How to Sharpen a Table Saw

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Table saws, like all saws, go dull after continued use, and the wood you're cutting will start to fray and splinter. Saw blades can be sharpened multiple times before needing replacement, and because continuously replacing saw blades can quickly add up, reusing them as many times as possible will save money. Each time your resharpen the blade, though, it will lose more ability to hold a sharp edge. Sharpening blades requires only common shop tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Grinder, bench or handheld
  • Table vice
  • Shop towel
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

Bench Grinder Method

  • Dismount the blade from your table saw.

  • Put a fine-grit grinding wheel onto your bench grinder and turn it on to the highest speed.

  • Hold your table saw's blade with both hands, while wearing work gloves, and approach the table saw at the narrowest angle possible.

  • Press and release the saw blade onto the spinning grinding wheel very lightly and quickly on each sawtooth, maintaining a narrow angle between the bench grinder and the saw blade.

  • Repeat for each side of each tooth.

Handheld Grinder Method

  • Dismount the blade from your table saw, and wrap the bottom in a shop towel so that the vice doesn't damage it.

  • Clap the toweled part of the blade tightly into the bench vice, making sure that the blade's center hole is centered with the clamps.

  • Put a fine-grit grinding wheel onto your handheld grinder.

  • Turn your grinder onto the highest speed, and lightly and quickly sharpen each tooth of the blade at the narrowest angle possible, from the side.

  • Unclamp the blade once you're done with the top half, and reclamp it in order to finish the bottom half.

Tips & Warnings

  • A very light touch and a very narrow angle is required for the best sharpening. Make sure not to hold the blade onto the grinding wheel for too long. Make sure to sharpen each tooth equally as much.
  • Use a small metal file after grinding to achieve an even sharper edge.
  • Bench grinders, handheld grinders, and saw blades are all very dangerous--always wear safety glasses and work gloves, and always make sure to grind with the wheel spinning away from you in order to direct the sparks outward.
  • Sparks can set fire to sawdust, trash and other materials.

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  • Photo Credit the part of circular saw with sharp tooth image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com
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