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How To Set Up A Bandsaw: A Quick & Easy Guide

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 23, 2024

So you want to know about how to set up a bandsaw, right?

Actually, there is no room for doubt that a best benchtop bandsaw can bring you the finest cut but sometimes even with bandsaw you can’t perform immaculately ignoring proper set-up of it. You can’t expect to get the best performance from your bandsaw if you are in dark about knowing how to set up it properly.

On that note, knowing how to set up your bandsaw is a vital task for you to get required perfect rip-cut, resaw, curved cut and so on. Keep your eyes on below described procedures in this article which will surely help you to learn how to set up bandsaw before starting work.

How to Set Up A Bandsaw: 6 Simple Steps To Follow

Settle Down the Table

Setting up your bandsaw is not only important for the perfection in work but also it’s crucially related to your safety. Firmly and strongly settling down of the band saw table reduces the vibration which can ensure your safety while working. Your first & foremost step is to set up your bandsaw table at a flat and hard surface in your workplace.

It is a must that the table should be square to the blade. There are trunnions and bolt with lock nut under the table by adjusting of which you can ensure that the table is square or you can change it to any angle you require. Check and make sure that the table insert is slightly lower at the front and slightly higher at the back.

You can do that by filing at the front and using tape at the rear. Besides, be sure that there is proper clearance around the blade.

Blade Set-up

WEN 3962: How To Set Up A BandsawThe most significant part of the band saw set up is to carefully install and align the blade. First, confirm that the saw is unplugged and then adjust the blade by opening the wheel box. Based on your work requirement blade selection is an important task.

You will find many blades available in the market ranging from 6 mpm to 25 mpm with 1.5 T.P.I to 12 T.P.I . If you want to have a large and deep cut on dense woods you should go for the larger blade with smaller T.P.I while for curved cut smaller blade is suitable. Set the blade at the center of the wheel for better performance.

Blade Tension

Smooth cut as well as better performance of the bandsaw is dependent on the proper blade tension. So being aware of how to set up the blade tension should be your priority step in bandsaw set up process. Though in some bandsaws you will find tensioning scales, it is wise to tension the blade manually as most of the time the tension scales are found inaccurate.

To check and maintain the proper tension of the blade manually you can use your finger. To do that, first open the top wheel box and then simply place your finger on side of the blade and push to the spine carefully. You should ensure the universally recommended deflection of 3/8″ or 9.5 mm with moderate pressure by your finger.

If you press the blade with mild pressure the blade is under tensioned. The blade is over tensioned if there is no deflection in spite of ensuring much pressure.

Side Guide Adjustment

Your cutting accuracy might be abated if you don’t focus on the blade side guides adjustment. So what should you do next is to confirm the right position of the guides at both sides of the blade? The most accurate distance between the side guides and blade should be as thin as a dollar note or about 0.5 mm but never be touched with the blade.

The side guides should be adjusted on 1/16″ or 2 mm behind from the deepest part of the blade gullets. If the side guides come to contact with the blade or set at the parallel position to the blade teeth then the blade can be broken when it moves.

Thrust Bearing   

Take time to adjust the thrust bearings on both sides of the blade. Thrust bearings should be adjusted carefully in such a way that the bearings come at the nearest point of the blade keeping 1 mm gap but never touching the blade.

Make sure that the bearings don’t rotate when the blade moves but of course the bearings should rotate when even little pressure is applied to the blade. Don’t forget to adjust both of the top and bottom thrust bearings in the same way.

Fence Alignment

By now, you have acquired the fundamental knowledge about how to set up a bandsaw properly. But you need to go one step ahead for your bandsaw set up perfectly if you like to resaw your materials. Without knowing how to set up the fence correctly your resawing will not be possible. You can align the fence parallel with the body of the blade only using a ruler.


If you have gone through all of the above procedures already, take a cute short break as your bandsaw set up is almost completed. Though at first you might be in deep water about how to set up your bandsaw properly, by now it should be clearly understood by you.

Now, it’s time to plug on your bandsaw and run it slightly to check if everything is in the right position and if any unusual sound is coming from the bandsaw. You can also try a test cut but be sure that your bandsaw set up is done already.

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