8 Steps to Clean a Table Saw Blade. Cleaning a saw blade
How To Clean A Table Saw Blade Or Router Bit
When buildup appears on a saw blade it is time to clean it. What does this buildup appear as? You will find brown or darker spots that are resin from the wood on the blade.
This buildup can impact the quality of the cut. At times it can also make you believe the saw blade is dull.
Some worry a dirty blade can cause wobble. This is not the case but a dirty arbor, arbor nut, or other mechanisms can.
If you do not clean these blades then it will not only reduce efficiency, but it can decrease the lifespan of the saw blade.
What Is The Best Way To Clean A Table Saw Blade?
While this method can be used for many different kinds of blades, the table saw blade is the most used in an average woodshop.
Do not hesitate to use these methods on other tools like Japanese hand saws or coping saws. These too can need the same care and will not be harmed.
Hands down the best way is to use a cleaner such as CMT 2050 blade cleaner. The problem is how many times can we find it when we need it?
A lot of woodworkers prefer to use household cleaners from under the sink. It saves money from needing to spend on a specialty cleaner and rarely does it ever get lost.
The easiest solution is to grab Arm Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda). Take a couple tablespoons full and mix it with water in the top of a 5 gallon trash can. The top of the can acts as a wash basin.
After about ten minutes of soaking the buildup and gunk will wash off with ease. You can use a nylon brush to get tight spots or stubborn places and break free any buildup you find.
Woodworkers have used many products over the years to clean saw blades. Some of them should never be used.
Allow me to detail a few favorites out there that can cause problems.
Can Laundry Detergent Be Used To Clean A Saw Blade?
Yes laundry detergents such as Tide can be used to clean table saw blades. This can be a handy as it will usually be in your house.
Why do I opt for the washing soda instead? It merely comes down to cost and ease of access. No one will miss a box of washing soda sitting in my shop and it keeps me from walking to the house for Tide.
Easy Saw Blade Cleaning
From my experience, and the experience of other woodworkers, including research found on the topic, there seems to be no ill side effects from responsible use.
Can Simply Green Be Used To Clean A Saw Blade?
Simply Green is a very common household cleaner. Never use the product which is designed for household cleaning. Rather if you prefer this brand use Simply Green Pro HD.
What is the problem with using the wrong product? The issue comes into play with how chemicals can react with carbide tooling.
In effect prolonged use or exposure can impact blade integrity through time. This can become dangerous for you at worst, and at best cause damage to the saw blade.
If you choose to disregard this and continue using the standard product do be very careful with the ratios. A ratio of 1 to 10 and minimize the soak time to only what is needed.
I personally prefer to not go this route as I wish to get the best lifespan from my saw blades as possible.
Can You Use Oven Cleaner To Clean A Saw Blade?
There are blades that are impacted less from the caustic issues such as tungsten carbide. Yet there still is a problem in how the chemicals impact and attack the brazing of the saw blade.
Freud for example has been known to use a tri-metal brazing foil that utilizes a copper alloy. This translates into fewer chemicals that should be used on blades.
Oven cleaner will have combinations of different chemicals that will attack and break down near any saw blade alloy or combination you can find.
Other Options People Use Such As Kerosene Or Diesel Fuel To Clean Saw Blades
My first big issue with using products like kerosene or diesel fuel to clean saw blades is how toxic they are. My shop is enclosed and I do not want to have stinking fuel around me.
The next issue is that some alloys or brazing could be impacted by different fuels or products. Brake fluid is another that some have used in the past which does a poor job.
If you reach this point in trying to find something to clean your table saw blade with then it has become desperate. There is no reason for reaching for products like this when washing soda or Tide would be friendly.
Placing my hands or fingers into washing soda is far more preferable than any kind of fuel.
How To Dry And Protect A Table Saw Blade After Cleaning
It is best to use an oil that does not contain silicone or Teflon as an ingredient. Variations of CLP such as the Royco 634 would avoid these in the past.
WD-40 does not contain silicone but it does have Teflon. If I had to choose something with silicone or Teflon, I would use the WD-40.
Silicon can cause issues with buildup on not only your blade, but also your wood. If you have ever tried to stain a piece of wood which silicon found its way onto then you will know what I mean.
Silicon generally makes a mess in woodworking wherever it is used. Try to avoid it.
Teflon is an altogether different beast and it is not all bad. Many saw blades come with a Teflon coating. The key is you merely wish to oil a blade to protect it after cleaning it, not coat it with something else.
Teflon will not cause any real harm but oil is more of a preference. That is, as long as you wipe the blade clean and it is dry when you finish, then you are alright.
Some woodworkers prefer that no Teflon come into contact with any cutting edge. I understand the principle behind the idea, but a thin spray from WD-40 is very minimal exposure.
It is not like you are dipping the blade and leaving a film. Spray and wipe dry and you will be fine if that is your choice.
Cleaning Router Bits Or CNC Bits
The same principle applies to router bits and cnc bits as it does saw blades. The process is identical in every way other than size and profile.
When cleaning with washing soda or detergent you may use a nylon brush more with router bits than a saw blade. The only other difference is the volume of water to washing soda you decide to use.
I do suggest that you give care to the cleaning process. Do not drop the blade or router bit. Have some kind of protective mat you are cleaning them on.
In the cleaning process you want to prevent the cutting edge of the blade from coming into contact with anything which can impact it negatively.
How Often Should You Clean Your Saw Blades?
This question relates directly to how often your saw blades are used and what material you are cutting. Some saw blades and router bits can go for days with minimal impact.
For a hobbyist it could be weeks if the most work they see is on a Saturday afternoon. The key is to pay attention to the blade itself.
If you see buildup, burnt looking spots, or any kind of resin, then clean them. I have had to clean some router bits multiple times a day.
It takes little time and maintains peak efficiency. Do not hesitate to have a little saw blade cleaning station in your shop.
Steps to Clean a Table Saw Blade
Table saws are invaluable tools for pro woodworkers and casual enthusiasts alike. However, just like any machine tools, they work much more effectively and efficiently if you keep them properly maintained.
One of the components of a table saw that will need regular attention is the table saw blade itself. Apart from periodic sharpening when the teeth begin to dull, it will also need regular cleaning – so here’s our guide on how to clean a table saw blade.
What you’ll need
Before you start, there are a few things you should prepare. They include the following:
Step 1 – remove the blade
First, you need to remove the blade from the table saw. Before doing this, always make sure the table saw is unplugged from the power source – this will prevent it from starting up accidentally and potentially causing an injury.
Loosen the arbor nut using a pair of wrenches and then unscrew the nut with your fingers. Remove the washer and place the arbor nut and washer somewhere safe. Finally, remove the blade itself from the arbor.
Step 2 – soak the blade in resin remover
Place the blade into the shallow pan and fill with resin remover. Dilute the resin remover with warm water – depending on the product you are using, the process may be different, so make sure you read the instructions before you do it.
Leave the blade in the resin remover to allow it to soften the residue. Again, check the instructions on your product for details of how long you should leave it.
Step 3 – remove the blade and clean the outside edge
Remove the blade from the resin removing, being careful not to cut your hands on the teeth.
Take your brush and clean the outside edges of the teeth. You should do this in the direction of the teeth, not against it. If you try to go against the direction of the teeth, you will find it much harder, you might cut the hairs on your brush and you may even end up dulling the blades.
If you find that the build-up on the outside of the teeth is particularly stubborn, you can also use the scouring pad to help shift it.
Step 4 – brush or scrub the blade of each tooth
The next step is to clean each tooth blade individually. As when you were working on the outside edge, use either the brush or the scouring pad to clean any residue from the blades. Again, work in the direction of the blades so you don’t dull them during cleaning.
Step 5 – clean in between each tooth
After cleaning the blades, clean the part in between each tooth – known as the gullet. Just as before, use either the brush or the scouring pad, depending on how encrusted the residue deposit is.
Step 5 – rinse the blade
You will probably find the blade is covered in suds from the resin remover and the cleaning process, so you will need to rinse it off. You can do this either by immersing it in clean water or by spraying clean water onto the blade.
Step 6 – dry the blade
It is very important to make sure the blade is thoroughly dried after washing – if not, you will probably find it quickly develops rust. Give it a dry first with some paper towels, but to ensure the job is properly done, you can also use a hairdryer to get rid of any traces of moisture.
Step 7 – coat with dry tool lubricant
Dry tool lubricant will help keep the blade in optimum condition as well as helping to prevent rust from setting in. It can be picked up at any good hardware or DIY store.
Using a paper towel, ensure that both sides of the blade are given a good, even coat of dry tool lubricant. Once you have finished, you are ready to place the blade back onto your table saw.
Step 8 – replace the blade on the table saw
Once you have completed the cleaning process, replace the blade on the arbor. You need to make sure the teeth are facing towards the user rather than towards the back of the table saw.
Replace the washer and then screw on the arbor nut with your fingers. Next, as before, use your pair of wrenches to tighten the arbor nut. Your table saw is now ready to use, so you can plug it back into the power outlet and start cutting wood again!
Why should you clean your blade?
Dull blades don’t give you clean and accurate cuts in the same way as new, sharp blades do – and blunt blades can even be dangerous since they increase the risk of kickback.
However, before you take your blade to be sharpened, you should try cleaning it first. This is because sap and sawdust from wood can form a residue on the blade, making it seem blunt when it really isn’t.
Cleaning a blade is quicker and cheaper than sharpening it, so it’s always a good idea to try first unless you are sure your blade has been dulled.
When should you clean the blade?
There is no simple answer to this question since it depends on how often you use it. However, it doesn’t matter which type of table saw you have – it will be the same whether you have a jobsite table saw, a contractor table saw, a hybrid table saw or a cabinet table saw.
Simply check the blade if it seems to be cutting less easily than usual, and if you see a build-up of residue, it’s time for a clean.
Keep your blade clean for optimum performance
Just like any other tool, your table saw will work best if you keep it well maintained. This is especially true of the blade, and to ensure it is always able to cut accurately, you should give it a regular clean – and by following these instructions, now you know how.
How Do I Know If My Table Saw Blade Is Dull (6 Simple Ways)
Table saws and circular saws are indispensable tools in the workshop of both professional craftsmen and serious DIYers. With a sharp saw blade, you cut the best quality, and you can work faster and more accurately. However, the more you make saw cuts, the duller your knife becomes. Without you really noticing it, the quality deteriorates slightly with each cut. But how do I know if my table saw blade is dull, and how do you know when to replace the saw blade? Well, here are a few signs your saw blade is dull:
- The blade cuts slower than normal
- There is more resistance and the saw blade tends to jam
- The blade will cause more chipping than usual
- It’s getting harder to follow a line
- The noise level of the saw and saw blade increases.
- The blade will produce burn marks on the wood and may start to smoke.
Have you noticed any of these, or has your circular saw been having trouble cutting lately? Then in this article, you can read more about recognizing these problems, their dangers, and what to do if this is the case.
- Why Is It Important to Replace a Dull Saw Blade in Time?
- What Is the Average Lifespan of a Saw Blade?
- Will Cleaning a Saw Blade Increase the Lifespan?
- How Do You Clean a Saw Blade?
- Precautions to Take When Saw Blade Cleaning
- How Do I Know If My Table Saw Blade Is Dull
- The Blade Cuts Slower Than Normal
- There Is Resistance and the Saw Blade Tends to Jam
- The Blade Will Cause Chipping Than Usual
- It’s Getting Harder to Follow a Line
- The Noise Level of the Saw and Saw Blade Increases.
- The Blade Will Produce Burn Marks on the Wood and May Start to Smoke.
- Other Signs Your Saw Blade Needs to Be Replaced
- How Do I Know If My Table Saw Blade Is Dull – Conclusion
- Is It Worth Sharpening Circular Saw Blades?
Why Is It Important to Replace a Dull Saw Blade in Time?
The most important reason to know when your saw blade is dull is your safety. OK, replacing or sharpening a saw blade isn’t cheap, but your health, on the other hand, is worth a lot more.
As the blade wears, the cutting will generate more heat. Excessive heat will warp the saw blade and will lead to increased vibrations during cutting.
These vibrations can cause the saw to become uncontrollable or the blade to lock in the cuts, causing table saw kickback. This can lead to serious injury, limb amputation, or even death.
In addition to the increased safety risk, a dull saw blade can also lead to inaccurate cuts that can completely screw up your work.
A last essential reason to replace the saw blade in time is to prevent overloading the saw table or circular saw. Due to a dull saw blade, the machine will have to place more force on the saw blade, resulting in wear.
What Is the Average Lifespan of a Saw Blade?
To know how long a saw blade will last, you have to look at the number of hours that the saw blade has cut and the quality of the saw blade. For example, the lowest quality saw blade will be dull after 20 hours, while an exceptional quality saw blade can last up to 100 hours or more.
The lifespan of your saw blade will also depend on whether you use it for the right purposes and how well you maintain it. on this later in this article.
If you are not sure which saw blade you need for your workshop and the projects you are working on, you can find a lot of inspiration in my article Understanding Table Saw Blades | Always Find The Perfect One.
Will Cleaning a Saw Blade Increase the Lifespan?
Yes, cleaning a saw blade will make it last longer and less likely to become blunt. Poor cutting is often the result of a dirty blade. Sometimes your saw blade will show all the signs of wear, but all it takes is a good cleaning to get a cut almost like new.
Wood resins stick to the saw blade during cutting. After collecting enough residue on the saw blade, it causes the characteristics of a dull saw blade to appear. If you do not remove these resins, they will blunt the leaf faster over time. It is therefore important to regularly clean the saw blade.
How Do You Clean a Saw Blade?
Cleaning a dirty saw blade is easy and a good way to get it sawing like new again. Soak the blade in a saw blade cleaner such as the CMT Table saw blade and router bit cleaner for 15-20 minutes. This cleaner is strong enough to remove all resin residue in a short period of time.
CMT Table saw blade and router bit cleaner
Check out more details and of this product by clicking the link below.
After soaking, you can brush the saw blade clean. I already found that an old toothbrush works very well (don’t use your own toothbrush, of course, I don’t know what effect it will have). When brushing it is good to FOCUS mainly on the teeth, but of course, it is recommended to brush all surfaces.
After brushing, rinse the blade with plenty of water and dry it completely. Drying is an important step to prevent rusting, so pay enough attention to it.
After completing these steps, put the blade back on your saw and perform a trial cut to see if the cutting performance has improved. If the cutting has not improved, the blade must still be sharpened or replaced.
Precautions to Take When Saw Blade Cleaning
Many of the blade cleaners on the market have very high pH levels. Although they are powerful bases and not acids, they can nonetheless endanger your health in the same way.
Strong bases corrode metals. Some cleansers for saw blades may even be very caustic. They are made with a powerful solution that can quickly clean a saw blade while also breaking down brass, copper, and aluminum. Some metals deteriorate more slowly than others. Be cautious if you don’t know what type of material your saw blade is made of.
When cleaning saw blades, always use safety glasses to prevent product splashes from getting into your eyes.When working with chemicals, gloves are a must. When cleaning a saw blade, though, be sure to put on gloves that can withstand chemicals. By doing this, you can protect your hands and skin against harmful reactions including chemical burns.
When using these products to clean a saw blade, it is also a good idea to use eye, nose, and mouth protection. In the vicinity of where you are cleaning the saw blade, you may throw a few drops of the cleaning solutions into the air. Those little droplets run the risk of entering your lungs through inhalation.
How Do I Know If My Table Saw Blade Is Dull
There are several red flags telling you it’s time to replace or sharpen your saw blade, you just need to know what to look for. Below is a list of the key features to remember and look forward to.
Note, that many of these red flags can also indicate that the saw blade needs cleaning. Sometimes a simple cleaning of your saw blade can make it look new again.
The Blade Cuts Slower Than Normal
Because the teeth of the table saw are no longer as sharp, they will cut through the wood less well. This will reduce the speed of the table saw or circular saw. If you know your machine well, you will hear that it will no longer run at full speed. Because the saw blade will turn less quickly, it will reduce your work speed, but also increase the risk of accidents.
There Is Resistance and the Saw Blade Tends to Jam
With a sharp blade, there should be little to no resistance as you push through the cut. The blade can be dull if it feels like it needs more force to cut than when it was new or if it seems to get stuck in certain places when cutting. When utilizing a table saw, all that should be required is for the workpiece to be slid across the saw’s tabletop and past the blade.
The Blade Will Cause Chipping Than Usual
The blade tears out more easily and chips more frequently as it gets older. A sharp blade may cut through the fibers of wood to produce clean cuts. Instead, a dull saw blade chips and shreds them, causing tearout. The blade is probably worn down if you notice tearout after each cut. info on How To Avoid Tearout When Cutting (9 Powerful Tips) in this article.
It’s Getting Harder to Follow a Line
Blades that are dull do not follow cut lines cleanly. A dull saw blade requires more force to cut through the object it is cutting. When the saw blade is dull, it prefers to take the easiest route. This results in erroneous cuts. It’s possible that your blade is worn out if your cuts are ragged or imprecise.
The Noise Level of the Saw and Saw Blade Increases.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, if you know your saw well, you will know the usual noises it makes when cutting wood. But if the sound changes, or it sounds like the motor is overloading when making a cut, that could be a sign of a dull blade.
At any change you hear in the sound it makes, please stop the tool immediately and check what the problem is, even if it’s not due to the blade that is dull.
The Blade Will Produce Burn Marks on the Wood and May Start to Smoke.
Burn marks are typical, but they can also be a sign of a blade that needs to be replaced. A dull saw blade requires more effort and time to make a cut. Burn marks are produced as a result of the increased friction and built-up heat with the workpiece. So if you have more burn marks than usual, check the sharpness of the blade, there is a great chance it will be dull.
Other Signs Your Saw Blade Needs to Be Replaced
In addition to the saw blade’s gradual wear, there are additional factors that may persuade you to replace the saw blade for a better, safer cut. In order to avoid these potential issues, always perform a visual inspection of the saw blade at the beginning of each working day.
Look for wear and damage indications. As a totally missing tooth on a saw blade cannot be restored, broken and missing teeth are obvious indications that your blade needs to be replaced.
Compare the saw blade to another blade of a similar size and quality that you are familiar with. Expert woodworkers frequently purchase multiples of the same blades. One sheet serves as your primary, while the second one serves as a backup that you occasionally use. It is simple to see when your primary saw blade is dull because of this. Additionally, a good knife is always available for use.
Take note of the variations in the two blades’ teeth when contrasting them. If the teeth on your primary blade differ significantly from those on your backup, your primary blade is likely worn out. Change the saw’s backup blade, then have the main blade sharpened or replaced. When you receive the freshly sharpened blade back, it serves as a backup. By doing this, you may compare your primary blade with a backup blade that is in good shape at all times.
Saw blades with pronounced flaking and collection of debrisCheck the carbide tips of the blade’s teeth by closely inspecting it with a flashlight. When you closely inspect the blade, the carbide tooth tips should reflect light. If the carbide tip appears to reflect light differently than the rest of the tooth, it has broken off. Sharpen the blade if several of the carbide tips are missing.
Look for teeth that have chips or are rounded. Examine the teeth. If numerous of them seem chipped in relation to the others, it’s time to sharpen or replace the saw blade. The most common place for teeth to chip is at their carbide tips. In my blog post Understanding Table Saw Blades | Always Find The Perfect One, I go into further detail regarding the various saw blade tooth shapes.
How Do I Know If My Table Saw Blade Is Dull – Conclusion
If you work with a saw blade, you know that it will not last forever. As you can read in this article, there are several reasons that require replacing a table saw blade. Doing that can solve some of table saw problems that are listed in this article. If you’re wondering, “how do I know if my table saw blade is dull”, the various red flags I’ve discussed in this article will help you spot and replace a dull saw blade faster in the future. That way, you will be able to work better and safer.
Is It Worth Sharpening Circular Saw Blades?
Now that you can determine if your table saw blade is blunt, it’s time to move on to the next step. Are you going to replace the saw blade or have it sharpened? To help you with that and avoid unnecessary costs, I wrote the article, is it worth sharpening table saw blades, where you will find all the information you need.
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How to Clean a Saw Blade (6 EASY Steps!)
Whether you have a table saw, circular saw, handheld saw or miter saw (or any other saw that may exist), there comes a time when the saw does not seem to be performing as well as it used to.
Just like scissors or knives can dull over time, making it less effective to cut paper, ribbons, steaks, and food, a saw can do the same.
Regular cleaning of a saw that is used frequently is very important in ensuring that you can continue using it safely and effectively. The build-up of sap, sawdust, dirt, and grime can really affect how well it can cut.
Luckily, there is a solution – you can clean it. That being said, use the wrong cleaning method and you could make matters worse! That’s where we come in.
In this article, we will be showing you how you can avoid a dull saw that does not cut (or does so ineffectively), as well as showing you how you can avoid using the wrong cleaning method which could exacerbate matters.
How to Clean Saw Blades & Router Bits in 10 Minutes
There are a number of different cleaning methods for your saw that can be used to great effect. The first step in cleaning your saw blade is choosing a cleaning method.
Now, there is no real right or wrong way to go about it when it comes to choosing one of the following cleaners, so we decided that the best thing to do is to list them and give some information and considerations you may want to keep in mind regarding each cleaner.
One popular cleaning method is to use an oven cleaner. Oven cleaner is abrasive and removes build-up quickly and effectively, especially if it is really ground in.
That being said, many people may find it too abrasive or will be put off by the fact that oven cleaners tend to be packed full of toxic ingredients.
The common household citrus cleaner is particularly popular among woodwork enthusiasts because of its versatility.
It is suitable for cleaning a whole number of different household appliances and areas, and many people will already have it at home.
However, if the blade is very dirty with the ground in sap and sawdust then citrus cleaner may not be powerful enough.
The branded cleaner, Simple Green is another popular saw cleaning product that is used to great effect for all types of saws.
It is a degreaser as well as a cleaner, meaning that it cuts through wood sap easily.
It is also non-toxic and environmentally friendly which is a big bonus for buyers looking to reduce their environmental impact.
Saw cleaning solution
Of course, a foolproof cleaning product is a solution that has been designed specifically for the purpose of cleaning saw blades.
These will have the exact ingredients needed to safely clean the saw blades and not cause any further damage like rust and corrosion.
The only downside is that they are harder to come by as they cannot be bought as easily in hardware stores or supermarkets.
A Step By Step Guide on How to Clean a Saw Blade
- When you have your tools you should ensure your hands are protected with strong work gloves, as well as any other parts of your body. You may also want to consider eye goggles and a mask if there is going to be a lot of sawdust. Ensure that the saw is completely turned off and that no power is running. You can now remove the blade. Do this carefully, asking for help if you need it.
- When the saw blade is out you should place it straight into the solution you made earlier (as explained in step 2). Let it soak for a few minutes, leaving it up for 30 minutes if there is a lot of build-up.
- Using a clean toothbrush (one that can be used specifically for this purpose) you can start to scrub away at the teeth of the blade and any other areas where sawdust and sap may have gathered. Do this until the saw is clean.
- Using some fresh water, rinse the saw blade off and pat it dry with paper towels or a lint-free cloth. Ensure it is fully dry before reinstalling it onto your saw. It is good practice to wait at least an hour or two before using it just to ensure that any moisture has dried up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to clean my saw blade?
It is very important that you clean your saw blade regularly so that you avoid build-up on the teeth of the saw blade.
Otherwise, you run the risk of having a saw that is too dull to cut wood and other materials adequately.
How do you remove rust from a saw blade?
To remove rust from a saw blade you can soak it in a designated rust remover, followed by sandpaper to ease off the ground in rust.
Finish up with steel wool if there are any stubborn patches of rust, and oil it with a suitable product.
Why does my saw blade scorch the wood?
Blade scorch occurs on your wood when your saw is having to work hard to cut the wood (or other material).
The friction caused by a blade that is too dull can cause lots of heat, resulting in these unsightly scorches.
To stop this ensure that your blade remains sharp by cleaning it regularly and replacing it when needed.
Cleaning a saw blade is easy as pie when you know how, and could stop you from experiencing a world of annoyance as it prevents your saw from getting too dull and producing those unsightly scorch marks all over your lovely wood.
Follow our guide on how to clean your saw blade quickly and easily so that you never have to experience a dull blade again.