Should You Sharpen Your Folding Saw Blade or Just Buy a Replacement?

Header Image of a tool wall with small files, contains the text should you sharpen your folding saw

Most folding saws tend to be relatively cheap, often coming in at under $20. Because of the price it is often simpler to just replace a worn saw with a new one. That point aside, it is possible to sharpen most saw blades and it never hurts to learn how to do so, or even to practice a skill you already know. 

Chances are if you are asking this question you likely have the needed tools on hand to sharpen the blade. While it is often easier to just replace the blade with a new one consider the fact that there could be some scenarios where a new blade is not an option. 

In those cases, knowing how, or having practiced sharpening your saw could prove quite valuable. 

What Tools Are Needed to Sharpen a Folding Saw?

In order to sharpen most folding saw blades, which are very similar to a pruning saw you will need what is known as a cant file. This is a file that has a triangular shape to it and can be found either online or at most hardware stores. 

In addition to the file you will need some way to clamp the blade in place, some WD40 and a heavy set of gloves.

5 Steps to Sharpen Your Folding Saw Blade

  • Put on your heavy work gloves. – Despite the fact that your saw blade is dull it is likely that it is more than capable of cutting the soft flesh of your hands if mishandled or your file slips.
  • Clean the blade of the folding saw. – Spray a light coat of WD40 on the blade and wipe it off with a rough cloth. This will not only help remove any sap or debris on the blade, it will help to lubricate the file when you begin sharpening the blade.
  • Determine the angle of the teeth and position the file at a 30 degree angle to them. – It is important to determine if your saw cuts on the push, the pull or both. This will determine which way you need to move your file in order to achieve the best results.
  • Using 8 to 10 smooth continuous strokes sharpen each tooth. – During this it is important that you move the blade periodically to keep the clamp close to the teeth you are working on. Doing so will prevent excessive vibration in the blade and help avoid breaking any teeth.
  • Once you have finished with all of the teeth, clean the blade once more to remove any metal filings and debris. Wipe the blade clean and then properly store it.

Is There Any Reason I Would Not Be Able to Sharpen My Folding Saw?

There are a few scenarios in which you cannot sharpen a saw blade, this is true for nearly any saw blade and includes folding saws as well.

If the blade is missing teeth then you should discard it and purchase a new blade. While with a straight bladed knife you can file any chips or damage out of the blade this is not possible with a toothed saw blade.

Another factor to consider is the metal and tempering of the saw blade. Some blades are tempered, which is a form of heat treating that hardens the blade.

These blades tend to have teeth that are darker in color or even blue. While these blades can be sharpened they often require a special file to do so. Often these files cost far more than simply replacing the blades.

In Conclusion

While it is possible to sharpen a folding saw it is often more feasible to just purchase a new saw. Often you can pick a relatively reliable one up for around $20 from stores such as Walmart and even Amazon.

With that being said, most survivalists and preppers will want to at least know how to sharpen a blade them selves instead of simply relying on purchasing a new 1. A small file set such as this 16 piece file kit from Amazon is a great addition to your gear. Light weight and capable of sharpening everything from knife blades, axes and even shovel blades you are sure to find a use for it.

If your new to prepping or not sure what it is then check out our article on why you should become a prepper.

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