How to Sharpen a Circular Saw Blade

How to Sharpen a Circular Saw Blade

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Did your favorite circular saw blade finally bite the dust and become dull? It was such a pricey purchase; you don’t want to buy a new one.

That is understandable, but can you sharpen it back into its former glory?

Absolutely, and in most cases, you can do it by yourself. All you need are a couple of tools and a little bit of time. How can this be done? Let’s go over the options.

Can You Sharpen a Circular Saw Blade?

If the blade you need to sharpen is carbide-tipped, it can be sharpened, but it is best to have it done by a professional. Carbide is thicker than steel, making the sharpening harder and much easier to ruin the blade.

Carbon-tipped blades need to be sharpened with a diamond wheel sharpener. Most professionals will charge between twenty-five and fifty cents per tooth, returning the blade in like-new condition.

Don't Sharpen Carbide Tipped Blade

If you have a steel-toothed circular saw blade, you can sharpen it with some tools you might already have in your garage. You can sharpen with a metal file, a Dremel, or a sharpener made specifically for sharpening blades.

There are a few kinds of blades that can’t be sharpened at all, and that is because they are inexpensive. If you try to file a blade that is not made well, it can damage the blade and possibly the tool you are using. For these blades, it is best to just replace them.

Higher-quality blades can be sharpened multiple times over a number of years, saving you tons of money in the process. Sharpening your blade helps you get better cuts and replace your blades less often. That means you can hang on to that blade that cuts just a little bit better than all the others for a while longer.

What is the Best Tool for Sharpening a Circular Saw Blade?

With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at what some of the tools thay you can use to sharpen a circular saw blade are.

#1: File

Sharpen Circular Saw with a File A metal file is a tool you may already have lying around somewhere in your house. If you don’t you can buy one just about anywhere, and they come at a very reasonable price. Filing by hand is beneficial because you can keep a close eye on what is happening to the blade.

This method is the most physical, but technically it is the simplest. To get the best results, do not drag the file back and forth over the teeth, as this can cause more damage. Make gentle forward motions with the file for about five seconds per tooth. Flip and repeat on the other side.

#2: Dremel

Sharpen Circular Saw Blade with Dremel A Dremel is another tool you might have access to at your house. This method is semi-hands-off but requires strict monitoring. It is helpful to secure to pieces of scrap wood together to hold the Dremel.

The Dremel will need to be at a 90-degree angle before being secured to the wood. When that is finished, make sure the Dremel comes in contact with the blade the entire time. Rotate the blade, sharpening each tooth for about two seconds.

#3: Blade Sharpener

Circular Saw Blade Sharpener Another tool you can use to sharpen your saw blade is an electric blade sharpener. This tool is electric powered, so it does the work for you. You just need to place the blade in the designated spot and turn the sharpener on.

An electric blade sharpener is the most user-friendly method, as well as the most expensive method.

How to Sharpen a Circular Saw Blade: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s look at the exact process of sharpening a circular saw blade.

Step 1: Remove the Blade

There are two ways to remove your blade depending on the saw you own.

Most circular saws have a release switch that releases the blade in one step. There are some other models that require you to loosen the bolts holding in the blade before you can remove it.

For more details, read this article about changing circular saw blades.

Step 2: Hold the Blade with a Vice Grip

Hold the blade with vice grips to keep it steady.

Using a vice grip helps keep your hands safe during the sharpening process. It’s important not to hold too tightly because this can cause bending in the blade and you will need to replace it.

Step 3: Follow Safety Precautions

Safety is always the top concern when handling power tools. You need to protect your eyes, hands, lungs, and face during the whole process. Wearing protective eye gear, such as goggles, prevents your eyes from getting damaged if something went wrong. Goggles are the only thing that can protect your eyesight in the event of an accident.

You need to wear thick, heavy gloves any time you are handling the blade to make sure you don’t accidentally cut your hand. Always be sure to handle the blade safely, holding it tight with your gloves.

To protect your lungs, you should wear a dust mask. During sharpening, there will be metal flake dust, not regular dust, which can cause more damage to your lungs. If you inhale any pieces of metal flake, it can result in a serious lung injury.

If you are using an electric blade sharpener, always stand to the side. If the tool kicks back and you are standing right behind it, you’ll get hurt. Standing beside the tool monitoring the process is the safest spot.

Step 4: Mark Your Progress

It is important to keep track of your progress on the blade, so you don’t accidentally sharpen the same spot twice. To do this, you need to make up-down strokes about five times in a row. This will create a pattern on the blade so you can see where you have already sharpened.

Step 5: Watch for Bevels

Bevels will be on the surface of the blade. When you come across a bevel, sharpen it, skip a blade, then go on to the next bevel. Repeat this until you have gone all the way around the blade.

Step 6: Repeat on Other Side

When you are finished with the first side, flip the blade over. Repeat the process, starting with step 4, on the other side.

Step 7: Final File

When you are finished with both sides, it is time to do a final file. This is when you will focus on the tips of the blade, filing gently back and forth. This doesn’t require a bunch of strokes, it is just to help prevent wear of the blade.

Step 8: Reinstall the Blade

Depending on how you got the blade out, reverse the process to put the blade back in. If needed, tighten the bolts to keep the blade in place.

Tips & Tricks

Take your time during this process. There is no need to rush if you want your blade properly sharpened. Take breaks if you need to, but slow and steady motions will get you the best results.

If you want an electric blade sharpener, do some deeper research on which one will be the best one for you. They all have different features and options, go check a couple out.

Circular Saw Blade Being Sharpened


Depending on which blade you have, you may be able to sharpen it on your own. If you have a steel-toothed blade, any of the above methods will help you sharpen. If you have a carbide-tipped blade, it’s best to take it to a professional, as they are difficult to work with and easy to break.

If you follow all the steps and make sure to take all of the safety precautions, you can resharpen the same blade several times for a number of years. That means you only have to buy one new blade rather than keep buying a new one every few months or even weeks.