Last updated on September 6, 2021
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, it’s normally better to replace the blades when it comes to automated planers if there are chips or dents. But sharpening can still sometimes work 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 it can cause the blade to chip as well.
When is it time to change planer blades?
How often do you replace planer blades 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, where duller blades can generate light screeches and often produce more grain tear-out.
Once this begins appearing consistently with every use, then you know it’s time to get a new pair of blades.
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/compatible fastening tool
- Flathead screwdriver
3. . Step by step 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?
It’s generally the same when it comes to sharpening any flat, linear edge. The essential tools to have would be whetstones, and optional bevel and 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 back against a sharpening stone, or even a wheel grinder, to make it flat and really bring it to a point.
After, you’ll want to start working on the bevels. With either a honing tool or sanding file, to begin with, run it 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 that 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.
Anyone who owns any type of blade definitely knows the value of sharpening it. It can be a tedious process without the right tools.
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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