How To

How To

Tips for recognizing when your blades and equipment need care.

Achievable Edge Sharpness

Achievable edge sharpness is determined by the material:

Expert Die | Edge Sharpness









Drawings show the radius of the edge achievable with each material:

Cermets - 3 - 4 micron radius                                    Expert Die | Edge Sharpness - Cermets


PCD – Poly Crystalline Diamonds 4 -6 micron              Expert Die | Edge Sharpness - Poly Crystaline Diamonds


Micro grain carbide or Stellite® 8 -12 micron              Expert Die | Edge Sharpness - Micro Grain Carbide or Stelite


Sharpened carbide sawmill saw blade 10 – 18 micron  Expert Die | Edge Sharpness - Sharpened Carbide Sawmill Saw Blade

Cleaning Saw Collars

Expert Die | Cleaning Saw CollarsExpert Die | Cleaning Saw CollarsExpert Die | Cleaning Saw CollarsYour saw blade needs to be aligned with the arbor of the motor. This is impossible if the collars are not clean and in good shape. Any high spot on the arbor will distort the saw blade. It may distort the blade so the blade stays flat but is no longer truly perpendicular to the collar or it may distort the blade so that it is no longer perfectly flat.

Remember, please, that a saw blade is tensioned and is, in effect, a flat spring.

It is not unusual to examine a saw blade and see debris embedded in the saw plate. Also common is to find two rings on the saw plate where the edges of the collars contacted the plate but the center of the collars did not.

Every time a saw blade is changed the collars, even if they are just a flanged nut, should be examined for cleanliness and flatness.

When to Sharpen Saw Blades

As a rule of thumb never let your blades get duller than 0.008” (8/1,000 inches) edge radius. Certain grades of carbide are able obtain and keep a sharper tip than others.

This may not sound that dull but it is like trying to cut with the edge of a paper clip. A much better figure for maximum allowable dullness is 0.004” which is about the thickness of a piece of paper.

Expert Die | Saw Sharpening  Expert Die | Saw Sharpening  Expert Die | Saw Sharpening

The rounded tip can be thought of as part of a circle. The radius of the tip is the radius of that circle.

Expert Die | Saw Sharpening  Expert Die | Saw Sharpening

The radius is shown by dotted lines A and B. If the radius is 0.008” then the diameter is 0.016” as shown in the right hand drawing. 0.016” is about the diameter of a common paper clip.


Expert Die | Typical New Saw Blade Radius Chart

Don’t run your blades too long. The longer you run them the more that has to be ground off to get the saw tips sharp.

Expert Die | Saw Sharpening

If a saw blade should run 10 hours and have 10% wear when it is run twenty hours it will have 30% wear. All this depends on the materials, machine, saw blade, etc. But it is always true that dulling is not a linear process. The duller a tool is the faster it gets even duller. In addition dull saw blades are much more likely to lose teeth, which is expensive, and much more likely to have shoulders rip off which is really expensive.

A good shop will help you determine how long to run your tools and will be able to tell you why.

What Our Customers Say...

  • I take this moment to extend to you an expression of gratitude for donating three new blades, and the sharpening of nine saw blades for Hogar Escuela Adventista in El Salvador, Central America. It was a delightful trip that 14 of us made to the orphanage during the first two weeks of December. Read More
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