I have a portable band saw, which I plan to add lubricant fluid to (this is getting ahead of myself, as I haven't even constructed a portable band saw stand). The main problem with this and the reason why manufacturers do not advise using lubricant fluid is because the band saw blade might slip off the tires.

So that got me wondering what rubber and cutting fluid pairings would be compatible. I don't mean just chemical compatibility in which the rubber would NOT BE degraded by the fluid, but fluid that will not cause rubber to slip.

Also, I've been wondering... Why do portable band saws use a tire wheel (grips) rather than a train wheel (with ridges) type of wheel?

  • $\begingroup$ The question about why no flanges has been answered before. Basically do a search on "why no flanges with a flat belt?" You will find answers. $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    Commented Mar 23 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


The problem is that, by definition, a lubricant is going to reduce friction.

Some bandsaws do use steel or aluminium drive wheels but even then a flange doesn't remove the need for the blade to grip the wheel as it still needs to provide drive and also the blade still needs to be tracked accurately, relying on a flange will put a side load on the blade whcih could cause it to twist and will wear both the blade and wheel.

Even with trains the flanges aren't the main thing which keeps the wheel on the track. The wheels stay on the track because they have cone section (indeed tracking wheels on belt drives etc are crowned for the same reason) the flanges are just a backstop in case the normal alignment mechanism gets pushed too far.

In the case of a portable band saw the tracking and blade tensioning system probably isn't that sophisticated and thus more sensitive to sipping.

Industrial band saws can and do just fuid cooling and blade lubrication stems but they are designed to do so.


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