I only use my table saw and circular saw, both with ripping blades, a few times a year. How can I tell when it's time to replace them?

I imagine I'm not going to lose them to wear, but then again, maybe I've hit an occasional nail. I don't know whether storage and rust cause degradation or if any rust is superficial and gets knocked off when I use them again.

2 Answers 2


Your blade will start to show signs of dullness. These include:

  • Binding
  • Excessive force required to advance cut
  • Excessive tearing/chipout
  • Burning the wood

It helps if you can remember the "feel" of cutting with a sharp blade to help recognize these signs. One of them alone may be a result of improper technique. But when multiple signs stack up, you can be more sure that it's time to switch out blades.

  • Same question/answer can be found on DIY.SE, but I believe it's also relevant and important to keep on the woodworking site as well.
    – Doresoom
    Mar 17, 2015 at 18:23
  • One problem is that because my use is so infrequent, and my materials so varied, I don't have a good baseline for what to expect and hence what would be "excessive."
    – feetwet
    Mar 17, 2015 at 18:23
  • 1
    You could try sliding a board across your table saw table without the saw running. As long as you're not forcing the cut, advancing it slowly through the blade while ripping shouldn't require significantly more force than that to overcome friction.
    – Doresoom
    Mar 17, 2015 at 19:18
  • Wow: then either I'm trying to feed way too quickly, or I have kept my current blade way too long!
    – feetwet
    Mar 17, 2015 at 19:32
  • 1
    @Doresoom ... pine will be a lot easier to cut than a hardwood will be, as well. Mar 17, 2015 at 21:35

Sometimes when people believe their saw is dull, what it really needs is a cleaning. The resins from the wood build up in the teeth over time and gum up the cutting edge. Soaking the blade in simple green or another cleaner of choice and then scrubbing the teeth with an old toothbrush can prolong cutting life.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.