How to sharpen saw blades & jigs

Updated April 17, 2017

Having the ability to sharpen your own saw and jigsaw blades can save you time and money by postponing the purchase of new blades. To keep your blades cutting efficiently, you'll want to focus on sharpening the teeth.

Trim the teeth of the blade with a flat file so they all become the same height. Position the saw in a vice with a firm grip near the teeth for stability.

Shape the teeth using a saw file. Each tooth should get an equal amount of file strokes for consistency. Repeat until the teeth are all the same shape.

Sharpen the teeth by passing a saw file horizontally through the gaps of the teeth, just above the base of the blade. Refer to your saw owner's manual to determine the diameter of the saw file needed. A rip cut saw blade requires a right or 90-degree angle. A cross cut saw blade requires a 60-degree angle.


Saws manufactured with hardened teeth cannot be sharpened in this manner, as the teeth are as hard as the files used above. Sharpening hardened teeth requires the use of a diamond file rather than a saw file.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat File
  • Vice
  • Saw File
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About the Author

After discovering a passion for writing at an early age, Courtney Vermaas became a published writer in 2006. Vermaas has been published in niche ski magazines including "Powder" and "Freeskier" along with newspapers and online tourism sites. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon.