I am guessing you have hit a nail or other hard material with your brand new band saw blade because almost everyone working in the wood cutting industry has at some point in time. We all know these materials will make a new blade dull very quickly. Even if you cut new woods, green wood can be very damaging to a blade.
Carbon Blades can be Resharpened
Don’t through away your quickly dulled carbon steel band saw blades. Yes, of course we want you to buy new blades, but we also want our customers to be happy! I have tried a few different methods of sharpening blades and found this little tutorial to be a great one.
Steps to Resharpening Your Blade
I always put safety first. Please make sure you are wearing protective eyewear along with a dust mask or even a respirator. Also wear a pair of gloves which I know you own because this is essential in the cutting business. There are a lot of small pieces & dust flying around when sharpening a band saw blade. I can’t emphasize this enough as I see many of my friends and colleagues neglecting these simple safety procedures.
Now that we are safe, right? Our band saw is unplugged so we don’t accidentally turn it on. Make sure you are in a well lit area. I recommend bringing in an extra light so you can see what you are doing. It is important to see the blade clearly so sit where your eye can line up with the blade. Thoroughly check all sides of the blade for any stress fractures or cracks along with the weld line. Make sure to make a complete rotation to check the entire blade. You can only resharpen a blade that is still in good condition. Resharpening a defective blade can lead to serious safety hazards.
A dremel rotary tool is my recommendation, but there are many similar options you can use. Install a small diamond disk into your rotary tool. Apply tension to the blade so it is straight so you can rotate it by hand (gloved hand of course). We can finally turn on our rotary tool between 5,000 & 10,000 RPM. Use your non-dominant hand to pick the tooth & hold the blade while your dominant (my right) hand slowly & safely sharpens the tooth.
Resharpening the Tooth
Make sure you are following the tooth pattern as there are many tooth options. Start by lightly grinding the back of the blade tooth. As you sharpen, the bright metal on the back of the tooth will be revealed. This bright metal back edge of the tooth should extend all the way to the tip of the blade’s tooth. Usually this can be done with only one or two light strokes. As you sharpen each tooth, rotate the flat face of the diamond disk to match the direction and curvature (right, left, or center line) of each blade tooth. Move your wrist as you sharpen each tooth. The center line teeth require your wrist to be directly in line (center) of the band. Left curved teeth, require wrist movement to the left, while right curved teeth, require wrist movement to the right. Before you sharpen each tooth, move your wrist into position before you proceed to resharpen the tooth. On completion of each tooth, rotate the bandsaw blade down with your gloved hand to bring the next tooth into position and then you can sharpen the next tooth. The resharpened surface on the back of the tooth should feather into the original shape of the tooth. Continue until every tooth on the blade is to your approval. It helps me to mark the first blade with a black marker to know where I started. Or if you are a perfectionist you can keep going until you are happy with every tooth.
I know this does not sound easy and it really is not that easy the first few times. Plan to take your time on the first few blades and with some practice you can be sharpening blades in only a few minutes. If you happen to give up you can check out our carbon steel band saw blades and order right now online! (I had to get my sales pitch in)