Q: I know about drill-bit sharpeners, and I know how to sharpen chisels. Is there a way to sharpen the teeth of circular-saw blades? I've been throwing my used blades into a drawer since the '60s. Should I just get rid of them?

— Joe, Maryville, IL

A: Tom Silva replies: Steel-tooth blades, as well as those with carbide-tipped teeth, can be resharpened. Back when I used steel-tooth blades for cutting framing lumber, I kept a triangular file in my tool belt to touch up a blade when it started cutting poorly. After you do this awhile, you get pretty good at it and pretty fast. But these days most of my blades are carbide tipped, which requires a professional resharpening. For about 25 to 50 cents a tooth, a sharpening service can return most blades to like-new condition. Check the phone book under "Saws — Sharpening & Repairing" and call to see if they can handle the type of blades you've accumulated. Get a price estimate, too.

Some blades can't be resharpened — a sharpener can tell — and some are so cheap that they just aren't worth the expense. But that doesn't mean you should throw these blades away when they get dull. I save mine for demolition work. They're just the thing for cutting into an asphalt shingle roof or slicing through old lumber that might have hidden nails.
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