Last Updated On March 28, 2023
- Types of Circular Saw Blades
- How Can I Sharpen Circular Saw Blades?
- How to Identify that Blades Need Sharpening?
- Using an Automatic Sharpener
- Using Manual Sharpening Method
- Cleaning the blade
- Clamping the Blade
- Marking the Blade
- Trimming the Blade
- Sharpening the Blade
- Reinstalling and Testing the Sharpened Blade
- Final Words From Gears Guider
What did you think that you would buy a circular saw and the blade would last forever? Maybe you know that blades don’t last forever. But do you know that you have to sharpen them on a regular basis?
On regular basis, we don’t mean that you have to sharpen them after each use. You have to sharpen them after a few uses though for optimum performance.
But the thing is, circular saw blades are not like regular blades. A circular saw blade requires a certain angle to sharpen. Again, the entire process of sharpening circular saw blades is not conventional.
You need to know exactly what you have to do to make sure you’re not doing anything wrong. Definitely, it is worth sharpening the circular saw blade because it ensures longevity. Though some people suggest that you should not do anything to blades after they lose sharpness. But let me assure you, circular saws might be high maintenance devices but blades, you can sharpen and reuse.
In this article, we will show you precise steps of how you can sharpen circular saw blades and discuss circular saw blade sharpening angles. But before you jump forward with the process to sharpen a circular saw blade, let’s familiarize ourselves with a few basics.
Types of Circular Saw Blades
There are a few types of circular saw blades. Before you can sharpen them, it is best to know a few details about them so that you can refrain from making mistakes.
Steel Tipped Blades
Not too long ago, steel-tipped and steel-made blades were all we had in the market. Woodworkers were comfortable using steel-tipped blades for their regular work. These blades are at least 15% more durable than other types of blades.
Starting from the center to the tips, the entire blade is made of steel. If you check in with the cutlery you have at home, you would see most of them are made of steel. Specifically, I’m talking about knives. Those are the ones that will be subjected to this discussion.
Steel has been a very regularly used material for cutting and woodworking. People still prefer using steel blades because of their durability. The best part is, steel blades are subjected to have more long-lasting applications if they are sharpened regularly.
Carbide Tipped Blades
Carbide blades are considered to be the premium-grade blades in the market. The body of the blade is definitely not made of carbide. Rather, the blade body is made of steel, and the tips are carbide made.
Carbide blades are specified mostly for woodworking and the sharpness of these blades is determined by the number of teeth they have. This is a cutting-edge technology introduced for sharper cuts and more productivity. But the sharpening angle of these blades is a lot because you have to sharpen all the teeth. Believe me, they have lots.
Diamond Grit Blades
Diamond grit or diamond file blades are basically used for cutting materials like stone, tile, concrete, brick, marble, etc. They don’t have any teeth. The entire blade is like a disk with all-over rounded edges.
The sharp edges are covered with diamonds. Well, not the diamond women wear as jewelry but the diamond that is used for cutting objects that require sharpness.
As we move forward with sharpening circular saw blades, you must know there are two ways you can sharpen a circular saw blade.
How Can I Sharpen Circular Saw Blades?
Just like I said, there are two sharpening methods that you can apply to sharpen circular saw blades. One is sharpening the blade manually and number two is using a blade sharpener. A blade sharpener is also known as an automatic sharpener.
The name almost suggests the sharpening process. People have their preferences. Some prefer manual sharpening while others want their carbide-tipped circular saw blade’s carbide teeth sharpened by a machine without any labor.
How to Identify that Blades Need Sharpening?
While working with a circular saw, you will see that there are a lot of residues. Especially, while cutting wood, you can see that the dust extractor of the circular saw is constantly taking out the residue from the cutting point.
But if the blades are not sharpened properly, there will be issues while cutting. Let’s discuss a few signs that are right there for you to determine when each blade requires actual sharpening. A dull blade will-
- Cut slower
- Will have more tearing while ripping wood than having clean rips
- Will definitely produce smoke
Also, if you are afraid of using them in the first place, you can check –
- Whether the blade tips have glazing or not
- Notice burn marks
- Diamond is worn off
- Metal bonding has melted off
These are the indicators of dull blades. For confirmation, you can compare the old blades with newer ones. A new and sharp blade will definitely have a sharp edge, and the saw teeth will be intact. Even if the blade has alternating teeth, all of those blades will have immense sharpness.
Let’s follow up with both of the processes of sharpening a saw blade with which you can sharpen blades to achieve smooth cuts.
Using an Automatic Sharpener
A sharpening machine will cost quite a lot more than sharpening circular saw blades by hand. But people prefer using a sharpening machine because the end result is aesthetically pleasing.
You see, the machine is solely designed for that one work. If you put in a saw blade, it will come out just like a new one. Even if one tooth or a few teeth are missing, you won’t be able to tell the different while you inspect the cutting edges after using the blade.
There are a few reasons why people prefer spending bucks on an automatic sharpener-
- Money-saver in the long run
- Accurate grind angle
- can Sharpen several blades in one go
There are a few things you have to consider while buying a circular saw blade sharpening device. There will be absolutely no work if you put a saw blade inside the machine. But, buying the perfect machine is the technique to learn here.
Saw blades that are used on a daily basis usually are sized between 3.5 to 12 inches. Some blades are larger, but those are used mostly for industrial purposes. They are usually used in large circular saws.
So, buying a machine that matches the size of the circular saw blade that you are using or you own, should be the utmost priority.
This part is important, pay attention. Circular saw blades have a certain tip angle maintaining which each blade needs to be sharpened. Also, not all blades can be sharpened at the same angle. Don’t confuse the tilt angle with the bevel angle.
If the tilt angle isn’t proper, it won’t be possible for any machine to sharpen circular saw blades. In order to perfectly sharpen a saw blade, the tilt angle has to be perfect. The best circular saw blade sharpening angle lies between 0 and to 25 degrees.
Diamond and Emory’s surfaces are the ones you will find in regular sharpening machines. Emory surfaces are used for sharpening specially hardened steel saw blades and diamond wheels are specifically for carbide-tipped blades.
A carbide-tipped one is an expensive blade. This wheel is ideal for blades made of softer materials Make sure your sharpening machines come with both surface options if you have all types of blades.
Using Manual Sharpening Method
This is not an easy task. If you think a few strokes of a triangular file would do the trick, then you’re wrong. For starters you need –
- Triangular file
- Two screw clamps
- Ring spanner
- Flat file
Let’s give you a walk-through in a step-by-step process. Sharpening a blade manually can be tough if all steps are not followed
Cleaning the blade
Before you can begin with a sharpening process, at first you need a clean blade. So, take the saw blade out from the saw and clean it properly. A properly cleaned saw blade will reduce the chances of any damage made while sharpening.
Clamping the Blade
The blade needs to be clamped well on your workstation. Use both of the clamps that you picked up and clamp the blade to sharpen for accurate cuts.
Marking the Blade
You don’t want any tip over sharped. As the entire circle of tips acts like one single blade, each tip needs to be sharpened equally.
So, mark one tooth as the first tooth of the entire blade to start sharpening. You can mark the blade using any technique you want.
Trimming the Blade
There will be some blades that are uneven and require a bit of trimming. To do that, take a flat file tool and start filing the teeth of the tips. Keep filing the teeth until they all reach the same height.
There will be a few teeth that have bent. You need to straighten them out as well before you can start with the sharpening process. The bent blade tips cause trouble while cutting.
You see the bend creates a pocket and residues can get stuck in those pockets and turn a completely nice blade into a dull blade. Whether you sharpen the blade or not, keeping these blade tips bent would impose a problem.
Sharpening the Blade
Now it’s time for the triangular file to do its magic. File each blade tip separately and file them till you feel they are sharpened enough.
You can test their sharpness by touching the tips with your bare fingers. If one tip feels sharp enough, go to the next one.
If the blade contains alternative teeth, file each tip from the opposite side. This step will take some time.
Reinstalling and Testing the Sharpened Blade
Reinstall the blade in the circular saw, take a board of the suitable material for the blade, turn the saw on, and run it. If the blade is sharpened properly, the factors that indicated the need for the blades to be sharpened will be absent.
What is the correct angle to sharpen a circular saw blade?
Circular saw blade sharpening angles typically range from 25 to 35 degrees, but the ideal angle depends on the blade and material.
What are the angles of circular saw blade teeth?
Circular saw blade teeth angles include the bevel and top angles. Bevel angle ranges from 5 to 20 degrees, while the top angle ranges from 10 to 30 degrees.
Final Words From Gears Guider
Regular sharpening is the way of taking care of your blade. Without this, you cannot expect the blade to perform well like cutting hardwood, and sustain the durability it promised when you bought it.
Also, remember to follow each step carefully so that the blades that you want sharpening get sharpened properly. Otherwise, you will not be able to turn your dull blades into usable ones and in the end, blame the process. Also, You can join some woodworking forums to learn more about circular saw blades.
So, don’t skip any step. If you are going for the manual process, picking the right tools is important. And if you’re going for the special tools aka high-speed sharpening method for sharpening circular saw blades, pick the best sharpening machine that matches your requirements.
This is Ahmed Shuvo, an enthusiastic tool enthusiast with a passion for saws, especially circular saws and miter saws. I have written blog posts and conducted research on the proper use and maintenance of these tools. I am also a DIYer who enjoys making wooden projects and always striving to improve my skills. I am confident in my expertise and eager to contribute to the growth of this industry through my writing.