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How to Clean a Saw Blade (6 EASY Steps!)

How to clean a saw blade

Whether you have a table saw, circular saw, handheld saw or miter saw (or any other saw that may exist), there comes a time when the saw does not seem to be performing as well as it used to.

Just like scissors or knives can dull over time, making it less effective to cut paper, ribbons, steaks, and food, a saw can do the same. 

Regular cleaning of a saw that is used frequently is very important in ensuring that you can continue using it safely and effectively. The build-up of sap, sawdust, dirt, and grime can really affect how well it can cut.

Luckily, there is a solution – you can clean it. That being said, use the wrong cleaning method and you could make matters worse! That’s where we come in. 

In this article, we will be showing you how you can avoid a dull saw that does not cut (or does so ineffectively), as well as showing you how you can avoid using the wrong cleaning method which could exacerbate matters. 

Cleaning methods 

There are a number of different cleaning methods for your saw that can be used to great effect. The first step in cleaning your saw blade is choosing a cleaning method.

Now, there is no real right or wrong way to go about it when it comes to choosing one of the following cleaners, so we decided that the best thing to do is to list them and give some information and considerations you may want to keep in mind regarding each cleaner.

Oven cleaner 

One popular cleaning method is to use an oven cleaner. Oven cleaner is abrasive and removes build-up quickly and effectively, especially if it is really ground in.

That being said, many people may find it too abrasive or will be put off by the fact that oven cleaners tend to be packed full of toxic ingredients. 

Citrus cleaner 

The common household citrus cleaner is particularly popular among woodwork enthusiasts because of its versatility.

It is suitable for cleaning a whole number of different household appliances and areas, and many people will already have it at home.

However, if the blade is very dirty with the ground in sap and sawdust then citrus cleaner may not be powerful enough. 

Simple Green 

The branded cleaner, Simple Green is another popular saw cleaning product that is used to great effect for all types of saws.

It is a degreaser as well as a cleaner, meaning that it cuts through wood sap easily.

It is also non-toxic and environmentally friendly which is a big bonus for buyers looking to reduce their environmental impact. 

Saw cleaning solution 

Of course, a foolproof cleaning product is a solution that has been designed specifically for the purpose of cleaning saw blades.

These will have the exact ingredients needed to safely clean the saw blades and not cause any further damage like rust and corrosion.

The only downside is that they are harder to come by as they cannot be bought as easily in hardware stores or supermarkets. 

A Step By Step Guide on How to Clean a Saw Blade

  1. Grab your cleaning method of choice based on the previous section (our top recommendations are to avoid the oven cleaner unless you are in a cinch and need it desperately). You should also ensure you have a shallow tray or pail that you can easily get the blade into and out of. It needs to sit flat in there with enough room so you can safely remove it when the time comes.
  2. Prepare the tray or pail with your chosen cleaner, following the instructions on the cleaner itself. For example, if you decide to use some Simple Green or a citrus-based cleaner you should mix one part of the cleaner with one or two parts water. Set that aside ready for the blade. 
  1. When you have your tools you should ensure your hands are protected with strong work gloves, as well as any other parts of your body. You may also want to consider eye goggles and a mask if there is going to be a lot of sawdust. Ensure that the saw is completely turned off and that no power is running. You can now remove the blade. Do this carefully, asking for help if you need it.
  2. When the saw blade is out you should place it straight into the solution you made earlier (as explained in step 2). Let it soak for a few minutes, leaving it up for 30 minutes if there is a lot of build-up.
  3. Using a clean toothbrush (one that can be used specifically for this purpose) you can start to scrub away at the teeth of the blade and any other areas where sawdust and sap may have gathered. Do this until the saw is clean.
  4. Using some fresh water, rinse the saw blade off and pat it dry with paper towels or a lint-free cloth. Ensure it is fully dry before reinstalling it onto your saw. It is good practice to wait at least an hour or two before using it just to ensure that any moisture has dried up. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why do I need to clean my saw blade? 

It is very important that you clean your saw blade regularly so that you avoid build-up on the teeth of the saw blade.

Otherwise, you run the risk of having a saw that is too dull to cut wood and other materials adequately. 

How do you remove rust from a saw blade? 

To remove rust from a saw blade you can soak it in a designated rust remover, followed by sandpaper to ease off the ground in rust.

Finish up with steel wool if there are any stubborn patches of rust, and oil it with a suitable product. 

Why does my saw blade scorch the wood? 

Blade scorch occurs on your wood when your saw is having to work hard to cut the wood (or other material).

The friction caused by a blade that is too dull can cause lots of heat, resulting in these unsightly scorches.

To stop this ensure that your blade remains sharp by cleaning it regularly and replacing it when needed. 

Final verdict 

Cleaning a saw blade is easy as pie when you know how, and could stop you from experiencing a world of annoyance as it prevents your saw from getting too dull and producing those unsightly scorch marks all over your lovely wood. 

Follow our guide on how to clean your saw blade quickly and easily so that you never have to experience a dull blade again. 

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