3 Ways to Sharpen a Table Saw Blade (Diamond Blade, File…)

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray

Sharpening table saw blades is an excellent technique to extend the life of high-quality table saw blades, whether you’ve worn down your favorite table saw blade or purchased some affordable used blades.

There are several methods for sharpening a table saw blade. You can succeed with any of them, depending on your degree of comfort and the equipment you have available, but some will get your blade sharper, faster than others.

table saw blade close up

Whatever technique you employ, you must first prepare your blade before sharpening it. This preparation will be identical across all procedures, so pay attention and feel free to tailor it to your own requirements.

To begin, remove your table blade from the saw. Make sure the saw is disconnected from its outlet, then remove the blade with a wrench or, if you can, push the switch to release it.

Once the blade is released, secure it in a safe location for sharpening. If you’re sharpening by hand, you can clamp the blade to a flat surface. If you’re utilizing the diamond blade approach, be sure it’s laying flat on either a surface or a special jig you can make or buy.

Before you begin sharpening the blade, it’s a good idea to inspect it. If the blade is unclean or rusted, it is best to clean it before sharpening it. This can also indicate more significant problems with the blade, such as chipping or fractures.

You should also keep track of the sort of blade you are sharpening. If all of the teeth are pointed in the same direction, you can sharpen them in one pass, but more intricate tooth arrangements will need more than one sharpening pass.

Diamond Blade Sharpening

For this method, you’ll need:

  • One table saw
  • One continuous-ring diamond blade
  • One jig (doesn’t need to be anything fancy)
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Dull table saw blade (as many as you have)

Using a table saw with a diamond blade is the quickest way to sharpen your table saw blade. This method involves the most equipment, yet it can sharpen your blade in a matter of minutes.

You should also be aware that this process works best with carbide-tipped blades, since cheaper and older blades may not be worth the time and money required to sharpen them using this method.

This method will only work if the diamond blade used is thinner than the gullets between the teeth of the blade being sharpened. If you need to sharpen a blade with very thin gullets, you may need to employ a manual sharpening procedure rather than this quicker option.

This method is also much simpler on basic sawteeth. More intricate teeth, such as combination teeth, might be more difficult to sharpen and take substantially longer to sharpen correctly. In some circumstances, a manual procedure may be preferable.

Install a continuous-rim diamond blade in your table saw first. Although these are extra costs, you may sharpen your own saw blades several times with a single diamond blade, which will save you a lot of money if you use your saw blades frequently.

The table saw may then be turned on and sharpened. To sharpen your blade, insert the diamond blade between the teeth of the dull blade. Then, you can push the tip and front of the tooth against the diamond at the side of the saw blade.

Make sure to match the angle at which you’re grinding your sawteeth to the teeth’s original angles. Then you can push the teeth against the diamond blade, grinding away the dull edge and creating a new, sharper one.

File Sharpening

file sharpening table saw blade

For successful file sharpening, all you’ll need is:

  • One file
  • Table clamps
  • Tape or marker
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Dull table saw blade (as many as you have)

Sharpening with a file is a significantly slower procedure, but it allows for greater individual accuracy in the sharpening process. It also requires less expensive equipment than diamond blade sharpening, especially because most woodworkers already own a file.

It should be noted that sharpening carbide blades using a file and sandpaper may not be acceptable. While steel blades are soft enough for these methods to operate, carbide blades are extremely hard and can only be sharpened fast with commercial diamonds such as those found on continuous-rimmed diamond blades.

Start your file sharpening procedure by designating the beginning tooth. By labeling that tooth, you’ll know when you’re done and won’t over-sharpen sawteeth you’ve previously worked on.

To begin, place the file against the first sawtooth you intend to file. Make a note of the tooth’s angle and compare it to the angle of your file. The tooth can then be filed in long, smooth strokes. Complete four backward and forward strokes, each matching the tooth’s initial angle.

Check the sharpness of the teeth after those strokes. If you’re happy with it, you can proceed, but if you’re not, pay attention to the exact amount of strokes necessary to sharpen the tooth.

When it comes time to sharpen the remainder of the teeth, use the same amount of strokes on each. This ensures that the saw blade is evenly sharp around all of the teeth, preventing uneven cuts.

If you’re using a clamp to keep your blade stationary when sharpening, you should relax the clamp and rotate the blade after honing three or four teeth. This might vary depending on the size of your teeth and your particular posture, but it’s critical to remain comfortable while working.

Sandpaper Sharpening


For this technique, you’ll need:

  • High-quality sandpaper
  • Oil (or other wood lubricant or lapping fluid)
  • Scrap wood
  • Table clamps
  • Tape or marker
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Dull table saw blade (as many as you have)

To begin, locate or cut a small piece of scrap wood. It should have a sharp edge that fits between the sawteeth yet is big enough to fit comfortably in your palm. Glue the sandpaper securely around the board, creating a sanding stick that fits between your blade’s sawteeth.

Now, apply your preferred lubricant to the sandpaper. This isn’t absolutely essential, but it dramatically extends the life of your sandpaper, saving you from having to replace it as you make your way around the blade.

After that, indicate the first tooth you intend to file. After you’ve marked it, you may start sanding. It can take anywhere from five to 10 strokes with the sandpaper to fully sharpen the tooth, depending on the grit and the intensity with which you’re sanding.

Make a note of how many strokes it took to sharpen the tooth. While this approach is less precise, and the number of strokes will vary from tooth to tooth, it should give you a good indication of how many strokes you’ll need on the remaining teeth.

When you finish honing a tooth, inspect your sandpaper. You should avoid sharpening using worn-out sandpaper since the metal saw blade will soon wear through it. You should also inspect its lubrication and re-oil it as needed.

After you’ve done honing the teeth, use the blade to cut a piece of wood to test the sharpness. You should be able to tell the difference between how it used to cut and how it currently cuts. If you don’t see a difference, review your technique and try sharpening them again.


Sharpening a saw blade may be the difference between completing a project fast with high-quality work or leaving messy edges and working too slowly. It can save you from making many journeys to find a suitable replacement, not to mention the cost of purchasing a new one.

It’s also a talent you may learn and share with other woodworkers in your community. It might be a terrific compliment to your pastime or profession if you network or market sharpening as a service.

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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