9 Tips for Cleaning a Hand Saw Blade

Person using a handsaw to cut a board
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50

Cleaning an old or used hand saw blade either for maintenance or restoration purposes is an easy task you can complete in less than an hour.

All you need are basic cleaning materials such as sandpaper, metal scraper, boiled linseed oil, paste wax, and some used newspapers. Here are some tips on how to clean a hand saw blade.

1. Safety First

Always wear a good pair of working gloves and mask before cleaning a hand saw blade.

In cleaning a hand saw blade you will need boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits, which are irritating to the skin and to the lungs and mucus membranes.

2. Use Old Newspapers

stack of newspapers

Old newspapers are perfect for protecting your work table, and it also makes easy cleaning of the rust residue from your scraping and sanding.

All you need to do after scraping and sanding is carefully fold the newspaper and throw it in a waste bin.

3. Use a Blade Scraper

Use a blade scraper to remove surface rust. Hold the blade scraper at low angles and use short strokes from one end of the blade to the other end.

Do an initial scrape and repeat the process until you remove as much rust as possible. Wipe down the rust residue after each scraping.

4. Use a Thin Sandpaper

roll of sandpaper

A thin sandpaper gives you more “feel” in your sanding than a thick sandpaper. Do light sanding first to check if you need to use a coarser sandpaper.

Sand the rest of the blade in a circular motion for optimum sanding. Repeat the process using a fresh sandpaper and always wipe off the rust residue after sanding. Clean both sides of the hand saw blade equally.

5. Use Paint Thinner

A paint thinner works best together with sandpaper. Pour a small amount of paint thinner on a dry paper and scrub the entire blade lengthwise.

Use the sandpaper after each application of paint thinner and always use a fresh set of sandpaper every time you apply more paint thinner.

Do not forget to put on your working gloves and mask before applying the paint thinner.

6. Use Paste Wax

A paste wax is used to protect your hand saw blade from further rust. Apply equally on both sides of the blade and wipe off the excess with a clean piece of dry rag. You can purchase a paste wax at your local hardware store.

7. Use a Coarser Sandpaper

To clean the back of the blade, use a coarser newspaper. Rip a small piece of sandpaper and with a block of wood or with only the pressure of your thumb, sand back and forth until you have removed all the rust, dirt and grime.

8. Wash Down with Paint Thinner

brush in jar of paint thinner

After all the scraping and sanding is done, rinse down the entire blade with paint thinner and let it dry for at least four hours.

9. Use Mineral Spirits

You can also use mineral spirits as lubricant if you do not want to use a paint thinner. Apply an even and thin coating of mineral spirits on both sides of the blade using a clean, dry cloth and begin sanding.

Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results.