Band Saw: Ragged cuts

Using a dull blade or the wrong type of blade in a band saw produces ragged cuts, as does feeding the work piece through the cutting area too quickly. The blade also can't make clean cuts if blade tension is loose.

Move the work piece slowly through the cutting area to help the blade cut smoothly. Pushing the work piece too fast can cause the blade to twist-resulting in cuts with tattered edges. If you have to push the work piece with more than just light force to move it through the cutting area, make sure the blade is sharp. Replace a dull blade because it will produce ragged cuts and won't cut the work piece efficiently.

Check blade tension if tattered edges appear on cuts when moving the work piece through the cutting area slowly and with light tension. Tighten blade tension if you can easily push the blade in more than a 1/4-inch using a gloved finger.

Using the wrong type of blade on a work piece can cause ragged cuts, so use the right type of blade for the work piece you're cutting. For example, using a 6 TPI (Teeth Per Inch) saw blade to cut thin plywood veneer will typically result in cuts with ragged edges. Use a thin-kerf blade with at least 60 TPI to cut thin plywood veneer cleanly.

band saw

These repairs may help solve your band saw problem

Replace the band saw blade

Replace the band saw blade

The band saw blade becomes dull with use. Cutting hard wood or metal hastens blade dulling. The band saw blade is dull when you must apply significantly more than normal force to push the piece you're cutting through the blade. Replace the band saw blade when it's dull or damaged.

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

If your band saw takes a long time to cut, the blade could be dull. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace a band saw blade in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
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
How to replace a band saw tire

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
Articles and videos for band saws

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your band saw.

January 18, 2016
How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working

April 14, 2015
Coiling a band saw blade for storage video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Watch to see how to coil a band saw blade for safe and efficient storage. Band Saw Common Parts Glossary file Find out what the different parts of the band saw do. Band Saw Common Questions

April 1, 2015
Band saw common questions
By Sears PartsDirect staff

These answers to common questions can help you make the most of your band saw.