Dieter Schmid's Fine Tools
Saw Blade Sharpening Tools

Saw Blade Sharpening Tools

What size of file should one use?

It is in principle simple: a triangular file should be chosen that is big enough so that as the teeth are sharpened, the file can be rotated in between teeth and all three sides of the file will be evenly worn down. So one measures the tooth depth and looks to the width of the file. The file's width should be a hair under double the tooth depth.

If it is particularly important to one to have a good view of the teeth while filing, one should choose a smaller file, with sides just a little wider than the tooth depth. The file will wear out faster, but one will have better control over the work. Good light also is very important for this kind of work. A side benefit is that this will be a good test to see of one's eyesight or eyeglass prescription is good! If one's eyes tire quickly, it is a good indicator that all is not as it should be!

What is the difference between normal three-sided files and saw files?

Regular three-sided files have sharp corners that cut a hard angle. Saw files have corners that are ever so slightly rounded, so as to maintain the round gullet between the saw's teeth as one files them. This is to help prevent cracking the base of the teeth, which is easy to do if one does not work carefully and precisely. Because of technical issues in the manufacture of saw files, there is a limit to how small the files can be made. Therefore we offer a small needle file to sharpen saws with extremely fine teeth. An alternative for very fine-toothed Western type saws is to use a small Japanese sword-form file, which also has a lightly rounded corner. But one must then file both the tooth's front edge and back separately. This in contrast to using the proper triangular file, which will file the front of one tooth and the back of the previous tooth on the same stroke.

In the tables below, we provide a list of saws we sell for which each file is recommended. But of course the list is not exhaustive and multiple combinations are possible.

All files delivered without handle. Handles you will find here!

NICHOLSON Flat file - to trim irregular teeth

NICHOLSON Flat file
1. to trim irregular teeth
2. to sharpen Two-Man Crosscut saws
for Length Cross section Cut CodePrice
to trim all handsaws
To sharpen One-man and Two-Man saws
200 mm 19 x 4.8 mm 3
Code 314050CartPrice € 8.50

Saw file regular

Saw file regular
for Length Width Cut CodePrice
Bow saws 301162, 301153
Pax handsaws 303007, 303008, 303010, 303033
150 mm 13 mm 2
Code 302525CartPrice € 4.40
Farmer's saws 301156, 301158
One-Man Crosscut saw 303021
200 mm 16 mm 2
Code 302526CartPrice € 6.40

Saw file slim

Saw file slim
for Length Width Cut CodePrice
Turning saw 301164
Pax Tenon saw 303005
100 mm 6.3 mm 2
Code 302527CartPrice € 3.60
Bow saws 301150, 301151
Pax handsaws 303006, 303010, 303033
Pax Tenon saws 303004, 303005
150 mm 9 mm 2
Code 302528CartPrice € 4.40

Saw file double extra slim

Saw file double extra slim
for Length Width Cut CodePrice
Pax Gents saws 303009, 303016, 303017
Greaves Gents saws 303026, 303027, 303028, 303029
Pax Dovetail saw 303003
Veritas Carcass saws 307734, 307735, 325066
100 mm 4 mm 2
Code 302530CartPrice € 3.60
Greaves Gents saws 303026, 303027, 303028, 303029
Turning saw 301164
Pax Tenon saw 303005
Pax Dovetail saw 303003
Veneer saw 302530
Veritas Tenon saw 325065
125 mm 5 mm 2
Code 302531CartPrice € 4.10
Turning saw 301164
Pax Tenon saw 303005
150 mm 6 mm 2
Code 302532CartPrice € 4.40

Saw file for Gent’s saws

Saw file for Gent’s saws
for Length Width Cut CodePrice
Greaves Gent’s saws 303026, 303027, 303028, 303029 100 mm 6 x 4 mm 2
Code 302533CartPrice € 10.70

Needle file threesquare

Needle file threesquare - for extremly small teeth
for Total
length
Cutting
length
Cross
section
Cut CodePrice
Pax Mini Gents saws 303017, 303015, 303013
Inlay saw and Jewellers Saw 303020, 303019
Razorsaw und Flush cutting saw 303025
Veneer saws 300390, 303999, 303310
Pax Dovetail saw 303002, 303003
Veritas Carcass saws 307734, 307735
Veritas Dovetail saws 307720, 307721, 307722
140mm 70mm 3.5mm 2
Code 302705CartPrice € 7.45
200mm 100mm 4.4mm 2
Code 302712CartPrice € 11.20

 

Feather Edge Saw Files (Yasuri) for Japanese Saws

These saw files are designed to sharpen traditional Japanese saws. They are also good tools for working various very fine-toothed European saws and for many other types of fine filing work because of their narrow profile. Produced in tooth size 2, saw files with teeth on both sides are designed principally for ripcut saw blades. With crosscut saws there is the danger, if one is not very careful, that you can cut into the backs of the close-set neighboring teeth. So for these saws we offer Japanese files with teeth on one side which have been specially made for this job. These files are made in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

Feather Edge Saw Files, double-faced
This configuration is designed to sharpen ripcut saw blades. With Ryoba saws, one uses it only on the ripcut edge of the blade. For saws with teeth on two edges of the blade, we recommend both types of saw files.

Feather Edge File 75 x 17 x 2.3 mm
double-faced

for (or alike):
Dozuki 312061
Ryoba 312057, 309455, 309457
Code 312900CartPrice € 10.90

Feather Edge File 100 x 20 x 3 mm
double-faced

for (or alike):
Ryoba 312057, 309459
Code 312901CartPrice € 12.90

Feather Edge File 125 x 25 x 3.5 mm
double-faced

for (or alike):
Ryoba 309461, 309463
Code 312902CartPrice € 14.90

Feather Edge File 150 x 28 x 4 mm
double-faced

for (or alike):
Ryoba 309463
Temagori 309830, 312020
Code 312903CartPrice € 16.50
Feather Edge Saw Files, single-faced
This type of file is mostly recommended for filing crosscut saws including the crosscut edge of Ryoba saws. You will soon, or possibly already have noticed that single-sided files cost a fair bit more than double-sided files. This is because these are highly specialized tools for which there is little demand and so they are produced in small lots by special order only. Inevitably this makes them more expensive.

Feather Edge File 75 x 17 x 2.3 mm
single-faced

for (or alike):
Dozuki 312060, 312061
Ryoba 312057, 309455, 309457
Code 312905CartPrice € 11.90

Feather Edge File 100 x 20 x 3 mm
single-faced

for (or alike):
Dozuki 312060, 312061
Ryoba 312057, 309459, 309461, 309463
Code 312906CartPrice € 12.90

Feather Edge File 125 x 25 x 3.5 mm
single-faced

for (or alike):
Ryoba 309461, 309463
Code 312907CartPrice € 15.50

Feather Edge File 150 x 28 x 4 mm
single-faced

for (or alike):
Ryoba 309463
Temagori 309834
Code 312908CartPrice € 16.50
Diamond Feather Edge File
Hiebe beidseitig

These files are distinguished by the incredible hardness of the diamond cutting surfaces. Unlike many of our files, these come with the handles installed as in the photo.

Diamond Feather Edge File 75 x 17 x 2,3 mm
double-faced

Total length with handle 190 mm
Code 312910CartPrice € 18.50

Diamond Feather Edge File 100 x 20 x 3 mm
double-faced

Total length with handle 220 mm
Code 312911CartPrice € 23.50

Diamond Feather Edge File 125 x 25 x 3,5 mm
double-faced

Total length with handle 245 mm
Code 312912CartPrice € 32.50

SOMAX Saw Sets

SOMAX makes 4 different handsets: with magnifying glass or not, for normal or for fine sawblades. They have a plunger width of 2.2 mm, suited for normal saws or a plunger width of 1.4 mm, suited for fine saws.
Instruction how to use the Somax Saw Set Somax saw sets are suitable for small and medium sized blades.

SOMAX Saw Set
without magnifying glass
for 4 - 8 TPI saws (3 - 7 mm from tip to tip)
Code 310600CartPrice € 23.90
SOMAX Saw Set
without magnifying glass
for 5 - 16 TPI saw (1.5 - 5 mm from tip to tip)
Code 310601CartPrice € 25.90
SOMAX Saw Set
with magnifying glass
for 4 - 8 TPI saws (3 - 7 mm from tip to tip)
Code 310602CartPrice € 26.90
SOMAX Saw Set
with magnifying glass
for 5 - 16 TPI saws (1.5 - 5 mm from tip to tip)
Code 310603CartPrice € 26.90
VERITAS Saw File Holder
Not only does this guide provide a secondary grip for your saw file, it also helps you control the angle of the file as you sharpen, using the eye’s natural ability to judge parallel and level.

It has a rotating collar for setting a positive or negative rake angle up to 30°, and a 76 mm (3 inch) wide protractor to set the fleam (or bevel) angle up to 45° left or right. All you need to do is keep the edge of the protractor parallel and level to the blade, something easy to do by eye. Because the angle guide doesn’t limit the movement of the file, you learn to control it manually, gaining the experience needed for freehand sharpening.

The protractor is marked in 5° increments, and the collar has a vernier scale marked in 1° increments. A rubber O-ring inside the collar provides light resistance to the vernier scale to make precision setting straightforward.

Measures 67 mm (2-5/8 inch) long overall, with an anodized aluminum body, a stainless-steel protractor, and brass thumbscrews for locking the rake and fleam angles.

Additional Information Regarding Accuracy of Saw File Holder
The protractor scale should only be used for approximation as it shows a slight right angle deviation. However, together with the workflow these small inaccuracies have no impact on sharpening and should be tolerated.
Code 308985CartPrice € 37.90

Saw Vise by Gramercy Tools

A good saw vise is an absolute must if you would like to sharpen your own saws. For years, there has been no good saw vise on the market here. A saw vise must be absolutely solid and stable. If the blade vibrates with each stroke of the file, it is impossible achieve a clean, sharp edge, and the working life of the file will also be considerably reduced. It must also be adjustable for height or made to be clamped in place to that you can get a good look at the teeth you are filing. Before we had always advised our customers to find either an old cast iron saw vise from Ulmia on the used market, or to clamp the saw between two straight boards. In particular, this second possibility was fairly provisory in nature, but it was better than nothing.

Now we are especially happy to be able to offer this saw filing vise from Gramercy Tools, which was based on a model sold by Wentworth starting in the late 1800s.

Saw Vise by Gramercy Tools
The lever drives a rotating cam on this saw blade vise and exerts enormous pressure on the blade, clamping it firmly in the jaws. The jaws are made of 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) thick flat steel and are 14 inches (355 mm) long, so that even most back saws can be filed in one pass without unclamping the saw.

The lower the saw is clamped in the saw vise, the less the blade will vibrate as it is being sharpened. On the other hand, this raises the risk of accidently cutting into the jaws of the vise with the file. If you look at antique saw vises, it is easy to see these ugly scars on the jaws of the vises. On the Gramercy vise, the upper edge of the jaws is beveled at 45°, which much reduces the chance that you will cut into the jaws if your file gets a little out of alignment.
Instructions
Elements of saw tooth design
Video, 8 MB

Code 300712CartPrice € 209.00
Anvil for Saw Setting
This anvil is made to set saw teeth in the traditional Japanese way by hammering. It is made from a piece of railway track. The longer an shorter rounded edges correspond to the correct sharpening angle of the saw teeth. The blade is placed flat onto the anvil, teeth protruding slightly across the rounded edge. Each second tooth is then tapped into position with a hammer. The blade is is then turned and the process repeated vice versa.
Length: 100 mm
Weight: 3.3 kg
Made in Japan
Code 309765CartPrice € 49.90
Hammer for Saw Setting
For setting saw teeth on an anvil. These hammers are old stock and may have a few rusty spots. The handle is made from white oak, with clear varnish.
Head size: 110 x 15 x 15 mm
Handle length 300 mm
Made in Japan
Code 309767CartPrice € 22.50
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