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To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

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  • To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

    I was just reading an article about saw blades.
    Mention is made in the article about sharpening saw blades.
    When my blades are dull I just replace them.
    Is is cost effective to sharpen a blade (how much does it cost to have a blade sharpen) and how to find a good place to have it done?
    Thank you.
    Happy New Year to all.
    B2rtch

  • #2
    Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

    It all depends on the quality of the blade whether or not it's worth sharpening. A high quality general purpose 40T blade can run in the neighborhood of $90-$100. With the cost of sharpening that blade at say $15-$20 its definitely worth getting it sharpened many time over. On the other hand if you're only spending a few dollars, say under $25, for your blades then I'd say just replace them as they dull. But it's easy to see that in the long run cheap blades end up being much more expensive than a high quality blade.

    Many hardware stores act as drop off points for sharpening services. As your local hardware store or locally owned lumber yard if they do this or if they know of someone locally who sharpens blades. The place I take my blades to has the blades picked up once a week for sharpening and the sharpened blades are returned the following week. However, don't just trust anyone with your expensive blades. Do a little research and get a recommendation or two from fellow woodworkers if at all possible.
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    • #3
      Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

      I located a few sharpening services in San Antonio and they sell some good quality blades starting in the $65 range. This blades have a high quality carbide and will stay sharp longer than the cheap blades. By the time you get 4-5 sharpenings from a blade it is much cheaper.

      To offset downtime it's not bad to own a couple of blades and rotate them as they need sharpening.

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      • #4
        Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

        http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...aw_blades.html

        I don't own these, but I've considered trying them.

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        • #5
          Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

          So now comes the second part of the question;
          How to justify buying an "expensive " saw blades.
          I do some cabinet making at home for my pleasure.
          So far the blades I bought gave me satisfaction.
          I do not buy the cheapest junk I can find but I spend $30 to $50 for a 10" blade.
          How much a better cut a more expensive so blade gives and do I need it?
          I drive Subaru and I am very happy with it.
          Sure when I look at a 740 BMW V12 I drool (I love nice mechanic) but do I need it? I decided that I do not.
          B2rtch

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          • #6
            Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

            I think the best was to go about it is to try it once.

            Woodworking is a lifelong hobby/job. If you try one expensive blade, sharpen it a few times, and decide it's not worth the effort then you really didn't lose any money. You do have your own experience to make the decision though.

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            • #7
              Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

              Quality blades are worth resharpening, cheaply made blades are not. Price can be independent of quality, but the more you spend, the better your odds of getting a good blade are.

              Originally posted by rofl View Post
              http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...aw_blades.html

              I don't own these, but I've considered trying them.
              I don't own one of these either...they might be fine, but I don't see what advantage they'd have over other well proven $50 blades. There's no shortage of blade deals that are known to be excellent ...some of which drop as low as @ $17 on sale. The Amana 610504 is very comparably designed to the MLCS blade shown...it's $49 shipped and is known to be heavy duty industrial grade full kerf combo blade. Grizzly has the DeWalt DW7640 on sale for $30. The Freud Avanti TK906 was just being clearanced from Rockler for $20 w/free s/h. Lowes now has the CMT P10050 ITK 50T combo for $40. The Oshlun line is surprisingly well made for the price. The Diablo 40T TK is $30 from HD, the Freud made Ridgid Titanium 5oT is $40 at HD. Blade deals are fairly plentiful...clearance and sale prices come and go constantly. No reason to venture into $50 unknowns.

              Here's a blog entry that might help.

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              • #8
                Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                Thank you all for your helpfull replies.
                I understand that I can get a very good blade for a low price if I shop around (thing that I have been doing).
                I also know that because of the limited power of the motor on my 4511, I want to use thin kerf blades.
                Who has information about the different quality of carbide and which one do you recommand.

                Happy New Year to you all.
                B2rtch

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                • #9
                  Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                  Most of the better quality blades will have C3 or C4 micrograin carbide, depending on the application. Some may have C2 carbide, which will likely lose the edge faster.

                  Are you looking for a general purpose/combo type blade? The better bargains in TK GP/combo blades are the Infinity Combomax 010-150 ($60), Freud LU86, Freud Diablo D1040 ($30), D1050 ($45), Ridgid Titanium R1050 ($40), Craftsman Professional 32808 ($40), Craftsman Professional 32864 ($50), DeWalt DW7140PT ($40), DW7150PT, CMT ITK P10050 ($40), CMT ITK 251.042.10 ($45), CMT 213.040.10 ($55). Of those that I've tried, the Combomax comes the closest to the premium blades like the Forrest WWII, Ridge Carbide TS2000, and Infinity Super General, but is also the most expensive in this group. The Freud Industrial, Diablo, Ridgid Titanium, and Craftsman Pro series are all made by Freud AFAIK...the former Freud TK/Avanti TK306 or TK906 may still be available at some stores...be sure it says "Freud". If you don't mind spending more, Holbren has the Ridge Carbide TS2000 TK for ~ $81 shipped with "BT310" discount code....there is a difference, but the better value blades like the Combomax aren't too far behind.

                  Depending on what you cut, you can push the "clean edge" envelope a little further by going with some 60T blades. Some that have a positive hook can be used successfully on a TS for general purpose type work. Blades like the Infinity 010-060, Freud LU88R010, Freud Diablo D1060, Ridgid Titanium R1060, DeWalt DW7160PT, and Freud Avanti TK406 will rip very cleanly up to ~ 5/4", plus they give cleaner crosscuts and ply cuts than the 40T and 50T general purpose blades...their downsides are the lack of efficiency during thick ripping. The 010-060 and LU88R010 were among my favorites when I had a hybrid saw.
                  Last edited by hewood; 01-01-2010, 04:07 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                    Hewood, I was told that your middle name is " the saw blade encyclopedia".
                    Thank you very much for all these information.
                    I think I shall buy Freud, the price is right and the quality is good.
                    I like Freud router bits.
                    Thank you again.
                    Bert

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                    • #11
                      Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                      Originally posted by b2rtch View Post
                      Hewood, I was told that your middle name is " the saw blade encyclopedia".
                      Thank you very much for all these information.
                      I think I shall buy Freud, the price is right and the quality is good.
                      I like Freud router bits.
                      Thank you again.
                      Bert
                      Now that brought a chuckle!

                      It's hard to go wrong with Freud for value and performance....note that the Ridgid Titanium series and the Craftsman Pro models listed are also made by Freud.

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                      • #12
                        Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                        It depends on the blade. I've got both high-quality blades and low-quality disposable blades. I run Forrest blades on my tablesaw, those always get sent out for resharpening, but I also have cheap DeWalt blades for my CMS and I just throw those away and get another one. Better quality, sharp blades will always give a better quality cut, you have to decide if you've gotten your money's worth out of the blade or not.

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                        • #13
                          Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                          Forrest blades are really good. Their best feature, IMO, is that Forrest does a really great job of sharpening. All sharpening services are not the same. The good news is that Forrest will sharpen other manufacturer's blades, too, as long as there's enough carbide left.

                          Due to the cost of shipping, it's best to send several blades in to Forrest at once. They charge $9 return shipping for the first blade, and $1 for each additional one - so your cost per blade goes down in a hurry if you send in a several rather than just one.

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                          • #14
                            Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                            Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                            Forrest blades are really good. Their best feature, IMO, is that Forrest does a really great job of sharpening. All sharpening services are not the same. The good news is that Forrest will sharpen other manufacturer's blades, too, as long as there's enough carbide left.

                            Due to the cost of shipping, it's best to send several blades in to Forrest at once. They charge $9 return shipping for the first blade, and $1 for each additional one - so your cost per blade goes down in a hurry if you send in a several rather than just one.
                            Yes, I forgot to say that I do use Forrest's sharpening service and have always been very impressed with it. It's well worth the cost, no matter how many blades you send at a time (and I do send multiples most of the time).

                            Good review, Andy.

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                            • #15
                              Re: To sharpen or to not sharpen saw blades

                              I'd be interested to hear how people are shipping their blades, ie. what type of packaging are you using. When I have had blades sharpened it has been with a local sharpening service so packaging has not been a problem for me, I drop off and pick up.

                              Is a dado storage case a good option for shipping multiple blades? If you put them in cardboard I guess you are separating multiple blades with a slice of cardboard. All the Ridge Carbide blades came in nice cardboard cases suitable for mailing a single blade.
                              "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

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