Having a dull and damaged planar blade is good for nothing. Working with a flat blade is a huge pain in the neck.
Plus there the question arises about its longevity.
So, how long do planer blades last?
A planer blade will last a long time, but it’ll get dull. But you can sharpen it back again and make it last till you die. To do so, you need a few ingredients such as wet stones, a jig, and a leather strop. Then you’ll have to follow some procedures. First step would be flattening the water stone.
There are a lot of techniques and details you need to know about how to sharpen the blade. We have given detailed instructions about them and easy steps to follow.
How Long the Blade Will Last You?
A good quality blade can last you till you die. The only thing which makes the blade unusable is it gets dull over some time. But a dull blade doesn’t make the blades unusable for a lifetime. You can sharpen them back.
The good quality blade is made of A1 steel. Old planers blades can be made out of iron or lower grade steel. The risk with those old blades is that they can bend. But new blades really do take the pressure.
However, sharpening the blade too much can make it smaller over a while.
As the first condition of long lasting blades is it’s quality then let’s check some of them. And get yourself the most durable ones right now-
If you don’t know how to set the blades watch the following video-
Also, the frequency of using the blade can determine the blade’s life span. If you are a professional, the blade will turn dull really fast.
But if you use the blades occasionally, you don’t need to worry about it. Storing it the proper way can make sure the blade stays sharp.
You can just spray WD 40 oil on a rug. Then wrap the blades with the rug and keep them in a container. Your planer blades should do just fine.
How to Sharpen Planer Blades?
Source: Jonathan Katz-Moses
So, are you thinking about how to sharpen planer blades?
Sharpening a planer’s blade is not that difficult. You can do it with professionals if you want to.
But doing it at home requires a minute or two. However, the good thing is the sharpening materials are really cheap.
Moreover, Dewalt hand tools are really good products to work with. You can even sharpen them afterward.
So, let’s get to the steps for sharpening planer blades.
Step 1: Flatten Your Water Stones
There are a lot of kinds of sharpening tools which you can use. But using a water stone is the easiest.
Also, you can use stones to sharpen other blades. The stones are not that expensive as well.
As I’ve my own planer that’s why I bought some water stones to sharpen the blades. I’m mentioning the stones I’ve got for my planer blades in the following table.
Now, you might wonder, what is the planer blade angle?
There are 45 or 20-degree planer blade angles available in the market. But you need to sharpen it at a 30-degree angle.
Before you start using the stone, it’s better to ensure the stones are in a usable state. The stones can run down from the middle throughout usage.
So making it flat as feasible will make sure the blade is sharp enough.
Mark a few lines like a checkered box on the stone with a pencil. Afterward, dunk the stone in water and make it soaking wet.
Now that the stone is wet, use a diamond stone to rub on top of it. This will make the stone flat, and ready to use.
Step 2: Put the Blade in the Jig and Sharpen it
When you are sharpening the blade, it is important to hold it at a 30-degree angle.
Using a jig makes sure the blade is always at a 30-degree angle. The jig also makes sure you get a firm grip.
Getting a jig is not mandatory, but it makes the job really easy. Also, it’s not that expensive. Here is a list of sharpening jigs you can easily pick now-
- 5/16″ Knife Sharpening Jig– much durable with anti-rust electroplating
- ⅛” Honing Guide– adjustable to your preferred angle
Now that you attached the blade to the jig, you can start sharpening. You need to use 600,1000, 3000, and 8000 grit wet stones.
You need to use the stones to the lowest to highest grit. The higher the grit, the smoother the stones are.
You need to make 30 strokes both up and down on each stone. And after you complete 30 strokes, you need to sharpen the corners.
To sharpen the corner, put pressure on the blade with your index fingers or thumb.
Put pressure on only one side at a time. Afterward, stroke only downwards 5 times on each side. This makes sure the blade has a thicker middle part. A thicker middle part will make the planer smoothen the wood surface perfectly.
Use this same method on each stone you have. Do remember to keep the stones wet at all times. Use a damp towel underneath the stone, so it doesn’t slip.
Do you see the black slurry-like liquid forming on top of the stone while sharpening? Then it’s a good indication. This means the blade is sharpening the proper way.
Step 3: Smoothen the Opposite Side on Water Stones
When you are sharpening the blade, the opposite side of it is going to have a bur. The bur gets created when you’re putting pressure on the sharp side.
Here, the excess metal gets stacked up behind the blade. And that is what we call a bur.
Removing the bur is an important cause, otherwise, the sharpened part won’t touch the surface. The removal process is really easy.
Hold the blade sideways on the 1000 gritstone, and rub it up and down. This will rub the bur off from the blade. Nevertheless, rubbing the blade 20 times is more than enough.
Come up to higher grits as the bur gets smaller and smaller.
Step 4: Polish the Blade
Polishing the blade gives it the shiny look you are looking for. It also makes the blade a step sharper.
Put the blade on the 8000 gritstone sharp side. Rub it in short strokes up and down till you see the blade shining in the light.
Make sure the stone is soaking wet.
By now your blade should be so sharp a samurai would appreciate it. But polishing it on the leather gives it a next-level glisten.
You need a leather strop to make the polish. The leather makes the sharp edge of the blade smooth as possible.
Here are some leather strop suggestions so that you can easily get one today. Because the more the blades will look sleek the more they’ll last.
When you’re rubbing the blade on the stone, you’re making small rough contacts. So, when you polish it on the leather it smooths out the rough areas. Which only leaves the sharp part.
And that’s it, you have a brand new alike sharpened blade. Sharpening the blade every now and then will make sure the blades aren’t getting dull.
Therefore, the blades will last longer. Also, it just takes a minute or two, when you get the hang of it.
Even though the planer roller and blades do similar jobs, the maintenance is different. So, if you are asking, how to clean planer rollers, the technique is different.
But are you asking how to tell if jointer knives are dull? If you’re unable to trim your wood like usual then it’s getting dull. And the methods of sharpening a jointer knife are similar to sharpening planer blades.
Afterward, test the sharpness of blades by slicing through a paper. If it slices through without any resistance, the sharpness is good enough.
I hope this also answers, how to tell if planer blades are dull. Also, if your planer isn’t coming through wood, sharpen the blades.
Can I use diamond stones to sharpen the blades?
Using diamond stones instead of wet stones can be an option. Diamond stones are substantially more expensive than wet stones. But it will last you a longer period.
How to store blades after use?
Storing the blade in a leather pouch or a holster is the best. Keep the blade and planer separately after using them. Also, keep the blade clean with a microfiber cloth.
Do I need to replace the leather on the strop?
Yes, replacing the leather on the strop can be needed in the long run. Maintenance equipment needs to be repaired sometimes. So, if the leather is damaged, you better change it.
That’s all you need to know about, how long do planer blades last. It’s not hard to maintain the sharpness.
The blades can be sharp out of the box, but over some time, it gets dull. So sharpening it is a good option.