It’s no secret that trying to cut materials with a dull table saw blade is difficult and frustrating. Using a dull table saw blade will require much more force than necessary, which contributes to the poor accuracy of your cuttings.
While there are simpler ways how to sharpen table saw blades, the process of sharpening these blades can sometimes be a handful. This is the case even with the best table saw for woodworking projects.
I remember when I was a few months into doing my projects. I had a restoration project for a mid-century dresser that required some accurate cuts. I got to work on a few panels before I discovered my table saw blade was actually getting a bit dull.
Back then, I didn’t know that it was possible to sharpen my own saw blades. What I did was buy additional carbide saw blades and simply change them. Eventually, someone asked me why I was buying so many saw blades. When they learned that my blades got dull often, they helped me learn how to sharpen them.
However, you do not have to sharpen your table saw blades every time you use them. How often you sharpen your table saw blades will depend on the type of materials you cut. In most cases, an occasional tune-up is only necessary if your blade is used regularly.
While some woodworkers would rather save themselves from stress by taking their blades to professionals for sharpening, doing it yourself helps to save some money, especially when a quick sharpening can be done anytime you notice a chip or a couple of dead teeth on your blades.
Different Types of Blade Materials
There are several techniques for sharpening table saw blades that you should be able to handle on your own. It is important to note that the type of technique you employ should be dependent on the material of the blade.
Every part of the blade, including the teeth, is made from stainless steel and is prone to bluntness. These blades are relatively cheap and can be replaced as much as you would like.
I didn’t buy these blades when I was starting out because I believed in longevity more than price. The way I calculated it, I’d spend more using stainless steel instead of carbide.
Here, the table saw blades are usually made from steel, whereas the teeth are made with carbide, which explains why they can remain sharp for a longer period. Although they are more expensive, they can be resharpened as long as there is enough carbide left on the tip.
I used carbide exclusively when I was starting out, but I didn’t know then that I could sharpen them once they become dull.
Let’s Walk You Through
While some methods seem to take longer than others, you still need to choose the right method based on your skill level and blade type to achieve optimum results.
With the following steps highlighted for each method below, you should be able to sharpen your table saw blades without any professional help.
1. Get Your Materials and Tools Ready
First, you need to have the right tools if you intend to properly sharpen your table saw blades. The following tools will help you save time while ensuring you have the best results.
- A set of plier
- Screw Clamps
- A ring spanner
- Flat and Triangular Files/Diamond stone.
- Lubrication oil
- A Jig gives stability and helps to prop up the blade while you sharpen on a tabletop
2. Follow All Safety Precautions
- You must do what you can to eliminate any risk of accidents before getting started. Remember the following precautions:
- Put on safety goggles to protect your eyes from dust and sparks
- Wear a pair of hand gloves to prevent bruises and cuts from accidental scratches from blade or direct heat
- Safety ear muffs should be used as they reduce the risk of ear damage from the noise
- Wearing a dust mask respirator prevents the inhalation of metal particles in dust
3. Decide on the Sharpening Method to Use
There are basically three ways you can sharpen your saw blades. Depending on your preference and the tools at hand, here are the various ways to sharpen your saw blades.
- First, fix a piece of wood between the table saw blade and the vice to prevent the blade from getting damaged.
- Next, align the teeth of the blade, and ensure that they point in the same direction to make the sharpening process easier.
- Now, start sharpening with a flat file while you ensure that attention is paid to the top and front of each tooth because they are the cutting angles. Try not to file the teeth excessively so they don’t become too low.
- Lastly, with a triangular file, you just have to make sure the flat spot on each tooth is sharpened enough to be pointy.
Diamond Sharpening Blade
Grinding Wheel or Bench Grinder
Although these steps are guaranteed to guide you through the process if followed, it still takes some time, patience, and effort to achieve optimal results, especially if you are new to hand or power tools.
I was also a bit impatient when I started out sharpening my saw blades. My first few attempts were laughably incorrect, and I had to spend a lot of time learning how to correctly sharpen my blades. Even the best table saw for the money will have blades that need to be sharpened.
If you’re expecting to get it perfect the first time, don’t. Allow yourself space for a learning curve before you master the art of sharpening your own saw blades. Remember, the more you practice, the better your results!