How To Sharpen A Crosscut Hand Saw? [Full Guide]

The teeth of crosscut hand saws are different from the other saws. Without proper sharpening, it’s not possible to get the expected cutting. You should know how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw to prevent any damage to the blade.

Attach the crosscut hand saw into a clamp. Use a sharpening file at 60 degrees into the blades. Pull strokes forward with the file into the gap of the teeth. First, sharpen the edges that have sharp edges faced in your direction. Turn round the saw and repeat the same process for the remaining teeth.

The process should be repeated for every single tooth of the saw. If you want detailed instructions, let me guide you with a detailed instruction.

6 Easy Steps To Sharpen A Crosscut Hand Saw: Check Now

You should know the exact methods of sharpening a crosscut saw as they are built differently. Let’s check the easiest yet most effective steps to sharpen a crosscut hand saw.

Step 1: Clean The Saw

Before starting the sharpening process, first, clean the saw. You may clean the blades with a wire brush. This will remove the rust and make it easier to sharpen the blades. If the handle is clean, leave it untouched. Otherwise, sand the handle with sandpaper and then apply a wood color for a better look.

Step 2: Make A Vise

In this step, you are required to make a vise to hold the crosscut hand saw. You can make the vise by using two sticks of wood. The dimension of the sticks would be 1 inch in thickness and 2 inches in width. Make sure it’s as long as the blade or close to it.  

Also, put a screw into one edge of the sticks and connect them to use as a vise. There should be enough gap between the sticks to let the saw place firmly inside.

Step 3: Attach The Saw

Now, attach the saw to the vise by using it as a clamp. Keep the teeth upward. Place them securely into any clamp and make sure they are leveled.  

Step 4: Use A Jointer

A jointer is used to level the teeth that are at different lengths. The sharpening won’t be much effective if the teeth are not leveled. Slide the jointer from one end to another of the blade to flatten the teeth. Also, apply a bit of pressure while sliding the jointer.

Step 5: Use Sharpening File

Here comes the final and the most important phase of sharpening crosscut hand saw. Choose a file that matches the length of your saw teeth. The angle of the sharpening file is very much important for a better result. Make sure it’s not more than 65 degrees with the blades.

As the teeth of a crosscut hand saw have alternating teeth that cut the other way, you should use the file carefully. Check the direction of the teeth. You may start with the teeth that are sharp from your angle. 

Place the file into the gap of the teeth. Pull a stroke forward with the sharpening file. Repeat the same process by leaving one tooth in between. Don’t apply much pressure on the file. 

Once you complete the teeth that were sharp in your direction, now turn the vise and repeat the same process for the remaining teeth. These teeth will now have sharp edges in your direction.

Step 6: Final Finishing

Once the sharpening is complete for every single tooth, you may now proceed to the final step. Unclamp the saw and clean the blades with a brush. To provide a better look, you may use grit paper for smooth finishing. 

That’s how you sharpen a crosscut hand saw. Make sure you attach the saw to the clamp perfectly. Otherwise, the sharpening won’t be perfect and you may face serious injury as well.

3 Effective Tips On Crosscut Hand Saw Maintenance: Try Now

The sharpness of the crosscut hand saw won’t stay too long without proper maintenance. If you want to enhance the longevity of your crosscut hand, saw, follow the tips below.

1. Keep The Crosscut Saw Dry

This is the first condition to keep your crosscut hand saw and maintain its superior performance. Once your job is done with the crosscut, saw, dry it using a brush or cloth before storing it. This will save the saw from getting rusted. Also, keep the crosscut saw in a dry place or box to prevent rust.

2. Use Lube 

Using lube helps to get better cutting and also enhances the longevity of a crosscut hand saw. The saw will vibrate less and there will be less pressure required if you apply lube to the blade while cutting wood. Thus, it will help to maintain the sharpness of the blades.  

3. Sharp Regularly

If you want to get a perfect result every time you use a crosscut hand, saw, sharpen your saw regularly. The blades of a saw require regular maintenance. The sharpening should be done by following the exact methods. You may damage the blades otherwise.

Mistakes You Should Avoid While Sharpening A Crosscut Hand Saw

As a crosscut hand saw has sharp blades, you should be very much careful while sharpening this tool. Here are the mistakes you should avoid while sharpening a crosscut hand saw.

Applying Pressure

While using the sharpening fill or the jointer, don’t apply much pressure on the blades. If you apply pressure with the jointer, the sharp edges will lose the spark. To level the teeth, just slide the jointer. The sharpening fill is also effective with a simple stroke.

By applying the right amount of pressure, you will get a better result. Apply the same amount of stroke on every gap of the teeth.

Not Attaching Into Clamp

This is a huge mistake one should avoid. If you are not attaching the saw to the clamp, there is a chance of great risks. The saw will move during sharpening, and you may get unwanted events then.

Not Using Perfect File

Well, there are so many teeth edges you should sharpen. Make sure you are using the perfect-sized sharpening file. Otherwise, the triangular shape of the file won’t match the gap, and the angle won’t be suitable for this process as well. Also, don’t forget to use a file handle that will let you use it with more comfort.


What Angle Do You Sharpen A Crosscut Saw?

It’s important to know the angle when applying a sharpening file. Otherwise, the edges will dull rather than become sharp. The most effective angle for sharpening a crosscut saw is 60 to 65 degrees.

Place the crosscut saw at a 60 to a 65-degree angle with the ground and use a sharpening file to the edges. While sharpening, make sure you follow the direction of the edges, as the edges come with a patterned design.

Can You Sharpen An Old Hand Saw?

Sharpening an old hand saw will take a longer time than usual. It is necessary to repair both the wood part and the saw part. The wood part can be varnished with wood color. Use a scraper to clean old lacquer off the crosscut hand saw.

To sharpen the saw, use 60-grit sandpaper. Grind the plate with sandpaper to get rid of the grime and old rust. Use a sharpening file to sharpen the edges of the saw. That’s how you repair and sharpen an old hand saw.

How Often Do You Need To Sharpen A Crosscut Hand Saw?

This actually depends on your maintenance. If you properly take care of your crosscut hand saw, it will maintain its sharpness for a long time. The sharpening will require multiple intensive uses of the hand saw.

If the edges are not performing as expected and are not sharp enough, you may sharpen them anytime you want. As it takes much time to sharpen a crosscut hand saw, it’s recommended to do a complete sharpening every time.

Can You Lubricate A Crosscut Saw?

Lubricating the saw will get you better cutting for a thicker sheet. There will be less vibration during the operation and you will get a smooth cut for sure. You may lubricate crosscut saw blades if you are cutting thick wood.

To lubricate, first clear the blade with a brush and make sure there is no dust on the plate. Apply a light coating of the lubricant to the blade and make sure they will get in contact while cutting wood.

How Do You Know If The Hand Saw Is Dull?

It’s possible to figure out if the crosscut hand saw is dull or not. If you are required to apply more pressure than before during a cut, they are obviously dull. Another technique is by using light on the teeth of the handsaw. Hold a strong light on the teeth. If the light reflects, it’s dull

Light won’t reflect on a sharp point. The blade requires resharpening if they get rust on the edges. That’s how you detect a dull hand saw.

Final Thoughts

I guess now you know how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw. The procedure is quite simple. You just need to make sure that you are using the sharpening file in the correct direction. Be careful while attaching the crosscut saw to the clamp or sticks. Don’t rush, just complete the steps as instructed.


Abram, N. (n.d.). Norm’s Notebook: How To Use a Handsaw. This Old House. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from

Sloan, D. (Ed.). (1993). American Woodworker. Rodales.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

Follow me: Facebook, Twitter

Leave a Comment