sharpining saw blades

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Forum topic by tyson posted 03-17-2009 04:25 AM 998 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 3406 days

03-17-2009 04:25 AM

does anyone sharpen there own table saw blades? if so how difficult is it to do? i have a few i have been hanging onto for years. i would like to try my hand at making them cut again if possible

-- a truly wise man never plays leap frog with a unicorn

5 replies so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3896 days

#1 posted 03-17-2009 08:56 PM

In the “old days” pretty much all saw blades were made out of High Speed Steel (HSS). HSS is soft enough that it doesn’t stay sharp very long, especially when cutting hardwoods, but it could be sharpened periodically. You can do it by hand with a file but it tends to be a fairly tedious maintenance job. They also made machines that do it automatically.

At some point it became cost-effective to manufacture blades with CARBIDE teeth. Carbide is so hard that it stays sharp WAY longer than HSS. In fact, carbide blades are SO cost effective and last SO long that by the time they get dull they aren’t worth sharpening. Just like a lot of things these days a lot of carbide saw blades are considered “disposable.”

Carbide saw blades can be professionally sharpened but not easily sharpened at home. It you buy a very good quality, very expensive carbide blade it is worth having professionally sharpened. It usually costs about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of replacing the blade. (This makes sense if you pay $100 for a blade)

Inexpensive carbide blades are not worth re-sharpening because the cost would be greater than the price to replace it. Also, on lower-priced blades the carbide teeth are thinner and are of too poor of quality to resharpen.

So in answer to your original question, ”Does anyone sharpen there own table saw blades?” The answer for the most part is ”Not really… anymore.” Although I’m sure there will be a few posts after mine to the contrary… after all, this is LumberJocks.

In my opinion HSS blades are obsolete since the introduction of carbide blades, but there are still people using them. I don’t know why. Blades are cheap. Just go buy one and spend the time you’ve saved woodworking.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4422 days

#2 posted 03-17-2009 11:01 PM

Just find a good sharpener and leave the details to him/her.

-- 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 Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3378 days

#3 posted 03-18-2009 05:33 PM

there normally is a sharpener service local in any city or town for that matter. Usually they come to pick up the blades and you pay per tooth. Really it’s the best because you a certain you have the right angles on each point correct. They have the right equipment for that, precision machines. To reduce your risks of chip out leave it to the pros. Just like your customers leave the woodworking to you!
I only know because i tried to save a few bucks, when it actually cost me a new blade. Another option is to use oven cleaner on your blades when pitch build up is a problem. I know they sell other citrus stuff, but oven cleaner is superb.


-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 03-18-2009 06:40 PM

I used oven cleaner previously, until I found out, from a Freud representative, the the chemicals in it attack the binding agent uesd in attachiching the carbide tips to the blade. It eventually weakens them and can cause tip tips to come of while in motion. I have a much safer method now that works real well. Add 1/4 c. of baking soda to 1 qt. water, mix well and soak your blade in this solution for 8 hrs. then take out and brush lightly with a scrub brush. It works real well, and blades that thought needed sharpening work much better.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3397 days

#5 posted 03-18-2009 06:56 PM

Our local Ace Hardware store has an arrangement with a sharpening service, so all I have to do is drop off my blades when I’m at the store. It costs me $15-$18, depending on the tooth count.

There used to be two guys locally who ran sharpening shops out of their garages—Foley Belsaw training and equipment, maybe?—but the advent of carbide out both out of business. I just tore out some old shelves in the shop and came across a few old HSS blades, one still had a sticker from one of those guys. Those blades must have been there for 25 years!

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

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