How To Sharpen Saw Blades?

Buying saws can be an expensive investment. They cost a lot, some models cost xxxx$ +. But, the spendings don’t stop there. After you buy a saw, you will have to buy different blades, and some other stuff just to complete a small woodworking project.

It doesn’t matter what saw you own, whenever you own a band saw, scroll saw, etc. your blades will get dirty and they won’t give you the same results they used to give you when you bought them. Once you see your blades having difficulties to cut small wood and making straight cuts that means that you have to change your blades or clean and sharpen them.

Changing your blades is not always an option. They cost a lot of money and not everyone can afford to change blades every one or two months, right? That leaves us to our other option which is cleaning and sharpening blades. We have already talked about how to clean saw blades on this website. Make sure to check it if your blades are dirty and need some cleaning.

Once you clean the blades, its time to sharpen them. You can also sharp your blades even if they are doing a good job and giving you great results. Sharpening helps to extend blades life. It takes only a few minutes to sharpen a circular blade, but this process will help you save a lot of money on long terms.  To completely sharp your circular blades by hand you will be needing a table clamp and a file. For most of the blades, a diamond file will do a better job than other files, so it’s recommended to have a diamond file.

Note: We have a buyer guide post where we listed the top rated band saws review and the features every band saw should have. Make sure to check it if you are looking to buy a band saw.

How To Sharpen Saw Blades?

Sharpening saw blades may take you a few minutes, but it's worth it. If the blades start giving you good results, that means that you saved a lot of money from avoiding buying new blades.

Preparation

First things first, unplug your saw. Never try to clean, remove blades, or do anything else that doesn’t have to do with actually cutting woods while the saw is plugged in. After unplugging the saw now you will have to remove the blades from the saw. Don’t try to sharpen your blade while they are still on the saw. There’s no safe way of doing it, and you will probably end up cutting yourself.

In order to know how to remove your blade, you will have to read your saw manual and search your model on Youtube. Some new models have a blade release switch which makes it easier for you to remove the blades.

Once you remove the blade, put it in a vertical position. In order to make it to myself easier, I usually mark the teeth I’m starting, you can use a pen or a marker to mark the first tooth you started to sharp so you can know when to stop. If the blade teeth are all angeled at one side then you will have to sharpen them once, if they are angeled at two sides then you will have to sharpen them twice, each for one side. You can also sharpen them twice or more but don’t over do it, you can damage the blade.

Sharpening Process

The process of sharpening the blades is not hard, but it may a long time depending on how big your blade and how much teeth it has. You can start randomly from one tooth, but don’t forget to mark it. Put the diamond file next to the tooth and make four smooth strokes back and forth.

Once you are done, check the tooth. If it’s sharp enough then continue to the next tooth. If not, then do another four smooth strokes and check again. Do this process until you think it’s enough and you are satisfied with the tooth.  When you are done with one tooth, start sharpening the next one with the same process and so on. Try remembering how many strokes you have done for the previous tooth. If you have done 8 smooth strokes back and forth for the first tooth, then you will have to do 8 for the next one and so on. Try following this rule since it will help to sharpen all the tooths the same.

If you have a blade that has teeth angeled at two sides then you will have to complete one side first and then continue to sharpen the next one. So, if you are done sharpening the first tooth, and now the second tooth is angled in the opposite side, then just skip that tooth and continue to the next one that is angled in the same side as the one you started. Continue skipping the opposite teeth until you reach the starting point.

Once you complete one side, release the blade and turn it around. Now start sharpening the other side of teeth you didn’t for the first time, and skip the ones you did. Use the same process for this side too, 4 smooth strokes, if it’s not enough, do 4 more until you are satisfied and continue to the next one.

To sharp them better, you may have to do this process 3 or 4 times. Don’t overdo it, do it until you are satisfied and you think your blade is sharpened enough. Once you are done, release the blade from the clamp and put it back on the saw. Plug the saw and do a few tests. If you get good results that means you did a good job on sharpening them. If not, then unplug the saw and remove the blade and do the process all over again. If you do this a lot and you still get bad results and bad cuts from the blade then that means that you have to buy new ones because the ones you have can’t be fixed.

There are different blades. As you can see in the picture there are blades with a double tooth, reserve tooth, etc.

Final Words

Even if your blades are damaged, you still have to at least try to sharpen them more and test them again. Who knows, maybe they will do a good job for another month or more.  Buying new blades every time they don’t cut good, isn’t a good idea. You will be spending a lot of money.

As I said before, sharpening your blades isn’t a hard task to do, it will take you only a few minutes. And maybe you will avoid spending extra xxx$. So, always before deciding that the blades don’t work anymore, try to first clean them, and after that start sharpening them. And if the blades still don’t give you good results, then you can buy new ones.

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Michael is the Editor at thetoolgeeks.com. He used to own a local shop where he sold different tools for 20+ years. He now enjoys researching DIY tools and writing guides about it.

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