How to properly sharpen a hand saw

a layman’s guide

A beginner’s guide to the basics of life safety, extreme and emergency situations, survival, and tourism. Also useful for fishermen, hunters and other nature and outdoor enthusiasts.

How to hone a hand saw (wood hacksaw)

Constant use causes the teeth to lose their sharpness and the cutting edges to wear out, reducing the quality of the cut and increasing the time required to complete the task. Buying a new one will not remedy the situation for long. That’s why handsaws are usually sharpened. It is necessary to sharpen the hand saw to restore the geometry of the saw’s teeth (pitch, height, profile angle, cutting edge bevel angle).

  • when sawing in wood the hacksaw sounds differently
  • Visually, you can see that the tips of the teeth are rounded, lost their sharpness
  • color of teeth changes
  • Sawing is heavy and irregular;
  • the saw’s direction is not perfectly aligned
  • jamming of teeth in wood is frequent
  • the cut is not straight.

Normal steel can be corrected by yourself, while teeth with pobedite tips must be machined on specialized industrial machines. Some craftsmen at their own risk undertake to sharpen the hacksaw with an angle grinder. but this is not a reliable and dangerous way. Hardened teeth cannot be sharpened. It is easy to spot hardened steel because it is black with a blue tint.

Signs that a saw has dulled

Since a hacksaw is constantly stressed during use, its teeth dull over time. The degree of efficiency of blunt instrument is noticeably less. In addition, you should not use such a hacksaw for the following reasons:

  • Reduced productivity. When sawing wood, more effort and time is spent by the craftsman;
  • the accuracy of the work is impaired. Blunt teeth make it nearly impossible to cut wood accurately and evenly. It is especially difficult to work with such a saw in the garden;
  • The dangers of using a hacksaw. During operation, the tool will jam, go off the sawing line, jam, which increases the likelihood of injury.

Hacksaw should be urgently sharpened, if the characteristic blunt sound appeared, the tips of the teeth rounded, it is not possible to make a cut of wood. If the tool becomes difficult to work with, it is better to stop sawing, inspect it, and address the issue of sharpening.

Sharpening process

For sharpening the saw must be rigidly fixed so that it does not vibrate when a file is applied to it. Otherwise, the quality of the work will be poor.

Lock the hacksaw blade vertically, often in a vice, in self-made clamps, but if you have neither of them, you can do without them.

Clamping method without special devices. “on the edge of the workbench. The hacksaw blade is placed so that only the saw’s teeth hang off the edge of the table. But the saw grips are always thicker than the blade, so you can’t put it close to the workbench. That’s why you have to use the angle of the table, and then the handle of the saw doesn’t get in the way.

If you have a clamp, you can fix it like this.

And this method without the clamps, fixation is made only by hand sharpener. This is quite comfortable and safe.

In the right hand takes a file or file, and, holding the blade of the hacksaw with the left hand, proceed to sharpening.

The saw’s teeth are sharpened one by one. The file is moved from top to bottom this way. The file is placed against the tooth to be sharpened and is moved downward with a force.

The file must be held at an angle in two planes. In the horizontal, it is about 30 degrees. In the vertical. about 60 degrees. Angles of inclination are individual for each saw, because they can vary in both tooth shape and size.

Here’s what you see: the right side of the file gauge has machined teeth, the left side does not.

To the right of the file pointer, the teeth are shaped, and to the left, they are not

tool to be used

Since saws differ in shape and purpose, their teeth are also different. And to qualitatively sharpen a hacksaw, you need different tools.

A triangular file with one working side. The profile of this tool is not standard, if a regular triangular file has all sides equal and working, then this file has one working side, and is shaped like an isosceles triangle with a very large base.

Such a triangular hacksaw with one working side is good for cutting small or oblique teeth. When working, it only affects the surface to be sharpened, it only slides on others. No risk of grinding off the adjacent tooth.

Filer Guide for Hand-Saws, How to make

A regular triangular file. A compact tool that is ideal for sharpening most standard wood hacksaws.

Triangular file. Perfect for sharpening saws with a large tooth.

How to sharpen a hand wood hacksaw and set its tines

Sooner or later any cutting tool blade gets out of order and blunts. There is no need to change the whole tool in this case. It is enough to make a correct sharpening. You can do this with those devices that are already available in the house (most often). Of course, nothing will work if you do not know the right technology to perform all the operations. In this article, the master plumber will tell you how to sharpen a hand wood hacksaw and set the teeth.

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To ensure a high quality cut, you need to understand the mechanism of how the edges of the hacksaw teeth affect the material to be cut. Unlike steel and plastic, wood is not a homogeneous material, and for this reason several types of saws have been developed, differing by tooth profile, sharpening angle and degree of cleavage. All types of wood hacksaws, their characteristics and technical data are specified in GOST 26215-84.

Basic types of wood hacksaw teeth: 1. for cross sawing Type 1; 2. for cross sawing Type 2; 3. for longitudinal sawing Type 1; 4. for longitudinal sawing Type 2; 5. for universal sawing

There are three types of hacksaws: for cross-cutting, longitudinal, as well as universal. The main difference lies in the principle of cutting: when sawing wood across the fiber on the tooth path there are fragments of different density. On the one hand, this circumstance plays to the advantage: the chips formed are smaller and easily removed from the contact zone, which allows for the sharpening of both sides of the tooth for sawing, both in the forward and backward feed direction. on the other hand, cutting across the fibers is partly impact cutting, so blunter cutting edge angles are needed.

Sawing wood along the grain can be characterized as repetitive micro-splitting cycles. The force applied to the tooth is uniform, so the teeth are asymmetrical with the tip pointing in the cutting direction. The edge formed at the apex of the tooth is directed strictly perpendicular to the plane of the blade. Sawing along the fibers produces elongated chips that are difficult to remove from the contact area. There is also a greater release of moisture, resins and sticky substances during longitudinal cutting, which, combined with the first factor, prevents sawing in both directions. Sawdust is cut with a straight cutter infeed: the perpendicular cutting edge direction causes shavings to be ejected in the sawing direction. The reverse movement removes residual chips and ensures that the edges are self-cleaning.

Teeth of all types of hacksaws have a bifurcation, they are alternately tilted in different directions from the longitudinal axis of the blade. this creates a sort of dovetail in the longitudinal profile of the saw’s tooth row, with two sets of cutting wedges formed by the tips of the cutting edges of the teeth. Accordingly, the hacksaw forms two grooves at the bottom of the kerf, which ensures evenly stepped removal and efficient chip evacuation.

Skilled craftsmen know the following signs that indicate a saw is about to break down:

  • The hacksaw begins to sound differently when cutting wood;
  • You can see that the tips of the teeth are rounded, lost their sharpness;
  • The color of the teeth changes;
  • Sawing force increases;
  • The saw’s direction of travel is poorly maintained;
  • The tines often jam in the wood.

Why and When to Sharpen a Hand Hacksaw Blade?

The hacksaw is subjected to various loads during operation, as a result of which the teeth are blunted. They also change their position. All this leads to:

  • the efficiency of the tool is reduced;
  • It requires more time and effort for the sawing process;
  • The accuracy and quality of the cut deteriorates (nicks form);
  • there is a danger of using a blunt tool.

A saw with blunted teeth needs to be sharpened. Determine that it is time to sharpen the tool, you can by the following factors:

Hacksaw sharpening with your own hands

When sharpening a certain type of wood hacksaw, it is worth paying attention to certain features of this procedure. Let’s understand how to sharpen a wood hacksaw of each variety.

Crosscut saws

To sharpen the teeth of crosscut hacksaws, a triangular file with a fairly fine notch and an angle of close to 60 degrees is used. To sharpen the teeth clamp the hacksaw in a special device that allows you to set its blade at an angle of 45-50 degrees to the surface of the work table. Drive the file at an angle of 60-75 degrees to the blade parallel to the work table and sharpen the left edge of the first tooth in this way.

Sharpen saw teeth in several steps. First run the file over the left edges of the odd teeth that are in the far row, setting your hands to the same motion. Next, use the file to go over the right edges of the same odd teeth, thus completing the sharpening of the cutting edges with sharp tips.

After sharpening the odd teeth on your saw blade, turn the hacksaw blade over in the sharpening machine to sharpen the even teeth that are on the far side. When sharpening the teeth of crosscut saws it is necessary to carefully observe that in each tooth you get sharp cutting edges with an angle of 60-75 degrees, that is a sharp top and a short cutting edge.

Longitudinal saws

To sharpen longitudinal saw teeth with an angle of less than 60 degrees, use files with coarser or rhombic files with fine cuts, and files with a triangular angle of 60 degrees at the apex are not suitable for sharpening. To sharpen the teeth of a longitudinal hacksaw blade, it is set vertically in the clamping device, after which the device is secured to the work table. Here are two ways to sharpen the saw teeth that differ in the sharpening angle.

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The first method is straight, when a file or file at an angle of 90 degrees is directed horizontally to the blade, and in doing so remove a small layer of metal from the back and front faces of the tooth, to sharpen the cutting edge. All teeth in the back row are sharpened this way. After that the blade is inverted in the clamping device and the teeth of the other row are sharpened in the far row. Many a modern carpenter and hobbyist use this method to sharpen the teeth of these longitudinal hacksaws.

The second way is slanting and it differs from the first only in the direction of the tool itself in relation to the hacksaw blade. angle of sharpening to within 80 degrees. Also sharpening the back and front edges of the teeth, first one row and then the other. With this method of sharpening the teeth, you will get the side edges that are used when sharpening the archer saw.

Saws for mixed sawing

If you have decided to buy a wood hacksaw of mixed sawing, you should know how to properly sharpen it. to resharpen the cutters, use coarse-cut files or a fine-cut diamond file to sharpen the cutters. Just as with the sharpening of a longitudinal saw, there are two known methods. oblique and straight and they differ from each other by the size of the sharpening angle (90 and 75-80 degrees).

properly, sharpen, hand

Habilitation and straightening

Hacksaw blade steel is tough, so burrs can form on the cutting edge. To remove them, it is sufficient to flatten the flat tooth edges in the direction from the base to the apex. As it is very difficult to dress the bent tooth with a flat file, it is better to use abrasive paper 80-120 grit, having rolled it into a small tube.

To make precise fitting cuts many craftsmen recommend to blunt the top of the teeth to form a third cutting edge. This is best done with a miniature diamond file that has at least one flat edge. A nail file is brought to the tooth so that its working surface is perpendicular to the plane of the blade (not the tooth). Then 1-2 light removals are carried out, the movement is carried out from the base of the tooth to the top.

properly, sharpen, hand

How to sharpen the teeth of a wood hacksaw by yourself instruction

Setting up and aligning the height of the cutting teeth is a preparatory stage for sharpening the hacksaw. Now to sharpen the wood hacksaw, you need to fix the blade in the jaws of the vice again. How to properly sharpen a wood hacksaw, not many people know, so often you can meet craftsmen who buy new tools instead of restoring the functionality of the old.

The work is performed at home, and the entire process takes no more than half an hour of time. First you need to take nepril or triangular files, which have a fine notch. When choosing a triangular file you need to consider its size. It should be small, so that its facets reach into the recess between the teeth. It is necessary to use a file with a fine notch, otherwise you will not be able to achieve the required sharpness of sharpening.

Having clarified all the nuances, let’s deal with the sequence of actions. how the wood hacksaw is properly sharpened:

  • The tool blade is fixed in a vise. To avoid vibrations during sharpening, it is necessary to hold it as close to the teeth as possible, but without touching them, otherwise the sharpening pattern will be broken
  • A file is taken in hand. one hand should hold it by the handle, and the other by the tip

When sharpening, one must also take into account the pressure of the file on the teeth to be sharpened. It has to be medium, so that each subsequent pass removes metal, not fiddling with the teeth. The process is not difficult, but it takes time and patience to go between each tooth with a file.

How to know if the teeth are sharpened enough? To do this, you need to look at the teeth of the tool through the sunlight. The glow between each tooth indicates that the procedure was completed successfully, and the tool is ready for use.

The process under consideration is not difficult, and if you understand its principle, sharpening a hacksaw will turn into a pleasure. Many people do not want to waste time on manual work with a file, so they use an angle grinder for sharpening. Let’s understand how to sharpen a hand hacksaw with an angle grinder, and whether it is realistic.

If sharpening is not your specialty

There are exceptions to the rules, but what about them It will not be possible to sharpen saws with hardened teeth. But don’t be upset: they stay sharp much longer even under permanent intensive loading. I wouldn’t say no to a Gross PIRANHA hacksaw, for example: This is exactly the rare case where a universal tool is as good as a special one. The laser-ground triangular teeth cut wood, chipboard, fiberboard and PVC with the same ease and evenness. Of course, the ergonomic shape of the handle and the Teflon coating of the blade are important too: women are not as strong as men, which is why we value these qualities.

The comfortable handle and the Teflon-coated blade make the Gross PIRANHA as easy as possible to use

It would be nice to have one more saw in addition to the first one. The Gross PIRANHA folding wood saw is indispensable in the garden: it will help you get rid of dead wood and is handy for trimming large tree branches (laser-ground teeth leave a clean cut). If you start renovation projects it won’t let you down either: it cuts wood, plywood, fiberboard, PVC with equal ease. A folding saw is also handy on a picnic or a vacation in the countryside. The Gross PIRANHA folding wood saw is ideal for gardening and picnics If you’re cutting firewood, you can’t do without the Matrix Master two-handed saw. Those who have had to saw logs will confirm that the work is not easy, so a good tool is especially important. This model has a blade length of 1000 mm

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This circular saw is especially designed for work with large wood: its long blade, large hardened teeth with 2D grinding and comfortable handles allow for maximum ease of heavy physical work. Even teenagers, older people or frail women can turn a log into wood.

The coarse, hardened teeth and handy handles will make hard physical work as easy as possible

Perhaps my way of sharpening and sawing might seem harsh to some and I will never be able to sharpen a carpenter’s hacksaw, but I am not going to master this profession yet.

Resharpen the saw with your own hands

properly, sharpen, hand

And for working in the countryside, it is possible to sharpen the saw with your own hands, it has been proven in practice! Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever had to sharpen your saw?? Share in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев your way of holding a file))

Svetlana, thank you so much! Especially for the mention of the tooth set. I totally let this one out. In the fall, when I was sawing trees, the saw kept jamming, and I was angry and in pain. As I remember now, practically a straight row of cogs, and I, foolishly, blamed it on the sharpening.

Diane, you’re welcome! We are always learning something, sometimes by choice, sometimes life forces)))) I (if possible and within my power) always try to learn: and trimmer to mow, and lay bricks, and plaster, and put tiles, and recharge the battery))) There are many things in life that will come in handy. and I already know how (albeit at the level of a beginner, but still))))

We have three blunt-dull hacksaws lying around at our dacha, and one new one we use for sawing. So I thought, to sharpen them. and it would be our happiness. The tool is from the Soviet Union, the metal is of good quality, but the teeth are blunt). I also remember my dad used to sharpen hacksaws from time to time, and file and file the teeth. But who looked at the process then?? and it wasn’t a girl’s business. And now my husband says it’s easier to buy new ones)))

You live far away, or if you’re thinking of throwing them out, I’d buy them from you for the price of new )))) Soviet hacksaws have a different quality, if properly adjusted and sharpened, they are very smart and superior to new ones because their metal is of higher quality and thicker, they blunt much longer and the teeth rarely break, even if you run into a nail accidentally. I as understood on an example casually found two (someone the site sold, and all stuff from half-ruined shed has thrown out, well I have such strange habit, about a barn garbage to twist). began to chase such hacksaws. In addition to these hacksaw I got a Soviet door handle, too, metal was not spared, I screwed it on the goose greenhouse, where the tomatoes in summer, slightly dosrobrovilii that bolts fit through (was probably designed on the thin screws).

I’ve got an old armor-piercing saw at the cottage, too. I still have some from the old masters. I’ll have to try and sharpen it.

Here, a picture just in case (unlikely anyone in the world will need) throw these things, these are even two, I had them, one was mine, and found another in the trash, which the neighbor was going to the dump, it’s a little rusty, but it is also convenient to dilute. And it is very uncomfortable and dangerous with pliers, you can easily break a tooth.

Saw blades

properly, sharpen, hand

This is used to “set up”, that is, to bend the saw’s teeth slightly to the side. There are other types of these tools. I have this “setting”: It’s very handy. You set the angle of the saw clearly.

Andrei, what is it for?? And how do you set a saw with that thing?? Although I noticed that the saw has teeth in different directions. Why??

How To Sharpen A Crosscut Hand Saw

It’s like a pair of pliers. Use the spinning wheel to set the angle of the teeth. You put the tongs on the tooth of the saw. Press. Tooth is bent. Then you move the pliers through 1 tooth and press again. All the way to the end of the blade. Then you reposition the saw on the other side to bend back the teeth that you missed on the first pass and repeat on the entire saw blade through the tooth. The teeth are bent in a staggered pattern. The main thing is not to get the starting tooth wrong. Unfortunately, I couldn’t immediately find a video tutorial. Just this: youtu.be/hZ0mzesXExY

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