Carter Products - Accuright Ratchet-Rod Tension Adjuster - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Accuright Ratchet-Rod Tension Adjuster

Carter Products - Accuright Ratchet-Rod Tension Adjuster

The knob on this aftermarket tension adjuster has a ratcheting action, so your hand doesn't have to work as hard

$50 (As of 5/1/2009)

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Editor's Review: Set the Tension on Your Bandsaw

by Roland Johnson

review date: May 1, 2009

Most experts and manufacturers recommend releasing the blade tension when a bandsaw is out of use for more than a day. Blade changes also require releasing and re-tensioning the blade. The new Accuright Ratchet-Rod speeds up those adjustments considerably and makes them a lot easier on your hand and wrist. The kit fits most traditional-style 14-in. bandsaws with a cast-iron frame, replacing the factory tension screw, nut, and handle with an ACME-threaded rod and nut for easier rotation. Topping the assembly is a removable ratcheting knob. To change ratchet direction, you just flip a lever on the bottom of the knob.

Replacing the factory equipment takes less than five minutes. Major adjustments go very quickly, and the contoured knob fits the hand comfortably. The Ratchet-Rod has become a welcome addition to my bandsaw. It sells for $50 and is available from Carter Products (

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Carter Products
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 888-622-7837
Blade Size N/A
Sizes N/A
Compatibility Fits most traditional-style 14-in. bandsaws with standard tension assembly

I recently installed the Ratchet-Rod on my 14” Grizzly bandsaw model G0555X. Installing the ratchet rod is simply a matter of unscrewing your saw’s original rod and bolt and replacing these with the Carter parts. However, because the Ratchet Rod is not compatible with the typical bandsaw’s quick release mechanism, you will also need to remove those parts (if present) from your saw. This is not so bad, though, since the Ratchet Rod, with its ratcheting mechanism and its ACME-type thread, is much smoother and quicker than the original mechanism. So much less effort and time is required to tighten or loosen the blade with the Ratchet Rod that most people will not miss the absence of a quick release. The only slightly annoying thing about the unit is that the ratchet lever is under the mushroom-shaped handle and is a little awkward to use when you want to quickly change direction, such as when fine tuning blade tension. But the handle easily pulls off and then can be replaced with a normal ratchet wrench, which is the way I prefer to use it. This is probably one of the best and least expensive upgrades for a bandsaw. It is so easy to use that you may not want to bother with a replacement tension spring, tension gauge or quick release – why bother with those when it is so easy to adjust blade tension with the Ratchet Rod alone. Note: A couple of similar alternative devices are the Iturra Spinner Tensioning Crank and the Quik-Crank Tensioner, which have a wheel-type handle at the top of the rod. This type of handle may be better than that on the Ratchet Rod.

$50 WT... For $5 you can take the tightening rod and adapt the top to a 1/4" square, then use a socket wrench to do the same thing.

An absolutely great product! I have a 14" Grizzly bandsaw that had the tensioning system from hell. Bandsawing became fun again when I replaced it with this product and the Carter Quick Release. Tensioning is so easy that you will wonder if you actually turned the handle. MCL

Entered this review mostly to even keel the previous review as it is highly opinionated without merit to the product itself. To state one could use a rachet I say one could just use saw blade on a wood stick to cut wood vs a band saw. Carter products imo are quality.

At any price it's a relatively superfluous doodad, but at fifty bucks it's overpriced. One could simply buy a length of all-thread and jam-lock a couple of hex nuts on one end - then use an ordinary ratchet wrench and socket in place of Carter's ratcheting knob. Either way I don't see how the tedium of tightening and loosening the blade tension is much relieved. Frankly I'm not surprised; I've bought things from Carter before and found that much of their stuff is overpriced and not all that wonderful in quality either.

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