How to Sharpen Table Saw Blades: A Complete Guide

Table saw blades do require sharpening from time to time. If you work with your table saw often, the blades are going to wear out, and this presents a problem for you. A dull blade isn’t going to do the job that you want to do. You may be wondering about blade sharpening and how it can benefit you. This guide will show you how to sharpen table saw blades.

About Table Saw Blades

Table saw blades are normally made with carbide or stainless steel. The type of blade will determine how you sharpen the blade. Refer to manufacturer instructions for sharpening before you begin. The blades need to be sharpened with an abrasive material. This is usually something with diamond bits. You may think you need to buy a new blade when it gets dull, but you can sharpen it, so the blade lasts longer. Blades are cheap so ensure you have a few extra so you can use them while you sharpen the older ones. A diamond blade is your best bet for sharpening all of your other table saw blades.

Do My Blades Need Sharpening?

Look at the type of cut that you’re getting from your blades. If the blade is taking a lot of time to cut the material, it probably needs to be sharpened. If the wood has burn marks or other imperfections, then the blade might be burning the wood as it’s sitting there too long and not cutting correctly. In some cases, there may be other problems if the wood is burnt, but it’s often a dull blade. Don’t risk your safety or ruining a project with a dull blade. If you’re creating an extensive project consider using a freshly sharpened blade for the best results.

Why Sharpen a Blade?

You want your blades to last you a long time. If you don’t sharpen them and cut material often, the blade will wear out quickly. You will save a lot of money on blades if you keep them sharp. A sharp blade is also going to cut efficiently. You will reduce the risks of the blade catching on material when you have a sharp blade.

Stainless Steel

This type of blade is the cheapest type, and you can get them for around $20 or so. They usually come in packs with two or three blades. These blades are usually not worth sharpening as you can just get a new one.

Carbide

Blades made with this material cost you more. They will run around $30-50 but tend to last a lot longer. The blade is made from steel, but the tips of the blade teeth are made with carbide. This helps your blade stay sharper for a longer duration.

Before You Sharpen

Before you learn how to sharpen table saw blades, you will need a diamond blade. Take out your regular blade and replace it with a diamond one. Once the blade has been switched out, put on safety goggles as well as earphones as the sharpening process is loud. You should also wear gloves to keep your hands safe as you sharpen the blade. A respirator may also be required if you have a concern about small pieces. The safety equipment that you use is up to you.

Jig

A jig can help add some stability as you sharpen. This can prop up your blade while you work with it on the tabletop. If you don’t have a jig then use another sturdy material, but a regular jig is helpful, so it’s recommended that you use one.

Sharpening the Blade

Take your circular blade and put this next to the diamond blade. You want to sharpen the inside of the blade teeth. This is where your carbide is if you use a carbide blade. You want to touch this briefly to the diamond blade. This helps get it nice and sharp. Do this a few times to get used to the sharpening process. You may also want to practice with an older blade before you try to sharpen one of your good blades.

After you practice, turn on the table saw. Push your first tooth to the diamond blade. Touch this for a brief time and then pull it back. Do this for the next tooth. Continue the process until all of the teeth are sharpened on your blade. Now your old blade is fresh and sharp again. If your saw is older or the blade does not have a straight edge, you won’t be able to sharpen it with the diamond blade.

The tooth also has to have enough carbide on the blade so it can be sharpened. If it’s been sharpened too much or the carbide is too worn then the blade won’t sharpen properly, and you’ll need to buy a new blade.

Sharpening Services

If you don’t know how to sharpen table saw blades or have trouble, consider a blade sharpening service. They do all the work for you and will keep all of your blades nice and sharp. They have professional blade sharpening machinery, and the work they do is precise. They can get old blades looking like new.

It does cost around 25-50 cents for each tooth so it can cost you a lot. It may cost around $20-40 for one blade with 80 teeth, plus you’ll need to pay shipping costs of you don’t have a sharpening service near you. Your local metal shop may give you a bargain on sharpening your blades so check with them before you use an expensive sharpening service.

Steps to Follow

  • Have spare blades on hand to use when you sharpen older blades for a project
  • Remove the blade carefully from the saw
  • Clean the blade before you sharpen it
  • Follow all instructions for sharpening your blades from the manufacturer
  • Use safety protection when you sharpen your blades
  • Sharpen slowly
  • Use a blade sharpening service if you don’t want to sharpen the blade yourself

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