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Bandsaw guides typically have one assembly above the table and one below. The bottom assembly is fixed, while the top assembly travels vertically on a guide post. Each assembly contains three support elements: two side, or lateral, supports and one rear support.
Some guides use blocks to provide lateral support, and others use bearings. Bearing guides are further divided into American and European styles. American-style bearing guides support the blade with the curved outside surfaces of the bearing, rolling along the blade as it travels by. European-style bearing guides contact the blade on their flat side-faces, potentially offering more support area but also more friction and noise.
It’s important to choose the bandsaw guides that are appropriate for your type of woodworking. Whether you are a luthier using your bandsaw for precision resawing, a toy builder making hundreds of curved cuts, or a furniture maker doing some of both, there are bandsaw guides that are right for you.
Carter’s Stabilizer is in a category of its own. The best option for guiding small blades through scrolling cuts, it consists only of a grooved thrust bearing. The existing upper thrust bearing and entire lower guide assembly are retracted when the Stabilzer is in use. It’s best used for cutting curves; it’s limited in capacity but very good at supporting small blades.
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