How To Sharpen A Hand Saw: A Complete Guideline


As we’ve already known, a hand saw is a must-have item for woodworkers, and of course, a sharp hand saw helps the woodworker to perform with the highest productivity. A hand saw is considered as the right hand of the woodworker, hence, if the hand saw is worn out over time, the productivity of the woodworker will be decreased significantly. If you are looking for informative and useful article writing about how to sharpen a hand saw, congratulation, as this article is all about it.


How to sharpen a hand saw

To protect a hand saw against being worn out, storing it correctly is a key. The hand saw should be stored in a place where the atmosphere is dry and the blade is protected. In addition, an occasional wipe with oil dampened rag is needed for the blade, too. However, a well – preserved hand saw could get dull over time, hence, renew your hand saw with steps below.

What will you need to follow this tutorial
Step by step instructions
  • Check the saw

Clean out all the rust from the hand saw blade by using a brush or fine sandpaper. Take a look at the teeth to see whether they are at the same height. If not, you have to implement jointing.

  • Setting

Evaluating is the very first step. To test your hand saw’s set, have a crack at cutting a piece of wood which has the same species, moisture content, and thickness as your typical wood type of your work. If the saw blade is loose in the kerf, you could correct it in the final step of stoning.

Normally, saw set tools are adjustable to various sizes of teeth and also types of work. Ideally, you should adjust your tool to create the most lightweight amount of set for a hand saw. Plus, don’t fuss over the numbers on the tool as they will confuse you.

Firstly, clamp your saw in the vise with the toothline approximately 2’’ above the jaws. Look at the heel of the hand saw and define the first tooth set away from you. Then, put the saw set at the center of the hammer aligning with the point of the tooth. Remember to cast rests sturdily on the toothline and tighten the tool. Skip the next tooth and squeeze the next tooth set away from you. Repeat the process until the last tooth. Next, toss the saw around the vise and set skipped teeth on the first pass.

  • Jointing

Jointing a saw when sharpening and make sure the teeth are at the same height to create a flat faucet at the point of each tooth which could guide your work in the next step.

How To Sharpen A Hand Saw

To begin jointing, first of all, keep the hand saw tightly in the vise in such a way that the 2’’ blade above the jaws. Use both hands to hold the mill file and put it on the toothline at the heel. Then, use moderate pressure to run the file from the toothline to the toe of the saw until you see a flat surface on the point of each tooth. After that, make use of a block of wood or a card scraper to keep the side of the saw blade perpendicular to the file. Last but not least, to make a consistent geometry on the cutting face, nail a rake guide to the tip of the file.

  • Filling the teeth

Taper files’ sizes vary based on the tooth sizes you tend to sharpen. In fact, the more the files are, the sharper the tooth is. There is some disagreement around whether single – cut or double – cut files performs best. However, for coarse, a regular taper is highly appropriate, for medium coarse, the slim taper is the best.

Blade up and clamp the saw between two pieces of hardwood in a purpose – made sharpening vise (you could make use of poplar wood, many people asked me “is popular a hardwood”, so in this article, I’ll clear out your question, yes, it is a hardwood).  The arrangement of the clamp should stick the saw blade close to the cutting edge, make sure to hold the blade rigidly.

  • Stoning

The final step is to stone the saw. Put the tool flat on your workbench with the holder overhanging the edge. Use a good – quality India stone and light pressure to run the stone alongside the teeth down to the length of the saw and take off the burrs created by filing. Turn the saw over and repeat. One pass each side is adequate. Take more strokes if the saw is overset, to begin with, four strokes each side is perfect. (This step is also called as “side jointing”). In addition, if you want to cut out the burr, implement an extra stoning pass on the side where the saw is steering.

At first, everything takes a bit of time and effort to get used to it and good at it. Take your time to read the guideline carefully and learn how to sharpen a hand saw, and you’ll be astonished at how much money you could save over taking them out for sharpening and how effective they work.

After a long time of using a hand saw, if you want to upgrade the saw into a more modern type to boost productivity, miter saw, and table saw are not bad ideas. There is some argument whether we should buy a table saw or miter saw first. According to my observation and experience, both saws have their pros and cons. Regarding miter saws, their biggest disadvantage is that they couldn’t make rips (cross cut only). However, thanks to the miter saw, the max range jumps could be up to 12 inches. With regard to table saws, they could make both crosses and rip cuts effortlessly.

In addition, while using a miter saw, the material is unmoving, and the saw blade moves. On the contrary to the miter saw, when making use of a take saw, the saw blade is at a stop, and the material moves.


Sharpen a hand saw isn’t as difficult as you think, and I hope that this article could clear up your all queries on how to sharpen a hand saw. Let have a crack at our tips and I’m pretty sure that your hand saw will be sharpener than ever. If you found the content of this article informative and useful, please press the like button and comment your own experience on sharpening a hand saw. And don’t forget to share this article with your colleagues as good news is worth spread. Last but not least, wish you all the best.