Band Saw Won't Cut Straight

Band Saw Won’t Cut Straight – 5 Reasons and Easy Solutions!

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A band saw is used to have straight and curve cuts on wood or metal. But while cutting people does not get straight cut, they are confused why my band saw won’t cut straight. 

As a band saw user, I found multiple reasons for it and got solutions to come out from this to provide a clear view to the workers. The main reasons you can’t cut straight are the blade placement, pale blades, blade direction, wheel alignment, and incorrect blade tension.

Following some solutions, you can easily overcome this problem. So, let’s get to the mistakes and solutions; why band saw won’t cut straight.

#5 Reasons and Solutions that Band Saw Won’t Cut Straight

There are many reasons why the band saw won’t cut straight. Here are the 5 most common reasons I am providing solutions.

Blade Placement

For a band saw, the pointing of the blade is the most important thing to have a straight cut. First, you need to place the blade correctly. 

The blade needs to point down for the vertical, and for the horizontal, the blades should be pointed up. In some cases, you may just flip the blade inside out for a fresh sharp cutting edge. 

Also, you can choose a honeycomb-style band saw blade. This blade design, in this way, seems it is running backward.

Note: Placing the blades one by one can fix the problem, and always read the manual first.

Pale Blades

For cutting straight, a sharp blade is really needed. Pale blades make your cutting slow and crooked. 

When the blade is sharp, the user feels comfortable working because applying little pressure to the blade will provide the best result.

So, change the blades if you get less performance. Clean the blade regularly. Thus, you won’t face any problems with blades.

Blade Direction

You must ensure that the blade is running in the right direction for a straight cut. 

The working part must always be 

down for the vertical blade band saw. This will force the workpiece down and helps to keep it with the table. If it isn’t, then the blade will lift the piece out of the table.

For the horizontal band saw, the working part blade runs towards the wheel connected to the motor. 

Note: If the blade is running wrong, then always call a qualified electrician. So, always take a close lookout when running the machine.

Wheels Incorrectly Aligned

A band saw usually has a rounded surface on the blade to support the blade. The wheel sometimes gets incorrectly aligned, and for that reason, the blade does not run near to the center of the wheel and runs on the fourth or edges which makes the system unstable and causes zigzag cuts.

First of all, make sure you read the manual before aligning the wheels. Always resurface the blade wheels before setting guides.

Blade Tensing

There are two types of blade tensing; screw over spring and pneumatic mechanism. In a screw mechanism, there is no direct reading of the blade tension. You can get a blade tension for the exact blade tension. It is essential.

On the other hand, the pneumatic mechanism has a regular valve for blade tension. Even the manufacturer gives a chart for which blade and which blade tension you should use.

Always check the tensing before running and set the regulator to the appropriate pressure to give a straight or fine cut.

Note: the most important thing is that you have to maintain or take care of your band saw. Clean it regularly and use oil to run the machine perfectly to have the best straight and curve cuts in the band saw.

Repair or Replace which one is best for a Band Saw!

Repair or replace depends on the problem that occurred in your band saw. If the problem is small and you don’t need to spend much money, you can repair it. 

But if there are multiple problems and you are facing them regularly even after repairing the band saw is not providing you the straight cut, then you should replace the band saw.

How to cut straight in a band saw!

To cut straight in a band saw, there are some techniques or steps you can follow. But before any cut, always use safety equipment.

Firstly, use a bracket on the straight end of the plywood or make a straight line on the workpiece to have a guideline to follow the guideline to have a straight cut.

Secondly, then place the workpiece on the table. You need to make sure the piece you are trying to cut is fitted to the table. If it does not, the frame will kick back the piece, and it will be hard for you to make it steady.

Thirdly, carefully alien the lumber with the fence. You can make some test runs to make sure that the system is working perfectly and will provide you with perfect straight or curved cuts. Once it’s okay to use, then put your workpiece and cut it.

Note: Start with slow, then slowly increase your cutting speed to have or get the best result.

Finally, if any of your pieces come out crooked, then go back and carefully and slowly run it throughout the machine again. Make some fine-tune adjustments if needed.

Note: Always keep your hand flexible but keep a tight grip on the workpiece to have the best straight or curve cut in a band saw.

What types of wood is good to cut on the band saw to get a better straight cut?

The band saw can cut straight any type of wood with its tough blade and strong mechanism. But even after that, with great techniques, sometimes it failed to cut as straight as you need.

Sometimes cutting hardwoods can damage the band saw blade or other systems. For that, whenever you do precious work, make sure you work with the band saw’s preferred wood to have a straight cut.

Maple, spruce, mahogany, and European beech wood are preferred for band saw to have better straight cuts. Also, designing on this wood is very much easy and lasts for a long time.

How to fix it once and for all if the band saw won’t cut straight?

There is no solution to get rid of it once and for all. The best thing you can do is to adjust the fence, not the blades. A band saw is a machine; it will vibrate and will make your workpiece shake; thus, it won’t make a straight cut. 

People think that the blade is the main problem in any saw, and changing it is the best solution, but it isn’t. Before changing the blade, just adjust the fence every single time; thus, you will get quality work from your band saw.

Drift is another major problem for band saw. There is also no permanent solution to it; rather, you can lower the chances of drifting. Drifting is when you are pushing your workpiece through the band saw; the right amount of pushing is called drifting.

If it is fast, then your workpiece won’t get a perfect result. So, the perfect speed is to drift slowly through the band saw; thus, you will get a nice and perfect finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I change the blades in my band saw?

While in the cutting process, if the blade is stuck a little bit with the material or gets bumps, it means the blade gets dull and numb, and it is time to change the blade. 
More ever, a good quality blade runs around 120 to 150 hours; after that, it loses its sharpness and becomes dull, and you will face some problems while cutting. Try not to cut with this kind of drawback; it can break the blade while cutting and cause accidents.

Does vibration make my work imperfect?

Yes, it can. A band saw is a motor-powered tool; it will make vibrations, and for the vibration, your hand or the material can shake that, can imperfect your work.
Nowadays, the band saws are coming with a better function and mechanism that helps to reduce a lot of the vibrations from the motors. But still, need to hold the workpiece tightly to reduce shakiness to have a perfect cut.

What is the best trick to cut straight in a band saw?

The best trick to cut straight in a band saw is to use a bracket on the straight end of the plywood or make a straight line on the workpiece to have a guideline so that you can follow the guideline to have a straight cut.
Use a pencil for visible marking. Go along the marks, and you will definitely get a better straight cut.


There will always be some drawbacks in a band saw for not cutting straight. Some of the steps from above can be taken to reduce this problem. At the same time, while cutting, use a bracket or straight line to have a guideline.

Make sure never to use dull blades or bad-conditioned band saw and take safety precautions before every cut. I hope you got all the points, why band saw won’t cut straight and its solutions. Thank you.

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