How do you sharpen a crosscut saw?

Crosscut saws are large tools designed for cutting down trees and sawing trunks into pieces. One-man crosscut saws have especially large, deeply cut teeth but otherwise resemble traditional saws. A two-man crosscut saw has wooden handles on either end, attached to steel sockets.

The blades and teeth of crosscut saws are typically constructed of soft steel and require regular sharpening. Less expensive crosscut saws feature rough, machine-ground teeth that you can improve by sharpening. Purchase a 7.8 inch-long (19.8 centimeters) three-square saw file. The edges of the saw file should be slightly rounded to produce a slight curve in the base of the teeth, which will help prevent the blade from cracking.


Clamp the saw into your saw vise, fixing the saw in place as close as possible to the base of the teeth to minimize vibrations. If your saw is in bad shape, you may need to trim the teeth by filing back and forth with your file until every tooth (one or two short teeth are acceptable) has had its tip sliced off. Then you need to file every tooth until the teeth are the same shape. Three or four stroke per tooth should be enough. Guide the file between the teeth at a 60-degree angle, filing the back and front of two teeth each time and lifting the file on each return.

Crosscut saws are designed for rough use and as such are not usually carefully constructed. If you compare them to fine carpentry saws, you're likely to find qualitative differences in the finish of the saws. For example, a new crosscut saw will typically have machine marks and burrs both on its blade and teeth. So even before your blades have a chance to get blunt, it's a good idea to polish and sharpen them with your saw file.