How to Sharpen a Saw Blade – Step By Step Guide
If you’re reading this article, then you probably know what a saw blade is. What you may possibly be in the dark on is how best you should maintain your saw blade. That’s why every carpenter or a DIY enthusiast should know how to sharpen a saw blade.
Well, taking into account that there are quite a variety of saw blades out there, let’s have a look on how you can sharpen each one of them best. Let’s start reading how to sharpen a saw blade.
How to sharpen a saw blade as sharp as possible
There are many reasons to maintain the life of your saw and the best way to do this is sharpening your circular saw blade. If you have had the experience of having to operate with a dull blade, then you do know how frustrating it can be.
Step 1: Remove The Blade From The Saw
This is the first and definitely obvious thing to do when it comes to sharpening the circular blade. There is, however, a difference in how you can remove the blade in the older models as well as in the newer models.
• The older models
For the older models, you need to use a wrench so as to loosen the bolts that hold the blade in place. This has to be done carefully since even though the blade may be dull, it may still injure you.
• The newer models
These are much easier to handle. Most of the models nowadays have got a release switch that allows you to easily detach the blade from the rest of the saw
Step 2: Securing The Blade Down
The best way to do this is using a vice grip. You should have the blade face upwards with the teeth facing you.
Be careful however not to tighten the grip of the vice too hard since you may end up warping the metal that holds the teeth.
Step 3: Make Your Marks
You should make a mark on the top most point of the blade so that you’re aware when you go all the way round. If you don’t place a mark you’ll end up double sharpening some points which may result to uneven sharpness.
You should see that every 2 blade points have a bevel on the side that is facing you.
Step 4: Doing The Strokes
Here, simply take your file; most preferably the diamond file and hold it at about a 20-degree angle with respect to the bevel.
Give the blade 4 consistent strokes both up and down along the bevel of the first tip. You should see the effectiveness of doing this. If otherwise, simply add more strokes or get a new file
Step 5: Pay Attention To The Bevels
Considering that the bevel appears on every other blade, do skip one blade and then go to the next bevel edge.
You should repeat this process till you get around the entire blade while applying the same number of strokes as you did in the first blade so have to have even sharpness.
Step 6: Repeat The Other Side
After you have done this, turn the blade over and apply the marks as you did in step 3. Placing a mark on the blade allows you to be able to know where you started from.
Step 7: Do The Filing
The next thing to do after having filed both sides is to file the tips of each booth. In this case, rather than applying multiple strokes, just run the blade back and forth once across the top edge of the top of the blade point.
This prevents you from not wearing it down more than you need to. Do this for all the blade tips and you’re good to go.
Step 8: Install The Blade In The Saw
Finally, carefully unlock the blade from the vice grip then install it back in the saw.
Why Sharpen The Blade Yourself Anyway?
You do have the alternative of having the work done for you but you’ll have to pay of course. By following each of these steps, you can save a lot of money and time in the long run.
Rip Saw Filing
When it comes to rip saw filling, the goal is to file each tooth until the flat that is created by jointing disappears after which you shouldn’t stroke anymore. At this point, the tooth is sharp and is exactly the same height as the other teeth.
Step 1: Clamp the Saw In A Vice
This should be done with the heel on your right and the bottom of the gullet about 1/16” above the jaws. Place the saw in the gullet and ensure the file is seated fully in the bottom of the gullet.
Step 2: Filing The Teeth
Hold the file perpendicular to the side of the saw blade and to the tooth line as viewed from above. Using the full-length of the file, push it across the saw with gentle pressure. Don’t use short, heavy chattering strokes since the sharpness may end up being uneven.
How To Know You’re Doing Great
When pushing the file across the saw, you should see bright, fresh steel exposed on these three surfaces:
- The cutting face of the tooth to the right of the file
- The gulle
- The back face of the tooth on the left side
Step 3: Keep On Filing To Completion
File across the tooth watching the flat on the right of the file. You should stop filing when the flat disappears. Move to the next gullet and continue the same process down the entire length of the saw and on every tooth.
Crosscut Saw Filing
The goal here is to file till you reduce the width of the flat on both sides by half.
Step 1: Clamp The Saw In A Vice
This should be with the tooth facing towards you to the right and away from you on the left. This can be either the first or second gullet on the tooth line.
Step 2: Doing The Filing
With the file resting on the gullet, use your index finger on the file where it rests on the saw and press it down the gullet.
The file should rotate away from a perpendicular line from the saw as viewed from above which is usually 15-25 degrees for most cross cuts. Take your first stroke with the file in the gullet and maintain the bevel angle hence creating a knife edge then skip one gullet and move to the next.
Step 3: Bring All The Teeth To A Sharp Edge
Once you have filed each pair of teeth to one direction, repeat the process paying attention to the teeth you skipped hence completing the saw.
Hope the above guide will help carpenter and DIY enthusiast and teach them how to sharpen a saw blade so that they can be benefited.
Click to read more on: How to Pick the Best Miter Saw Blades – Guide & Reviews