Last updated on June 1, 2022 9:36 pm by the writer.
To sharpen or not to sharpen?
Planer blades, as with all other blades, will eventually dull over time with continued use. Installing planer blades will solve this once this happens because a dull blade will definitely impact your productivity, put extra work on the tool, and decrease both completion rate and cut quality.
While hand planer blades can simply be sharpened, we find that it can be better to replace the blades if there are large chips.
When jobs need automating electric planers need to be sharp and dent free, if there are large chips, scratches, or dents that need removing from the blade now is better than later.
However, sharpening and recycling your old planer blades can sometimes work if they are just blunt without any large chips, read more below.
How do planers become dull?
If you have been using power hand planers on wider board sizes, whether you’re using an electric handheld planer or fully automated thickness planers, the conditions that cause blade-dulling are roughly the same – frequency of use and the material worked on.
Planer blades, on average, take about 50hrs of total use for wear to appear. Working with extremely hardwood or composite material such as plywood quickens this deterioration. Because of knots and glue, contained in the wood.
Of course, if you hit metal such as a screw or nail you can cause the blade to chip as well.
When should you change planer blades?
How often should you replace planer blades? This depends on the frequency and the stress your planer takes. Signs of too much dulling will include visible decreases in speed as well as certain audible differences in sound – well-sharpened blades are smooth sounding and cut cleanly through, whereas duller blades can generate light screeches and often produce more grain tear-out.
Once this begins appearing consistently with every use, then you know the time to get a new pair of blades has arrived.
What happens if you continue using blunt planer blades?
If you’ve ever tried to carve wood or even soap with a dull knife, then continuing to use dull planer blades is no different.
Since thickness planers, like this one from DeWalt, are “corrective” tools, they have to be able to accurately shave off excess material to make workpieces meet strict specifications – something you can’t achieve with dull blades.
Expect your tools motor to be overworked under the conditions caused by a dull blade and expect chipping and ruffler cuts.
Changing handheld electric planer blades
1. Safety precautions before changing planer blades
2. Tools to prepare:
- Wrench or compatible fastening tool
- Flathead screwdriver
3. . Step by step on how to change planer blades?
Changing / sharpening handheld planer blades
Tools needed: Screwdriver, whetstone (glass or water), lubricant, ruler
Optional: honing jig & leather strop
1. Blade installation and removal
2 . Blade sharpening
Can you sharpen electric planer blades as well?
Yes, you can. It’s not completely different from sharpening a planing iron or even a regular knife except it’s a little smaller to hold and position. You’ll need most of the same tools for sharpening a hand planer blade.
What makes this tricky is the fact that the blades are angled and are rather small so find a way to hold and position the blade securely using a jig. Or, create your own sharpening jig with your excess hardwood .
How do you sharpen planer blades?
When the time comes to sharpen any flat, linear metal edge. The essential tools to use are whetstones, at an optional bevel angle by using honing tools/ jigs.
Not only will they help restore sharpness, but certain refinements made with these tools can also retain and even enhance it if executed perfectly.
Ideally, what you’d want to do is first work on the back-end of the blade.
Run the blade against a sharpening stone, or even a wheel grinder, to make the point sharp again with no chips or dents.
After, you’ll want to start working on the bevels. With either a honing tool or sanding file, to begin with, run the tip across the length of the bevel to finish up with a razor-sharp cutting surface.
Don’t forget to adequately lubricate to help quicken the process and reduce the chances of heat damage.
Here’s a more detailed guide for sharpening tool blades.
Dos and don’ts when sharpening planer blades
When is sharpening not enough for planer blades?
This is more of an obvious sign than anything else.
Though regular sharpening can help prolong the life of your blades, there will come a time when they simply won’t perform as they used to.
Tell-tale signs include chips that are too large to remove from sharpening.
Or blades that are outrightly just breaking!
Extremely corroded blades must be replaced unless you know how to fully restore them using acid and wet and dry sandpaper. And make sure to own a reputable planer brand.
Use only sharp planer blades!
Anyone who owns any type of blade definitely knows the value of sharpening and keeping blades sharp before a new job.
Sharpening can be a tedious process without the right tools or guide, but now you have some great tips to put you ahead.
But those who really love keeping their edges pristine treat the process with as much importance and enjoyment as grade-schoolers do when sharpening their pencils to a crisp point.
If you’re willing to put in a little extra effort, then you just might save yourself a couple of bucks worth of replacements.
Besides, knowing a thing or two about sharpening can even net you with better blades than even those fresh from the factory. As we say in our lingo, stay sharp!
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My name is Aaron, and thank you for reading my article. As a qualified builder, I share some tips here at Bangingtoolbox to help provide accurate DIY information on the internet.
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