How to Measure Band Saw Tires

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A band saw uses two wheels in order to operate, and each of those wheels are protected by a tire to prevent damage to the saw blade. The ​tire on your band saw also helps the blade to run smoothly and track correctly.

​Over time, these bandsaw tires can wear and will need replacing. Understanding how to measure band saw tires can help you fit your​ saw with the right tire size​, specific to the machine. 

These step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process of ​​measuring ​a bandsaw ​wheel so you that can replace the tires.

​How To Measure Bandsaw Tires

Measuring band saw tires​ is ​very simple… ​simply measure the diameter of one of the saw wheels, and subtract 2″. ​​​Done!

Below, we’ll go through how to remove your worn bandsaw tires, along with the type of bandsaw tires to select. We’ll also review how to install a new bandsaw tire.

Removing the Worn ​Tires from ​​Your Saw

how to measure band saw tires
Photo credit: Mitch Barrie on Flickr / CC BY

To get an accurate measurement of your bandsaw wheel, you will need to remove the tire that is currently attached to ​the band saw first.

You will know that you need a bandsaw tire replacement if your bandsaw is operating unevenly or if there is much wear and/or cracking on your current tire.

Before removing the ​tire of your bandsaw, you need to remove the blade from the saw. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for removing the blade.

You can remove the tire from the bandsaw wheel by using a razor knife to cut the glue that is holding the tire in place.

This will release the seal and may require some additional cleaning to remove any residue that is left on the band saw wheel surface.

This residue can generally be removed with a flat, bladed tool such as a putty knife, or even a screwdriver. You should be able to remove anything remaining after this with a solvent like isopropyl alcohol.

You will want to ensure that ​the wheel of the band saw is completely clean of the old tire for a proper fit of the new band saw tire. Leaving residue from an old tire can prevent proper operation and will cause uneven wear. A stiff brush can help with the residue removal process.

Selecting Rubber vs Urethane Tires

Before you begin the procuring of a new saw tire, you need to determine what type of tire material you need.

You have the option of a rubber or urethane band saw tire replacement. Rubber is a more affordable option but can wear down easily and quickly. It also can create gumming of the band saw over time from its glue and requires additional work for assembly on your band saw.

While more expensive to purchase, a urethane bandsaw tire is a longer lasting replacement option. Not only will it will last longer, but it will wear less. It doesn’t use any glue ​to stay on the wheel, which will prevent this residue from building up on ​the bandsaw.

It is also easier to install as it doesn’t need to be glued in place for operation. High-speed band saws also do well with urethane tires as they don’t break down easily and prevent cracking which is a common problem with rubber band saw tires.

You also have the option of selecting a safety color for your ​tire. Going with an orange color, for example, can make it easier to perform inspections of your band saw tire which can be challenging while a black-on-black surface.

Measuring Your Bandsaw Wheel

The size of the band saw tire you select for replacement is typically dictated by the size of machine you are operating. The band saw tire needs to be approximately 2 inches smaller than the diameter of the wheel that your band saw is equipped with.

This will allow it to fit well ​on the band saw wheel and make sure it is affixed in place with ease. It will also prevent the tire from slipping off during operation of your band saw, which could create a hazard as you work.

Band saw tires are offered in a variety of sizes including 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, and 20″, grouped into 2-inch increments. The tire that you select for you band saw should be 2 inches smaller than the diameter of ​the band saw wheel, to ensure it fits properly and snuggly.

You can easily determine the size of your band saw wheel by measuring its diameter. Simply subtract 2 inches from this total, and you have determined the size of the band saw tire you need as a replacement.

band saw tire

Tips for Installing a ​Tire on Your Bandsaw

To allow​ the tire of your bandsaw to fit ​to the wheel easier, you ​must submerge it in hot, soapy water for a period of time prior to installing it. This will make it more pliable and flexible when stretching it to fit over your band saw wheel. Frankly speaking, it won’t fit on without doing this. 

Clamp the tire to one point on the wheel. Then, using screwdrivers or putty knives, work the tire onto the wheel by going around the wheel a little at a time.

As long as your band saw wheel is clean and free of residue, you should have a secure fit with your new tire. Rubber tires will need to be glued into place, while urethane tire can operate free of an additional adhering solution.

Conclusion

Measuring for new band saw tires can be a simple process if you recognize what type of tire material you need as well as the total diameter of your band saw wheel.

​Purchase a tire that is 2″ less than the diameter of your bandsaw wheels. ​This is the simplest of ways when it comes to how ​measuring tires for your bandsaw.