Good morning Mr. Bill.
My mill is homemade and comparing it with yours may be like trying to compare apples to oranges but I will try to help.
When I first started operating my mill I had a couple blades to break but for the last 20 years I can’t remember having any break . My blade runs on small spare car tires with about 50 psi air in them . I think my blade may be not as tight as most mills where the blade runs on a solid pulley. The way I test the tension on the blades is pluck it like a guitar string and listen for the right tune .
If the set is too little on the blade teeth they will not cut good even if the teeth are sharp. One way to tell if the set is too little is there will be no saw dust left in the cut . Years ago I would hit the blade with a dab of spray paint . When ever the paint wore off the blade I knew the body of the blade was making contact with the wood and this contact with the wood will drive the blade up or down.
The blade has got to be SHARP . I can’t tell if a blade is shape by looking unless I use a strong magnifying glass. The way I check them is dragging my finger across the teeth and feeling .
When I sharpen the teeth I do it slow to avoid heating the tooth and loosing the temper .
Edit If you will get on Cook’s saw mailing list you will receive a catalog every couple months that has a lot of good sawing tips.