How to Sharpen a Hand Saw?

Hand Saw

The hand saw is one of the most common tools used in the workshop. The blade needs to be sharpened from time to time so that you do not splinter the wood. Replacing the saw blade is never a feasible solution as it would increase the cost of production. The easy and cheap solution is to sharpen the blade from time to time. Using the hand saw with a dull blade will prove a headache as it will lead to inaccuracies. Moreover, the splinter would spoil the finish. It takes just a few minutes to sharpen the blade of the hand saw, and a sharp blade will help you a great deal while you are using the saw.

In this article, we have listed the steps to sharpen a hand saw, but before we get onto the process, we want to talk about the tools you would need and the terms we will use in this article.

Hand Saw

Terms Used on Page

Below are some of the terms that we will use, and learning about them will help you understand the process better.

  • Crosscut is a saw tooth pattern, and it is better when you are cutting across the grain.
  • Gullet in a saw is the depression between the hand and saw teeth.
  • The kerf of the saw is the width of the cut.
  • PPI stands for a point per inch, but TPI is used more commonly.
  • The Pitch of the blade is the distance between the two adjacent tool tops.
  • Rip is similar to crosscut, but the difference is that it is used when cutting down the grain.
  • Set is used to denote the degree of flare.
  • TPI stands for the number of teeth per inch.

Tools Required to Sharpen a Hand Saw

You will need some tools to start the process. In the point below, we have listed the tools, and you can use them to sharpen your hand saw.

  • File – Without saying, you must have understood that a quality File is needed. These files have a triangular shape with three corners, and they form an equilateral triangle in a 2D plane. The file will help you sharpen the blade, and you need to be careful about the angles and the gullet.
  • Vise – You would need a vise along with some cheek boards to grip the blade. Without a vise, you will not be able to start the process. You will also need to keep it safe as it will be one of the most valuable tools in your workshop.

Steps to Sharpen the Hand Saw

Assuming that you have the tools and you are wearing the safety gear, you are now ready to file the saw. Follow the steps listed below, and it will help you in sharpening the hand saw. Follow the process below to sharpen the saw.

  • You need to start by cleaning the blade. Use the sandpaper to remove the rust or use a wire brush for the same. Once the saw is clean, check if the height of the teeth is the same. You are good to proceed if the height is the same; otherwise, you would need to work on it.
  • In the next step, you need to clamp the side into the wise and ensure that you are using the backboard to keep the spine of the saw safely. If the teeth are not equal, then you can file the teeth to make the height equal.
  • In the third step, you need to set the teeth with the help of the file. You need to ensure that teeth are aligned, and if you notice and misalignment, you would have to work on it. You can use a plier to align the teeth. You can also use an anvil and mallet to align the teeth of the saw.
  • Once the alignment part is done, you need to check the saw’s TPI, and you can start sharpening the teeth of the saw. Start the process with the endpoint and work your way to the top. Ensure that you are sharpening every single tooth of the saw and you are not missing anything.
  • Once you reach the fine teeth, you would need to use a small file. The bigger files may damage the small teeth. To give the finishing touch to the saw, use the fine saw and ensure the teeth’ angle is right.
  • You can now use an oiled rag to wipe the blade, and this will remove the metal particles and prepare your hand saw for storage.


Once you reach the here, you are ready to sharpen the hand saw. Before you proceed, ensure that you are using the right safety gear. The eye safety glasses remains to be the most important safety gear, and it will help you in protecting yourself from any injury. You can also wear protective gloves and other safety gear, which proves to be a great deal while dealing with sharp tools. So, go ahead and sharpen your hand saw now.

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