Shop Talk

Why You Should Clean Your Woodworking Blades More Often

  • Cleaning your woodworking saw blades is a hugely important piece of the woodworking puzzle, one, in fact, that is a little too often overlooked. Please don’t get me wrong though, of course I know that none of us wants any extra chores on our plate or workbench, but seriously, the benefits of regular blade cleaning are staggering – and what’s more, cleaning your blades is really easy. 

    Needless to say, working with blades in any capacity is dangerous – so, before I say anything else, I have to say be careful. Please be careful. Woodworking blades and the solutions used to clean them are dangerous to your person and the objects and persons around you, please be always cautious when working with or near them.

    Back to the easy part though, cleaning your blades is really stinkin’ easy. A few hours of soaking, a few minutes of scrubbing and essentially your done. This small extra effort completely revitalizes your blades. You see, dirty blades act dull, they require more push-through force during use (which is also dangerous), they contribute to slower feed rates, and they can even generate enough heat to smoke out your shop. This of course brings us to perhaps the worst symptom of dirty-blade syndrome: the heat. The heat generated by a dirty blade can cause your blade to heat-up so drastically it can dull, lose temper and even warp. I don’t think anyone needs me to explain how catastrophic a compromised blade designed to obliterate the wood that builds our houses could be while spinning on your saw at 3000 rpm. Suffice to say that story doesn’t end well, as such, dirty blades spoil the integrity and usability of your blade bringing them to the end of their regular life-cycle a bit too early. 

    Anyway, dirty blades are a mess, and they make life much, much harder. So clean them. Cleaning your saw blades regularly enhances both their performance and overall longevity. In effect, a clean blade performs exponentially better delivering easy, smooth, and always precise cuts – and, clean blades last longer too. They last exponentially longer producing more lifetime work. Additionally, and as aforementioned, dirty blades heat-up and dull, in turn, clean blades stay cool and sharp (at least for much longer periods), as such, clean blades require sharpening less often. Fortunately for us crafters this means that because your clean blades require sharpening and replacing far less frequently, cleaning your blades also saves you quite a bit of cash. Personally, I’d much rather buy some cleaning solution than an expensive saw blade. 

    Furthermore, cleaning your blades regularly and often also means they’re far simpler to clean when you do clean them. So really, regular blade cleaning is a total no-brainer. A dang easy no-brainer that yields superior wood-cutting results, keeps you safe on the job, and saves you money all over the place.