How to sharpen a wood saw

Basic rules

When sharpening a wood saw with your own hands you need concentration, good eye and file skills. Despite all the apparent complexity of the process, if you follow the recommendations, this manipulation can be done quite simply, though not quickly. To sharpen a hacksaw at home, you need to spend an hour or two of time, you can cope even faster if you have a hand.

Hacksaws are also sharpened with an angle grinder, but many craftsmen treat this method negatively. Firstly, it is not safe, and secondly, it is more likely to damage the cutters than sharpen them.


The blade should be securely clamped in a vice. You can also sharpen on your lap or on a stool, but it is not convenient to hold a hacksaw that way. The place where the sharpening is carried out, should be well lighted, for safety purposes gloves should be worn. No distractions, like television set.

To restore the performance of a joinery tool, only a good quality file should be used. Usually take a three-sided one, and for small teeth of a garden saw there is a special four-sided file.

It is imperative that the edges of the cutters be ground with a file or file that has a fine velvet notch. If you have to use a second-hand file, it should be cleaned beforehand with a steel brush.

Grind a small layer of coatings off the cutters. During their processing, the file should not slip, and cling well to them. If not, then the file is not suitable for sharpening, or the cutters on the blade are overhardened. Use a different tool for sharpening. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, it is advisable to change hacksaw.

sharpen, wood


To properly sharpen a wood hacksaw with a file, clamp the handle with your right hand and hold the end of the file with your left hand. The tool is directed at the teeth of the blade at an angle (as the bevel goes). Apply pressure evenly, smoothly and only to a certain side (usually away from yourself).

If possible, it is advisable to make sure that the stripped metal layer is of the same thickness. It is recommended to move the tool an equal amount of times and with equal pressure. In this way, the height, pitch, and size of tooth corners will be maintained after machining.

To remove burrs that appear on the tooth edges, use a wet burr or a file with a velvet file. If they are left, they will reduce the sharpness of the teeth and will break out when sawing wood materials, which will worsen the quality of the manipulation.

When sharpening is finished, check the sharpness of the teeth by sawing a piece of wood. If when inspecting the saw blade the cutters do not shine, then all the actions have been done effectively and the hacksaw is ready for use.

Tooth bending

The set of teeth is necessary so that the hand saw does not jam while cutting, so that it runs smoothly and easily. After using the hacksaw for an extended period of time, you may want to set the blade before sharpening it. The essence of the process is to carry out an even bending of the teeth in different directions. After this procedure, free gaps should form on both sides of the blade. The movement of the sharp-cutting tool in the cut will be much more efficient.

The more the blade bends, the less the risk of the saw jamming during use. But do not overdo it, otherwise the sawing will be very problematic.

Note! The standard setting is no more than 2mm. If the hacksaw is intended for sawing dry wood, the teeth are to be bent 0,3-0,5 mm. For sawing raw wood materials, you need to sharpen them by 0.5-1 mm.

It is recommended that you use a deburring tool, a special device, to make it easier to perform the deburring. The hacksaw is well clamped in a vise, the device is mounted on the work surface. The main thing is that the teeth should not protrude completely, otherwise they will break.

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

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

The work is done at home and the whole process takes no more than half an hour. First you need to take files or triangular files, which have a fine notch. The size of the file must be taken into account when selecting a triangular file. It should be small so that its edges reach into the recess between the teeth. It is essential to use a file with a fine cut, otherwise you will not get the sharpness you need.

Having clarified all the nuances, let’s understand the sequence of actions. how to properly sharpen a wood hacksaw:

  • Clamp the tool blade in a vise. So that it does not vibrate in the process, you should clamp it as close to the teeth as possible, but at the same time, not hitting them, otherwise the development will be broken
  • A file is taken in the hands. one hand should take it by the handle, and the other by the tip
  • Angle of sharpening is typically 15 to 30 degrees, which is detected by eye only. If the tool does not have a lot of abrasion on the teeth, this angle can be traced
  • Adapt your working posture accordingly. For this purpose the file has to be placed in relation to the blade at an angle of 30-45 degrees (at the lower point of contact)
  • The file movements should be even, precise and fast. Move the file in one direction only. upward. the number of file passes is 3-5 times for each interdentooth. The number of movements can be greater, depending on how blunt the tool is
  • To begin with, you need to pass the tool on one side of the blade, and then on the other

When sharpening you also need to consider the pressure of the file on the teeth to be sharpened. It should be medium, so that each subsequent pass removes the metal, not fidgeting on the tines. This process is not difficult, but to pass between each tooth file requires time and patience.

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 see how to sharpen a hand hacksaw with an angle grinder, and whether it is realistic to do so.


Wood. is a fantastic material, because it can take after simple manipulations any kind, which is limited only by a person’s imagination. And just one of the tools, which is intended for this case, is a wood hacksaw. It is no less popular than the electric and gasoline chain saws, electric jigsaws and sabre saws we all know. In the arsenal of home tools should be such a hacksaw, and it is useful for every man to know how to sharpen a hacksaw on wood with his own hands.

Purpose of a metal hacksaw

There are a great many types and shapes of metal saws. Metal hacksaws can be two-handed or one-handed. Two-handed saws are seldom used nowadays since the advent and spread of petrol and electric saws, but one-handed saws are in almost every home.

The blade of a single-handed sabre saw is made as a knife with many teeth. It is rigid, resilient and strong enough to hold its shape without the need for tensioning devices. This kind of metal hacksaw has a handle that can be held with one hand when sawing the material. Moving the saw back and forth over the material to be sawn, the teeth are driven deeper and deeper into it. With each movement, the teeth of the hacksaw cut through a few millimeters of material.

Wood saw is used for sawing wood, boards, logs, chipboard and other wood materials, when installing wooden structures and joinery work, for trimming tree branches and other work that involves cutting different species. A wood saw will also come in handy if you plan to work with laminate.

Teeth of such hacksaw blades come in three varieties, large, small and medium, and are measured by the number of cutters per inch. The more teeth per inch, the better the cut. The number of teeth per inch on a wood saw blade is referred to by the TPI marking. Keep in mind that for a quick, rough cut, you need a hacksaw with a long blade and a big tooth. And if quality of cut is very important to you, you’d better get a hacksaw with a fine toothed blade.

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Saws with large teeth (3-6 teeth per inch) and an interdental spacing of about 4-8 millimeters are most useful for cutting logs and thick boards, while a hacksaw with an interdental spacing of up to 3-3.5 millimeters is good for cutting medium-sized boards. When working with small wooden products, it is easiest to work with a saw with a gap between the cutters of 2-2.5 millimeters.

In the case where the hacksaw has straight teeth, the tool will be designed only for cross-cutting wood, but if you have to cut wood lengthwise, the best option will be a hacksaw with forward sloping teeth. Better yet, have more than one hacksaw, not just one, for different types of woodworking.

Need to sharpen a hacksaw

Any cutting tool will work well, provided only that it is sharp. A hacksaw is no exception. In a hand saw, the cutting element is the teeth, which are cut on the blade in the form of wedges. During the operation the teeth are blunted, i.e. there is a rounding of the cutting lateral and front edges, it makes the course of the hacksaw heavy, and therefore it must be strongly pressed.

Sawing with a blunt hacksaw. one torture. It takes a lot of effort and time, it is difficult to make a right angle cut with this saw. An improperly sharpened saw is pulling away from the kerf, it gets jammed and wedges in the kerf. You can tell if the saw is sharp by the sound and shine of the cutting edges. To restore the cutting ability of the teeth, the wood hacksaw is sharpened, giving them sharpness while maintaining their parameters: angle size, height and pitch.

But remember that not all hacksaws can be sharpened. Hacksaws with a carbide-toothed tooth cannot be sharpened. To identify a hardened tooth, look closely at its color. If the tooth is hardened, it has a black color with a characteristic bluish cast. To sharpen a non-hardened tooth, use a fine-toothed file.

Sharpening Hacksaw Teeth

Before sharpening a wood hacksaw, you should check the tooth setting. To move the saw freely in the material and to avoid jamming the saw in the kerf, the teeth are bent one by one, one by one in both directions. the resulting kerf is larger than the thickness of the toothing of the hacksaw blade and creates gaps on both sides.

How to Sharpen a Woodworking Handsaw | Paul Sellers

As a result, the saw will move back and forth with its blade barely touching the kerf, the cutting edges will gradually remove the material layer by layer. when setting the saw, it should be remembered that the wider the set is, the wider the cut and therefore the smaller the chance of the hacksaw jamming. however, too high tooth pitch creates a too wide rip cut and requires a great deal of force to advance the hacksaw in the wood.

the setting for a wood hacksaw should be about 1.5 to 2 times the thickness of the saw blade, which is usually 1.5. 2 millimeters. That’s why it’s accepted to bend back teeth of saw on 0,25-0,5 millimeters to each side if such saw has to saw dry wood of hard wood and approximately on 0,51 millimeters for wet wood or soft wood.

To bend back the saw’s teeth to the same value use the special device called adjustable, which is a metal plate with a slit cut into it that is wider than the thickness of the saw’s blade. Often the adjustable setting design allows a setting screw to be used to set the amount of tooth set to one side, so the set has the same amount of teeth bending.

To set up, as a rule, the saw blade is clamped in a vice so that the teeth protrude only slightly, and the device is clamped to the work table. Setting the tines are alternately bent to the opposite sides along the cutter bar, which is set at about half their height. Remember not to bend the whole tooth, because if you do, it will break at the base.

After such manipulations it is recommended to check the correctness of the breeding, because it may happen that some teeth when bending on the side more protrude than the others, they will slow down when sawing, reduce the quality of the kerf and will quickly blunt. Look at the mowing line of the teeth in the light, and if you see that some tooth is too much or not enough bent to the side, it should be corrected.

Rules for sharpening a wood hacksaw

Sharpening a hacksaw blade is, in a sense, an art that requires attention, a good eye, and fidelity of hand. This is not a difficult thing to learn, the main thing to do when working is to adhere to the following rules:

  • Firmly clamped. The blade should be firmly clamped in a special fixture made of wood, which should also be stably installed in a well-lit workplace, as shown in the video on wood hacksaw sharpening. Sharpening teeth on your lap or on stools does not produce a positive result!
  • Use a quality tool. Use your own personal file with further cleaning of the sharpened tooth edges with an emery board or a file with a fine velvet notch. Of course, it is necessary that the file be sharp and new. You can also use a used one, but it must be brushed with a steel brush and rubbed with charcoal to keep the file from becoming blunt and clogged.
  • Removing the metal layer. When sharpening a file, it needs to engage in the metal of the tooth and remove the desired layer of metal, depending on the amount of pressure. And if it suddenly slips on the tooth without removing any metal it means the file is worn out or the cutter’s teeth are overhardened. If this is the case, resharpen with a different file. If it still slips on the tooth after the file has been changed, another hacksaw should be used.
  • Pressure on the tooth. clamp the file handle with the right hand and hold the end of the file with the left hand and guide the file to the saw teeth. The file pressure on the teeth should be even, smooth and, of course, in one direction. The file should not touch the teeth when returning to its initial position.
  • Proper handling of a file. Try to grind the metal from the tooth flanks of approximately equal thickness, driving the file an equal number of times with equal pressure, allowing you to keep the pitch, height and size of the angles of the teeth after sharpening.
  • Deburring. Burrs form on the saw tooth edges on the exit side, they reduce the sharpness of the tooth, and if you do not remove them, they will break off while the saw is running, and after that the teeth will become significantly blunt. To remove burrs, the tooth flanks are sharpened with a file with a velvet notch, and also removed from the side edges of the blade with a wet burr.
  • Checking the quality of your work. After you sharpen the teeth, make sure to check their sharpness. Look at the edge of the razor blade and the point of the needle: they do not shine in the light if they are sharpened. And if they are blunt, then the edge of the blade and the tip of the needle appear, of course, rounded surfaces, reflecting light and well shiny. Checking the sharpening quality of the hacksaw teeth is based on this. For such a purpose, it is placed in front of the eyes, examining along the blade its teeth. If their cutting tops and edges do not shine, it means that the saw’s teeth are sharpened. And if suddenly some of the teeth shine (it happens often), it is necessary to sharpen them with a file with a velvet notch, that is to remove burrs and check again the reflection of light over their tops and edges.

Sharpening a hacksaw 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

For sharpening the teeth of crosscutting hacksaws use a three-edged file with a fairly fine notch and an angle of close to 60 degrees. To sharpen the teeth, clamp the hacksaw into 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 your file at a 60 to 75 degree angle parallel to the blade, and sharpen the left-hand edge of the first tooth.

Sharpening of saw teeth in several steps. Start with the file on the left hand side of the odd teeth in the far row, setting your hands in 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 the sharp tips.

After sharpening the odd teeth of your saw blade, flip the hacksaw blade in the sharpening device to sharpen the even teeth, which were in the far row. When sharpening crosscut saw teeth it is necessary to make sure that each tooth has sharp cutting edges with an angle of 60-75 degrees, i.e. a sharp tip and a short cutting edge.

sharpen, wood

Longitudinal saws

To sharpen saw teeth of longitudinal saws with angle less than 60 degrees use files with coarser or diamond-shaped files with a fine notch, and files with a triangular angle of 60 degrees at the apex are not suitable for sharpening. To sharpen the teeth of the longitudinal saw blade, it is set in the clamping device vertically, after that the device is fixed on the work table. Below we will tell you about two ways of sharpening the teeth of the longitudinal saw, which differ from each other by the sharpening angle.

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The first way is straight, when a file or file at an angle of 90 degrees is directed horizontally to the blade and at the same time remove a small layer of metal from the back and front edges of the tooth, to sharpen the cutting edge. In this way sharpen all the teeth that are in the far row. Then turn the blade in the clamping device and sharpen the teeth in the far row. Many modern carpenters and hobbyists use this method when sharpening the teeth of such band saws.

The second way is oblique and differs from the first only in direction of the tool itself in respect to the hacksaw blade. sharpening angle within 80 degrees. Tooth back and front edges are also sharpened, first one row and then the other. With this method of sharpening the teeth, you get the side edges that are used in the sharpening of the onion saw.

Saws for mixed sawing

If you have decided to buy a wood hacksaw of mixed sawing, you should know how to sharpen it correctly. To restore the quality of the cutting teeth they are sharpened using coarse-cut files or fine-cut diamond files. As with the sharpening of the longitudinal saw, two ways are known. Angle of sharpening: 90 and 75-80 degree angles of sharpening are different between straight and oblique sharpening.

Tools for sharpening hacksaw blades

The hacksaw blade for sharpening the teeth is set in a special clamping device, which is then clamped on the work table. Let’s look at the scheme of the clamping device that is used when sharpening the teeth of wood hacksaw and makes it possible to set them at an angle of about 45-90 degrees in relation to your work table.

Such a device consists of a base made of plywood with dimensions of 550×200 millimeters and a thickness of approximately 20 millimeters. On the basis of the installation of two guiding rectangular triangles (with equal cathetuses), which are made of steel strip with a cross section of 20×30 millimeters. To install the guiding triangles in the base of the device, 4 pins screwed with PVA glue are provided.

Further, to the guiding triangles with bolts with wing nuts installed support and clamping bars that are interconnected by hinges (size 400×150 millimeters), made of plywood, whose thickness is 15 millimeters. To sharpen the saw, put the teeth up between the bars.

Before you do the sharpening of the wood saw yourself, its blade is set in such a way that the teeth protrude over the clamping strip by about 15-20 millimeters. This clamping device makes it possible to set the hacksaw to be sharpened at an angle of 45 degrees and 90 degrees. When sharpening the teeth of mixed and longitudinal saws set at an angle of 90 degrees, and when sharpening the teeth of cross tools at an angle of 45 degrees. If the device is set in the position of slats at an angle of 90 degrees, it is used for alignment of the height of the teeth, as well as for their separation.

Let’s also look at the clamping device for sharpening large-sized hacksaws and two-handled saws. This fixture consists of two cross bars approximately 550 millimeters long and 40 by 30 millimeters in section, two posts 1100 millimeters long and 60 by 40 millimeters in section, and two clamping bars 450 by 150 millimeters in section, which are made of 15 millimeters thick plywood. Crossbar and uprights are connected to each other with screws.

The device is assembled in the following sequence: bolt the lower crossbar from the floor at a small height to the uprights, then put the right leg on it and then mark the place of the second crossbar so that the knee of the right leg rested against the second crossbar.

This secures the rigidity of the stand that is leaning against the workbench or table. For sharpening the wood hacksaw is mounted between the clamping bars with the teeth upward and then clamped with bolts with wing nuts. After sharpening one side of the saw, do not take the saw out of the clamps, turn it upside down and continue sharpening the other side of the saw.

Now you know how to sharpen a wood hacksaw at home. Carefully follow the instructions and adhere to the rules described above, and do not forget to monitor the hacksaw and determine when it has blunted. Be sure to determine what material you will usually work with, as well as conduct the procedure of deburring and aligning the teeth of the hacksaw blade before the sharpening procedure.

Why is the file called “Friendship-2”?

Surely everyone is familiar with this type of chainsaw, which is called “Druzhba”. The next chain saw model should have received a corresponding name with prefix “two”, but the name “Druzhba-2” was given to such cutting device as a two-handed saw. It got its name because of its design features. The two-handed crosscut saw is designed to work in pairs, and not just in pairs. In pairs. it means coordinated friendly work by the device, which is where the name actually originated back in the Soviet Union.

The Soviet two-handled saw was popular, because its main advantage was its low cost. In Soviet times, few people could afford to buy a specialized tool. a chainsaw, which cost a lot of money. Sawing thick logs and large trees with a hand saw is not only hard, but also time-consuming. That’s why such a type of cutting unit as the Druzhba-2 appeared.

Even if now in your garage or in the attic there is a two-handed saw from the Soviet times, then do not hurry to get rid of it. Not only can they be used to cut trees and logs, but they can also be used to make different tools, such as a knife or hand saw. If you remember that somewhere in the garage there is a hacksaw with two handles, then it’s time to learn all its advantages and possibilities.

Choosing the angle of sharpening the cutting teeth

The blades on the cutting attachments have a working area with an appropriate sharpening angle. Depending on the type of teeth, the disk can be used both in one sawing direction and in two. When the links are blunted from one part, it is necessary to turn the disk, and continue the work in the opposite direction. However, not all circular saw blades can be sharpened in this way, e.g. circular saw blades with beveled links are not suitable for this task.

When sharpening the circular saw disk with your own hands, it is necessary to understand that, depending on the cutting direction, the sharpening angle must be taken into account.

  • If you plan to saw wood in the longitudinal direction of the fibers, the angle of sharpening on the links should be 15-25 degrees
  • If wood is sawn in cross direction, the sharpening angle is reduced to 5-10 degrees
  • Universal angle of sharpening is considered to be 15 degrees. Not only cross-cutting, but also lengthwise sawing is possible with these circular saw blades

When sharpening the teeth on circular saw, angle grinder and circular saw discs, another important factor to consider is the density of the material being cut. The lower the density, the sharper the tooth must be. If the circular saw is used to cut plastic or plastic material, the blade sharpening angle must be negative.

How to Sharpen a Saw in 5 Minutes | Paul Sellers

How to sharpen a hand saw with teeth for cross cutting

When sharpening such teeth a fine triangular file is used. The direction of movement of the tool is an angle of 60 degrees. The hacksaw is fixed in the device at a 4550 degree angle to the workbench. The file/surface file must be led strictly horizontally (keeping the angle of 6075 degrees to the hacksaw), starting from the first left tooth. You need to start with “adjusting the movement of the hand with the tool”, for what it runs along each left edge of the odd row of far teeth, which will give the necessary automaticity to your hand movements. Then repeat the same process, sharpening the right edges of the odd teeth to complete the sharpening of the cutting edge and sharpen the tips. Having finished sharpening the teeth of the odd row, the hacksaw is turned over in the fixing device and the same actions are repeated for the even row, which is the far row in this position.

How to properly sharpen a band saw

Let’s note right away that if there is no experience and skills to perform such works, it is better to entrust the sharpening of saws to professionals. Incorrect tooth geometry, scale on the metal, or improperly set teeth can significantly reduce blade life.

When deciding to sharpen a band saw with your own hands, it is worthwhile to first familiarize yourself with the key definitions, the knowledge of which may be required in the process of work. So, for the correct formation of the cutting edge you will need:

  • setting. the deviation of the teeth from the plane of the main blade of the saw;
  • tooth height. the distance between the upper point and the base;
  • pitch. distance between teeth, usually varies from 19 to 25 mm.
  • sharpening angle. depends on the purpose of the tool; for example, recommended sharpening angle for carpenter saws is 35°, for circular saws. 18-22, for sawing timber. not more than 15°.

Angle of sharpening is defined by the manufacturer, therefore it is recommended to adhere to these parameters when dressing saws by yourself.

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Here is a detailed instruction that will help to correctly sharpen the closed circular saw without resorting to the services of specialists.


Setting of band saws in wood is the first stage of cutting edge profile restoration. The teeth can change over time, so it would not make sense to resharpen the saw blade until it has the right geometry.

  • classical. teeth are alternately deflected to the right and left sides;
  • stripping. 1st and 2nd teeth are deflected to different directions, the third one remains straight. This profile is created for sawing hard materials;
  • Corrugated. the most complex version, resembling the shape of a wave. Here, each tooth is given an individual shape, and this type of setting is usually performed only in specialized workshops.

It should be noted that when bending, not the whole tooth is bent, but about 2/3 of the upper part. The procedure is performed on a special machine for setting band saws. The cost of such tool is quite high, that’s why it is bought if several tools need to be set up. Its presence can be the basis of a sharpening business.

Of course, you can not get it right the first time, even on the adjustable grinder, so at least the geometry of the profile should remain the same as before you start working.


This is the basic step in straightening the cutting edge and can be done in two ways.

Full-surface saw sharpening is done with an CBN wheel mounted in a special sharpening machine.

It is a fully automatic operation that is used by professionals. The work of the wood band saw blade sharpening machine is controlled electronically, and the sharpening wheel processes the entire band in one pass. The disadvantage of this method is that the CBN is tailored individually to the profile of the saw, so for dressing different tools the sharpening element has to be in stock.

Tooth sharpening is done manually or with specialized equipment.

Note! This is the method used for self-sharpening band saws. A regular emery wheel or emery board can be used here.

In the first case, it is possible to restore the sharpness of teeth in a short time, but the work requires certain skills. The second involves painstaking work: 4-5 strokes on the edge of each tooth.

Diamond, CBN and corundum grinding wheels are used for automatic sharpening. It is important to know that this procedure only sharpens the tines and leaves the geometry set after setting the blade.

Unfolding: if the saw’s teeth are folded, the wood will constantly bite the blade. torture, not work! If you see that with your helper, you know that her teeth need adjusting.

In order for the hacksaw blade to move freely in the kerf, the teeth need to be set

How to Sharpen a Hand Saw | Ripsaws

Let’s take the simplest type of tooth, the dagger tooth, as an example. Clamp the hacksaw with the teeth upward. Even if the saw is very blunt, take a closer look: there are at least minimal signs of set and the teeth are alternately distributed over two rows. Use pliers to gently grip the tip of the tip of the tooth and carefully increase the angle of the tilt. optimum 0.3-0.5 mm for dry material, 0.5-1.0 mm for raw wood. If you have only one saw for all occasions, divide it by 0,5 mm, that’s enough. Most likely, to line up teeth on a string you will not work, some may leave a row, and we do not need it. To put in place the popping out, bring the vise plates together, leaving a distance equal to the size of the split, and pull the blade between them. A multipurpose saw. a godsend for the cottager

Sharpening: it is convenient for me to sharpen all teeth of one row first. I try out, as it is more convenient to stand, to maintain an angle of a file to a hacksaw blade (60-70°). At first I sharpen one side of the teeth (here everything is standard: I count the number of cuts, file on metal lead only in the direction from myself, applying equal force), then I sharpen the other side, trying to make the top as sharp as possible. Then turn the saw the other way around and sharpen the teeth of the other row in the same way.

That sounds scary tricky, especially if you’re doing it for the first time, but I have one secret that helped me stay on track, and will probably be helpful to many sharpeners just starting out.

First of all, you need to prepare the equipment necessary for work:

To make the sharpening better, you can prepare additional tools:


Before you can sharpen your saw, you must first set the teeth, that is, set them apart. Sharpening is the setting of cutting teeth at a certain angle relative to the blade and to each other. If you look at the set saw, you can see that they alternately deflect to the right and left of the blade plate itself. This configuration gives the hacksaw free rein in the deep kerf. It does not jam, because it does not touch the walls with its whole surface.

To set the right angle for each tooth “by eye” requires solid experience that not every carpenter has. It comes after many dozens of sharpened saws. For less experienced carpenters, there is a tool called a setter. The most primitive version of it. a flat steel plate with a slit. A hacksaw is inserted into this slot with a minimal gap, in tension.

This is what the deburring process looks like:

  • Clamp the hacksaw in a vise like this. Make sure the teeth protrude 2 cm over the jaws.
  • The teeth are clamped in the groove and then bent in the middle.
  • First bend all the even teeth to one side, then bend the odd ones in the opposite direction.
  • Finally, you can bend the jaws of the vice to the calculated width of the bend and try to guide the saw between them.
  • An excessively bent tooth will catch on the vise. Use pliers to bend it back a little more.

Toothing height adjustment

All cutting tips need to be the same size so that cutting performance is not adversely affected. Longer teeth are more stressed and wear faster, while shorter teeth don’t even touch the wood.

Web pulling becomes jerky, uneven, more force is expended. The accuracy of the cut becomes worse, the surface of the cut becomes rougher.

The fitting is done before the sharpening begins. To make sure none of the teeth are protruding, hold the file against a piece of paper on the table.

The tops of the teeth will be imprinted on the sheet, and the gaps in this pattern will allow you to adjust their height. To do this, clamp the saw in a locksmith’s vise and file away the teeth that are too long.


A block used for sharpening kitchen knives will not help restore the teeth to their former sharpness. You will need a special tool: a file with a triangular cross section or a file. It is best to have several files with different cross sections and notches: this will allow you to work each notch perfectly.

  • Hold the file by the handle with one hand, and place the other hand on the end of the tool.
  • Decide on an angle of sharpening. Normally it should be between 15° and 30°. You can check it by eye, with a protractor or by a simple technique. Make a wooden bar in the shape of an isosceles triangle with angles of 90, 60 and 30 degrees, then use it as a measure.
  • Sharpen the left-hand cutting edges of the even (farthest away from you) teeth. For each one you need to use the same amount of file to remove the same amount of shavings. The pressure on the tool must be the same.
  • Turn the hacksaw the other way, and then sharpen the left edges of the even teeth again.
  • Sharpen the tips of the teeth.
  • Don’t forget to control the sharpening angle with the block.

The process seems very simple, albeit monotonous, but there are a number of nuances:

  • It is important to clamp the saw very tightly in the vise for safety reasons. Do not be afraid of damaging the metal of the blade by a violent squeeze.
  • The work area should be well lit to make it easier to determine angles and sharpness.
  • Metal is only removed when the file is moved in the direction of the carpenter.
  • the more blunt is the saw, the coarser the cuts on the file can be, but to finish the teeth you should always take a file with small cuts.
  • Insert the tool as deeply as possible between the jaws when clamping it in a vice. To prevent the hacksaw from wobbling outward, only the teeth should be left out.
  • Inevitably, there will be burrs on the sharpened edges in the process of work. To remove them, just run a fine grit abrasive (sandpaper) over the metal.
  • Look closely at the teeth in the light to check quality. They need to shine.

Improvements in sharpening quality

The above was considered a classic option, which can be used by anyone. There is a way to make the sharpening process more efficient and easier.

If you use a multi-point vise with a pivoting headstock, you can lock the blade so that you only have to move the file horizontally.

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