Table saws are easily one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that you can use for a wide variety of professional and at-home projects. However, over time, their saw blades are prone to dullness.
And if you are looking to maximise your rip capacity so that you can tackle a 4×4 then you need a sharp blade, even for a table saw that can naturally cut a 4×4 in a single shot.
The more often you cut, the less sharp the blades become which leads many tradespeople to try to figure out how to sharpen table saw blades.
No matter if you want to handle the project at home or hire a professional service, there are plenty of sharpening options open to you and below, we will explore both DIY and professional avenues.
How to Sharpen Table Saw Blades at Home
Similar to what it’s like to try to shave with a dull razor, working with a dull saw blade is only going to cause more problems than you could imagine. There are plenty of people who prefer to buy new blades when their existing ones get dull, but with the help of these steps, you can sharpen an existing blade and save a ton of money.
Step 1: Remove the Blade
The first step is to make sure that you safely remove the dull blade from your table saw, as it will give you access to each of the individual teeth instead of trying to navigate around hefty equipment. Depending on the type of table saw type of table saw you have, you may have to rely on a wrench to loosen the bolts that secure the saw blade.
Step 2: Secure the Blade
You’re now going to want to use a vice grip to keep the saw blade in place and make sure the teeth are facing you. While securing the blade, try to avoid tightening the vice too much; otherwise, it will warp the entire blade, rendering it useless.
Step 3: Mark the Beginning
To keep track of the areas that you have sharpened, make sure that you mark where you’re going to begin the sharpening. Double sharpening can wear away the teeth, which will give you less than precise cuts and can lead to the entire blade snapping when in use.
Step 4: Begin Sharpening
At this point, you’re going to want to take a look at the table saw blade and determine which way the bevel is facing. If you have secured your saw blade properly, you’ll notice that the bevel will be facing you and this is exactly what you’ll need for the most accurate sharpening experience.
You’re going to want to use a saw file, preferably a diamond-file, as it will give you the best results. Hold it at approximately 20 degrees to the bevel, and then stroke upwards four separate times and then stroke the file downwards four times as well. You’ll then be able to visually tell if the sharpening has been successful and if not, continue sharpening until the edge of the teeth appear to be brand new.
Step 5: Sharpen the Other Side
Now that you have successfully sharpened the beveled edges that are facing you, it’s time to repeat the same sharpening process on the other side of the blade by using four (or more) strokes up and down.
Step 6: Filing the Edge of the Teeth
For optimal sharpness, you’re now going to want to take your diamond file and focus on the tip of each tooth. By using a couple of gentle strokes across the edge of the tooth, you’ll be able to make them sharper than if you were to focus solely on the bevels, but pay close attention to the sharpness as you won’t want to wear down the teeth more than necessary.
Step 7: Reinstall the Saw Blade
At this point, you’ve successfully sharpened your blade entirely at home and now it’s time to reinstall it to your table saw by loosening the vice and following the installation process for your saw.
With the right equipment, figuring out how to sharpen a table saw blade at home is easier than most people assume. With that being said, if you’ve invested a substantial sum of money into your blades and you’d rather leave them in the hands of a professional sharpener, that is an option as well.
How to Sharpen Table Saw Blades with the Help of a Pro
You can guarantee that there are dozens of companies in your immediate area that specialize in sharpening table saw blades as well as plenty of other tools that you might have in your garage. The main advantage to hiring someone for the job is that you can not only save time and effort, but you can guarantee that the blades will be in near-new condition when you get them back.
Step 1: Research a Tool Sharpening Business
By using the internet or a phone book, you’ll easily be able to find a tool sharpening business. Make sure that you take the time to do a little bit of research into past customer reviews as this will let you know whether a specific company is worth your time or not.
Step 2: Remove and Drop Off the Blades
Next, you’re going to want to take all your dull blades to the establishment you’ve chosen. Typically, you’ll be able to drop them off, and they’ll be sharpened for you in a couple of hours, if not less. However, this is all dependent on the number of orders the company is currently dealing with.
What makes professional sharpening different from at-home sharpening is the fact that these companies have access to special grinding machines.
The grinding machines have specific programs dedicated to sharpening table saw blades to give them the sharpest edge possible without needing to use any manual labor. This helps make the process easier and more efficient than doing it by hand.
Step 3: Pick Up and Pay
Once your table saw blades had been sharpened, all you have to do is pick them up and pay for the service. In most cases, it should be a relatively affordable process and is far less expensive than buying new saw blades to replace your existing ones.
Is At-Home or Professional Sharpening Better?
Choosing between at-home and professional sharpening is all up to personal preferences, although if you have limited experience with sharpening blades at home, it’s recommended that you rely on the expertise of professional artisans.
If you’re in a financial bind, you can always sharpen the blades at home with the right handheld tools; it will just take a little more time and effort than leaving them with a professional.
At the end of the day, whether you tackle the project yourself or pay someone else to sharpen your table saw blades, you’ll have new-like blades to power through plenty of projects until they become dull again.