Reduce downtime and keep sawing with these 10 helpful tips to increase your sawmill blade life expectancy. 1. SHARPEN YOUR BLADES Use Wood-Mizer's resharp® blade sharpening service or your own blade maintenance equipment to ensure your bandsaw blades maintain maximum precision and performance. 2. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL When installing a new sawmill blade, make a few cuts at a moderate speed to "break in" the blade. Also, minimize skim cuts when only one side of the set tooth is sawing. 3. MAINTAIN DRIVE BELT TENSION Keep drive belts tight to transmit higher horsepower to the sawmill blade, especially with new belts that need tightened more frequently. 4. UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT WOOD SPECIES AND MOISTURE CONTENT Trees vary in density, which requires different cutting techniques and feed rates. Wood density change as logs dry which makes sawing more difficult. 5. LUBRICATE YOUR BLADES Lubricating the sawmill blade can lead to higher sawing performance, reduced pitch build up, longer life between blade sharpenings, and overall blade life. 6. CLEAN BEFORE YOU CUT Dirt, rocks, sand, and other foreign material that may be in the log will wear the teeth considerably faster. A debarker can help with this. 7. MEASURE BLADE TENSION Periodically check hydraulic tensioners, air bags, and springs, because proper tension is critical for maximum blade performance and cutting speeds. 8. EXAMINE BLADE WHEEL BELTS The blade wheel belts must be in good condition to reach peak performance because worn belts can lead to blade tracking problems. Swapping drive side and idle side can extend belt life. 9. INCREASE FEED RATE Feed rates should be as fast as possible while still maintaining a straight cut because cutting at slower speeds reduces overall bandsaw blade life. 10. EXAMINE BLADE GUIDE ALIGNMENT If the blade guides are tipped upward or downward, they will cause the blade to cut in the same direction. Keep rollers tight and make sure the blade is not continuously contacting the back guide or roller flange.