Cleaning Saw Blades

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Forum topic by EMVarona posted 04-02-2014 11:10 AM 1680 views 1 time favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2834 days

04-02-2014 11:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw miter saw blade sharpening

Saw Blade Cleaning

I’ve read a number of articles that say that if saw blades do not cut well is to clean them with solvents like oven cleaners, carbon tetra chloride, or bug cleaner used on car wind shields. I’ve tried these compounds but they still require some amount of scrubbing. Now I thought of using the wire brushes that go with those tiny rotary tools and they really clean quite well and fast combined with the cleaning compound. Question ... Will this harm the saw blade?

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

33 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4399 days

#1 posted 04-02-2014 11:24 AM

If it’s a brash brush it shouldn’t do any problem. I wouldn’t do a steel bristled brush.

-- 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 knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3374 days

#2 posted 04-02-2014 12:02 PM

+1 on Karson’s post. You can also add household cleaners like 409, Totally Awesome, Fantastic, or Greased Lightning to your list.

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

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3741 days

#3 posted 04-02-2014 12:18 PM

I read this tip somewhere a while back.

Soak your blades overnight in water with some baking soda. The pitch comes off really easily using a soft nylon brush like an old tooth brush. This also works well on router bits. A cheap, non-smelly and safe solution.

-- Mark

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1719 days

#4 posted 04-02-2014 12:32 PM

The softer bristles you’re able to use to get the job done, the less likely you’ll scratch the blade, definitely no steel bristles. Some solvents can be harmful to the carbide and/or the brazing attaching the teeth to the plate.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2444 days

#5 posted 04-02-2014 12:41 PM

MarkE,I have tried Washing soda and it does the job much better than any harsh chemicals. the link below explains how we can turn baking soda into washing soda at home :

Washing soda is also sold at th most hardware stores.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#6 posted 04-02-2014 01:27 PM

A short soak in Simple Green followed by a quick once-over with a hand-held plastic bristle brush does the trick for me. Very little effort involved.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4930 posts in 3958 days

#7 posted 04-02-2014 02:07 PM

+1 for the washing soda (not baking soda). Bio friendly, flush it down the drain when done, and it’s CHEAP.


View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#8 posted 04-02-2014 02:42 PM

I just use water and dish washing liquid in a pizza pan let the blade soak, go over it w/ a tooth brush.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodenwizard's profile


1331 posts in 3041 days

#9 posted 04-02-2014 04:02 PM

Rockler sells a resin cleaner that works pretty well. I soak the blade in it for about 20 minutes, scrub with a brass brush and dry it off. Works for me with little effort.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3241 days

#10 posted 04-02-2014 04:08 PM

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1563 days

#11 posted 04-02-2014 04:32 PM

When resin builds up on my blades I simply take them to the utility sink and soak them in warm soapy water (hand soap). Followed with a quick brushing with a toothbrush. Works great.


View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1274 posts in 1632 days

#12 posted 04-02-2014 04:34 PM

Yes a steel brush will cause harm to the blade.

Is brushing that hard? you only need the carbide cleaned.

I use both empire blade cleaner or simple green. I soak the blade, and use an new stiff toothbrush that’s dedicated to the task. I recently brought my blade over to Forrest to sharpen, Tony could not believe how clean it was, but how dull it was. Keeping it clean goes a long way to getting longevity out of it.

He could tell it was used heavily by looking at the carbide, but he could not believe how clean it was. It’s not hard, and I don’t do it all that frequently, but it’s not hard to soak the blade, then clean it.

I use an oil pan that I got from HF, the type you stick under your car to change the oil… it’s big enough to hold the blade comfortably.

I used to use carb cleaner, brake cleaner, paint stripper… no more, they are just too dangerous with a brush, and are no better than the 2 I mentioned above.

Just my opinion.

-- Jeff NJ

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2575 days

#13 posted 04-02-2014 04:51 PM

I use rockler’s blade cleaner as well.
I don’t dilute it; pour it in a pan, soak blade for a bit, wipe clean.
The old cleaner goes back in the bottle.
I’ve been using the same bottle of cleaner since I started woodworking 8+ years ago.
Smells like oranges. :-p

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View bonesbr549's profile


1549 posts in 3065 days

#14 posted 04-02-2014 05:34 PM

Best I’ve found is Bit-N-Blade. I spritz it on and let it set a minute, use a soft toothbrush (that I’ve taped to the bottle to keep up with it) to go in circular motions to clean. Works great and the soft bristle toothbrush does not damage the carbide. I just wish you could still get it in a spray can.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2912 days

#15 posted 04-02-2014 07:10 PM

Dawn dish washing soap and a toothbrush. I lay a hand towel in the sink to keep the carbide teeth safe, let it soak for a couple minutes, bush, rinse, and dry with a paper towel… Done.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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