When to Sharpen Tablesaw Blades
How do I know when a tablesaw blade needs sharpening? And is it really better to sharpen a tablesaw blade, or should I just buy a new one?
Frank del Greco, Novelty, OH
You can’t spot a dull blade just by looking at it, but you’ll feel it when you use one. A dull blade makes it tough to feed stock at a steady rate, and often bogs down the motor. Rely on feel, instead of visual cues like burnt stock or rough cuts, which could mean a dull blade, a dirty blade, damaged teeth, a poorly adjusted saw, or a feed speed that’s too fast. And before declaring dullness, try scrubbing the blade with a pitch cleaner. A blade that is cleaned regularly will also last longer. If you have a high-quality blade, it will have plenty of carbide for resharpening, and will be worth the $20 or $30 to do so. If the blade is cheap, just replace it.
You can’t spot dullness. A dirty blade may not need sharpening. Try removing the pitch and built-up residue with blade and bit cleaner before cutting with it. Also check that the fence is parallel to the blade