How to Clean a Table Saw Blade

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Introduction: How to Clean a Table Saw Blade

About: My name is Johnny and I am a woodworker in NYC. Check out my Instagram to see what I'm currently working on @jtwoodworks and you can visit my YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/21jmTx5

Just like everything else that gets used, table saw blades get dirty. Whether it's sap or burnt on sawdust, a dirty blade results in a poor quality cut and a really dirty blade can actually be dangerous to use.

These steps demonstrate quick and simple tips to clean table saw and circular saw blades.

A sharp and clean blade is much safer for the tool and operator. In most cases when a blade starts to seem dull all it needs is a good cleaning and it's like new again. Of course you still want to make sure you're using a sharp blade so you don't damage your tool or yourself.

The process to clean a table saw blade is fairly simple and you probably already have everything you need.

Things you need include:

  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Plastic or soft wire bristle brush (brass works best) - https://amzn.to/2H0dfv7
  • Aluminum pan - https://amzn.to/2H083v1

Also here's a link to the video that's posted above. It will open it in a new tab and you can follow along on how I made this project.

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Step 1: Remove the Blade and Submerge

First things first, make sure you unplug your saw before removing your blade!

With your blade removed, place it in an aluminum pan and completely submerge it in water. Next you can add some laundry detergent. I used a 12"x18" pan and about a cup of laundry detergent.

Note: if your blade is really dirty, it's a good idea to remove the bulk of the dirt with a stiff wire brush before placing it in the pan with water

Step 2: Stir and Wait

This next step is exactly as the title implies. Stir the detergent in the water and wait 5-10 minutes for it start working.

A good safety tip for stirring the liquids is to place your finger in the center hole of the blade and move it in a circular motion. You can also use the brush to help in this step. Remember the teeth can still cut you so its a good idea to keep your fingers away from them. An even better idea is to stir the liquids before you put the blade in the pan.

Step 3: Scrub-a-dub-dub

Time to remove all that dirt. Using a plastic or soft wire bristle brush, you can start scrubbing the dirt off. I found a brass brush was the most affective for this.

Step 4: Dry Your Blade

After removing the unwanted dirt, it's very important to fully dry your blade. Water and steel aren't the best of friends and you don't want your blade to develop rust.

Step 5: Return Your Blade to Your Saw

Next, simply reinstall your blade, insert, and plug your saw back into your power supply.

Most importantly, enjoy cleaner and smoother cuts!

You can also find me on Youtube

Instagram to see what I'm currently working on

Facebook and Twitter for behind the scenes shots

Note: This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

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    2 Questions

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    I don't understand your question. What do you mean?

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    After taking everything off the surface of the steel blade it would seem appropriate to put something on it to prevent rust.? For other tools I have sprayed WD-40 on a rag, wiped down the tool then used a clean rag to remove excess resedue. It seems like this would be a good idea for a saw blade but I don't know if anything left on the blade would cause issues on the first cut after treatment.?

    The best thing to use on any of your tools is a couple of coats of paste wax. Brand doesn't matter Johnsons, TreWax, Bruce, Minwax, whatever. Work it in and let it sit and harden up for ten minutes or so and lightly buff it by hand. Paste Wax seals the steel preventing rust and dust and dirt are less likely to stick. Coating your cast iron, steel or composite table saw top makes work pieces and the miter gauge glide across the top. Paste wax is not recommended for aluminum.

    22 Comments

    The occasional careful application of a brass, grill cleaning brush to each side of the blade when it is running will keep the buildup in check and you can always simply put the blade in the dishwasher when you run a load but take it out when the sequence is almost finished so you can give it a final scrub if it is needed before it is baked on during the drying cycle.

    2 replies

    I do this as a quick and dirty cleanup if I'm in a hurry but, for safety's sake, I turn the blade around while cleaning. It makes it a lot harder for the blade to catch your brush and cause mischief.

    Putting it in the dishwasher seems like a good tip. However, cleaning the blade while it's running in the saw is not a safe way to go about cleaning your blade. The steps I have outlined above took a total of 25 minutes for me to complete. It doesn't take much time, isn't messy, and it's the safest method I know. The blade isn't running and you don't need to use harm chemicals.

    I really like the ible but there seems to be a missing word: you DON'T want your blade to develop rust.

    1 reply

    Dump the music! I rather listen to what you are saying. Good video, but I usually put a rag or something in the bottom of the pan to make sure I don't nick or dull the teeth!!

    1 reply

    Thanks for the input. I don't think a rag would be necessary. The carbide teeth are much stronger than the aluminum pan and there isn't a way that they can possibly dull from the pan

    You can't win them all, but thank you

    I like the video, but the music didn't add to it. (Sorry, just my opinion.)

    1 reply

    No worries Pat. I appreciate your input

    I would put 3 washers on the bottom of the pan for the fluid.

    1 reply

    Thanks man! I'll keep that mind for the next time I need to clean it

    Oven cleaner works great. Been using it for 30 + years

    3 replies

    Be careful with O C has been known to degrade weld on carbide teeth !!!!

    Thanks for jumping in here. I've heard that before and some people claim it breaks down the carbide too. However, there are many differing opinions on this topic. Either way I'm not willing to try it so I went with a more gentle cleaner.

    I am a carpenter and have worked with lots of circular saws.
    Be careful. I've used NaOH it takes it all. Easy and fast.
    You may be able to use a tablet from your dishwasher.

    During work, the blade can be moistened with petroleum or diesel fuel.

    Best regards

    Finn Johansen

    1 reply

    Thanks for the tips Finn. I haven't heard of using sodium hydroxide, or lye. I know there are plenty of cleaners out there and some even made specifically for cleaning blades. I wanted to go with a safer option in general so tried out the laundry detergent and it worked great. I'm not sure that I'm going to try the petroleum or diesel though and that's just because I have a sawstop and I don't want to risk tripping the brake.

    If you can stand the fumes, oven cleaner works extremely well.