April 1, 2015

How to replace a band saw drive belt

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a band saw drive belt

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the drive belt on a band saw. The drive belt turns the lower wheel to turn the blade. If the drive belt breaks, the motor runs but the blade won't move. Replace a broken band saw drive belt with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use this guide to replace the drive belt on Craftsman, Ryobi, Wen, Rikon and Tradesman band saws.

Quick links
Tools required
Work gloves
Snap ring pliers
Allen wrench
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Replacing a drive belt in a drive saw

This video explains how to replace the drive belt on a band saw.

Instructions

01.

Shut off the electricity

Unplug the band saw’s power cord from the wall outlet.

02.

Release the blade tension

Open the upper and lower cabinet doors.

Rotate the blade’s quick-release lever to release the blade tension.

Open the cabinet doors.

Open the cabinet doors.

Release the blade tension.

Release the blade tension.

03.

Release the drive belt from the motor pulley

Loosen the top and bottom mounting screws on the drive motor and pivot the motor inward to release the drive belt tension.

Remove the drive belt from the motor pulley.

Loosen the motor mounting screws.

Loosen the motor mounting screws.

Pivot the motor inward.

Pivot the motor inward.

04.

Remove the drive belt

Use snap ring pliers to remove the C-clip from the lower wheel shaft.

Slide the lower wheel off its shaft and remove the drive belt.

Remove the C-clip.

Remove the C-clip.

Pull the wheel off.

Pull the wheel off.

05.

Install the new drive belt

Position the drive belt on the lower wheel pulley and, while sliding the wheel onto the shaft, wrap the drive belt over the motor shaft.

Reinstall the C-clip on the lower wheel shaft.

Push the drive motor outward to apply tension to the drive belt and tighten the mounting screws on the drive motor.

Install the new drive belt.

Install the new drive belt.

Reinstall the C-clip.

Reinstall the C-clip.

Pivot the motor outward.

Pivot the motor outward.

06.

Re-tension the blade

Reposition the blade on the upper and lower drive wheels.

Rotate the blade quick release lever to apply blade tension.

Close the cabinet doors.

Reposition the blade.

Reposition the blade.

Apply blade tension.

Apply blade tension.

07.

Restore power

Plug the band saw into the electrical outlet.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.
Symptoms for band saws

Choose a symptom to see related band saw repairs.

Main causes: dull blade, improper feeding, loose blade tension, not using a work piece guide
Main causes: lack of electrical power, broken power cord, bad on/off switch, faulty drive motor
Main causes: dull blade, using the wrong type of blade, feeding work piece to quickly, loose blade tension
Main causes: angle indicator needs adjustment, dull blade
Main causes: dull blade, using the wrong type of blade, weak drive motor
Main causes: broken saw blade, bad drive belt, damaged rubber tire
Main causes: damaged rubber tire, worn wheel bearings, loose blade tension, dull saw blade
Repair guides for band saws

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your band saw.

April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a band saw blade

If the saw blade is dull or damaged and isn't cutting cleanly, replace the blade following these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a band saw drive belt

If the motor runs but the blade doesn't move, it could be that the drive belt is broken. Here's how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
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If the band saw tire has stretched or is broken and no longer stays on the wheel, use these steps to replace the tire.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
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