Sharpening the hand saw might seem challenging but it is easy if you do it properly.How to sharpen a hand saw? well, All you need to do is to ensure the blade is held securely in a vice with the teeth pointing upwards.
From here, you can use a hand file and a saw file. Make sure you adjust the teeth while sharpening to make them even on each side.
Well, that is just a quick overview. Let us dig deeper to help you understand better how you can sharpen a hand saw.
why do you need to sharpen the hand saw?
First off, you will be sharpening the blade on the hand saw, but not the saw exactly. It is usually advised to wipe the blade occasionally with a rag dampened with machine oil. This helps to enhance the condition of the blade. However, it will get dull over time.
Even if your saw comes with the sharpest and sturdiest blade, it will still get dull as you use it. So, the main reason for sharpening your saw blade is to give you the best cuts. Extra-sharp saw blades assure you of smooth and accurate cuts.
They also will not eat up your wood. Furthermore, dull blades will take much of your time because they won’t cut through the workpiece easily. In other words, a sharp blade saves you time.
That is why it is recommended to sharp your hand saw blades whenever they get dull. Speaking of time, there is no specific timeframe for sharpening the saw blade. You simply have to sharpen the blade whenever you notice that it is dull or doesn’t cut through the workpiece accordingly.
The Needed Tools
When sharpening your hand saw, you will need a couple of tools to help you with that. The most important thing that you will need is a saw set for resetting the teeth. Plus, you will need one or two taper file.
Keep in mind that these tools come in different sizes. Therefore, choose the size of the tool based on the blade size on your saw.
The number of teeth per inch is also a point you need to consider when choosing the tools for sharpening.
Setting The Teeth
- If the teeth are out of alignment, they will end up cutting unevenly, even if they are razor sharp. That is why you need to set the teeth in that the kerfs in the proper width.
- Here is where you can use the saw set to ensure that the teeth are uniform. Generally, the saw set will look like a pair of pliers. It comes with a pair of long handles on one end and a tiny pair of jaws on the other end. A pivot lies between the two pairs.
- There is a rotating disc at the jaw end. When you turn this disc, it will adjust the tool’s travel. This means that the anvil and plunger that are mounted on the jaws will be close together or further apart whenever you squeeze the handle.
- If you position the saw set against a tooth to be sharpened, the tool will bend the tooth to the needed angle.
- Even though you can set the saw without the unique tools, the process isn’t that ease. Each of the teeth on the blade must be bent from the midpoint. The teeth must also be evenly bent. When bending the teeth, make sure that it is no more than half the tooth’s depth.
- Plus, check that the set on each side is similar to each other. So, if you will be sharpening the saw blade on your own, make sure you buy a good saw set to help you with that.
- Always ensure that you adjust the saw set to conform to the number of teeth per each on each saw blade. Some will come with four teeth per inch, and this will range up to a maximum of 15 teeth per inch. If you have a saw blade with more teeth per inch, it is advised to take it to a professional for sharpening. But if you have some skills to handle that, you can go ahead with it.
- To pull it off, place the saw over the first tooth that is bent away from the handles. After that, you’ll just have to squeeze the handle and the tooth will be set.
- Once the tooth is set, you can skip to the next tooth, which is in the opposite direction. Repeat the process on each tooth on the saw. Don’t forget to exert the same pressure on the grip for you to get the same setting. When done, you will have to flip the saw blade and start working on the teeth that face the opposite direction.
Filing/Sharpening the Teeth
The most common tool used for sharpening/filing the hand saw blade is a taper file. Taper files tend to vary in size. Each taper file is designed to sharpen a specific size of teeth. Small taper files are best for sharpening saw blades with fine teeth. On the other hand, larger files are best suited for big-toothed saws.
Also, it is important to know that the files will either be single-cut or double-cut. Both are functional and able to deliver a satisfying job. Nevertheless, a regular taper is best suited for coarse teeth of between five to seven teeth per inch. You can use a slim taper for medium-coarse blades of between eight to ten teeth per inch.
An extra-slim taper works best for medium fine blades of between 11 to 14 teeth per inch. Finally, a double extra-slim taper goes well with blades with 15 or more teeth per inch. Make sure you choose the taper file wisely to get the best sharpening experience.
A large taper file will not fit between small teeth that have more teeth per inch. But one thing that doesn’t change with the taper file is the shape. They vary in size but similar in shape. Also, all the three angles on the taper file are 60 degrees. In other words, this file can file sharpen two teeth at the same time.
What happens is that the file will sharpen the front side of one tooth and the backside of another tooth. In the long run, it saves you time and effort.
That's How To Sharpen A Hand Saw
Remember to clamp the saw with the blade up between two hardwood stock pieces. The stocks must be straight and placed in a wood vise or a purpose-made vise for sharpening. Avoid holding the teeth with your bare hands.
Always observe safety tips whenever you are handling the hand saw. I prefer Craftsman hand saw for personal use