A well-maintained miter saw blade will stay sharper than a dull one and will cut through your workpiece more efficiently. As the blade becomes less sharp, it takes more force to push it through the wood which can cause you to lose control of the tool during use, pose an increased risk for injury and make cuts with inaccurate measurements. This article provides tips on how to sharpen a miter saw blade as well as what tools are needed for this task.
How to Sharpen Miter Saw Blade
For safety reasons, disconnect the machine from the mains. Also, don’t forget to wear safety glasses and gloves.
Remove the blade from the miter saw. To do that, simply remove the screws that fix it into place.
You can use a simple file (for metal) to sharpen the blade, but make sure that you do not press too much on it, or else you could damage the teeth and the blade would be useless.
Place the file flat on one of the miter saw’s teeth and move it back and forth 10 times. Afterward, turn over the blade and repeat with all 4 blades until sharpening is complete. Do not press too hard or else you will damage the sharp edges of the teeth.
Verify that the teeth are uniformly filed by looking at them from behind. If you notice an irregularity, continue filing until everything looks symmetrical.
Now, replace the blade back to its initial position and tighten down all screws securely with your hand or using a screwdriver (but don’t overtighten). Be careful not to bend any of its components while replacing it because the blade needs to keep being balanced in order to function well afterward. After that, plug in your machine again.
You need to apply a lubricant on all the blade’s teeth. A spray oil will do, but if you don’t have it, WD-40 will also work well.
Now turn on the machine and run the blade (with the lubricant applied) through an old newspaper or similar abrasive material at high speed for 7 full revolutions. Do not use any water! If you’ve done everything correctly, the sharp edge of your miter saw blade should now be perfect again.
When Should You Sharpen Your Miter Saw Blade?
As soon as you notice that your cuts are not smooth or straight, or your miter saw cuts less effective.
If your blade is very dull, then the edges of the kerf will be wavy and won’t cut all the way through on each pass. Lifting the saw out of the cut slightly before completing it is an indication of a dull blade. You should also check if there are any broken teeth or bent blades. A bent blade can cause many problems including damage to itself, other blades in use at the same time, and/or other equipment being used in conjunction with it.
If you have a carbon steel miter saw blade, don’t stand around while it’s running – get off! Metal fatigue causes all sorts of things to happen after hours upon hours of use. It can cause the blade to snap for no good reason, but more likely it will just weaken itself enough so that when you do hit something hard (like a knot) there’s enough pressure in the saw to bend the blade. The only way to catch that is by standing around while it runs or having some kind of proximity switch.
A dull blade is almost never good for anything except maybe cutting up some scrap wood just to tear it up into even smaller pieces of trash. I’ve seen guys try to cut metal with them too, but that always ends badly.
Why Should You Sharpen Your Miter Saw Blade?
The answer is quite simple, to make your cuts clean and sharp. A dull blade will produce an uneven cut that requires more material removal with a coping saw or chisel which further means wasting more wood. There are other advantages to having a sharp blade too. The cuts are cleaner without the tear-out common on wide cuts made with dull blades. This allows you to apply finish materials better since there are few splinters along the edges of the board after it’s milled. Also, you’ll experience less kickback because there isn’t any tugging of the workpiece when it tries to lift up past the top of the blade during cutting, letting you use featherboards more safely.
If you’ve been wondering how to sharpen your miter saw blade, I hope this article has helped. I know that many people are unsure about the process and what it entails, but hopefully, now you feel better informed on the topic. The most important thing is knowledge; with more information at your disposal, you can make an educated decision based on whichever factors matter most to you for sharpening a miter saw blade. Whether or not this will be something that makes sense for your needs remains entirely up to you – however, if there was ever a time when it would make sense in terms of budgeting and convenience, then it’s probably right now!