How to sharpen a wood hacksaw. Crosscut saws

How to Sharpen a Woodworking Handsaw | Paul Sellers

A quick way to sharpen a hand saw with an angle grinder

A very quick way to sharpen an old or new hand saw with a tool such as an angle grinder (angle grinder). It only takes 5-10 minutes for your hacksaw to regain its original sharpness. This sharpening method is only suitable for experienced users who have not been working with an angle grinder for the first time.

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Signs that the saw has dulled

Given the fact that the hacksaw in the course of use is subjected to constant stress, its teeth over time dulled. The degree of effectiveness of blunt tools is noticeably reduced. In addition, you should not use such a hacksaw for the following reasons:

  • decreased productivity. Sawing wood takes more time and effort on the part of the craftsman;
  • Accuracy of work is impaired. It is virtually impossible to cut wood cleanly and evenly with blunt teeth. 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, move out of the cutting line, jam, which increases the likelihood of injury.

The hacksaw should be sharpened urgently, if a characteristic blunt sound appears, the tips of the teeth are rounded, it is not possible to make a cut in wood. If it became difficult to work with the tool, it is better to stop sawing, inspect it and decide on sharpening.

Need to sharpen a hacksaw

Any cutting tool will work well under one condition. if it is sharp. A hacksaw in this case is no exception. In a hand saw, the cutting element is the teeth, which are cut on the blade in the form of wedges. It is these teeth that get blunt during the operation, i.e. the cutting edges are rounded, it makes the hacksaw blunt and thus the machine has to be pressed hard.

Sawing with a blunt hacksaw. one torment. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a right angle cut with a hacksaw. Improperly sharpened saw moves away from kerf line to the side, it gets jammed and wedges in the cut. You can tell if your saw is sharp by the sound and shine of the cutting edges. In order to restore cutting ability to the teeth, it is necessary to sharpen them to sharpness without losing their parameters: size of angles, height and pitch.

Remember, however, that not all hacksaws can be sharpened. Hacksaws with a carbide-toothed tooth should not be sharpened. To identify a hardened tooth, take a closer look at its color. If the tooth is hardened, its color is black with a distinctive bluish cast. To sharpen teeth that are not hardened, a fine-cut file should be used.

Setting the teeth of a hacksaw

Before sharpening a wood hacksaw, you should check the set of the teeth. To move the saw freely in the material and to avoid jamming the tool in the kerf, its teeth are set as it gets deeper, i.e. they are alternately bent by the same amount in different directions. the resulting kerf is larger than the thickness of the toothing of the hacksaw blade and creates gaps on both sides.

As a result the saw will move back and forth, practically not touching the kerf surface with its blade, the cutting edges will gradually remove the material layer by layer. when setting the saw, remember that the wider the tooth pitch, the wider the cut and therefore the smaller the chance of the hacksaw jamming. However, an excessively high tooth pitch causes a too wide rip cut and requires a great deal of force to advance the hacksaw in the wood.

Hacksaw arbors for wood should be about 1.5 to 2 times the thickness of the saw blade, which is usually 1.5. 2 mm. Therefore it is accepted to bend back the teeth of saws on 0,25. 0,5 millimeters to each side, if such saw has to saw up dry wood of hard wood, and about 0,5-1 millimeters for wet wood or soft wood.

To bend back the saw teeth to the same size, you use a special device called a setting, which is a metal plate with a slit cut in it, which is wider than the thickness of the hacksaw blade. Often the set-up design allows a setting screw to be used to set the teeth to one side, setting the same amount of bend in the teeth.

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For the setting, the saw blade is usually clamped in a vice so that the teeth protrude only slightly, and the device is clamped to the work table. Unbend the teeth one by one in opposite directions along a deflection line that is 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 making adjustments, because it may happen that some teeth protrude more than others when bending on the side, they will slow down when sawing, reduce the quality of the kerf and will quickly become blunt. Look at the tooth line in the light, and if you see that some tooth is too much or not enough bent aside, you should correct it.

Saw guide

Tooth setting pliers are a good tool. It’s very easy to use, the saw tooth will move to the side as needed.

Hacksaw set. Also a good thing and costs inexpensive. average The design is elementary: a few slots and adjustable angle. The tooth is inserted into a proper sized slot and the pliers are pressed against the handle to set. The setting angle gauge is a good tool to make sure the setting is even.

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You don’t have either, and you don’t want to run out to the store? Then you can use the old-fashioned way, which has been used since the beginning of time. You only need an axe and some skill not to spoil your hands (people who do not know the tools this method should not use. it is traumatic)!).

The technique is simple: the blade is inserted between the two teeth and the teeth are bent to the side by turning the axe.

The saw’s guide can also be made with a self-drilling screw. It is safer. To do this, you need a long screw to make it easier to hold. It needs to be slightly refined before work. It is necessary to grind off its head a little from one side. to make it flat. This is done so that when it is placed on the tooth, it will not slip and deform the latter.

The hacksaw should be placed flat on soft wood (pine, spruce). Holding the self-tapping screw by its shank, place its head against the tooth and hit it with a hammer. The tooth is bent out. The operation is performed through the tooth. After the saw blade is turned over, and the operation repeats in the same way.

What will be required:

The teeth need to be set before sharpening. If there are no special tools for this, it can be made with a thin steel plate. If the set has a big reach, on it is made a cut at the height of the tooth.

Then each tooth is hooked with a kerf on the plate and bent through one to one side, then skipped to the opposite side. In general, each one must bend in the same direction that it was originally bent, only with a larger outreach.

Even easier is the setting by simply using a smooth plate. It is inserted between the teeth and turned out so that it is parallel with the blade. This movement causes the tooth to bend. Then it is turned to the other side and bends the next tooth in the opposite direction. This way the hacksaw is narrower, but with the same overhang on each tooth.

Then sharpen each tooth that has been bent away from itself. To do this, a triangular file is applied to the blade at an angle of 35-40°. Both tooth flanks are sharpened. The file is only guided upwards. For each edge 4-8 strokes are enough, it all depends on the degree of file wear.

Then the hacksaw is turned over in a vise, and the remaining teeth are sharpened. After that it will cut wood like butter. With infrequent use of a hacksaw this procedure is repeated every couple of years, or even less frequently.

sharpening your saw with a file

To sharpen the saw you need a triangular file.Clamp the hacksaw blade in a vise and at an angle of about 45 degrees start sharpening each tooth in turn. First sharpen through one on one side, then turn the blade over and sharpen the teeth on the other side.This is the most common and absolutely universally available way to sharpen saw teeth.

The work is laborious and needs a lot of skill. But you get the hang of it pretty quickly, and before you know it you’ll be finishing the last saw tooth. Now the saw is sharpened:

You can also use files for sharpening.Again, this is a painstaking job that requires a lot of perseverance. I recommend getting rid of all distractions so that nothing distracts you from your work.Of course, if you use a mechanized tool, the time and effort can be greatly reduced, but as already mentioned. is the easiest and most affordable way to sharpen a hacksaw blade.

Purpose and Construction of a Saws

Handmade wood sabre saw is used for cutting various wood materials. It is a blade with teeth in the lower part. On one side of the tool is equipped with a handle, with which the master holds it during the sawing work. The quality of the handle determines the convenience and comfort of the saw.

The number of manufacturers of wood hacksaws is quite large, but they all differ not only in names, but also in quality. They are all designed for sawing wood, chipboard, logs, laminate, and tree trunks. Saws are subdivided into such types as: classic, twist-off, onion, as well as with a shank and award. The thickness of the blade plays an important role when choosing a tool. A thin blade can break while sawing wood, and a thick one is quite difficult to work with.

Important! Wood hacksaw blades should be sharpened periodically. Sharpenable saws include such blades that have not undergone a stage of hardening. If the links of the blade are hardened, it is impossible to sharpen them.

Sharpening instructions

First you need to prepare the equipment necessary for the work:

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


Before sharpening the saw, the teeth must be set, that is, set apart. Setting is the setting of the 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.

The distance between the teeth should be 1.5 or 2 times the thickness of the hacksaw. They are made not thicker than 1,5-2 millimeters, consequently, it is necessary to expose cutting ledges by 0,25-0,5 mm for cutting dry and hard wood; for wet or soft wood it is necessary to bend 0,5-1 mm.

It takes a lot of experience to set the right angle for each cog, and not every carpenter has that experience. It comes after many dozens of sharpened saws. For less experienced carpenters, there is a tool called a setting tool. Its most primitive version is a flat steel plate with a slot. A hacksaw is inserted into this slit with a minimum gap, in tension.

Sharpening a Crosscut Handsaw | Paul Sellers

The process of setting looks like this:

  • Clamp the hacksaw in a vise like this. Make sure that the teeth protrude 2 cm above the jaws.
  • The prong is clamped in the groove, then bent in the middle.
  • First you have to bend all the even teeth to one side, then bend the odd ones in the opposite direction.
  • At the end you can move the jaws of the vice to the calculated width of the set 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.

Adjusting the height of the teeth

All cutting edges must be the same size so that cutting performance is not impaired. Longer teeth are more stressed and wear out sooner, while shorter teeth do not even touch the wood.

Pulling the blade becomes twitchy, uneven, and takes more effort. The accuracy of the cut is worsened, the surface of the cut is rougher.

Make adjustments before you start sharpening. Make sure none of the teeth protrude by pressing the blade against a piece of paper placed on the table.

The tips of the teeth will be imprinted on the paper and the space in the pattern will allow you to adjust their height. To do this, clamp the saw in a bench vice and file away any excessively long cogs with a file.

Immediate sharpening

A block used for sharpening kitchen knives will not do for returning the teeth to their former sharpness. A special tool is needed: a file with a triangular cross section or a file. It is very good if there are several files with different cross-section and notch pitch: this will allow you to process each tooth perfectly.

  • Hold the file in one hand by the handle, and place the other hand on the end of the tool.
  • Decide on the angle of sharpening. Usually it’s 15-30°. You can determine it by eye, with a protractor, or use a simple technique. Make a wooden block into an isosceles triangle of 90, 60, and 30 degree angles, then use it as a yardstick.
  • Sharpen the left side cutting edges of the even (farthest away from you) teeth. An equal number of file passes are needed for each one to remove the same amount of shavings. The pressure on the tool must be the same force.
  • 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 check the sharpening angle with the block.

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