Cleaning Circular Saw Blades

MESSER’s top tips on how to clean saw blades.

When should I clean my saw circular saw blade?

With use circular saw blades can become soiled with the pitch, sap and resin contained within the wood being cut. Sticky wood like pine is more prone to leaving such deposits than other cleaner woods, so the extent and frequency of cleaning will vary accordingly. Over time the build-up of deposits on the blade will lead to additional friction and burning marks on the wood, in much the same way as a dull blade.

Regular cleaning of the saw blade will prevent buildup of these contaminants.

Two rules for cleaning your blades

There are two rules that should always be observed when cleaning blades:

  • Always remove the blade from the machine
  • Never use tools, abrasives or chemicals which may damage the blade teeth or coating
Circular Saw Blade

Cleaning your saw blades correctly

Once the blade has been removed from the machine it should be placed in a flat tray and submerged in the cleaning fluid, allowing it to soak. We will discuss the cleaning fluids later, but it is important to note that oven cleaners should not be used as these may cause damage to the carbide teeth, potentially causing them to detach while in use!

Once the blade has had adequate time to soak the build-up should be removed by lightly scraping or brushing using plastic scrappers or brushes. If the blade does not have a low friction coating a brass bristled brush may also be considered.

Hard-to-remove deposits may require further soaking.

Which Chemical to Use

Once the blade is clean it should be rinsed in water, dried with a soft towel and finally with warm air from a hair dryer or heat gun (at a distance).

The dry blade should then be coated with a dry lubricant to prevent rust and improve the blade’s cutting performance.

Need more help?

The internet contains a wide variety of suggestions, many of which are just plain wrong. We highly recommend watching The Wood Whisperer’s video on how to clean blades and bits. Click here to watch the video.