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Sharpen hand saw blades? Answered

Nowadays almost all hand saws are induction tempered. It seems such a waste to throw them out all the time after they get dull. Traditional hand saws could be sharpened with a triangular file and a special tool to bend the teeth outward.

I guess sharpening can be done by means of a dremel tool with a diamond disk, but what about the bending of the teeth?

Any suggestions?



7 years ago

You need a tool called a "Saw set." It bends the teeth to the proper angle. I have an old one that belonged to my Dad. I tried sharpening handsaws a couple of times and decided it was much easier and cheaper, considering the time it took, to have them sharpened by a pro.

.  +1. If you plan on sharpening blades on a regular basis, it might be worthwhile to buy the necessary tools, but, for many DIYers, it's more economical to let a pro do the job.
.  If you think it will be worthwhile to sharpen your own blades, there are many tutorials on the Web, unfortunately, I can't find any on Instructables. :(  Google is your friend.

My (perceived?) problem is the transition from the old -tool grade steel- saw blades to the tempered modern blades.

I assume tempered steel is not allowed be bent (the teeth would snap off).

Are you sure this ' saw set' tool works on tempered blades???

.  Not real sure. The whole idea behind tempering is to make the metal less brittle/more ductile. I'm no metallurgist but it seems to me that tempering should make the blades amenable to the slight bending involved.

This is a terminology glitch: I thought the proper word for 'hardened steel' was 'tempered'. When working in steel machining we did some hardening: heating in an oven, I think about 900 C, cooling in water (or with alloyed steel oil or even air) and subsequently re-heating I think about 500 C and slowly cooling down. This step was called tempering (Dutch: ontlaten). There was another procedure for re-heating to, I think 650 C, to make the steel less hard, but still very tough and strong (Dutch: veredelen)


Answer 7 years ago

No, I'm not sure at all but I presume it depends on the saw. I have always used older, cold rolled steel handsaws that were made to be re-sharpened, Disston, Sandvik, etc.
I acquired all of my saws more than 20 years ago, some from my Dad and the rest from various sources, new and used.
If I were looking to buy a hand saw, I would try to find an older one that still has some blade left. Making handles for the older saws is fairly easy, probably 1/3 of my saws have handles I made myself.

You'd need a heat treatment or two in there - soften, sharpen, harden. If the sharp surface is induction-tempered steel you'll ned to replace rather than repair.


Unless you abuse your saws, you should be able to touch up the sharp of the teeth with out having to use a saw set.