Saw Blade Cleaning - My way?

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Blog entry by ChunkyC posted 07-03-2009 03:54 AM 1168 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I had some down time in the shop this evening and thought it would be a good time to do some loooong needed maintenance. Tonight’s chore, cleaning saw blades.

I’ve always use some form of a pitch and resin remover in the past. But after the last move, most things, including the resin remover, never made the trip this far west. So I did some reading on the WWW and the two most popular methods to clean saw blades, sans resin cleaner, is:

1) Simple Green
2) Oven Cleaner

Both methods to clean the blade are the same and reported to work very well but the oven cleaner is said that it can loosen the bond between the carbide and the steel of the blade. Well CHEM 101 was never my strong subject at OSU so maybe it can, or maybe it’s just one of those things that after a 1,000 years of constant exposure to oven cleaner, it could weaken the bond and potentially … You get the point. I don’t know if it does or not nor do I have any oven cleaner in the house, all praise the self cleaning ovens! I don’t have to even consider the Oven Cleaner because I’m not going into town to buy Oven Cleaner when I have something else.

So it’s back to my old motto, “use what you’s got Chunk!” Well I don’t have any Simple Green cleaner around here but I do have a gallon of Super Clean! Yeah ME! One is “organic” sounding and one isn’t but both are excellent cleaners, so why not give it a go?

So I said to myself, “Chunk, you better test this on an old blade before ruining your prized and closely coveted blue ribbon babes.” So what do I have in the horde but nothing less than the original blade that came in my Porter-Cable circular saw that I got way back in the mid 80’s! Man that’s just so sad… What a perfect guinea pig your going to be.

So I poured a little S.C. onto a paper plate and dropped the blade in and went for it. Darn, I forgot to get an old toothbrush. So off I go to retrieve said implement of destruction only to return in less than a minute. When I returned, low and behold I could see those lovey tell tail streaks of brown wisps coming from the blade’s teeth. Hey this has potential! So I grab the Greeny, Scotch Bright pad for you non Navy types, and give it a nice polishing and it even removed the little bit of rust that had accumulated over the last 20 years give or take.

I’ve got say that S.C., a toothbrush and a Greeny is the ticket to a blade that looks like it could be only a year or so old.

One word of CAUTION. I would recommend that you use rubber gloves because the S.C. is going to suck the oil right out of your skin leaving your hands a mess and making typing near impossible. :( Learn from my mistakes and you will be the smartest person on Earth – I make a lot of mistakes.

Then just completely dry and protect the blades as you would always do.

The moral, you may not have S.C or S.G. but you might find that you have something that may work just a well. I wonder if Pine-Sol would work? If not, it sure would give the blades a nice pine sent. lol

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

8 comments so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 07-03-2009 04:33 AM

I guess I did the same thing. I looked around to see what I had that might work on my bandsaw blade after gumming it up by cutting a lot of pine. I found an old bottle of Castrol Super Clean and tried a little on the blade. It dissolved the pine pitch almost instantly. It really is some amazing stuff. I have some carbide sanding blocks that I bought in several grits that promised they would last almost forever. They came with wire brushes to clean them periodically. They worked fine until I sanded too much pine with them and then they were so clogged up they were all but useless. I sprayed some SC on them and they are as good as new again.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3983 days

#2 posted 07-03-2009 04:39 AM

A good thing to soak your blades in, is a 5 gallon bucket. I cut off the top leaving 3 inches of the bottom.
It’s the perfect diameter for a 10” saw blade.

BTW I use simple green with no problems. I save it in a jar just for cleaning blades. It has lasted me a couple of years so far.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3626 days

#3 posted 07-03-2009 05:04 AM

Good tips here guys !! I’ll try them next time I need to clean my cutting tools= router bits , blades etc.
Thanks for posting this.

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 07-03-2009 05:10 AM

I got a green cleaner at the grocery store. Their local brand. It cleaned like a hired hand. I just stood there and watched it work.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View ahock's profile


102 posts in 3319 days

#5 posted 07-04-2009 12:27 AM

Just a thought… I know Super Clean can leave a little bit of film, I hope it wouldn’t interfere with finishing.

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3887 days

#6 posted 07-04-2009 03:20 AM

Good article. I use Goo-Gone, but will try Simple Green next time. I’m always open to trying something new.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 07-04-2009 04:49 AM

I use an old film can and goof off for my saw blades works great.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#8 posted 11-08-2009 06:35 PM

Ah…. you guys with your brand names that work great, but that I can’t get over here. All this great advice totally wasted on me. What a shame! Why don’t you guys move to Norway?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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