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Sharpening a saw: how do you maintain a saw?

Of course, you want to make sure your saw will last a lifetime. That is why maintenance is important. Maintaining your saw isn't difficult or a lot of work, but your saw does need a little TLC.

How do you sharpen a saw?

You can sharpen a saw with a small flat, or triangular saw file or sharpening steel. It's important to choose a sharpening tools that is able to sharpen each individual saw tooth. This job can be time-consuming. We'll get you started with some products you can use to sharpen your saw blade!

Step-by-step guide to sharpening your saw

Supplies

  • Sharpening file or sharpening steel
  • Vice
  • Oil or grease

1: Fix the saw in place

Make sure the saw is securely fixed in place with the vice before you start sharpening. This ensures stability and prevents the saw from moving during the sharpening process.

2: Choose the right angle

Find the existing angle of the saw teeth and use that. If you're having trouble you can use a special saw tooth sharpener to hold the right angle.

3: Sharpen the serrated teeth

Place the saw file or sharpening steel in the first serration and move it away from you. Use smooth, even movements and apply moderate pressure. Sharpen each saw tooth until the file or sharpening steel has been over the entire length of the saw blade.

4: Work in one direction

Sharpen the saw blade in one direction, preferably away from yourself. This ensures a consistent, sharp result.

5: Repeat on the other side

Turn the saw around and repeat the process on the other side of the saw blade. Make sure to give each saw tooth the same amount of attention.

6: Inspect the serrated edge

After sharpening, inspect the cutting edge to check whether the serrations are evenly sharpened. There should be no burrs or imperfections.

7: Test the saw

Test the sharpness by cutting through a piece of wood; does the saw effortlessly cut through the wood?

Remember that these instructions are intended to be general tips, depending on the type of saw you have, you might need to employ different sharpening methods as instructed by the manufacturer. If possible, consult the saw manual or the manufacturer's recommendations!

Replacing the saw blade

Is your saw blade broken and are you no longer able to sharpen it? Then it's time to replace the blade. Most saw blades are easy to replace, so you won't have to purchase a new saw. That is why you should always check to see if this is possible for your saw! Find all replacement saw blades here.

Keep the blade clean

Your saw will stay sharp and beautiful for longer if you keep it clean. Due to sawdust and resin between the teeth of your saw blade, the cutting performance of your saw deteriorates. Olive oil is an effective and environmentally-friendly way to clean the blade. Olive oil dissolves resin, making it easy to remove from the saw blade. Another advantage: chances are you already have it at home! You can also use detergents, but these will affect the material of the handle. For cleaning the saw blade, oven cleaner is also a great option. This is because oven cleaner has a high 'crawling capacity', which ensures that resin, sawdust and other debris are easily detached from the saw blade. You can then use a clean, dry cloth to remove the oven cleaner.

Store it in a dry place

Take good care of your saw, even when you're not using it. Dry it properly, place the saw in the holster and store it somewhere dry. Moisture can cause rust. That would be a shame! Apply a coat of vaseline or maintenance oil like Ballistol or Skerper maintenance oil to the saw blade. Greasing prevents the saw blade from rusting. Don't have a holster? Then store the saw hanging up. Don't put the saw away in a drawer or on the workbench. Hanging a saw is safer and keeps your saw straight and sharp. In the unlikely event that the saw blade has formed rust, there are several ways to fix it. For example, you could clean the saw blade with Flitz, or with vinegar. Leave the saw blade in vinegar for 24 hours. The vinegar will make the rust detach from the metal. After these 24 hours in the vinegar, simply brush off the rust with a steel brush or some aluminium foil. An old cloth soaked in Flitz or vinegar can be enough to remove minor rust stains! Don't have the patience for those 24 hours? Use baking soda instead. Mix it with water until it is a thick paste and spread it on the tools. Wait 2-3 hours before taking it off again. This can easily be done with a piece of cloth or an old toothbrush.