Unless you’re slicing through fresh wood from a tree, all the wood in your woodworking project will inevitably come into contact with a circular saw blade. Unfortunately, even the finest blades can deteriorate over time if neglected. While it’s easy to identify a dull blade, how can you ensure that your circular saw blade lasts longer? In this article, we’ll provide you with some expert advice on how to care for your circular saw blades, including tips for table saw blades. Don’t forget to also check out our helpful guide on table saw safety and our thoughts on the ongoing blade height debate.
Store Circular Saw Blades in a Dry Area
Although a circular saw blade spends most of its life sitting idle, it doesn’t mean it won’t suffer wear and tear when not in use. Steel blades are prone to corrosion, meaning moisture and humidity can degrade their overall quality. To combat this, especially with more expensive blades, it’s recommended to remove them from the tool and store them in a dry place when not in use. Whether it’s in your workshop or on the job site, keeping the blades away from excessive humidity can significantly increase the lifespan of the carbide teeth.
Choose the Right Circular Saw Blade for the Job
While many circular saw blades claim to be one-size-fits-all, it’s important to remember that different blades are designed for specific applications. Using the correct blade for the task at hand can greatly prolong its lifespan. For instance, avoid cutting steel with standard carbide blades. Instead, opt for specialty blades specifically designed for steel cutting. Likewise, don’t waste your money on an expensive finishing blade for cutting laminate when there are more affordable specialty blades available.
Hang Circular Saw Blades through the Center Hole
When temporarily storing your circular saw blades, it’s better to hang them rather than let the edges rest on the ground. By using the center hole in the blade for suspension, whether it’s by hammering a nail or screwing it onto a wall, you can prevent unnecessary dulling caused by abrasion with the floor or shelf. Although it may seem like a minor detail, the accumulation of scrapes and dings can significantly impact the lifespan of the blade.
Confirm the Functionality of the Blade Guard
We’ve all heard horror stories of damaged floors, severed cords, and close calls with toes due to a malfunctioning blade guard on a circular saw. To avoid such mishaps, it’s crucial to regularly check the blade guard on your tool and ensure that it properly covers the rotating saw blade after cutting. Additionally, it might be worth considering investing in a circular saw with an electric brake. Most electric brakes can stop blade rotation within two seconds or less, providing an added layer of safety.
Clean Blades with a Nylon Brush and Solvent
Dirt buildup on circular saw blades can significantly hinder cutting performance and lead to burning. To refresh the carbide teeth and maintain optimal cutting efficiency, it’s important to clean the blades regularly. Using a nylon brush and a mild solvent, gently remove any debris or residue from the blade’s surface. However, exercise caution and test the solvent on a small area first, as some blades may have a coating that can be damaged by harsh chemicals.
Keep Your Saw Blades Cool during Cutting
As mentioned in our previous article on table saw blade height, running the blade on a low setting can cause overheating, especially when cutting harder woods. To prevent excessive heat buildup, maintain a safe distance between the blade and the material being cut. If you’re making a series of long cuts or using the saw for an extended period, consider giving the blade a “cool-down” break to prevent overheating and potential damage.
Wrapping It Up
We hope these professional tips on caring for your circular saw blades have been helpful. If you’re a seasoned pro with additional blade care advice, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share your tips in the comments below or give us a shout-out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.