Bandsaw blades are best when they are sharp and obviously after a few uses they tend to become dull. A good practice is to sharpen regularly so you will get the best use out of each bandsaw blade you use. You should get two to three sharpenings out of every blade. There are of course a couple of options for this – the less time consuming option being a mechanical bandsaw blade sharpener, or by sharpening the blades manually.
First up – manual bandsaw blade sharpening, and as always, safety first. Make sure you have gloves, eye protection and a mask to protect from dust. Also make sure the power cord of your saw is unplugged.
Manually sharpening can definitely be a time consuming option, but can be reasonably straightforward and has obvious cost advantages over buying a mechanical sharpener. You may be able to just sharpen particularly dull areas of the bandsaw blade, but mostly you will need to do a full sharpening.
Sharpening your bandsaw blade takes a few steps, and here’s a few that you need to go through.
Tips of the teeth – use a sharpening stone against the tooth edge, and move the bandsaw back manually. Back of the tip – use a sharpening tool or file, making sure to maintain a backward angle. The underside of the tip – use a Dremel tool (on low speed) or rounded file. The cutting area – again, a round file or Dremel tool. Lastly the gullet – must be checked and cleaned of any grime or buildup.
If you don’t have the time and patience for the manual sharpening method, the better option is a mechanical bandsaw blade sharpener. It allows your time to be invested elsewhere, and makes the sharpening process much quicker and more manageable.