Managing Your Tools: How to Clean a Table Saw Blade

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Nowadays, you can find table saws in the majority of households. From woodworking to DIY projects, they have become increasingly popular over the years, making table saws a necessity.

As part of the safety process of using such a potentially dangerous tool, it’s critical that you know how to clean a table saw blade, so you have smoother cutting that helps prevent possible accidents and rough cuts in your project.

Why is Cleaning a Saw Blade Important?

Like everything else, saw blades get dirty over time.

Pitch and resin build up on the blade edge, which has a negative impact on its performance and could lead you to believe the blade is dull when it’s just dirty. You might not realize it, but dull blades are more dangerous than sharp ones.

With the build-up of the pitch and resin, heat and friction increases, cutting is more challenging, and the cuts themselves aren’t as clean. Additionally, a blade that runs like it’s dull could have a negative impact on the table saws motor.

A dirty blade will also affect your rip capacity.

That is why it’s recommended that you carefully examine the saw blade at least two or three times a year to ensure the blade isn’t dirty or dull.

Even if you aren’t a frequent user of your table saw, it’s still important to properly maintain the machine, sharpen or replace the blades once dull, and clean them when necessary.

What Kind of Cleaning Agents Can Be Used?

There are a variety of cleaning agents available on the market to help you get your table saw blade shiny and clean.

Citrus cleaners such as Rockler Pitch & Resin Remover are highly popular because of their versatility. They give off a citrus scent and can be used on various other household items, tools, and appliances that need to be cleaned.

Additionally, oven cleaners have also been known to work; however, many people choose to wash their saw blades with an eco-friendlier and biodegradable product. Some blade manufacturers even claim that oven cleaners can be harmful to the blade itself and the binder that holds them together.

After doing research and testing, I found that the household cleaner Simple Green works great on table saw blades.

Simple Green is an all-purpose cleaner and degreaser that is affordable and can be found in both grocery and hardware stores. While it’s non-toxic and biodegradable, it was initially manufactured for industrial cleaning.

You can also use soapy hot water if nothing else is available to you.

How to Clean a Table Saw Blade?

If you’ve purchased a table saw, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to need to clean the blade at one point or another.

As previously mentioned, it’s recommended that the blade gets cleaned between two and three times a year, regardless of how often it’s used.

Keeping your table saw blade cleaned prevents damage to the motor, keeps your cuts smooth, and helps to avoid accidents that could hurt you. You can follow along with these steps to thoroughly clean your table saw blade.

  • Choose your cleaning solution: Whether you choose a citrus household cleaner, Rockler’s Pitch & Resin Remover, oven cleaner, soapy water, or eco-friendly Simple Green, you need an agent to help clean the blade.
    When using Simple Green, mix one part of the cleaning agent with two or three parts of water in a container for regular cleaning. Keep in mind that if there is a lot of grime and resin build-up on your blade, you can apply it directly from the bottle to give you a deep clean.
  • Remove the blade: Carefully remove the blade from your table saw, ensuring that you are mindful of the sharp teeth on the blade. Also, make sure that you have read all instructions included with your saw’s owner’s manual, so you are aware of how to properly remove a table saw blade.
  • Soak the Blade: Once the blade has been successfully removed, it should be placed in the container that holds the cleaning solution. The more build-up and dirt there is on your blade, the longer you should leave it to soak; start off with 4-5 minutes to see where that gets you.
  • Clean the Teeth of the Blade: Get yourself a toothbrush, or smaller brush with a handle that you can use to scrub the teeth to remove all gunk and build-up.
  • Soak Again: Allow the blade to soak in the cleaning solution for another few minutes.
  • Rinse and dry: Follow up by rinsing the blade with clean water and carefully patting it down with power towel to dry. To thoroughly and quickly dry the blade, use a blow-dryer.
  • Install the blade: Reinstall the blade to your table saw by following the instructions indicated in your owner’s manual. Make sure that the blade is completely dry before installing it.

What Else is Needed to Keep a Table Saw Blade Clean?

There is one final, and major, step to make sure that your blade is kept clean and that you’re extending the life of it. It’s possible for rust to build upon any metal surface that’s exposed, and that includes the blade of your table saw.

If you notice that your blade has a rusty surface, it should be taken care of immediately as it does ruin the efficiency of the teeth, and causes them to act like they are dull because of the corrosion. However, the blade could still be very sharp, so it’s important to be careful.

Keeping your blade lubricated is a great way to help prevent rust from building up on it.

During the process of cleaning the blade, pitch and resin get removed, along with beneficial oils that were keeping it lubricated; all metal needs to be protected.

Keeping your blade lubricated will also help your table saw motor, regardless of whether its a direct or belt drive table saw

I found that using Bostik DriCote was one of the best ways to lubricate the table saw blade after a thorough cleaning, and it’s effortless to apply.

Just spray a light coat over the saw blade and use a paper towel or cloth to buff it into the surface gently.

You can use a brush to get in between the saw blade’s teeth.

Wrapping Up

All it takes to extend the life of your table saw blade is some simple maintenance.

When you clean your blade every few months, not only do you get your money’s worth by extending the life and getting the maximum use out of it, but you also ensure no rust builds up.

Proper and routine cleaning also helps keep the teeth sharp, which results in less time you spend sharpening your blade.

Managing Your Tools: How to Clean a Table Saw Blade