A planer is useful in different areas of woodworking. Therefore, keeping its blades unpolished for a long period of time will delay your hobby and profession.
Planer blades can become dull over time due to years of heavy use. It is a machine at the end of the day, and it will depreciate each year. So, you want to know if it can be sharpened and how that is done?
Can You Sharpen Planer Blades?
Planer blades may become rusty, slow, or flat as your favorite machine keeps running its course. Whether you own a manual, electric, or thickness bench planer, the problem of blunt blades can haunt you regardless.
You can always sharpen your planer blades, and follow essential maintenance protocols to keep them performing well for a long period of time. There are several easy options available when it comes to sharpening planer blades. Scroll down to find the section that talks about it.
How to Sharpen Manual, Electric, and Thickness Planer Blades
As difficult as it sounds, the reality of sharpening planer blades is as simple as cleaning the bathroom. If you have ever sharpened kitchen knives, polishing planer blades is a piece of cake for you.
All you have to do is to familiarize yourself with the sharpening tools. The rest will fall into place very easily.
Carefully Remove the Blades from the Planer
Remove the blades from the planer, whether that is manual, electric, or thickness planer. Do so carefully so as to not hurt yourself. By holding the planer in place, unscrew the bolts in an anticlockwise direction.
Then, keep the bolts in a small box so you do not lose them.
Clean and Dust the Interior of the Planer
Since you have separated the blades from the planer, take the time to clean the blades and the parts that are accessible right now. Your planer will thank you for it! The tools you can use to do so maybe a dry towel or even an air compressor.
Use the Right Tools to Sharpen the Blades
Sharpening planer blades is the same as sharpening a kitchen knife. You need to know the angles and apply proper strokes to get the job done. To sharpen the planer blades, you can use anything from sharpening stones, waterproof sandpaper, and jig.
The sandpaper will come in coarse, medium, and fine grit. You may see numbers like 400, 600, or 1000. Badly damaged blades need coarse grit, whereas slightly damaged blades can do with fine grit.
Rub the back of the blade with any of the grit types. Place the blades on an even surface to do this. You can also start with coarse grit, then use medium, and finalize with fine grit.
Next, turn to the bevel side. This side is smaller and more difficult to sharpen. So, use a honing guide and tilt it to the perfect angle to sharpen this side.
According to experts, the perfect angle is 30 degrees for a firm grip. Make sure that the jig is also supporting the blade nicely. Finish off by rubbing from coarse to fine grit over the bevel side of the planer blades.
Check the Performance of Blades
Once the blades are done being polished, put them back inside the planer, and run the machine to test drive. Use a small piece of wood to see how the equipment is planing now. If the stock comes out smooth and nice-looking, the blades have been polished perfectly!
What Angle Do You Sharpen Planer Blades?
Grinding planer blades may demand the application of different angles to make it appear and perform at its optimum level. For a plane blade, the grinding level can range between 25 to 30 degrees on a flat surface.
How Often Should You Sharpen Planer Blades?
The answer to this question may differ based on how many time you use your planer and how often you use it. For some people, their planer blades can last for several years and require maintenance every six months.
However, it can be different for planers that undergo heavy-duty workload. Maintenance needs to be run more often, still, there is a high possibility of it requiring replacement blades after the first year.
Other than sharpening the planer blades, you should keep them neat and clean as well to keep it sharp and strong for the long haul.
Back to our question, you will know when to sharpen your planer blades when you notice some obvious signs of its dullness. For example, it may be producing sawdust that is shorter and smaller than the ones that came out when the blades were sharp and strong.
You may also notice scratches and bumps over your stock after running them through the planer. That is an obvious indication of blunt planer blades. Furthermore, if your planer is being louder than usual, your blades could be wearing out.
How Do I Know If My Planer Blade Is Dull?
Sometimes people misjudge the condition of their planer blades and end up replacing them too soon. What happens is that you spend an unnecessary amount of money buying a new set of blades and hiring an expert to attach it.
To avoid such hassle, read the lines below carefully to determine whether you need to change your planer blades yet or not.
- Even though a planer is quite loud on its own, if it sounds even louder than usual, it may be an indication of dull blades. The motor has to work overtime to run with dull blades, that is why it may start being too noisy.
- When it is time to change your planer blades, the sawdust collected will start to look different. Blades performing at an optimum level are able to produce bigger, elongated sawdust. But when the blades are getting wearisome.
- Dull blades will do a dull job to your stock. You can observe and feel the difference in the wood stock.
Sharp blades will leave a smooth finish with no bumps or scratches anywhere. On the other hand, blunt blades will leave a rough finish with plenty of bumps and scratches.
What Are The Reasons For Planer Blade Being Dull?
It is safe to conclude that the main reason a plane blade loses its previous abilities is because of severe usage. However, there are still other reasons that can contribute to your planer blades losing their performance. One possible reason is mishandling.
If you have not followed the manual instructions properly, and have done a few things that are clearly prohibited by the manufacturer, you may notice your planer blades wear out quickly.
Your planer blades need monthly maintenance if you use them quite often. Cleaning them after each use is essential in keeping them last longer. Some people avoid doing so and end up spending more money on replacing the old blades with new ones.
Lastly, some materials that are particularly rough, hard, and impossible to mold can put your planer blades under too much pressure. The instruction manual for your brand of planer will clearly indicate the materials you must never insert into the machine. Follow that!
How to Sharpen Planer Blades At Home?
The easiest way is to sharpen your planer blades at home with sandpaper. Rubbing the blades with waterproof sandpaper will remove unwanted marks and sharpen the dull blades to life.
Another great choice is sharpening stones. While waterproof sandpaper is quite affordable, sharpening stones come in various grits, cost, and durability. You have to really take care of the stones to make them last for years.
Whether you are using sandpaper or stone, you need to sharpen your planer blades on flat surfaces. The stone has to be completely flat on both sides. If you notice uneven levels, you can flatten the stones with sandpaper or any other abrasive paper.
Ending It Here
I hope you found this article helpful for your woodworking project. Although the sharpening planer blades are simple and quick, it is okay to keep exploring other options.
Let me know what other ways you have found to sharpen your planer blades!
I am Imtiaj Islam. I am a wood working enthusiast, having 6 years of experience in carpentry work. I have a BBA graduate degree from Chittagong College. I got vocational training on wood works from Korean Polytechnic out of the quest and zest he has for carpentry as well. I take several wood projects and keep testing different woodworking tools for comfortable and perfect work. I just love playing with woods and machines.