What if there was a way to improve your table or circular saw’s performance, extend the life of the blade, and save some bucks by delaying replacement or re-sharpening costs? That sounds like an infomercial. Well, it’s not, but you still should “act now!” as they say. To accomplish those things, make routine blade cleaning part of your maintenance schedule. But how does cleaning your circular saw blade help?
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Why Clean a Circular Saw Blade
Look closely at a blade that’s done a fair amount of cutting. You’ll see pitch, glues, resins, sawdust, and dirt caked around the teeth. For reasons we’ll discuss in a moment, it’s good to remove this pitch from your blade. Ultimately, you can get a lot of bang for your blade-cleaning buck if you take a few short minutes every so many cuts. These tips on how to clean a circular saw blade should help them last longer.
Your Circular Saw Blade May Not Be Dull
Many immediately assume they have dull circular saw blades too early. You may jump to this conclusion when you notice raggedy cuts or increased tear-out. Other times, the wood gives increasing resistance and cuts take longer. However, the blade sharpness might not be the issue. Pitch buildup could be the likely culprit.
Editor’s Note on Pitch: Think of pitch as a cross between honey and sap. Found in wood, it can come in crystallized form and gums up any available nook or cranny—including the teeth on saw blades.
Pitch increases the friction of the blade’s action—and friction causes more heat. Heat, in conjunction with normal wear, dulls blades quicker than you can say “kickback pawls.” Well, almost. Plus, the harder your blade works, the harder the motor works. Removing pitch will give you better results and save you some money.
The Solution: Clean Your Circular Saw Blade
You could scour the Internet for quite some time before you exhausted all of the ways tradesmen and woodworkings clean their circular saw blades. Some have sophisticated bathtubs with a bolt through the arbor hole so the blades can soak. Others use caustic products like oven cleaner. Some of these products might degrade the carbide or remove special coatings, however. Also, keep in mind that improper disposal of some chemicals can get you in some hot water.
Just as many folks find that soaking their circular saw blades in Simple Green or a household citrus cleaner for five to ten minutes works great. Use a large pan to minimize waste. A few manufacturers also make cleaning solutions, but non-caustic homemade or general cleaners seem to really do the trick.
Brush Your Teeth!
After you’ve given your circular saw blade a spa day, use a stiff but gentle (non-metallic) brush to remove the remaining pitch. Then, being careful not to come in contact with the teeth, wipe the blade surface with a towel or rag. There will likely still be moisture around the teeth and in the gullets, so use an air compressor and blow gun to dry the remaining moisture.
How to Prevent Rust When Cleaning Saw Blades
There’s one final step to ensure you’re extending blade life to the maximum. A metal lubricant resists corrosion and gives your blade many more spins around the ol’ arbor. In this simple way, you can put the odds of a great result in your favor!
We hope you’ve found this How to Clean a Circular Saw Blade article helpful! If you’re a Pro and you have some circular saw blade cleaning tips, add them in the comments below!