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Day to Day Saw Sharpening

Let the Existing Teeth Guide Your File

That's really all there is to it.  If the saw is one you have been using and it is just going dull why would you want to change the tooth geometry you were just using.  Or if the saw is new to you but upon inspection the teeth are pretty evenly shaped and of even height, I say just sharpen it and then see how it works.  The alternative is jointing and reshaping and sharpening and that will certainly make for a well performing saw.  But all of that stuff is what intimidates people about saw sharpening.  So use the existing shape of the teeth to get a feel for using a saw file and the feel of sharpening.  If you are lucky you will get a saw that is ready to go back to work.

For all of the saws that are in your shop currently, they need to be sharpened from time to time.  But much less often than your planes or chisels.  In fact you may be able to get through a year only sharpening your frequently used saws a few times.  This doesn't make for great skill building and it often keeps people worried about saw sharpening decades into their woodworking journey.  So pick up that saw, grab a file and just give it a go.  A light grip will let the file following the existing geometry and within a few minutes you will be ready to go back to work.  

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