From the saw sharpening shop: Questions from the web (and answers!)


Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works

The questions have been piling up on me from Google searches on both the blog and the SwiftWater Edge Tool Works web site so I’m going to take this post and address some of them.

1. The smallest circular saw blade.

I’m sure there are some tiny saws made for highly specialized applications (ie NASA) but the smallest one I’m aware of that people are likely to run across is the saw attachment for the Dremel tool. As with most Dremel goodies, the tiny saw is surprisingly useful (and no, I don’t sharpen them đŸ™‚ ).

2. How to tell when a circular saw blade is done?

There are 5 signs your small circular saw blade is toast:

A. Blue/black discoloration (overheating)

B. Visible warping of the saw plate.

C. Missing carbides.

D. Missing entire teeth.

E. Visible cracking.

3. Are any knives impossible to sharpen?

Knives with fully ceramic blades (not just ceramic coated) are impossible to sharpen (as far as I know). Certain Japanese knives with folded cobalt steel blades or induction hardened edges are extremely difficult to do anything with. Most other knife blades are fine to sharpen.

4. Does crosscut sawing require 2 men?

2 man forestry crosscut saws require 2 men, 1 man crosscut saws require 1 man but may have an auxiliary handle that allow them to be used like a short 2 man saw. 1 man saws can only be used for bucking and not felling trees.

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