How to Sharpen a Circular Saw Blade

Learning how to sharpen a circular saw blade may only save you a few dollars, but there are other benefits to consider. You'll have the confidence of knowing your blade was sharpened correctly and you'll keep that old blade out of the landfill, which is good for the environment.

How To Sharpen A Circular Saw Blade Right The First Time

Circular saw blades come in a number of different configurations and materials. For a steel blade, a typical hand file will be sufficient, but for carbide or diamond tipped blades, you'll need a diamond-coated file to get the job done. To sharpen a circular saw blade, follow these steps:

  • What's it made of? The material your saw blade is made out of will tell you whether you should attempt to sharpen it. Steel blades should be relatively simple to sharpen, but carbide tipped blades should probably be handed off to a professional. Check your phonebook under "Saws - Sharpening & Repairing."
  • What you'll need. To sharpen a circular saw blade you'll need a vise, a triangular file, some gloves and protective eyewear. You'll need a diamond-coated file for carbide or diamond-tipped blades.
  • Set up the blade. First, remove the blade from the saw. Next, mount the blade in your vise with the blades facing you. Be careful not to over tighten the blade as you may damage it. Using chalk or a grease pencil, mark the tooth where you'll start sharpening. This way, you'll avoid sharpening the same tooth more than once.
  • Alternate teeth. A circular saw blade features teeth that alternate left and right bevels. Starting with the tooth you marked, you'll sharpen every other tooth, and then flip the blade to work on the other teeth. For each tooth, run the file about four times up and down the bevel, matching the existing angle. After you've gone all the way around the blade, turn the blade in the vise and sharpen the bevels on the other side.
  • A little off the top. After you've worked on the bevels, you'll want to file the tips of each tooth. Run the file once across the top of each tooth until you've gone all the way around the blade.
  • Can't sharpen? If all else fails, don't get rid of your dull blades. If you can't re-sharpen your blade, it can be used for demolition work or to cut cement-based materials like Hardiboard or Durock.
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