Ask the Staff
I have a
blade on my Delta bandsaw. I love the blade, but I use it so often that it is getting dull. Can I sharpen this myself? If so what should I use? I am having a hard time finding anything to match the hook shape of the teeth. I look foward to your advice.
Bandsaw blades are typically discarded when they become dull. The only exception to this would be a carbide-tipped bandsaw blade, some of which can have the long-lasting carbide tips sharpened. Given the number of teeth on a bandsaw blade, the cost to have a sharpening service sharpen a blade quickly adds up. Since a carbide-tipped bandsaw blade will cost well over $100, spending a third of the cost of the blade (or more) to get it sharp and working like new again can make financial sense.
However the majority of bandsaw blades, the Wood Slicer included, are not worth spending money to have sharpened. Band saw blade stock is fabricated on automated equipment, with the grind of the teeth shape, the hardening of the cutting tips and the setting of the teeth all done with the coil stock running through highly calibrated manufacturing machines. The finished coil is hundreds of feet long and the blades are then cut to length & welded. For a sharpening service, setting up for grinding the number of teeth on a band saw blade is labor intensive. In addition, the minimal set of the teeth on the blade of a Wood Slicer would be hard to replicate by a sharpening service. It would be unlikely that a sharpening service could make a sharpened Wood Slicer perform like a new replacement blade and the charge to sharpen would be nearly the same as the replacement cost.
Having said this doesn’t mean that once the blade is dull, you couldn’t attempt to revive it. The dull blade is only going to be discarded so you could try to hand hone the cutting edges (if you have the patience and muscle memory ability to be extremely consistent). You could use a round diamond file and have a go at dressing the teeth. Either your effort improves the cutting ability of the blade or it doesn’t. If unsuccessful, you are only out your time. We have not heard from customers trying to hand sharpen bandsaw blades and do not think many attempt to do it. I have seen You Tube videos of folks using a Dremel tool with a grinding stone grinding on a bandsaw blade mounted right on the saw. The procedure is not very calibrated, but again you don't have too much to lose if the blade is dull and not cutting anyways.
As far as using the Wood Slicer, we suggest to our customers that when they are finished with their resawing task, remove the Wood Slicer blade from the saw and hang it on the wall - ready to be installed again for the next resaw task. Save the sharpness of the Wood Slicer blade for the rigors of resawing and use a less expensive general purpose blade for your daily cutting of stock in the shop.
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