Great Gear: Easier Bandsaw Tensioning

The bandsaw is one of my favorite machines in the shop, but swapping out blades of different sizes and retensioning them can slow my workflow. The built-in tension guides on most machines are notoriously inaccurate, and traditional third-party bandsaw tension gauges can cost hundreds of dollars. So when I heard about Mark Juliana’s EZtension gauge, I was pretty excited. The tool attaches to your un-tensioned blade using two rare earth magnets. A set screw in the middle of the tool, which you adjust based on the blade’s width, deflects the blade (as shown). As you slowly increase tension, one of the magnets pops off the blade when the proper tension is reached. The tool doesn’t give you an exact numerical measurement; it just tells you when the tension hits 15,000 PSI, the proper tension for most bandsaw blades on the market. And it should be noted that the EZtension gauge only works on carbon steel blades, as bi-metal blades have differing magnetic properties. But this tool is so simple, quick, and well-engineered, I can no longer imagine my shop without it.
—Sarah Marriage

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