any ideas please?

This is the blade that broke this afternoon.




jimmy b02/12/2019 17:46:42
599 forum posts
37 photos

I can't help with any advise, other than to say I leave my bandsaw tensioned all the time, with no ill effects.


Emgee02/12/2019 17:50:59
1402 forum posts
212 photos

Try a different make and type of blade, I had the same problem before changing supplier.
Like Jim I leave my blade tensioned.


Oxymoron02/12/2019 17:53:31
43 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks guys, interesting re leaving blade tensioned, so that's probably not what I'm doing wrong.


Douglas Johnston02/12/2019 17:59:30
680 forum posts
32 photos

Don't throw the blade away, you can silver solder it back together again. Plenty advice on youtube. I have also noticed the jumping as a blade is about to break and wonder if badly adjusted guides may cause this.


Clive Foster02/12/2019 18:13:57
2032 forum posts
73 photos

Something very wrong going on there. A professionally made blade shouldn't break at the join like that until its very old and well past its use by date.

I've had them go in a similar manner, including the jump, when I've cocked up the joining using the welder on my Startrite saw but that was pure operator error. Either poor welding technique or not getting the blade straight so there is a step on the back at the join. I rarely have problems when making the 112" blades for my Startrite vertical saw but my old Alpine horizonta/ / vertical is much more demanding.

Best guess is that the blade tracking is well out with the balde not sitting properly back against the rear bearing and / or not properly held parallel between the the side bearings.

The common small horizontal / vertical bandsaws are notoriously hard on the blades due to the small wheels, short wheel centres and rapid twist betwixt wheel and guide. Being made to sell at an economic price the various alignments and adjustment arrangements are not as well controlled as one would ideally like.

Best to make sure that the blade is sitting true on the rear roller and properly held between the side rollers with minimal tension applied. Then make sure that the blade is tracking ture on the main wheels without touching any flanges. (The drive on my big Startrite can be disconnected allowing the wheels to be spun by hand which makes life much easier. No flanges on the wheels either but setting up from scratch isn't trivial.) Once the balde is running true in its natural position you can then carefully crank the tension up re-adjusting as needed to keep the blade running free.

Being one of the early imports my Alpine moved all over the place as tension was applied. I had to run it with the cover open to see what was going on.


T.B02/12/2019 18:24:17
21 forum posts
3 photos

I too had the same problem and was getting frustrated enough that i was considering buying a new bandsaw as i was getting through blades at an alarming rate

In the end i found these people online **LINK** and after a quick phone conversation they recommended i try one of their M42 series bi-metal blades and to be honest i've not looked back since.

Usual disclaimer : i have no connection with the above company , just a satisfied customer !

Mike Poole02/12/2019 18:25:36
2437 forum posts
53 photos

The blade welder on the workshop bandsaw had an annealing operation after welding, perhaps this was not done or cooled too quickly and hardened again. Might be worth annealing the joint if it has been butt welded, a pencil flame torch should manage it without affecting too much of the blade.


Oxymoron02/12/2019 18:31:39
43 forum posts
18 photos

Douglas, thanks for the silver soldering tip. I'll fish the blade back out of the bin! I'll try silver soldering it as you suggest.

Clive, some things for me to check on the tracking. I'll take a good look at that tomorrow. I have a vertical wood cutting band saw. 88 1/2" blade and I've never had any problems with that but the wheels are bigger diameter and the blade is not being tested through the guides to turn the blade vertically.

I've got a couple of spare blades but if anyone could recommend a different supplier that would be great for my next purchase.


clogs02/12/2019 18:31:54
506 forum posts
12 photos

I have a 12inch SIP band saw (14 years old) and until I found TUFFSAWS I used the original manuf....

same result as u but I did get a mile or two of cutting heavy mild steel....mostly 50 mm dia n 10mm plate....

i now use Teff saw Cobalt loaded blades never a prob ever...tensioned all the time....and similar money, even by Machine mart prices...

blurb say's can be used without coolant but I still use it....don’t like the mess but when I run out of the milk goop gonna go straight to hydraulic oil all my lathes n mills will get the same treatment....

as for ur prob blades I'd be sending em back for repair or replacement.....

it wont be tracking that’s causing this problem...they are flexible.....more likely to be from a bad batch....

try another supplier or TuffSaw....

wouldn't bother tryin to fix em...just not worth the trouble .....

never buy cheap brands off ebay. They work to hard .....

good luck...

just to add a very happy customer of TSaw.....

Oxymoron02/12/2019 18:34:14
43 forum posts
18 photos

Just what I needed, thanks T.B.

Mike, annealing is an interesting idea. Might give that a try. Cheers

fizzy02/12/2019 18:43:30
1694 forum posts
114 photos

Chap who makes blades once told me, if it breaks on the weld then its a badly made blade - avoid! Ive been down the braze them back together but unless your desperate its just not worth the effort. I used the cheap Silverline ones off ebay with varying success. Then I bought one from a local shop....had it years...its a lot thicker than my previous ones and the box said Cobalt tipped (anyone know how this is even possible?). Anyway, vutting up to 1/4" brass and copper with only SIX tpi I ddnt expect it to hold out for long - best blade I ever used by a mile. Still using it! Even kept box somewhere so I gan try to source another.

Nigel McBurney 102/12/2019 18:46:26
660 forum posts
3 photos

I have "Do All " type bandsaw made in uk under licence by Alexanders, it has a built in butt welder,with a follow up anneal. I have found that if i am a bit too quick with the annealing the weld will break,changing supplier may be the answer.

Oxymoron02/12/2019 18:57:55
43 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks Clogs, will check out TSaw.

Oxymoron02/12/2019 19:00:17
43 forum posts
18 photos

Thank you to everyone, some things to check on my saw and some ideas on different suppliers.

mgnbuk02/12/2019 19:40:11
653 forum posts
28 photos

Send it back.

Our supplier at work (KR Saws) have a lifetime warranty on their welds - if a blade breaks at the weld at any time, the cost of the blade is credited to our account. On the very infrequent occasions that a blade has broken on the weld, I sent a picture to the rep who then called in & picked up the broken blade when he was next passing.

If no one contacts a supplier to inform them that they have a QC issue, they will just keep on sending out defective products.

Nigel B

Ray Lyons02/12/2019 19:59:11
161 forum posts
1 photos

I have been making my own blades for years to fit a 6"x4" horizontal bandsaw. Going back a bit now but I bought my silver solder from Wiston, it looks like a thick fuse wire. I use a small pencil blow torch for heating and after repair and cleaning up, the joint is annealed to remove the stresses.

Derek Lane02/12/2019 20:06:49
307 forum posts
70 photos
Posted by T.B on 02/12/2019 18:24:17:

I too had the same problem and was getting frustrated enough that i was considering buying a new bandsaw as i was getting through blades at an alarming rate

In the end i found these people online **LINK** and after a quick phone conversation they recommended i try one of their M42 series bi-metal blades and to be honest i've not looked back since.

Usual disclaimer : i have no connection with the above company , just a satisfied customer !

I also use them and if unsure about the best one for an application then a quick call and Ian will give great advice. Sometimes he may not answer the phone straight away as he may have machines running while making blades.

I am a very satisfied customer

Oily Rag02/12/2019 20:12:50
38 forum posts
18 photos

Looks like numerous others have pointed out, poor quality welding. I have a Chincom cheapo bandsaw which uses 1/2" x 0.025" x 64 1/2" blades. The originals supplied with the mahine (3 with various tpi's) lasted about halfway through their first cuts! Since then I have only ever used Starrett bi metal M42 vari-tooth blades - never had a problem with these, track well, cut well, and last an amazing time! Only time they ever struggled was when I had some copper berylium stock to cut - but then anything struggles to cut that stuff!

Cost was about £15 per blade from J&L (now MSC) in Wednesbury about 10 years ago, worth every penny.

Brian Wood02/12/2019 20:47:42
2072 forum posts
37 photos


I haven't seen anyone blame other than poor welding but there are other reasons for frequent blade breakage as I know to my cost and those were professional blades as well..

I recommend you test the guide alignment/wheel alignment. My guides were both very bad, simply cast surfaces clamped together.

The method is easy with a stretched wire round the blade wheels and through the guides, it will show those faults as in no other way. When I had put my guides right, blade breakage stopped as if a tap had been turned off.

Regards Brian

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