how a bandsaw works

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Last update: 4th July 2020

Understanding the working mechanism of a bandsaw will help you to better how to tune up your bandsaw for better cutting accuracy. Unlike any complex machine, a bandsaw working mechanism is very simple

bandsaw construction

A typical bandsaw has 2 wheels ( pulleys) a looping blade with cutting teeth, a frame to stabilize components, a table for working and a motor.

Mostly, the lower pulley is connected with a motor and the upper pulley is free so that you can level up or down a bit to adjust the blade tension.


Blade of a bandsaw comes with different tooth shapes and size for different cutting purposes. Each tooth is so called a pitch, which is measure per inch (TPI = number of tooth per inch). Typically, 3 teeth will equal to the thickness of the cutting material.

To understand types of tooth blade and how to choose them, you can read this instruction.

The bandsaw on the market has a blade coming along with the machine. Sometimes, the blade is 4TPI and sometimes it can be up to 10 TPI depending on the manufacturers (and the price of the machine too). There are high-quality bandsaws that you can purchase separately. Any bandsaw from 6 TPI -12 TPI is sufficient to perform most of the bandsaw cutting tasks.

Blade tension

At the top of a typical bandsaw, there is a knob where you can tune up the blade tension. Blade tension is one of the most crucial factors that you need to check before cutting. A blade should be tensed properly, not too much tension or not too loose because either situation will cause the bandsaw to dysfunction.

Blade kickback

Because the blade is a looping chain so there is no kickback as those with a miter saw. Therefore the bandsaw is generally safer than the miter saw. However, you also need to check for safety when using a bandsaw.

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