Q: How often do I need to sharpen my saw blades?

A:

Blade owners should know how often their tools need to be sharpened. Using a tool that needs to be sharpened will shorten the life of the tool and may damage the material you are cutting. Of course, this depends on what blade you are using, how much you are cutting and what you are cutting; your tool sharpener should be able to give you guidelines based upon those factors. Signs of a blade that needs to be sharpened are chipping, burning or discoloration of the wood, smaller chips (dust), increased cutting noise, discoloration or sap on the tool and even smoke.

Q. When is it better to simply replace blades?

A: When the cost of sharpening or repairing a blade exceeds 50 percent of the cost of a new one, you might consider replacing it. Be sure to get an estimate from your sharpening service on especially worn blades before work is begun.

Q. What length of lifetime should I expect out of my blade?

A: Normal industrial quality carbide saw blades should last through 15 sharpenings, provided the blades are sharpened as needed. Excessive use of a blade without regular sharpenings will shorten the life of the blade.

Source: Bull Sharpening Services Inc. For information, visit bullsharpening.com

Photo: Leuco Tool Corp.

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