Band Saw Gearbox Oil | Know When It’s Need to Change

Many of you use a band saw. It is a must-have power tool. Still, most people get surprised and ask, “What is band saw gearbox oil?”

It is understandable. The power-tool enthusiast community is a niche community. Beginners feel a little out of place at first.

Gear oil is the backbone of a band saw. It is not a band saw cutting fluid. They have different purposes and are of unrelated components.

Just because folks are not concerned about their tool’s oil. It doesn’t mean that it is unimportant. It is the reason a machine lasts for a long time.

Band Saw

Before we can move on to gear oil, we have to learn about band saw. It is a flexible device used in woodworking. It is good for sawing through thick pieces of wood.

The saw rotates downwards. As a result, the pieces don’t have splinter and have a nice finish. It is sturdy.

It takes up space in your work area. There are other uses of band saw. Like,

· Repurposing lumber

· Cutting circle and curves

· Kickback is not possible

· Can be easily controlled

We can know more about it if we read through Milwaukee band saw parts.

Gear Oil

We store it in a gasket in the gearbox. The gearbox will have burrs on them that should be screwed on tightly. Opening the gasket can be messy.

Gear oil type is dependent on its viscosity, ability to withstand pressure, rust prevention, and thermal optimality. They are:

a) Synthetic Gear Oils

b) Compound Gear Oils

c) Oxidation Preventive Gear Oils

d) EP Gear Oils

API created a gear oil grading system. The system numbers it from GL1 to GL5 where GL stands for Gear Lubricant. In the following sentences, the details are given.

1) GL1: It can protect gears from rust but cannot endure pressure.

2) GL2: Still cannot hold up the pressure. It has more additives than GL1.

3) GL3: It possesses a trivial EP (Extreme Pressure) ability.

4) GL4: It is the most popular. EP power is moderate.

5) GL5: We use it in loaded gears. It possesses the most EP power.

Oil labeled EP or extreme pressure can strip the brass of the synchros. It has a chance of happening after years of use. We should be careful.

Never use off-brand oil. It is better to spend more money to buy a branded product. Those products are of international standard.

They have additives for durability and dispense carbon varnish build-up.

Difference between Gear Oil and Cutting Fluid

Gear oils and cutting fluids have diverse functions. Both are necessary for a tool to run smoothly. But there are large differences in their chemical build.

Cutting fluids’ main job is to cool and lubricate the machine. You can buy it from a store. Though, it is possible to make a homemade bandsaw cutting fluid.

Choosing the right fluid is hard. It depends on the type of machine, working conditions, and fluid properties. All of these have to have compatibility with each other.

For example, grinding or drilling need cutting oil. Water-based fluids are not sustainable for this. We need to monitor the pH and density of cutting fluids.

There is a chance that bacteria will grow. So, we have to keep it flowing. A well-adjusted fluid will increase efficiency and reduce energy spending.

On the other hand, we use gear oil to boost the shelf life of gears, bearings, motors, and machines. It keeps the parts from gnashing into each other and smoothens the working process. It reduces friction, prevents corrosion, and distributes heat.

It also dampens the sound of the gears. Unlike motor oil, gear oils can withstand extreme pressure. Although, both have anti-wear additives.

Oil Change

Band saw gearbox oil reduces the pressure and keeps the gears running smoothly. It also keeps the debris away. It rarely needs to be changed.

You will know when you have to replace old oil with new oil. The saw will slow down, make odd noises, suddenly stop in the middle of sawing, etc. Changing it will save you extensive repairs and money in the future.

Steps on how to replace gear oil are given below:

· Firstly, if you are not experienced or have started using a band saw recently, please ask a professional to change your oil.

· It is recommended to change your filter along with the oil.

· Take the burrs out of the gearbox and slowly open the gasket. Then, check the oil level and oil color. The oil that is dark from oxidation and fragments will need to be drained.

Sluggish oil (oil with thicker viscosity than it previously had) is harmful too.

· If it is below the standard amount, you need to pour new oil after draining the old one.

· You might find small pieces of metal floating. In this case, your gears are worn and replaceable.

· Select the right oil based on your need and the surroundings.

· Use an oil pump to pour it.

· Let the oil rest for a few minutes then tightly attach the gasket again. Run the engine and observe the changes.

· It is a good habit to check the gears and oil once a year.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What kind of oil do you use for a bandsaw?

If you want to keep your brand clean and good, you need to use good quality oil. So you can use KLEEN KOOL premium oil for this.


Every tool requires band saw gearbox oil based on the conditions the band saw is operating on and the gear type. Having an idea of what gear oil is will help to keep your machine last longer. Knowing about the properties of the oil (viscosity, temperature, and grade) will help you buy the perfect lubricator.

If you live in a place with varied weather, it is better to use multi-grade oil. It is not a bandsaw coolant but it proves an oil film between gears. It provides protection and prevents extreme pressure from collecting on the motor.

Gear oil is an integral part and parcel of a tool. Proper gear oil maintenance should be a priority.

David A. Thomas is a passionate researcher in the mechanical tools technology sector from Texas in America. He loves to play hockey and often loves to travel to traditional places. However, he is eagerly interested in passing his time in research work.

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