How to Clean Rust From a Saw Blade

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (optional)

  • Penetrating oil

  • Rubber gloves (optional)

  • Fine steel wool (0000 grade)

  • Clean rags

  • Car wax

Rust can build up on any exposed metal surface. This is especially true for saw blades. Whether that blade belongs in an electric saw or is a handheld type, the overall process for cleaning the rusty blade remains the same. The blade's rusted surface can ruin the efficiency of the cutting teeth. In fact, a rusty blade may still be very sharp, but the exposed corrosion will cause the teeth to act as if they are dull. Clean saw blades are not only safer to operate, but they make a smoother cut.


Step 1

Remove the wooden handle on all handheld-type saws using the screwdriver. This will allow access to the metal under the wooden handle.

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Step 2

Clean one side of the saw blade at a time. Lay the blade on a solid bench top surface. Apply a generous amount of the penetrating oil over the top metal surface of the saw blade. Pay particular attention to the more heavily rusted areas. Penetrating oil will not affect carbide teeth that use epoxies to hold the cutting teeth in place.

Step 3

Place the steel wool pad into the palm of your gloved hand. Move the steel wool in small, circular motions over the entire metal surface. Add more oil as needed to keep the metal well lubricated. Replace the steel wool pad as necessary. Remove all of the surface rust using this procedure.


Step 4

Wipe the metal blade with a clean rag. Apply a thin coat of the penetrating oil to the clean metal surface. Wipe the blade dry. Perform the same rust-removal procedure to the opposite side of the blade.

Step 5

Follow the directions on the side of the car wax container concerning drying times and apply to the metal blade.


Step 6

Buff the dry wax from the saw blade. Apply a second generous coat of the wax to the metal, and rebuff the surface.

Step 7

Reinstall the wooden handle to the handheld saw blade, if applicable.


Apply a coat of the car wax to the metal blade monthly. The wax will keep rust from the surface and lubricate the cutting teeth when ripping through wooden boards.

Store finished blades in a cool and dry area.


Never use a metal scraper on the surface of a saw blade. The harsh scraper can cause damage to the metal blade.


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