Does breaking a bandsaw blade indicate something such as too much/too little tension?
It can but it could simply be from material fatigue or a poor weld.
So anyway, blades break or go dull, what then?
This is the interesting question for me since in the past worn bandsaw blades were routinely re-sharpened but like a lot of similar changes over time this is seen much less frequently today. Many woodworkers aren't even aware resharpening is a possibility. And even breaks are repairable (and easily, the work takes just minutes in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing).
Part of the reason for this type of thing is the lower cost of 'consumables' which makes repair "not economically viable" as they say in the industry. But doing maintenance or repair yourself sidesteps that reality.
However, since a lot of woodworkers don't have welding equipment or the experience to re-weld a critical area like this you are still left with a broken blade, but that doesn't mean it has reached the end of its life and should go straight for recycling.
A common use for broken bandsaw blades in the past was as stock for bowsaw blades and this is still perfectly viable. And making the bowsaw frame is a great woodshop project in itself.
That is just the tip of the recycling iceberg. Other potential uses include:
- shim material
- scroll saw blades
- scraper blades
- scratch stock cutters
Just one broken blade could provide nearly a lifetime's worth of any of the above.