Do you have a dull blade on your table saw? You don’t have to just toss it out. You can actually sharpen table saw blades pretty easily. There is more than one way to sharpen a blade but it’s really up to you how you do it in the end.
Go ahead and take a look at this guide to help walk you through the process of how to sharpen your blade.
Why Should I Sharpen My Blade?
Some people think that when a blade is dull on the table saw that you should just replace it. But can you imagine how much money you might be able to save if you sharpen your blades instead of just tossing them every time that they get dull?
We get it. Table saw blades have a lot of teeth. You have to sharpen each one of them. But it really is worth it. Also, can we just mention that it really doesn’t take all that long once you get started. Sharpening those blades is easier than you might think.
Ultimately, you sharpen a table saw blade to make it cut better, help improve your saw’s performance, and then also make the blade last longer as well.
There is more than one way to sharpen a blade but the easiest method is to just use a diamond saw blade on the saw to sharpen other blades. Of course, this might depend on the material of the saw blade.
There are two methods that are most used. You can either create a jig and use your table saw or you can sharpen it by hand.
Sharpening a Table Saw Blade by Hand
The safest way to sharpen the saw blade is just to do it by hand. This is the recommended method for getting a reliably sharp blade and it won’t take all that much time to complete. You can do several blades at once if you prefer as well.
You just need these tools for the task.
- Clamps or a vise
- Pliers (optional)
- Sharpening file tool
Alright, now let’s walk through the steps.
1. Remove the blade
You should plan to wear gloves to protect your hands and quite possibly some safety goggles too. It’s quite possible that shards of metal debris will fly up so don’t take the chance.
Before you can sharpen the blade, you need to remove it from the saw. Be sure that the saw is powered down and unplugged before you get your hands anywhere near the blade. Remove the blade as recommended by your manual.
Most likely you will need to take off things like the guard and throat plate and then raise up the blade to unscrew the arbor nut.
Always handle the blade carefully to avoid accidental cuts or snags.
2. Clamp and prep
You are going to need to either be able to clamp the blade to hold it steady or use a vice to lock it into place while you sharpen.
If you use a vise, be sure to place small wooden blocks on either side of the saw blade before you get started. This will just ensure that you don’t damage the blade from the tight grip of the vise or clamps.
Now, place the blade in the vise, making sure the teeth are pointing up for the process. Secure the blade tightly to hold it steady. You’re going to be applying some pressure.
Before you start sharpening, use a Sharpie or something to slightly mark where you started. This will help you know when you’ve made it all the way back around.
3. Begin the sharpening process
Here comes the hard part. You’re going to use the sharpening file to then sharpen every tooth of the blade.
Move the file back and forth across the sharp edge of each tooth. You will most likely spend a few minutes on each tooth. Move from one tooth to the next in consecutive order as each tooth gets sharpened.
When necessary, you can rotate the blade until you make it all of the way back around to where you started. While you’re at it, you might as well sharpen all of the blades that need your attention.
We want to mention one thing here. As you are filing, you will probably actually use two filing steps. You should first use the file to flatten out the tooth. Then, you will follow up to sharpen it to a point. This keeps them even and sharp along the way.
You may end up using more than one type of file. A simple filing tool will flatten but using a triangular file can be helpful when you are actually sharpening. Here, you will sharpen the gaps and over the points of each tooth.
4. Lubricate and finish up
Once you’ve got the blade or blades sharpened to your liking, you can move on to lubricating your blade. Lubricating your blade after sharpening basically gives it some much needed TLC that will help it stay sharp and last longer.
You just need a small amount of oil rubbed into the sharp edges and the entirety of the blade. Don’t rub it in with your hand. Use a rag or even some newspaper for that step.
Once you finish lubricating, you can put the saw blade back onto your table saw. Follow all of the same steps as you did when you removed the blade. Make sure it is unplugged and then secure the blade with the arbor nut. From there, you can lower the blade and then replace the throat plate and the blade guard as well.
Signs a Blade Needs to Be Sharpened
If you’re not really sure whether you need to sharpen your blade, here are a few tricks you can use to determine when it’s time to sharpen.
- Your cuts are getting extra rough
- The saw has a lot of extra vibration
- The saw blade is making extra noise
- The blade is leaving behind discoloration and markings
- The blade seems to be cutting or moving too slowly
These are all indicators that your blade needs to either be cleaned or sharpened. Honestly, it likely needs a little bit of both.
You can also look for burrs, chipping, or edges that just look pretty dull to know when to sharpen the blade.
Sharpening a table saw blade doesn’t have to be hard. However, it does take a little bit of time since you have to sharpen each tooth individually. Here, we’ve talked about sharpening by hand but some woodworkers will actually use a diamond blade on the table saw to sharpen their dull blades.
This method is the safest and easiest method but feel free to look into other methods if you feel the need!