Blocks or Bearings ?

What is best on a Bandsaw ? Blocks or bearings ? I thought bearings was a better choice for guiding the blade.
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find the ceramic guides both slick and capable of holding a wide blade on the line of cut. Once you get below 1/4" you might want to consider the phenolics (cool blocks) or end grain wood with some oil to ease the way. If you never use wet wood, roller types look nice. They do gum up if you're a turner, though.
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 10:26:40 -0500, "Junkyard Engineer"

Whatever works for you. You can make blocks work on pretty much anything. Bearings on an "entry level" machine are often more trouble than they're worth.
Pins (as used on the cheapest or oldest machines) are just plain ugly. No one can agree what the best block material is. No one can agree what the best bearings are (Euro bearings are at 90 to the usual US pattern)
I've just taken the bearings off my 14" Axminster and gone back to CoolBlocks. The machine is designed for, and built with, blocks, which work well. They later started selling an "upgrade" bearing set for it. However these bearings are taken from some Taiwanese parts-bin and they're not designed for it. The lower guides have to have their micro-adjusters removed before they'll fit. Even then, they don't fit well enough to correctly track a narrow blade. So for about a year, I'd abandoned the lower bearings and was using blocks below and bearings above.
The other problem is that US-style bearings don't work so well for narrow blades. If the adjustments aren't perfect, or if there's any sudden jump in the blade or impact on it, then the blade can jump the rear guide and slip backwards - which instantly destroys the teeth against the side rollers. So after killing a couple of blades and generally being a nightmare for setup, I've abandoned the things and gone back to simple blocks.
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 10:26:40 -0500, "Junkyard Engineer"

difference between roller bearings and carbide blocks. The biggest difference has seemed to be in how the blade finally dies- With roller bearings, the blades tend to start cutting crooked at the end of their lifespans, and with carbide blocks they tend to become brittle, with hundreds of tiny hairline cracks, and break. Of course, either type of bushing can have either one of these problems- it just seems that they are more common as I've broken it down above. Roller bushings are harder to adjust (at least on the big saws) and carbides are the easiest thing in the world to set- but they need to be adjusted at each blade change, while rollers do not. Either system will work just fine for you, so long as you've got them set up correctly. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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