How to Sharpen Hand Saw Blades

Hand saws are useful tools for a variety of household projects.
Sharpening a hand saw blade is a simple but time consuming task.
Use them in spaces where electric saws are not feasible, such as in basements or attics with few or no electrical outlets. They are also good for quick cuts where setting up an electric saw would be impractical. While hand saw blades inevitably dull over time, sharpening them will help make your hand saw perform as well as when it was new. .

Step 1

Place the saw blade in the vice grip with the teeth facing up. Tighten the vice unitl it is snug, but don't over tighten the vice, which can bend the blade.

Step 2

Position a magnifying lamp between you and your work space so you can see the teeth of the saw.

Step 3

Run a triangular saw file along the teeth in a smooth horizontal motion. File both sides of the teeth, alternating sides to ensure an even filing.

Step 4

Hold a mill file perpendicular to the surface of the saw, even with the teeth. Lightly file the sides of the teeth in a horizontal motion. Switch sides often to avoid making the teeth uneven.

Step 5

Start at the end of the saw away from the blade, and place the teeth in a saw set. Gently squeeze the handle on the saw set to bend the teeth straight, which will help eliminate uneven cuts when you use the saw.

Things You Will Need

  • Vice grip
  • Magnifying lamp
  • Triangular saw file
  • Mill file
  • Saw set


  • Choose a triangular saw file that is right for your saw. In general, use a larger file on a saw with larger teeth.


  • Always sharpen hand saw blades using a slow, methodical process. Hurrying through a sharpening job can cause your saw to perform even more poorly than before.

About the Author

Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.