How to Clean Circular Saw Blades

circular saw blade

Circular saw blades can often cost as much as $20-$25 so you not only want to keep them nice and sharp but clean as well.

A build-up of pitch and tar can quickly dull a blade and even make it smoke when it goes through wood.

You can clean saw blades fairly quickly with ordinary oven cleaner. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area or even outside for this.

  • Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil and place the saw blade on the foil.
  • Using protective gloves, spray both sides of the saw blade with oven cleaner.
  • Wrap the blade inside the aluminum foil and let it set for about an hour.
  • After the appropriate time has elapsed simply fold back the foil and using steel wool gently scrub away the grime.
  • Rinse with water and allow to completely dry before storing.
  • You may also apply a coat of oil to protect the blade before storing.


  1. Hi Danny,

    Respectfully I’d like to disagree with you on your recommendation for using oven cleaner. While it is effective it can be a little OVER effective sometimes and actually breakdown the metals it cleans.

    This can be especially dangerous on saw blades.

    Freud in particular has recommended against using oven cleaner.

    In a recent article I wrote about various cleaning solutions and techniques that won’t damage your blades:

  2. Although I enjoy your website, recommending oven cleaner for cleaning blades might not be the best plan. Oven cleaner is very harsh and can cause damage to the blade. Rockler sells and ecologically friendly cleaner that I reuse quite successfully.

  3. I don’t think putting a carbide tipped saw blade in an oven is very smart. Tips are brazed on and heat could cause a serious malfuction. Add caustic chemical to the equation and you make the situation even worse. I think you might want to recosider your suggestion for cleaning blades before someone following your advice gets hurt.

    • Hi Bfer,
      The video didn’t say anything about putting the saw blade in the oven, but to spray it with oven cleaner. Heat is not required or recommended for cleaning it.

  4. Would not recommend using oven cleaner, some of which contain lye (sodium hydroxide), if you are wrapping your saw blade in aluminum foil. Sodium hydroxide can react with aluminum to produce hydrogen gas.

  5. Thanks, for the warning, Mike V. We recommended and showed cleaning the blade outdoors to avoid noxious fumes, but it’d probably be safer to just spray the blade, don’t wrap it in foil, and then scrub it clean.
    I’ve used oven cleaner for years to clean pitch from blades, and haven’t ruined a single blade. However, if a blade manufacuturer doesn’t recommend this practice, then do not use it.

  6. Sounds like the writer never tried his tip!

    I read it and thought “If it’s on the internet, it must be true!” 😉 So I did just as he said – sprayed the blade with oven cleaner, wrapped it in aluminum foil, set it in the double tubs and went off to get my workshop ready for cutting.

    I returned in an hour, as instructed, to learn that oven cleaner dissolves aluminum foil. And it’s not easy to get the results off a saw blade.

  7. Thanks for the tip. Not only do my blades cut more smoothy, I saved a bundle in replacement costs.

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