How to Sharpen a Hand Saw By Hand

A man uses a hand saw.
What You'll Need
Saw vice
Small tapir file
Fine mill file
Saw set

It won't take very many uses before your hand saw begins to show signs of dulling. Hand saws are not difficult to sharpen, but it helps to have the right materials. Dull blades are a safety hazard, so it is best to keep them sharp all the time.

Safety First

Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with a hand saw. Hand saws can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than a power saw. It is easy to let your guard down when you think there is no danger.


To sharpen your saw, you will need a saw vice, a small tapir file, a fine mill file, and a saw set. The vice is used to hold the saw steady as you work.

3 Steps

Sharpening a hand saw is done in three stages: jointing, setting, and filing. Examine the teeth to make sure they are uniform. Use the fine file for jointing the teeth, or making them even by filing the tips. Next, the teeth will need setting. That means making sure they all point in the right direction, and the saw set will help bend the teeth the right way. The final step is filing and sharpening the saw, and this is done using the tapir file. Make sure to be cautious when sharpening the blade.