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How to Clean Circular Saw Blades [Step-by-Step Guide]



V Susan
Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about woodworking, general DIY and home improvement. If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com


Cleaning a Circular Saw Blade

Cutting materials like wood, plastic, and plexiglass causes material buildup on a circular saw blade. 

It is unsightly and also affects the quality of the cuts with your circular saw.

An unclean circular saw blade has a burnt look.

This will reduce the sharpness and effectiveness of the saw blade, leading to burn marks and tear-outs on the material being cut.

To increase the durability of the circular saw blade and for smooth cuts, cleaning the blade is necessary.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to clean your saw blade with common materials you can find in every shop.

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Things You’ll Need

  • Circular Saw Blade
  • Steel Wool/Scrubber
  • Latex Gloves
  • Tray (The lid of a 5-gallon plastic bucket would suffice)
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Anti-rust Spray (WD-40 should do fine)

Video- How to Clean Circular Saw Blades

YouTube video

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Step-by-Step Method to Cleaning the Circular Saw Blade

As the first step, take out the blade from your circular saw.

Dirty Circular Saw Blade
Dirty Circular Saw Blade

The perfect vessel for holding the blade would be the lid of a 5-gallon bucket.

The lid can hold in the cleaning solution and accommodate the diameter of the blade without spilling.

The lid has a small depression in the center, which will help remove the blade from the lid by using the blade’s arbor hole. 

Begin by placing the lid/tray on the table.

Lid on the table
Lid on the table

Place the blade into the lid. 

Placing the saw blade in the lid
Placing the saw blade in the lid

Wear disposable gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning material used.

Gloves on hand
Gloves on hand

You may use any laundry detergent or cleaning solution for this step.

Pour the cleaning solution onto the lid. Do not spill any outside the lid.

Pouring the solution
Pouring the solution

Let the blade sit in the cleaning solution for 5 to 10 mins.

Take the blade out and scrub away the resin and debris using a scrubber or steel wool to reveal the cleaned blade.

Scrubbing the blade
Scrubbing the blade

 Flip the blade and scrub the other side as well.

Scrubbing the other side of blade
Scrubbing the other side of the blade

Rinse the blade with water and apply any anti-rust or water displacement spray (WD-40). 

Spraying WD-40
Spraying WD-40

Wipe the blade clean and let the blade dry.

Check for any remaining dirt and debris. If any remain, repeat this process until the blade is clean.

It’s a good idea to sharpen your circular saw blade after cleaning it.

Cleaned Circular Saw blade
Cleaned Circular Saw blade

Here are the photos of the circular saw blade before and after cleaning it.

photos of the circular saw blade before and after cleaning it
photos of the circular saw blade before and after cleaning it

At this point, you can put it back and start using your circular saw.

Lubricating a Circular Saw Blade

Once the blade is cleaned and dried properly it’s time to lubricate it.

Lubricating blade not only reduces friction but also prevents further rusting of the circular saw blade.

There are two kinds of lubricants: Dry lubricants and wet lubricants.

Wet lubricants are excellent for environments where natural rain and moisture are abundant.

Since the circular saw will not be used or left out in the rain, a dry lubricant is preferred.

Dry lubricants look wet when applied, but the solvents in them quickly evaporate, leaving behind a thin sheet of oxidization that makes the surface slippery by reducing friction.

You can apply dry lubricants on the surface, which contact other surfaces like metal on wood or metal on metal.

Spray the dry lubricant (available in a spray can) in and around the circular saw and make sure to coat the blade properly for maximum use.

Apply a coat every now and then.

Why Clean a Circular Saw Blade?

Over a period of time, circular saw blades accumulate the resin from the wood it cuts.

This is called pitch buildup.

Pitch buildup on the blade can cause several issues while using the circular saw for cutting.

It can cause tear-outs, splinters, and burn marks on the material you cut.

Pitch buildup also causes excess heat which dulls your saw blade further.

Most people mistake this as the blade becoming dull and look to replace the blade immediately.

However, this might be due to pitch buildup and you only need to clean your circular saw blade instead of replacing it.

Pitch is the brown-colored film that you see in the blade below and it resembles burn marks.

Unclean Circular Saw Blade
Unclean Circular Saw Blade

Cleaning a circular saw blade is therefore essential for ensuring a long life for the blade. It is also important for getting accurate clean cuts with your circular saw.

Tips for Cleaning a Circular Saw Blade

  • Never use water to clean saw blades as they rust the blade over time, rendering it useless.
  • Using a cleaning solvent is permitted as long as its not too acidic or basic.
  • If you are using water to rinse off the blade, remember to use an anti-rust solution like WD-40 to prevent corrosion.
  • Sharpening of the blade must always be done only after cleaning the blade is done.
  • Do not drop the blade as it will chip or dent the teeth upon impact.
  • Check the power chord for cuts along its length. if the insulation is expsed then change the power chord.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why does my circular saw blade burn the wood?

Burn marks are a sign of blade dullness. It can also be caused due to resin or gum buildup along the teeth of the circular saw blade or because you are pushing the saw through the wood too slowly. A dull blade doesn’t necessarily mean a bad blade. It might just be indicating a dirty blade.

What can I do with an old circular saw blade?

Old steel circular blades can always be recycled and repurposed, even if they begin to signs of rust. Never throw away any blades for any reason. They are made of metal and can cause injury or harm to anyone who isn’t careful enough while handling them.

What type of steel is a circular saw blade?

The steel on most circular saw blades is tungsten carbide teeth brazed onto some sort of carbon steel alloy. Carbide teeth last a lot longer than regular steel toothed blades and are generally preferred for their strength and durability.

How do you keep a saw blade from rusting?

You can keep the saw blade from rusting by keeping the blade away from moisture. Remember never to leave the circular saw in the rain or use it on wet materials.

How do you get rust off a circular saw blade?

To remove the rust off a circular saw use WD-40 or any other Anti-Rust spray. Apply a generous coating of WD-40 and brush away the rust after waiting for 10 minutes. Remember not to use water to clean the rusted saw blades.

Why should a circular saw blade be cleaned?

A dirty circular saw blade would burn the wood while cutting, leaving burn marks. It also affects the lifespan of the circular saw as the dirty blade is not cutting through the wood but more or less chewing through it. Keeping the blade in good working condition is vital for getting good cuts and taking less time to finish a job.

Cleaning a Circular Saw Blade

How to Clean Circular Saw Blades

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • 1. Cleaning Solution
  • 2. WD-40


  • 1. Steel Scrub


  1. Soak in the cleaning solution for 10 minutes
  2. Scrub with Steel scrub thoroughly
  3. Spray WD-40 and clean with rag cloth
  4. Dry and use
YouTube video
V Susan
Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about woodworking, general DIY and home improvement. If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com
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