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Patrick sent in a link to this bandsaw blade quick release from Carter Products.  He writes: “$150 seems a bit steep for one of these, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s really necessary to detension the blade between uses.”

I certainly haven’t heard of detensioning to extend life, but what about you Toolmongers?  Is this something you’ve seen or heard of doing?

I do know that on a metal-cutting saw it’s best to blow out the rolling blade guides when switching between vertical and horizontal use to prevent metal filings from ending up trapped inside where they can “English-wheel” your blade, causing it to fail faster.

Bandsaw Quick Release [Carter Products]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Buy It Now from Amazon [What is this?]


10 Responses to Hot or Not? A Bandsaw Quick Release

  1. MikeR says:

    DIY version: http://www.mv.com/users/besposito/woodworking/quickrelease/

    IIRC this method was published in one of the wood mags (FWW possibly) sometime in the past year.

  2. Jeff T says:

    Not hot. Not worth it. What the guy above said. It’s a rip-off. I also have the magazine of the DIY version around here somewhere.

  3. nrChris says:

    I can’t imagine putting a QR anything into a saw–particularly one where exact tuning makes all the difference in the world. Sure the QR may be pretty solid, but I can imagine a micro-readjustment nightmare resulting. No thank you.

  4. JoshMaz says:

    I recently bought my first bandsaw and started doing my homework on proper care and feeding of the machine. From what I can gather, detensioning the blade between uses is in fact a very good thing for a number of reasons. As for this device, I’m thinking it’s not so hot for most users. There are other methods that work just as well for a fraction of the cost, as was pointed out in an earlier comment. Another option is to mark the threads of the tension screw so you know where to return it to.

  5. Rob says:

    From somewhere else, “Band saw blades, when warmed up from cutting, always stretch; and upon cooling shrink by tens of thousandths of an inch each cooling period. Therefore, band saw blades, when left on the saw over tension themselves and leave the memory of the two wheels in the steel of the band saw blade, which will cause cracking in the gullet. When you leave the band saw blade on your saw under tension, not only do you distort the crown and flatten out the tires (which makes them very hard), but you also place undue stress on your bearings and shafts. Believe it or not; you can, and will damage your wheel geometry sooner or later and considerably shorten bearing life. You are also crushing your tires or V-belts.” If you de-tension your blades between uses already, then not so hot. If you think it’s a pain to do so then you don’t de-tension your blades, probably a good thing to have.

  6. John says:

    Hot. The price makes it not hot, but the DIY version is hot. It is definitely a good thing to de-tension the blade if you aren’t using your bandsaw for an extended period of time, especially if you have a wide blade which woul dbe under high tension. I leave a 1/2 inch balde in my 14 inch woodcutting bandsaw, which is best for resawing. It requires tensioning almost to the max (the tension gauge on bandsaws are always inaccurate and tension usually needs to be higher than the gauge says) for best results. Over time leaving the saw at this tension could damage the cast-iron frame. With the newer steel-frame bandsaws, I wouldn’t be as worried.

    In any case, the big advantage in this quick-release mechanism is for blade changing. If you change blades often, then this would be great! I’m planning to add the DIY version to my saw for sure. The plans are here: http://www.woodsmith.com/issues/sample/06-07/

  7. Eli says:

    Detensioning good.

  8. Paul says:

    I could just about buy a new saw for $150. My saw is about 20 years old now and I haven’t noticed any of the things mentioned here happening to it. I crank my blade up to a high C note too. But all of this is food for thought for me. Maybe I will unstring the thing when I am not using it? Nah, it’s gone this long without the pampering. Why spoil it now? I vote not hot.

  9. Ivan says:

    From an article in fine woodworking where author ronald volbrecht, a guitar maker especially for rock stars such as john mellencamp, uses his 20 year old delta 14 inch bandsaw with a riser block and hasn’t detensioned them ever since! and he uses his bandsaw for ripping stock for his guitars!!!

  10. @Ivan: I think for a bandsaw that sees frequent use, detensioning is probably not needed, but if it sits unused for long periods it might be a good idea.

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