Should I be sharpening my Carbide Tipped saw blades?
In a word, Yes.
Quality Tungsten Carbide Tipped (TCT) saw blades can usually be sharpened a number of times, providing that the blade has not been seriously damaged.
If the blade has been warped or severely damaged then it should be thrown out, and this includes any blade which has been stopped by a SawStop brake cartridge!
Damage such as missing or splintered teeth can generally be repaired by a competent saw sharpening workshop. Most saw sharpeners will provide a base price for regrinding the saw blade (based on the diameter of the blade and the number of teeth) and a price per tooth for replacement of damaged or missing teeth.
When should circular saw blades be sharpened?
Blades should never be operated with damaged or missing teeth, and they should be sent straight to the sharpener or to the bin.
Generally, circular sawblades that are worn and dull, tend to cut slowly, causing wood burn, chipping and splintering of the wood.
Occasionally, these issues can be due to misalignment of the riving knife or by wood gum residue on the blade. If these are not causing the issue, then it is highly likely that the blade needs to be re-sharpened.
Should you sharpen the blades yourself?
No, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Circular saw blades operate at high speed, so the primary concern is to maintain balance. The same amount of microscopic material must be removed from each tooth in order to maintain balance, an out-of-balance blade is not only dangerous but will put significant load onto the machine for which it has not been designed. The second concern is maintaining cut quality. In order to resharpen the blade all facets of the teeth must be reground to the original angles, this requires precision machinery that simply isn’t available outside of specialist workshops.
A quick search of the internet will reveal numerous articles and videos on DIY saw sharpening. The fact that such information is popularly available does not make DIY saw sharpening recommended for its efficacy or safety.