Cleaning Saw Blades?

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Forum topic by ChesapeakeBob posted 12-10-2009 05:23 PM 2567 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ChesapeakeBob's profile


366 posts in 3506 days

12-10-2009 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cleaning saw blades pitch

I used to know what was the best solution was to use, now I cannot remember what that was. What are you using to disolve the pitch off the side of table saw blades? I was going to WD40 and a brass brush, but I need some experienced advice from fellow Lumberjocks.



-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

28 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5909 posts in 3217 days

#1 posted 12-10-2009 05:40 PM

Greetings Bob: There are several cleaners out there that you can use on your blades. Simple Green works great. 409 is another, oven cleaner( that’s ok, but messy), and I’ve used baking soda a time or two. I bought the blade cleaning kit from Rockler, which has the tub, lid, and pitch cleaner and little wire brush. This is the best solution I’ve found. You can mix the cleaner w/ water, put the lid on, let the blade soak for a little while, scrub, rinse,dry, and you’re good to go. Kit is about $25.00. But something fast—- Simple Green.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3485 days

#2 posted 12-10-2009 05:41 PM

I am using this cleaner from Woodcraft. It works very well. Spray it on, let sit for a minute and light brushing and away it goes. Another option is Easy-Off oven cleaner, it also works very well is cheap and readily available

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#3 posted 12-10-2009 05:52 PM

Ditto what MedicKen said. The stuff from Woodcraft really works great.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3686 days

#4 posted 12-10-2009 05:54 PM

I recommend Simple Green, an old tooth brush, and a pizza dish. I don’t clean my blade after every use, but I try not to let too much pitch build up.

I have heard some downsides to using EasyOff or similar products. From what I have read, these cleaners are corrosive, and can weaken the brazing on the carbide.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3736 days

#5 posted 12-10-2009 05:56 PM

i fill a bucket with simple green and water and let my blades soak all night, then in the morning i use a small wire brush to scrub off the last of the pitch that didn’t fall off, rinse and i’m good to go.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3273 days

#6 posted 12-10-2009 05:56 PM

oven cleaner works great

-- -erik & christy-

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3473 days

#7 posted 12-10-2009 06:00 PM

I have used Simple Green and it works very well if you let them soak for a while. I’ve recently started using Oxi Clean and I like it equally well. Both of these will remove the build up and have the added benefit of being non-toxic and no fumes.

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3265 days

#8 posted 12-10-2009 06:15 PM

I bought a spray bottle of TSP (trisodium phosphate) from Canadian Tire (or Home Depot) and use an old toothbrush.

Works like a champ!!

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3129 days

#9 posted 12-10-2009 09:37 PM

I use the “pink” stuff from Woodcraft, but I no longer see it on their web site. :-(

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3584 days

#10 posted 12-10-2009 10:13 PM

I like CMT Formula 2000 Blade & Bit Cleaner.

Cleans in a few minutes, non toxic, etc. Just spray it on and wipe off.

I bought it at a local saw sharpening place.

-- Joe

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3399 days

#11 posted 12-10-2009 11:05 PM

There doesn’t seem to a “best”, as the answers will be widely varied. I’ve had good success with several common household items, as well as more expensive substance marketed specifically for blade cleaning. Since even simple inexpensive degreaser sprays like 409, Fantastic, LA’s Totally Awesome, Goo Gone, Simple Green, and Greased Lightning work as well as the Boeshield Blade n Bit cleaner, I see no reason to spend extra money for that. I’ve had good results with oven cleaner too, but that’s messier than most of the other methods, plus there’s some controversy about it being caustic and having potential ramifications to the carbide. Even Simple Green has some controversy about it not being good for the binders that hold the carbide, but as long as you don’t soak overnight that shouldn’t be a problem. Freud suggests a kerosene soak but I haven’t bothered to go to that much trouble.

The more important aspect is cleaning your blades at all, regardless of the method. Clean blades perform better longer…the more often you clean, the easier. A dirty blade will cut like a dull blade, and will soon become a dull blade due to excess heat build up which breaks down the carbide edge. I spray on any of the household spray cleaners, and hit the teeth with a brass bristle brush, and rinse….done in 3 to 4 minutes from start to finish.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mike Pientka's profile

Mike Pientka

129 posts in 3112 days

#12 posted 12-11-2009 09:06 PM

I’ve tried a couple special-purpose cleaners to de-gum my blades, but Easy-Off oven cleaner does a darn good job for way less money.

-- Engineer by day, Woodworker by night, Original Approach LLC, Windsor CO,

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3376 days

#13 posted 12-11-2009 10:21 PM

I’ve used 409 for years in a round Tupperware container I bought just for this that can fit 12” blades. Let it soak, use a toothbrush to clean it off, done. But a lot of people here have been touting Simple Green. I bought some to clean the Jet disc/belt sander I picked up used after starting with 409. Can’t say which is better there but I’m going to give Simple Green a try next time I need to clean a blade. I’ll then compare prices and see which is more economical. I buy 409 by the gallon (use it for a lot of stuff) and the quart of Simple Green was $4 so I’ll have to see.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View ssflyer's profile


10 posts in 3218 days

#14 posted 12-11-2009 10:44 PM

Simple Green works well, but I’ve found the newer “Odor Free” oven cleaners to do a rather admirable jopb…

-- Ron, Pope Valley CA -

View PeteMoss's profile


207 posts in 3493 days

#15 posted 12-12-2009 03:08 AM

I used to use Drano gel, but got a free bottle of Empire Bladesaver when I made another purchase. I really like it. Works good and you don’t have to use a ton of it.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

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