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227 – Installing Urethane Bandsaw Tires

Added on August 28, 2014

Recently, I was making a routine cut at the bandsaw and noticed that the blade was behaving in an odd way. Out of the ordinary vibration and noise should never be ignored so I immediately stopped the cut and turned off the saw. Much to my surprise, I noticed that the bandsaw tire had partially migrated off of the the wheel and the blade was on it’s way to doing the same. YIKES! It was pretty clear the tires were shot.

urethane tiresI’ve known about urethane bandsaw tires for some time now but never had a need or opportunity to install them, until now. I picked up this set from Amazon.com and prepared for the installation. I decided to film the process for your use and amusement.

Urethane VS Rubber

How much better is urethane than traditional rubber? I’m certainly no bandsaw tire expert but allow me to pass on some of what I discovered in my research as well as share my limited experience.

Durability: Urethane tires are more durable and last longer than rubber. I’m guessing the hot and dry Arizona air contributed to short life of my rubber bandsaw tires and I’m hoping the urethane will last longer.

No Cement: Rubber tires can sometimes require cement to keep them secured on the bandsaw wheel. This isn’t always the case and I never had to use cement on my tires. Perhaps if I did, I wouldn’t have experienced the slippage. Urethane tires do not require cement. No cement means easier installation and replacement if/when the time comes.

Quieter and Smoother-Running: This is an area folks typically experience a huge improvement. While I did notice it was indeed quieter and smoother-running, the different wasn’t dramatic.

Cool color: Seriously. Bright orange? Yes please!

On the negative side, I have noticed that the tires pick up dust a lot faster than rubber tires. Routine cleanings should take care of that but it’s something to be aware of.

If all of the above proves true, it seems like urethane is the clear choice for bandsaw tire replacement, especially since they seem to cost about the same as rubber tires. Keep in mind that not all saws can or should have urethane tires so consult with the manufacturer just to be safe.

If you have perfectly-functioning tires on your saw, don’t run out and replace them with urethane. When your rubber tires are ready for replacement, do your research and consider the switch.

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Written by Marc Spagnuolo

Marc is the host of The Wood Whisperer and author of Hybrid Woodworking.

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