How to Sharpen a Hand Saw for Wood Working? Complete Guide

How to Sharpen a Hand Saw for Wood Working? Complete Guide

I came across the query ‘How to sharpen a hand saw‘ several times as an expert in power tools, now I’ve decided to let you know about sharpening hand saw tools and the steps you will need to take. 

The experts say that you should practice extensively to master the art of handsaw sharpening, but this is true to some extent because, after a few tries, you can become an expert.

In addition, don’t forget that if you purchase a handsaw whose blade can be easily changed, you’ll not need to sharpen them in case they get dull. Yet, handsaws whose blades cannot be exchanged need to be sharpened periodically. 

Have you always wanted to learn about how to sharpen hand saws? Do you have a hard time finding the instructions to follow? I have covered every essential detail, including what tools you’ll need and the process to do it. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s come down!

Step By Step Process – How to Sharpen a Hand Saw

Step#1:

 In the first step of clamping the saw blade, You can clamp the saw blade between two smooth strips or with two clamps in a vice or stretch the blade lengthwise through a file clip. Additionally, teeth should be perpendicular to the saw and possibly close to the clamping device to prevent vibration.

Ideally, teeth should face upward. Otherwise, there is no way for them to be sharpened.  To guarantee vibration-free sharpening, teeth should not point too much out of the clamping device.

Step#2:

The second step is of checking the height of the teeth from the hand saw blade. If the teeth are not uniform, the first thing to do is adjust their height by doing teeth filling. Then you file the saw teeth with a flat-file a couple of times until a small but visible surface has formed on them and until they reach the same height.

Step#3:

Under this step, level the teeth of the hand saw evenly with the help of a three-square file. Following are the tips to proceed:  

  • The angle between the teeth must be determined for the best kind of file.
  • Teeth Per Inch TPI, Tooth spacing (mm)320.87 mm241.1 mm181.1 mm161.6 mm 102.57 mm 83.22 mm 55.63 mm.
  • Normally, files with a corner angle of 60 ° are the best choice.
  • You can see where you have already filed with the pencil and how the file has been placed. 
  • A tooth should only be filed once it is properly positioned. Typically, two or three file strokes are enough.
  • For a saw with teeth of two mm, a file with four mm would be adequate.
  • The teeth have now been filed evenly with a triangular file so that the angles are intact again. Every second gap is first filed. Then the handsaw blade is turned, and the procedure repeated, but only until the saw tooth tip surfaces diminish.
  • Crosscut saw, or dovetail saws require more than just grinding the teeth; they must be filed alternately at an angle of about 15 – 20 degree.
  • Make sure that your teeth filing is precise by looking carefully at your saw teeth before cutting.

Step#4:

In this step of bending the hand saw teeth, this process is carried out with the help of the setting pliers to prevent the hand saw blade from jamming. 

Tips:

The saw set pilers should be the same on each side. Otherwise, the straight cut while sawing will not be achieved. 

  • When setting it, make sure the teeth are bent only in the direction they were bent previously to prevent the breaking of the tooth. 
  • Set (1 to 1.7 times the hand saw blade width) and set depth (34 of the tooth height) should be around 1.5 to 1.7 times the hand saw blade width to achieve the best results.
  • First, every second tooth is bent; then, the hand saw blade is turned until the rest of the teeth are bent.
  • They should stick out about one-and-a-half times the thickness of the sheet – and only the upper third of the teeth should be set.
  • It is impossible to process precision saws with arching pliers as the teeth on the saw are too delicate for that. Fix the sheet to a piece of wood and carefully lower the teeth, for example, with a hammer.

Step#5: 

In step 5, Sharpen a hand saw, and we need a triangular file. 

To sharpen a hand saw blade efficiently, you should place the blade at a comfortable height. If the blade starts protruding more, you will damage the blade; if it vibrates too much, we will sharpen it more than necessary. The hand saw handle should be positioned on our right side, leaving a tip on our left.

In rip saws, the file is guided horizontally and at right angles to the blade in the tooth gap. A file is guided diagonally and horizontally along a cross-sectional saw’s tooth gap, whereas in rip saws, it is guided horizontally and at right angles.

After placing the teeth at the pace, shart sharpens them with triangular 3 square files. 

 When using a file, you should be careful not to rock or tilt it, as this can ruin the tooth shape. Only move the file perpendicular to the blade and horizontal to the ground.

During forward motion, the file should be removed; in reverse, it should be lifted slightly. Sharpening every next tooth is not necessary here. Only use light pressure and make all the gaps the same length. This way, uniformity is ensured in this operation.

 A third-point file is all you need to use to sharpen the blade on your hand saw, taking into account its sharpening direction. File each tooth in the inverse direction of the blade.

If the teeth of a saw are greater than 10 PPI, most sharpening should be done with a ripsaw profile. If they are less than 10 PPI, the crosscut profile can be specified.

When you change the angle and file, your handsaw will behave differently when cutting. This can only verify this with a lower-cost saw. Do not buy a cheap saw. 

Sharpening Other Types Of Hand Saws:

Do you know how to sharpen a hand saw of various types?  It isn’t easy to sharpen fine-toothed saws, but a magnifying glass in a fixed position makes it possible using the same technique. The veneer saws Since this saw has a very specific purpose; its sharpening is much more difficult than other saws. They do not need even a tooth setting.

For them,  Start with the center, then sharpen the right part, keeping symmetry in mind. The upper side of the teeth should be beveled 45 degrees with an extra-soft file. It’s a good idea to lighten the stone on the blade bottom to remove any burrs.

The Saws with hardened teeth are also very tough to sharpen. But you can do so by using the diamond file. Sharpening Japanese saws requires precisely observing the shape of the teeth, making it possible to determine the length and the shape of the file to be used.

Step#6: 

In the last step of finalizing the process of sharpening a hand saw, take the saw blade out of the clamping device. Then move the sharpener flat over the sheet and slide it over it. Repeat the process for the other side of the sheet.  

Next, the sharpening stone is placed flat on one side of the sharpener and gently moved over it. A saw blade is then rotated, and the step is repeated, contributing to a more even tooth set.

You can also use the slim-taper or double extra slim taper machine for securing cutting tools or tool holders in the spindle of a machine tool or power tool.

Common Mistakes Which People Often Make:

  • When sharpening the teeth on your saw, make sure you are not filing/sharpening the sides of it.
  • Filing too much off of each tooth by accident will result in a dull blade and one which is not as effective.
  • Sharpening solely using ones hand can be difficult to do without proper experience with doing so.
  • Sharpening your saw with the teeth facing down can lead to unnecessary damage. When sharpening them, make sure to always file/sharpen them in one direction only – up and down!
  • Not filing each individual tooth on your blade can result in an unbalanced saw which will be difficult to use.

Now that you know how to sharpen a hand saw, you can save money by sharpening your own tools!

Tools Required To Sharpen A Hand Saw

Following are some essential tools, and you can find them easily:

  • Files are required to sharpen the teeth of the hand saw. 
  • The tooth must be filed with a mill file at the same height.
  • A flat file that has a rectangle-shaped cross-section is required.
  • The cutting edge must be levelled with a three-square or triangular saw file. 
  • The bending of the saw teeth is done using arching pliers (or irons) specially designed to bend the teeth.
  • Another important tool is a clamping device for holding the saw blade during sharpening.
  • You need a burr sharpening stone that can be natural or artificial that is required to sharpen a burr.

Benefits Of Sharpening A Hand Saw:

  • You will be able to cut through wood as easy as butter
  • Your saw will last longer because you are sharpening the teeth on the blade and not the sides of it.
  • Sharpening your handsaw is an inexpensive way to keep your tools in great working condition.

Wrap It Up!

I hope you will get the answer to the query about how to sharpen a hand saw. You need to follow the steps, tips and use accurate tools.

In addition, the teeth must always be treated evenly so as not to create irregularities when cutting. Always proceed with caution and care when using a triangular file. As with other tools, a triangular file must be handled with care.

Usually, nowadays, the handsaws are available in the market with changeable blades. Still, if you have a hand saw that needs to be sharpened, follow the instructions properly.


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Emma Avery
By Emma Avery

I'm Emma Avery, founder of Tttools.uk. I founded this site with the goal in mind to provide a place where beginners could learn about saw tools, and have access to resources that would be useful for them (and me!) as they develop their skills. Funnily enough, my favorite thing about running the site is getting feedback from you guys! I love hearing how it's helped you get more confident or achieve your goals; it really means a lot that you're taking the time to send me an email or leave a comment on one of our articles. It's been so educational already learning all about saws and timber framing. Thanks for following along with us!



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