Introduction: Table Saw Blades
Whether you’re a craftsman, contractor or DIY enthusiast working on woodworking projects, you’ve probably heard of how useful a table saw is to cut wooden boards down to size. Table saws are awesome machines used to make rip cuts, crosscuts, bevel cuts and even grooves using dados. Table saws come in different makes, models and with table saws getting cheaper and easier to find nowadays, it’s no surprise that more people want to get their hands on one.
However, a table saw is only as effective as its blade. Table saw blades are circular in shape
and are as diverse as the machines that use them. There are blades for wood, metal and even masonry blades. Knowing what type of blade to use and how to use it is an essential part of being a table saw owner.
The sharpness of these blades affect how smooth the cutting action is and how clean the finish will be.The last thing you’d want is a dull saw blade that causes a lot of tear out or burns the board it cuts through. But instead of throwing out a dull saw blade, what if told you there was a way to resharpen them and extend their use a little bit more. In this article, we’ll be covering the different techniques and methods you can use to sharpen table saw blades along with some of the best tools to help get the job done.
Table of Contents
– Different Methods
– Things to Consider
2 – 4
|Table Saw Blade Sharpening Guide|
– Sharpening with Grinding Discs
– Sharpening with a Metal File
– Sharpening with an Abrasive Saw Blade
– Sharpening with a Circular Saw Blade Sharpener
5 – 8
– Best Grinding Disc
– Best Metal File
– Best Circular Saw Blade Sharpener
– Best Abrasive Saw Blade
9 – 12
Comparison Table for Grinding Disc for Sharpening Table Saw Blades
Before we get to the steps needed to sharpen our dull blades, let’s discuss the important factors you should take note of first.
Different Methods to Sharpen Table Saw Blades
If you have a Dremel or rotary tool, you could use a grinding disc to sharpen the teeth of a table saw blade. Also called grind wheels, these attachments are made with an abrasive material such as aluminum oxide. Using a dremel tool or die grinder with a grinding disc attachment lets you get into the tight spaces between teeth easier without much hassle. This is one of the easiest methods if you have the right tools but needs a little practice to get each tooth sharpened equally and accurately.
Metal files are multipurpose tools that are used to sharpen, deburr, polish and file different materials. Metal files are used in different industries and are a popular tool for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. Metal files come in different sizes as well and it should be noted that you will need a very thin metal file to sharpen the teeth of a table saw blade. Now, you might be thinking that it would take forever to sharpen a blade manually but, you’d be surprised. With enough practice, you could sharpen a 10 inch table saw blade in 30 to 45 minutes.
Abrasive Saw Blade
This method needs you to buy or own an abrasive blade compatible with your current table saw. Instead of using a sharp cutting edge, an abrasive blade has an abrasive coating that lets it slice through masonry and, in this case, sharpen metal. Abrasive blades or diamond blades come in different sizes, forms and some use different types of abrasive coatings. This method is one of the fastest and most accurate just because of how powerful a table saw is along with the option for the user to make a jig to hold the dull blade in place.
Circular Saw Blade Teeth Sharpener
Circular saw blade sharpeners, as the name suggests, are designed to sharpen the teeth of table saw blades, cut off saw blades and circular saws. They work in a very similar way as to how you would use an abrasive saw in a table saw. It uses a smaller abrasive blade powered by a motor to sharpen the carbide bits of a saw blade. The sharpener comes with a stand that holds the saw blade in place and adjusts to the size of the blade. This method is the most costly because these sharpening tools are specialized, are somewhat harder to find and harder to manufacture.
Things to Consider
Does The Blade Require Sharpening
No matter what brand or type of blade you use on your table saw, it’s going to dull eventually. Here are some basic signs to look for that’ll tell you if the blade needs to be sharpened.
- More tearout than usual.
- Burn marks on the wood after cutting.
- Blade makes more noise when cutting.
- Carbide tips are cracked or chipped.
- More resistance than usual when making cuts.
Can The Blade Even Be Sharpened
There are only a select few table saw blades that can actually be sharpened. Most notably, only carbide blades that have a carbide tip can be sharpened. This is because the sharpening process of a table saw blade requires there to be some carbide left to be sharpened. This means that other blades like some masonry blades cannot be sharpened after they lose their grit or sharpness. If the carbide tip of the blade is gone or too thin, then don’t bother sharpening it
Is It Worth Sharpening Table Saw Blades
There are some benefits to resharpening your table saw blades. For one, you make the most out of every blade. This means you have to buy less blades every time and instead extend the lifespan of each blade. This helps you save money and be more eco-friendly by not immediately throwing away dulled blades. You also need to consider the price and quality of the blade you want to resharpen. If the blade is good quality and has less signs of wear, then it’s totally worth resharpening it. But if a cheap blade is showing signs of serious wear, then you might as well replace it. Resharpening your blades also takes time and even more patience. Even with the fastest methods, you could still spend the better half of an hour sharpening a single blade. So if you don’t have the time or patience to sharpen these yourself, this task might be the one for you.
When using some of the methods we’re about to teach you, it’s important to consider your safety and health above all else. Make sure to wear the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves or a mask because the metallic dust can cause some serious health issues if inhaled. Also make sure not to wear any loose clothing and jewelry that might get caught in the gears or moving parts of some of the power tools you’ll be using. Lastly, make sure the area you plan to sharpen these blades is well ventilated and away from any high risk bystanders like kids.
Table Saw Blade Sharpening Guide
Sharpening with Grinding Discs
Things to Prepare:
- You’ll be needing a Dremel or other rotary tool and a grinding disc or grinding stone attachment. You could also use attachments like an extension shaft or right angle tool to help you get a better angle of the teeth.
- Find a stable flat surface that you can use to position the blade in safely and securely. You could use the end of a workbench or table as a platform.
- Make sure to wear the appropriate attire for this task. It’s common for sparks and metallic dust to be flying so be sure to wear safety goggles and a mask.
Steps for Sharpening Using Grinding Discs:
- Firstly, you should position the blade slightly hanging off the table or workbench. Specifically, try to position it in such a way that the first 3 to 5 teeth (depending on how many teeth your table saw blade has and the spacing between them) are off the table.
Next, use a clamp to hold down the blade in position to prevent it from slipping off the table. The clamp should be out of the way of the grinding disc and not too tight that it would deform the blade. Alternatively, you could use your free hand to hold down the table saw blade although this could be tiring after a while and even unsafe if your hand slips.
Attach the grinding disc to your Dremel or rotary tool. Make sure it still has sufficient grit and is secure.
With the blade secured and the grinding disc installed, you can begin grinding. Start by turning on your rotary tool. If your rotary tool has a variable speed function, start at the lowest speed setting and slowly grind the face of the carbide tip tooth until the surface is polished. If the speed setting feels too high or too low, adjust accordingly. You’ll want to do this slowly to avoid completely grinding away the remaining carbide.
Once one tooth looks sharp enough, turn off your rotary tool and loosen the clamp so you can position the next saw tooth to be sharpened. When the next saw tooth is in place, simply lock the clamp back into position and repeat the previous step. Do this for all the saw’s teeth.
When you’ve completely sharpened all the carbide teeth, you can now proceed to testing the blade’s sharpness. Install the blade into your table saw and power it on. Start off with some thinner materials like plywood and begin cutting at the normal speed you’d usually use. Observe the blade’s performance and look for signs like unusual noise, tear out, burn marks on the wood or more resistance than expected.
If you feel like the blade needs to be sharper, check if each tooth has enough carbide left and if it does, resharpen it until you’re satisfied and test it again.
Sharpening with a Metal File
Things to Prepare:
- You’ll be needing a thin metal sharpening file that could fit between the teeth of the table saw blade.
- Look for a suitable surface where you could comfortably place the table saw blade. This could be the end of a workbench or table.
- Prepare some clamps to help hold down the blade and some cut resistant gloves that you (replacement image needed)
can use to hold the blade. If you have a table vise, you
could also use this tool.
- Get a cloth ready to wipe away any leftover dust.
- Wear a mask and some goggles to avoid any metallic dust getting into your eyes or nose.
Steps for Sharpening Using a Metal File:
- Firstly, you should know that there are two ways of positioning yourself and the blade for this task. The blade could be clamped and laid flat with a small portion of it hanging off the table. Or you could clamp the table saw blade vertically on the side of the table with only 3 or 5 teeth protruding above the table. Try out both positions and see which one you prefer to file at. Take note that filing a blade takes some patience and effort so be sure that you are comfortable.
- Once you’ve chosen an appropriate position, double check to see if the blade is secure. You don’t want the vise or clamp to be too tight because it could deform the blade as you’re filing.
- Begin filing the face of the carbide tipped tooth using a back and forth strokes. If the face is at an angle, follow the angle. You should file at a slower pace using the lower grit side of the file. The reason for doing this slowly is to avoid bending the blade too much. Filing the carbide tip too vigorously could unintentionally deform the blade.
- Every time you finish filing a tooth, you’ll have to untighten the clamp and position the next tooth. Do this until you file all the saw’s teeth.
- If ever you feel fatigued during the process, take breaks to recuperate. This task can be quite tiring and being tired will only lead to inconsistent results.
- After all the carbide tipped teeth are filed to your liking, it’s time to test it out. Install the blade in the table saw and power it on. Try putting thinner materials first such as plywood just to get a sense of the blade’s sharpness. Observe the blade’s performance and look for signs like unusual noise, tear out, burn marks on the wood or more resistance than expected. If ever you notice some weird noises or other signs, shut off the table saw, remove the blade and file it again.
- Once you’ve filed it a second time, test it out on the table saw and observe the results. If the second time didn’t do the trick, repeat the filing processes until the blade is sharp enough.
Sharpening with an Abrasive Saw Blade
Things to Prepare:
- You’ll be needing an abrasive table saw blade.
- This is optional but you could make a jig to hold the table saw blade in place while grinding it. Here’s a link to a video on how to make that jig: https://youtu.be/zHtVT-phN5I
- You’ll be needing a wooden plank to position the table saw blade on.
- You’ll also be needing some safety glasses. Be sure not to wear any loose clothing or jewelry during this process.
Steps for Sharpening Using an Abrasive Saw Blade
- First, you’ll need to cut a straight guideline through the center of the wooden board or plank you’ll be using as a platform for the dull saw. You can manually position the blunt blade along the guideline.
- Once that’s done, install the abrasive blade and align it with the guideline on the plank. Align the carbide tipped saw teeth with the guideline and slowly move the plank along the dull table saw towards the abrasive blade. Position the dull blade as close as possible to the abrasive blade without it touching.
- When the edge of the abrasive blade is parallel to the carbide tip, you can begin to sharpen the blade. To do this, slowly tap the carbide tip on the (replacement image needed)
abrasive edge until the carbide tip is polished or you think it is
sharp enough. When the tooth is sharpened or polished enough, slowly back it away from the abrasive blade and rotate the dull blade to the next tooth. Repeat this process for all the saw’s teeth.
- When all the teeth are sharpened to your liking, it’s time to test the blade. Start by removing the abrasive blade and installing the freshly sharpened blade. Test thinner materials first such as plywood. Power up the table saw and slowly put the plywood through the blade. Observe the blade’s performance and look for signs like unusual noise, tear out, burn marks on the wood or more resistance than expected. If ever you notice some weird noises or other signs, remove the dull blade, reinstall the abrasive blade and repeat the previous step.
- Test the blade after each time you sharpen the blade until it is the right sharpness for you.
Sharpening with a Circular Saw Blade Teeth Sharpener
Things to Prepare:
- Find a stable surface to position the sharpener on. You could use a table or workbench for this.
- Make sure an outlet or an extension cord is nearby to power the sharpener.
- Get familiar with the machine. Read the user manual thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the controls.
- Wear the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment). You’ll be needing safety glasses and a mask to protect against the fumes or dust that might be thrown around.
Steps for Sharpening Using a Circular Saw Blade Sharpener
- First, you’ll need to adjust the scale to the size of your dull table saw blade. Do this by adjusting the hand wheel or crank.
- Once the measurements are correct, install the dull blade on the stand and secure it. Also check the abrasive blade and ensure it is functioning properly.
- When the dull blade is secured and aligned, you can now begin sharpening it. To do this, power on the machine (if your machine has a variable speed function, set it to the lowest setting first) and slowly push the platform holding the dull blade as close as possible to the abrasive blade. When the abrasive (replacement image needed)
blade is in between the tooth gaps and parallel to the face of the carbide tip, gently tap
the carbide tip on the abrasive edge until the carbide tip is polished or you think it is sharp enough. Once the first tooth is sharp enough, back the blade away from the abrasive edge and align the second tooth for sharpening. Repeat this step for all teeth.
Once all the teeth have been sharpened, it is time to test the blade itself. To do this, reinstall the now sharpened blade on your table saw. You can cut wood like plywood to do this test just to get a feel for how sharp the blade is.
If the blade is not sharp enough, feel free to resharpen it on the sharpener till you feel it’s enough.
Here are a couple of products that we think might help you with sharpening table saw blades.
Best Grinding Disc for Sharpening Table Saw Blades:
Dremel EZ541GR EZ Lock
Key Specs & Features:
- Diameter: 1 ½ inches
- Thickness: .075 inches
- Material: Reinforced aluminum oxide
- EZ locking system
- Comes with 2 grinding discs
- Long lifespan
- Better abrasive surface
- Consistent performance
This grinding disc from Dremel offers users superior performance and service life thanks to its reinforced aluminum oxide construction.
The Dremel EZ541GR is a great tool that is meant for grinding and sharpening tasks. At just 1 ½ inches in diameter, this grinding disc can easily be used in hard to reach areas and for grinding smaller objects such as pipes or small blades. Dremel boasts that this grinding disc of theirs lasts longer and removes more material than previous Dremel grinding discs. This is due to the grinding disc being made with better materials that give users more consistent performance per disc. Dremel also integrated its EZ lock mechanism for quick and hassle free attachment swapping for Dremel tools along with other compatible rotary tools.
Overall, the Dremel EZ541GR is a great grinding disc to use for sharpening table saw blades along with other carbide tipped blades. It offers a longer life span and more consistent performance, perfect for repetitive tasks such as sharpening the individual teeth of a table saw blade.
Best Metal File for Sharpening Table Saw Blades:
Kapoua CD9 Needle File Set
Key Specs & Features:
- No. of Pieces: 6
- File Types: Flat, Flat Warding, Square,
Triangular, Round, Half Round
- File Sizes: 6.2 inches long
- Material: Carbon Steel
- Comfortable rubber handle
- Non-slip grip
- Durable construction
- Multi purpose usage
- Efficient tooth pattern
This metal needle file set from Kapoua is a great choice for users looking for precise, general purpose files that can sharpen and grind objects or surfaces too small for a normal file to reach.
The Kapoua CD9 needle file set features 6 different files that all have different tooth patterns and file types. This includes a round file, triangular file, half round file, square file, equaling file and a flat file. This selection of files to choose from gives users more versatility and options depending on the task at hand. Each file is made with carbon steel and has great durability along with better longevity.
Each file also comes with an ergonomic handle that fits perfectly in the user’s palm and is designed to be slip proof, making them comfortable to use even during long sessions.
Overall, these needle files are great for both precise and rough grinding or sharpening tasks like what users would expect from sharpening a table saw blade. Not only are these needle files comfortable to use, they also last long and with enough practice and patience, provide excellent results.
Best Abrasive Saw Blade for Sharpening Table Saw Blades:
Mophorn Circular Saw Blade Sharpener
Key Specs & Features:
- Motor: 370W motor
- Grinding Wheel RPM: 2,850 RPM
- Grinding Wheel Size: 5 inches
- Grinding Wheel Bore Size: 1.26 inches
- Turning Angle: 30° to the left,
45° to the right
- Dimensions: 30 x 12 x 17 inches
- Table Saw Size Range: 3.15 to
27.5 inch blades
- Weight: 59 lbs
- Cast aluminum construction
- Accurate scales
- User friendly controls
- Tool kit included
- Corrosion resistant coating
- Low noise level
This circular saw blade sharpener from Mophorn offers users a quick, user friendly and reliable method to sharpen circular saw blades of various sizes.
The Mophorn circular saw blade sharpener is capable of sharpening table saw blades, miter saw blades and other circular saw blades ranging in size from 3 inches all the way to 27.5 inches in diameter. It is powered by a 370W motor that gives the sharpeners grinding wheel a rotation speed of 2,850 RPM (rotations per minute).
The grinding wheel itself features an abrasive diamond coating that’s meant to last longer and can even be used to sharpen other types of blades as well. It features easy to use controls such as a hand wheel knob that lets users choose how much space the blade needs, an accurate scale to get those precise measurements, quick and easy blade installation, an accurate swing feature to help with angled teeth and it even comes with a tool kit to help set up the machine.
Overall, this circular saw blade sharpener from Mophorn is a great support tool for a collection of saw blades and makes a labor intensive task a breeze.
Best Abrasive Saw Blade for Sharpening Table Saw Blades:
Delta Diamond Boss Hog Premium Turbo Blade
Key Specs & Features:
- Blade Diameter: 7 inches
- Max Speed Rating: 8,700 RPM
- Arbor: ⅝ inch
- Weight: 11 oz
- Cooling holes
- Diamond knockout arbor
- For wet or dry dutting
- Heat treated steel core
- Aluminum oxide grain
- High performance cutting
- Various sizes available
- Lifetime warranty
This diamond turbo blade from Delta Diamond offers
users clean and smooth cutting action through masonry due to its rugged construction. For those looking for a blade to slice through tiles, bricks and even cement, this might be the blade for you.
The aptly named Boss Hog features a diamond coated turbo rim that chews through masonry like it was nothing. The diamond coating along the turbo rim is high quality and concentrated, making the blade cut faster and last longer than other blades in its class. The blade has cooling vents to keep it from heating up too much, making it a great choice for dry cutting. This is also helped by its heat treated core that also dissipates excess heat.
Besides using this blade to cut through masonry, you can use the Hog Boss to sharpen carbide tipped blades as
well. When used on a carbide tipped blade, the Hog Boss only needs a few gentle taps to effectively sand down the carbide tip and make it sharp again.
Q: Can you resharpen all types of table saw blades?
A: No. This depends on the type of table saw blade, the angle of the carbide tip and how much carbide is left.
Q: How to tell if the blade is too worn out to resharpen?
A: The easiest way to tell is if the carbide tip is too close to the metal of the blade. You also should resharpen blades with missing or broken off carbide tips.
Q: What can I do with old table saw blades?
A: When dealing with table saw blades that have run through their intended lifespan, there’s a couple of things you can do with them. If you have the skill for it, you could potentially recycle the blade and turn it into a knife. Table saw blades are built to be durable and if repurposed properly, should have no problem holding an edge. Another thing you could do with old table saw blades is sell them to your local scrapyard. Table saw blades are made with high quality materials and would sell for a decent price tag.
And there we have it, the different methods of sharpening a table saw blade, the steps you need to take, what to consider and what tools we recommend you use to get the job done. We hope that this article has taught you the benefits and the basics of sharpening table saw blades and that you leave here with a better understanding on what to do. Thank you dear reader and happy sharpening!