How to Check Belt Tension 3D Printer [3+ Ways]

    3D PrintersHow to Check Belt Tension 3D Printer


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    • To check the belt tension on a 3D printer, you can press down on the belt with your fingers to see if it is tight enough, listen for the sound of a plucked belt, or touch the belt to check the tension.
    • If the belt is rubbing against the railing, you can try to fix it by tilting the belt tensioner downwards so that the belt is below the railing, using a spacer or installing a 3D printed belt tensioner

    When I first got my 3D printer, I was a little confused about how to check the belt tension. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to press down on the belt with my fingers or if I should be listening to the sound of a plucked belt.

    But after watching a few Youtube videos, particularly the one below, I figured out that I could touch the belt to check the tension.

    This video helped me a lot:

    And if the belt was rubbing against the railing, I could try to fix it by tilting the belt tensioner downwards.

    This was a huge discovery for me and it made my 3D printing experience much better.

    Belts are essential for 3D printers because there is a lot of tension involved in the process, and belts must have robust tension to keep it running smoothly and prevent damage.

    Tips for performing a 3D printer belt tension check

    Checking the belt tension requires no extra tools; you can use your hand. To check the tension, you need a large enough area on either side of the belt to grab onto it with your hands, then pull up on one side while pulling down on the other. The trick is to have equal tension on both sides.

    Measuring Belt Tension

    After you pull out the tension from the belts, it will be at its maximum. The next thing you need to do is measure the amount of tension remaining in the belt.

    To do this, you can use a screwdriver and a ruler; place the ruler across the middle of the belt to mark one side as 100% and the other as 0%. As will be shown, this means more tension is on one side than on the other.

    Calibrating Belt Tension

    This works with smaller belts but will be much harder to do with more giant belts. In this step, you will use the screwdriver and ruler to push the belt back into a 100% tension state. You’ll need to use a small amount of force to do so. You should repeat this process until you reach a satisfactory tension level.

    Larger Belts

    For more giant belts, you must make sure that the belt isn’t too tight or loose by pushing and pulling on it. There are many ways of doing this, but here’s one in particular:

    • Set the belt over the belt tensioner with the gaps between the belt and tensioner as close to 100% as possible.
    • Grab onto one of the ends of the belt with your fingers. It would help if you pushed it down as hard as possible without lifting it up from where it’s resting on the belt tensioner. The goal is to make sure that you do not lift it from where it was initially resting with your fingers but instead make it push down into a corner on its own; keep pushing and pulling on the end until you feel resistance when you push down on it.
    • Keep pushing down on the belt until you reach a point at which you feel resistance.
    • At this point, you want to mark the position of your fingers so that you know how much force is needed if tension is lost in the future.

    This process requires a lot of practice, so do it right and don’t push too hard.

    5. Notch Placement

    Make sure that there are notches on both ends of the belt and that they are at an equal distance; if they’re not at a perfect 90-degree angle to each other, then this can cause incorrect tension in the belt.

    You can also use belt tensioners, but if your belts are not quite snug enough, they can cause problems; it’s better to do it manually.


    In conclusion, it’s always best to use your hand for belt tension checks, but if you want to use tools, ensure that the tensioner is right below the belt and not above it. The process may seem very complex initially, but once you get used to it and practice it, it’ll become more accessible.

    Rush Chapman
    ( Founder )

    Hello, my name’s Rush Chapman. I’m a 3D printing enthusiast. I started this site to help people choose 3D printing projects and select the best 3D printer for your needs, whether you’re a hobbyist or a pro!