Chicago Electric Power Tools - 120 Volt Circular Saw Blade Sharpener 96687 (Rating: 3)

Addendum after 72 days: My old dewalt blade seen on the bench in the video below is what I sharpened next. I sharpened up pretty nicely. In fact I'm leaving it in the saw for a bed build and I've been working with Walnut, maple, and jatoba for this. So far the blade that I sharpened has been working really well. So well in fact that I think I'll spruce up this sharpener with new knobs, and a few washers to help align things. I'm upping my rating a star.

I'd seen a couple of reviews of this blade sharpener. They're not great. I decided to get this unit anyway. Upon looking at it and seeing it demoed, I wondered if it could be improved on. When I got a coupon and free shipping that brought it down from $59 to about $49, I ordered it.

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Interesting, I've found a youtube video of the so called "original commercial version of this unit". Except for being another color it looks exactly the same.

Taking it out of the box it 'looks good'. Cleanly made and smooth. It looks just like another branded unit I'd seen demoed on youtube but blue instead of red. I know that sharpening only one edge of a tooth isn't enough, as this sharpens one edge, but I have a bunch of older very used blades that I don't care to have professionally sharpened. This might do the trick.

My first impression was that it looked like it has possibilities. After assembling the various parts, I read the sharpening instructions. You basically sit the sawblade on an arm, use a latching mechanism to turn the blade and click it into position for each tooth, then a handle moves a sharpening disk along the inside face of the tooth. The motor and disk are movable from +10 degree angle to a -10 angle. On most blades the teeth are sharpened at these angles in an alternating tooth pattern.

When I set a blade in the unit, I had to work at it to decide the best position for the blade so that it would make contact with the sharpening disk and at the same time the spring loaded stop on another tooth. It took a little getting used to but after awhile you begin to see the best alignment.

Sharpening went fairly smoothly. Each time I clicked a new tooth into position I only found one that didn't seem to hit the sharpening disk when I moved it into position.

And, as you will see in the video, I found the blade to be much better than when I previously used it. It did not and I didn't expect it to give a clean cut. But it did cut fast enough in hard wood. This old blade is a much used coarse tooth blade that I use for rough cuts in questionable materials. I had not used it in a long time as it was just too dull for anything but thinner plywood or soft wood. Now I can rough cut in hardwoods again.

I've just given this a couple of stars so far as it was not easy to get it set up and I don't know if anyone should use it on finish blades since it doesn't sharpen like a professional saw sharpener would. I am going to work my way up my blade ladder to do all the blades I've given up on but don't warrant professional sharpening. During that time I'm going to try and modify the sharpener. I can see places where some sort of knobs would make adjusting it much easier instead of using a wrench. And even though the unit was fairy tight, I can see places I'd like to add some stability to it. One place is the saw blade mounting mechanism. The long arm has to be kept very tight for it to not give a little. I can say that the handle and slides that move the motor and sharpening stone move smoothly and have no play in them. The sliders a like miniature versions of the sliders in a sliding miter saw.

I realize that this review isn't after a lot of use and experience with this sharpener. But one blade is just the beginning and shows what it can, and cannot do. As I modify this unit, and continue to sharpen some other blades I'll amend this review with updated info and thoughts. As for now, it's a work in progress. Sort of a project to take a moderately adequate device and possibly turn it into one with more potential.