Sharpen the saw blade - this is how it is done right

Spare parts are always expensive - and often not even necessary. Tools don't necessarily have to be thrown away when they become blunt. Many saws and saw blades can be sharpened again. Read here what to look out for and what can be sharpened.

Suitable saw blades for sharpening

Basically, all saw blades can be sharpened if the teeth are not equipped with hard metal.

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These hard metals can no longer be ground with conventional grinding accessories because they are at least as hard as conventional grinding tools and files. Often times they are even harder, like most carbide saws.

If you were to try to sharpen such a particularly hard metal saw blade, material would be removed from the file rather than from the saw blade. Ordinary tool steel, which is not particularly hardened, can be sharpened without any problems.

Advantages of unhardened saw blades

Saw blades made of chrome-vanadium steel definitely have their advantages. Your downtimes (d.H. the time in which they can be used) are shorter than with hardened saw blades, but they can easily be re-sharpened.

This means that they always stay sharp, the teeth are not damaged by blunting the tool, and the saw blade - with regular sharpening - has an overall significantly longer service life than a saw with particularly hardened teeth. Such a saw will dull a little over time and will only perform at its best for a very short time.

Sharpen circular saw blades

Sharpening is particularly common with circular saw blades. However, there are also special sharpening devices for sharpening these blades.

A frequently sharpened blade is a very clear advantage, especially with circular saws. In some cases, special attachments on the grinder also enable hardened sheets to be sanded - which, however, are seldom used.

Especially with the circular saw, unhardened blades are very often deliberately used, as these blades are much easier to resharpen.

Sharpening, dressing, shaping, setting

Sharpening alone is not enough. In order for a saw to perform well, it also needs special treatment. This requires some special work.


The teeth of a saw blade must all be of the same length. However, the length of the individual teeth changes due to the wear and tear of the saw and repeated sharpening.

This is problematic because the saw can no longer produce a balanced cutting performance. The teeth that are too short will no longer work and the saw will only work with the longest teeth.

Correct dressing

To correct this, you have to dress saw blades. The teeth are brought to the same length. You can either do this yourself with the file - this is the usual way.

So-called dressing devices enable more precise work. A file can be clamped into these devices and the teeth are automatically shortened to exactly the same length.

Shape teeth

By dressing - and also by repeated grinding - the shape of the teeth of the saw blade can change significantly. That is why it is necessary to bring the teeth back into shape.

As a rule, you have to work very carefully here in order to avoid excessive material removal. It is professional to use exactly the same number of file strokes for each individual tooth.


A saw must produce a cut that is significantly wider than the back of the saw blade. Otherwise there is a risk that the saw will get stuck in the workpiece and be damaged as a result or not be able to be pulled out.

So that a saw blade can do this (the teeth are usually narrower than the back) the teeth of the saw blade are bent alternately to the left and to the right (one tooth to the left, the next to the right, then to the left again, etc.).

How far teeth are bent depends on the particular saw. As a rule, most saws use a cabinet width that is 1.5 times the width of the saw blade. Up to 1.7 times this is possible, beyond that there should not be any restrictions. Only with special materials does the "cabinet" of the saw have to be a little larger - for example, if wet wood is to be sawed, where the risk of getting stuck is even greater.

When setting the saw, it is important to always set in the same direction: teeth set to the left may only be set to the left, otherwise the tooth would break.

Cabinet tools

Closing must be carried out completely evenly on both sides. If there are imbalances here, the saw later pulls sharply to one side and does not produce a clean cut - in addition, the saw would be slowed down and could not perform optimally.

To make the filing easier, it is advisable to use filing pliers. These pliers are available in different versions and for different tooth parties in saw blades. As a rule, you get it from about 25 EUR in the specialized trade. They allow a very uniform cupboards - the saw blade must be turned once (first the left, then the right teeth are limited).

Grinding devices for circular saw blades often do the cabinets equal and automatically ensure a correct cabinet.

Tools for sharpening saw blades

If you want to sharpen yourself, you use the best saws. Depending on the teeth of the saw you have to use the correct file size. For dressing you use a flat file, for the correction of the tooth shape there are still some special stock files.

To comply with the right feil angle, there are sowing holders. They can also contain an angleometer in individual cases. However, this information is only intended as an approximate guide - the settings are not always exact.

Saw file clips are advantageous for securely clamping the saw blade so that precise work is possible. The teeth should only protrude just above the file clamp to avoid vibrations and unpleasant noises. This also applies to clamping in a vice, for example.

Tips & Tricks In theory, hardened saw blades could also be sharpened using diamond files. In practice, however, this does not always produce a really clean result, and it is usually very tedious.