Worn-out saw blades

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Forum topic by oldwoodman posted 02-14-2009 10:10 AM 2674 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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137 posts in 2815 days

02-14-2009 10:10 AM

I have a question for those of you who have been woodworking for years. And this is an honest question. I am not trying to be cute.

What do you do with worn-out saw blades? I have a lot of the cheap $7-$10 blades that I have used in my small construction business. When they are worn out I replace them, but I have not thrown them in the trash. I hate the idea of the metal blades adding to the local landfill. And I do not live in the city where curbside recycling occurs. I have about 30 worn-out blades that are gathering dust in my shop.

This brings to mind another question. How often do you have your expensive blades sharpened? I have never had the need to purchase those $80 or more saw blades. Is there a finite life even of those expensive blades?

I look forward to hearing your answers.

Old Woodman

20 replies so far

View Darell's profile


433 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 02-14-2009 10:18 AM

I used to see old handsaws and circular saw blades at craft shows that had pictures painted on them. I think it was called tole painting. You might check around at a craft show and see if anyone knows someone who still does that.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 02-14-2009 01:45 PM

I’ve seem them used to make clocks too. What size blade are you talking about?
Doug in Az.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3239 days

#3 posted 02-14-2009 02:46 PM

One of the advantages of buying top quality blades is their longevity in that they can be resharpened several times. They do have a finite life, of course, but it exceeds that of more economical blades due to the thickness of the carbide on the saw. I generally send mine to be sharpened when its cutting ability begins to struggle- excessive burning, bogging down on rip cuts, etc. I work with a lot of cherry and the blade has to be sharp and the saw well tuned to minimize burning with this wood.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2975 days

#4 posted 02-14-2009 02:50 PM

Advertise in a local paper that you have blades to give away. You’ll get plenty of calls from people looking to paint them and/or make clocks from them.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3545 days

#5 posted 02-14-2009 03:01 PM

Depending on the steel, they make good knives and cutting tools.
Consider trading with a metalworker.

-- 温故知新

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3161 days

#6 posted 02-14-2009 03:10 PM

I have an aunt that paints on them and makes clocks. I have 2 each of the Forrest 30 and 40 tooth blades and I rotate sending them in for sharpening about every 10-12 months.

View oldwoodman's profile


137 posts in 2815 days

#7 posted 02-15-2009 02:51 AM

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and suggestions. I will try to find someone who could use the old saw blades.

View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 2855 days

#8 posted 02-15-2009 06:32 AM

Chinese throwing stars. ... I believe “Predator” used them as weapons too. Definitely put them to use as weapons.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View bendisplays's profile


40 posts in 2817 days

#9 posted 02-15-2009 08:00 PM

Old woodman,

I am not really sure where you can take them. I do a lot of work with plastic and I have some blades that cost over $300. I would saw that the bulk of them are $80 to $120. I get about 3 to 4 sharpenings out of them. I have not figured out where to recycle them either.

I do like the clock painting idea.



View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 2849 days

#10 posted 02-15-2009 10:31 PM

Ben, maybe I missed the point but why are you only getting 3-4 sharpenings out of a blade?

Several years ago I checked on the price of scraping the metal in old saw blades as we had a ton of customers who basically hung them on a peg on the wall when the carbide was to thin and they were shot. At the time it was a penney a pound. Not real economical to scrap them if you do the math.

-- David,

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2810 days

#11 posted 02-15-2009 11:00 PM

when a $80 blade is SO, SO noisy and is getting hard to push the work, is time for a sharpening. I just take them with a local sharpener, end of the story.
The idea of recycling is admirable, thanks for being conscious about our bad habits. Must have somebody in your area buying steel, who knows you get in those 30 blades the money to buy the nice blade

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 2849 days

#12 posted 02-15-2009 11:06 PM

Admirable goes out the door at 5 cents for a 10” blade…

-- David,

View bendisplays's profile


40 posts in 2817 days

#13 posted 02-16-2009 01:52 AM


I might be able to get more cuts out of the blades but our sharpener recomends replacement after 3 to 4 sharpenings. I use mainly sawblades like 80 tooth triple chip amana systimatics. I would like to get a few more sharpenings out of it.



View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2504 posts in 2855 days

#14 posted 02-16-2009 01:57 AM

I always keep a few around sharpened even though they are at end of life when I have to rough cut some plywood or blade killers like particle board.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 2849 days

#15 posted 02-16-2009 01:59 AM

Ben, I’ll never pretend to know it all…I don’t but let me be blount: Your sharpener has no clue as to what he or she is talking about. Amana and Systimatic are high quality saw blades with a boat load of carbide on them. If this company is getting 3-4 sharpenings then they are grinding the sh** out of the blades. 10 sharpenings at the very minimum. I would suggest you try a differant company in your area.

-- David,

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