Does anyone manually sharpen their own circular/table/miter saw blades ? Questions for you.

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Forum topic by David Grimes posted 03-09-2011 10:04 AM 20188 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Grimes

2078 posts in 2881 days

03-09-2011 10:04 AM

I have seen a few videos of how to sharpen saw blades. One of the most intriguing was where the carbide blade was sharpened with a vise and a diamond file. Do any of you dress / sharpen your used blades in this manner ? What “diamond file” do you recommend and where do you get them ?

Another video was all about the “trick” of simply using Easy Off on the smoking dull blade to get more life out of the blade. I have not done this yet, but will have to since I sure have some 80T carbide Dewalt and Irwin Marathon blades stacking up. Anybody tried this ?

And finally, there is a cheap indexing motorized blade sharpening gizmo at Harbor Freight (yeah, I know… gimme a break… I found it on a search and just had to at least look at it). The reviews were not too critical of the device and I came away with the impression that the thinking man with a bit of mechanical ability and common sense would be able to tackle the learning curve of setup and get good results. Anybody have one of these ?

OK. I’m done fishin’ for now. Thanks.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

14 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8183 posts in 3616 days

#1 posted 03-09-2011 02:51 PM

The modern equipment used by today’s sharpeners is one of the reasons that blades have improved immensely in the past 20 years. They’re very precise. A good blade can cost as little as $20 on sale and as much as $175, and is a critical component in determining how well a saw cuts. Professional resharpening is typically in the $10-$20 range per blade, which is pretty reasonable for a hobbyist IMO, who can get upwards to 2-3 years of service from a blade depending on how it’s treated and how often its used. Using the right blade for the task,and keeping them clean are key factors in how long a blade stays sharp.

Easy Off is but one of many effective cleaning treatments. It’s been my experience that Easy Off is messier (and more caustic) than many other methods, and is not necessarily any more effective, so I don’t bother with that treatment anymore. I tend to spray the blades with whatever household degreaser is available (409, Simple Green, Fantastic, Greased Lightning, etc), hit it with a brass brush, rinse and dry…done in 3-4 minutes from start to finish. If your blades are especially gummed up, Freud suggests an overnight soak in kerosene.

I’d skip the HF sharpener and would save my money for a better quality blade and/or resharpening by a seasoned pro who knows what they’re doing.

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

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2925 days

#2 posted 03-09-2011 03:07 PM


around here I was quoted 50 cents/tooth (higher quality blades they may charge up to $1). Made for a very easy decision on whether to send out an 80 toother! It now sits to the side waiting for rough work.

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3238 days

#3 posted 03-09-2011 03:12 PM

When I had my carpenter business I sent all my blades out to be sharpened (Never had time to do it myself)
Now I do all my own, (I have time). You need to have the right set on your teeth, the proper angle sharpening each tooth. I have made a jig in the vise to hold the blade and turn it as required. I use diamond wheel in a rotary tool to do the sharpening.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4218 days

#4 posted 03-09-2011 03:26 PM


For my bucks, this falls into the don’t-try-this-at-home category. If it were just a sharpening issue, I’d say it probably could be done. If you’re paying to have it done at a reputable sharpening service that’s actually doing their job, you also get the benefit of their experience and their ability to determine if the saw blade is worth sharpening and will still be safe and servicable when you get it back.

Like ‘chips said, you also need to have the set correct. It’s surprising how poorly a “sharp” but incorrectly set saw will cut. Not to mention it may not cut a straight line if your life depended on it. And when you come right down to it . . . doesn’t it? That, by the way, has just been my experience – a really bad experience. Fortunately I wasn’t injured. But the pucker factor was just a bit high for my liking.

If you’re looking for a really effective cleaner for saw blades – and anything else where you might be worried about the integrity of the metal, try Simple Green Extreme. You can get it at places like Grainger or McMaster-Carr. It is definitely my cleaner of choice, now.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2920 days

#5 posted 03-09-2011 03:58 PM

I take mine to a local guy and he charges .25 per tooth for saw blades and for knives he charges .50 an inch…very reasonable I think.

Check with your local lumber yard.

-- New Auburn,WI

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3224 days

#6 posted 03-09-2011 04:09 PM

Not sure if these are the type of files your looking for.
I send mine out at this time, but have thought about buying a used sharpening grinder.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View gdpifer's profile


47 posts in 2921 days

#7 posted 03-09-2011 04:23 PM

I spent over 10 years running a sharpening shop and know that precision is very important. On the carbide blades you don’t have “set” to worry about but both the face and the top need to be sharpened. If you don’t have the tops the same height some teeth will be just going around for the ride and not doing any work. Like anything else, IF you know what you are doing, have the right equipment, etc. you can probably do a serviceable job but probably leave the sharpening to the professional. For cleaning blades I used lye water for an overnight soak and washed off with hot water. But, for a cleaner that has lye in it and does a great job of cleaning saw blades, chainsa chains, etc. use SuperClean.

-- Garry, Kentucky

View harrywho's profile


120 posts in 3473 days

#8 posted 03-09-2011 04:48 PM

Garry, how much lye would you put in a gallon of water for an overnight soak of a saw blade?
Sorry if this is off subject.

-- Harry, Indiana

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4201 days

#9 posted 03-10-2011 12:44 AM

Get some Simple Green. I would not EVEN try to mess with lye. With all due respect to gdpifer, that stuff will hurt you, and it is no friend of carbide teeth.


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18428 posts in 3917 days

#10 posted 03-10-2011 11:52 AM

You can get lye running water through wood ash just like they did to make soap way back when. I sdw it done when I was a kid. I suippose it still works ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2881 days

#11 posted 03-10-2011 06:54 PM

Lye = Sodium Hydroxide and is a main ingredient (along with Sodium Hypochlorite) in Clorox and all other chlorine bleaches. I will try this first. I’ve got a really sappy Freud that needs a bath.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2934 days

#12 posted 03-10-2011 07:50 PM

Sodium hydroxide is a viscious base. I wouldn’t use it unless forced. The degreasers above can be had at WalMart for less than $5 & come in a spray can. For a $100+ Forrest, I’d consider a $40 resharpen but for a DeWalt blade, I’d just replace it & cut up the old blade to make fun tools. Lowes had a two-blade set of DeWalt’s on sale last week for around $30. I’ve got a Forrest but I’ve had good results with the $50 CMT at Lowe’s.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2133 days

#13 posted 09-24-2013 11:35 PM

This has piqued my interest since I have three 10” blades needing replacement or sharpening. Anyone here sharpening their own circular saw blades with a simple sharpening/jig setup? Clearly, doing this with precision is key. Any special tips and photos to share? Thanks in advance.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#14 posted 09-25-2013 05:02 PM

As gdpifer said, this is a job for a professional. I too had a sharpening business. I still do my own saw blades, but I have the special equipment to do a precise job. Most times you will find a tooth that has a chip out of it. No amount of “hand filing”will ever fix the tooth. Sometimes a tooth has to be replaced. This is not a DIY job. I clean my blades with a very weak solution of Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) and warm water. I use a brass wire brush to clean it well; then rinse well with water. If the blade is not too badly gummed up, I use TSP. I’d pass on the HF device. My carbide grinder cost around $2000. I’m sure there is a difference.

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