Great video on saw sharpening

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Review by Kreegan posted 11-14-2012 01:59 AM 4222 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great video on saw sharpening No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This afternoon I finished watching “Sharpening your handsaws with Ron Herman” on Shop Class on Demand from Popular Woodworking. It’s an online streaming version of the DVD of the same name. I enjoyed it so much and feel like I learned so much from it that I’m going to order a copy of the DVD to keep when my subscription runs out.

Ron Herman is a traditional housewright in Columbus, OH, and the owner of Antiquity Builders. They specialize in period accurate home building and restoration. Ron uses handsaws extensively on the job site and is an expert in their use and care. He has a very straightforward manner and explains things very clearly. There is nothing fancy about his presentation; it’s just simple, honest and hard-earned knowledge and experience conveyed very clearly and understandably.

He began the video talking about the parts of the saw and the tools used to sharpen one. Then he went through shaping, sharpening and setting the teeth on a rip saw. This was the longest section of the video, since it was the part where he introduced most of the major concepts. I really liked how in addition to the process of shaping and sharpening the teeth, he also went over how to test the run of the saw and diagnose and correct problems. Another thing I really liked was his emphasis on proper body position for comfort and ergonomics. That’s an overlooked aspect with a lot of woodworking videos.

In the second major half of the video, he sharpened a crosscut saw. He did a good job of explaining the angles and showed a simple jig that he uses. I’d been a bit confused on some of the concept of rake and fleam and this section helped clear that up. I liked the close ups of him working on the saw. They really helped reinforce what he was saying. The last little bit of the video talked about setting a saw in a bit more detail and some of the pitfalls people encounter.

This video and Ron’s hand saw tuneup video were big motivators in my ponying up for Shop Class on Demand. They were more than worth the price of admission. I feel like I’ve really learned a lot about saws from Ron and would recommend anyone interested in handsaws to check this video out.


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7 comments so far

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

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#1 posted 11-14-2012 06:44 AM

I like his DVD too. Prior to getting his DVD all of my information came from the internet. Some good info out there but not enough to try sharpening on my own. I enjoyed Ron Herman’s relaxed style. His clear and step by step instructions gave me the encouragement sharpen my own. My first attempt surprised me by how well it cut.

I second this being a good video.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4127 days

#2 posted 11-14-2012 02:25 PM

Another fan of this video here. If anyone wants to learn how to sharpen a handsaw, this video or the one by Tom Law are all you need.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Richforever's profile


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#3 posted 11-14-2012 07:25 PM

Thanks for the review. I need to get this.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View walden's profile


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#4 posted 11-15-2012 01:30 PM

This is a great video. I watched it once and was able to start reshaping and sharpening saws. The same concepts apply to retoothing a saw. Ron makes it clear and easy to understand and takes the hype out of it. It’s all about patience and attention to detail.

-- "I am hiring a realtor if and when the day comes a lion is on my roof."

View Ken90712's profile


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#5 posted 11-18-2012 07:15 PM

Nice review and good info thx.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View JSilverman's profile


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#6 posted 11-21-2012 12:59 AM

I also have and really like the DVD—as a newcomer to saw sharpening I found it very helpful—well worth the price.


View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4254 days

#7 posted 11-21-2012 04:34 AM

Over the past few months, I’ve acquired all the saw sharpening tools and equipment I need to sharpen my old panel saws, dovetail, and miter/crosscut saws. All I lack are the skills, so what else is new, ha. While reading your review last night my daughter said “Daddy, give me a hint what you want for Christmas.” The rest is history. I ordered the DVD from to be shipped in her name. Not promoting the company. They just had a better offer than PW, by about $5. So thank you so much for the review. Looks like this is just what I needed to move forward on my saw sharpening quest. Daughter said don’t even think about getting the present early…story of my life.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

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