3 Tips For Handling A Band Saw Blade Without Injuring Yourself

The sheer speed and control of a band saw makes it the best tool for doing decorative free cutting work or careful trimming for finish pieces. If you are regularly swapping blades on your equipment to keep it sharp and ready to cut, you have likely scraped or cut yourself on the sharp teeth or back edge of a long metal hoop at least once. Handle your new and used band saw blades without injury by trying at least one of these three tips.

Coil the Blades

Whether you are packing a worn out blade away for disposal or need to set aside a brand new one until you need it again, it is much easier to carry and store the blades coiled up in a smaller ring. Try stepping on one end of the loop, then use your hands to push the two sides together. The metal should bend into concentric rings on its own fairly easily, giving you a neater bundle to slip into a box or hang on your wall.

Clip the Metal

Once you have the band saw blade looped up, the pressure on the metal can cause it to spring open and fly around erratically at any time. Secure the loops together with a heavy-duty blinder clip, small c-clamp, or miniature set of vice grips. Clamps and clips double as a hanger for keeping the coiled blades up off your work spaces and away from sources of humidity that could rust the teeth.

Use the Gloves Carefully

Since you are handling sharp teeth and metal edges while taking the blades on and off the band saw, it is fine to wear gloves during the maintenance steps so you don't get cut or scratched. However, you should always remove the gloves again when you are done installing the new blade and before starting the saw. Operating a band saw while wearing gloves is more dangerous than using your bare hands. The teeth on the blade is more likely to grab and pull on the canvas or leather material than bare skin, increasing the damage done.

Band saws work best when the saw blades are sharp and fresh. Worn down teeth cause unexpected surges and kicks in the cutting process, all of which put you at risk for injury. Practice your blade replacing skills to make sure you always have a properly sharpened set on the equipment before starting your work for the day.