It’s an obvious fact that saw blades get slightly thinner with each sharpening. The blades lose a small amount of tip-to-body side clearance each time. However, this does not mean that you should ignore this step.

The two most important factors to consider for sharpening are: the clearance angles ground into the sides of the tips; and how dull the saw blades are run between sharpenings.

The dulling mechanism depends partly on heat. When a cutting edge gets worn, it generates more heat, so the rate of dulling (rounding) is lower when the edge is sharp, and gets higher as the edge gets dull. Therefore, if you are in a position to sharpen early and often, you will get more total lineal distance of material through the saw blade during the life of the tips.

If you only face grind (or only top grind), you must remove more material to get a sharp edge. This means you will get fewer sharpenings over the life of the blade tip. However, it is obviously also bad to grind off more material than is necessary. While this will produce a sharp blade, it will also result in fewer sharpenings available. It may also impact the saw blade’s kerf, which is the width of cut made by the saw blade.

Other factors impacting sharpening and/or retipping include the species, grade, feed rate of production and moisture content, as well as the minimum amount required for tip-to-body side clearance. If the side clearance is any less than the minimum required, the friction with the sawdust chips will heat the saw body and cause snaking and burning.

Source: Super Thin Saws. For information call (800) 541-7297 or visit

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