August 18, 2021
Not long ago, I happened to rummage through my stacks of old saw blades and noticed that I had already accumulated a heap of used blades. So, once again, I came face to face with the dilemma of what to do with these old blades. Of course, you may be like me, burdened with a heap of used blades and not knowing what to do with them. So, you might as well read through the article and learn about what to do with these used blades.
What are Saw Blades Made of?
Steel usually makes a saw blade, so you will find that most saw blades are made of steel. Nevertheless, you will also find saw blades laced with other additives for enhanced performance. You will find, for example, blades blended with cobalt for extra strength. You will also find saw blades with tungsten carbide tips. These additional elements allow for better durability and cutting capacity.
Different electric saws also use different types of blades. Hence, you will find jigsaw blades, circular blades, and metal saw blades. So, if you have different saws with blades, you may end up with a heap of used blades. Thus, if you want to recycle, reuse, or repurpose your saw blades, you might as well figure out which elements constitute your saw blades.
What Should You Do with the Old Blades of Your Circular, Miter, and Table Saws?
Since old saw blades are usually made of steel, you will indeed have your hands full if you decide to do something with your old saw blades. Below are the three possible things you can do with your used blades:
Options 1: Recycle Your Old Saw Blade
Some cities have good recycling programs. Some of these cities have blue bins, for example, where you can dispose of your old saw blades. But if you live in a town with no clear-cut recycling program, you may think of other things to do with your old saw blades.
You can go, for example, to the nearest recycling center to your place, and there, you can off-load your old saw blades. Such recycling centers will indeed have a bin for recyclable metals. Since the old saw blades are mostly made of steel, the recycling center will be more than happy to receive your old saw blades. Yet, before off-loading your old saw blades, you should consider wrapping them well so as not to cause injury to those who would collect them.
You can also take your old saw blades to scrap metal dealers. They would surely want to take in your old saw blades, considering that steel is a valuable metal. But before off-loading your old saw blades, it will be good to ask their staff about their rules on handling old saw blades.
You can also find some recycling programs that don’t get scrap metal. So, you may have to look for other options to dispose of your old saw blades. But whatever recycling program is willing to accept your old saw blades, you should ensure that you do it their way. Make sure you follow the proper way of disposing of old saw blades.
Option 2: Reusing Your Old Saw Blades
Aside from recycling your old saw blades, you can also reuse your old saw blades. If your old saw blades are only dull, you can give them a bit of sharpening instead of trash piling them. You can start by buying, from the nearest hardware stores, tools you can use to sharpen old and dull blades. In this way, you don’t need to purchase saw blades more often.
If you are a bit lazy in sharpening your old saw blades, you can find a professional whose trade is sharpening dull saw blades for a fee. Check with some of the big chain stores near you and ask them if they have sharpening services. You can also check for any local hardware that offers such a service.
You can check out companies like the “Exchange-A-Blade.” Such a company accepts old saw blades and gives a discount for buying new ones. Nevertheless, when you bring in your saw blades, they will inspect them to see if they are still reusable. If they find that the blades are still reusable, they then would agree to take those blades to sharpen those blades.
Option 3: Repurposing Your Old Saw Blades
If you are creative enough, you will indeed find a way to repurpose your old saw blades. When repurposing your old saw blades, your only limitation is your creativity and imagination. You can turn, for example, your old saw blades into fantastic decorations and art pieces. You can also use them for your lighting fixtures or harness them in making an improvised clock.
Nevertheless, if you are a woodworker who is also brimming with artistic ideas, you will indeed find a new purpose for your old saw blades. But before repurposing your old blades, you should ensure that you dull their teeth to not cause accidental injuries to others. You can check out online sites like Pinterest or Etsy for some great ideas on how you can utilize your old saw blades for such repurposing.
One way to repurpose your old saw blades is by painting them with scenes. A family in Wisconsin, for example, thrives in this type of business. You can also emulate their ideas. Moreover, you can convert your old saw blades into valuable knives.
When making a knife, you will need several tools like an angle grinder, jigsaw, bench vice, bench grinder, clamps, scissors, pencil, rasp and file, garden hose, sandpapers, permanent marker, and sharpening stone. You can start by making the blade. Afterward, you can make the handle. Besides, you can design your knife according to your preference.
You can also make a pizza cutter out of your old saw blade. If your saw blade is small and handy, you only need to equip it with a handle and shaft to create an improvised and unique pizza cutter. What’s more, you can show off your creation to your friends during pizza parties.
Aside from knowing the three courses of action you can take regarding your old saw blades, you can also glean some good ideas from the following frequently asked questions about old and used saw blades:
Is It Possible to Donate Old Saw Blades?
Of course, if you’ve found someone who wants to collect or recycle old saw blades, you can quickly donate your used saw blades to that person. But I doubt if some people or institutions are willing to receive old saw blades. But if you can find one, you’re a lucky guy.
Should I Spend Time Sharpening Dull Saw Blades?
If you got the necessary sharpening tools, you could indeed sharpen your dull saw blades instead of disposing of them. In this way, you can reuse them. Remember that you can sharpen tungsten carbide-tipped saw blades up to twenty times. The only time you can’t sharpen it is when it has already worn out, and there is not enough material to sharpen. At that point, you can instead repurpose the dull blades.
Will Metal Scrap Buyers Accept My Old Saw Blades?
Well, you can deliver your old saw blades to the nearest metal scrap buyer. Since these blades are of steel and other metal alloys, you can indeed recycle them. Hence, you may find a scrap metal buyer who is willing to buy your old saw blades. Your old saw blades will be sorted according to the metal type and heated.
When they melt your old saw blades, the melted metals will get purified and reprocessed again. They will come out of the reprocessing in block forms. So, it will be best to contact some of these metal scrap dealers and inquire about whether they accept old saw blades. In this way, you will not need to think about repurposing while gaining extra earning.
If you’re a certified woodworker, you may end up with a pile of old saw blades that can clog your blade storage. So, you might as well consider recycling, repurposing, reusing, or even disposing of them. If you are creative enough, repurposing will be an excellent option for you. You can fashion out an artistic knife or build an excellent clock out of your old saw blade. But you would need the tools mentioned above to accomplish such a feat.
Nevertheless, if you’re a busy woodworker, you might not find time to build a knife or clock using an old saw blade. So, you are left with two options, those of reusing and recycling your old saw blades. You are fortunate if your city has an excellent recycling program. But if it doesn’t have a good recycling program, you need to find a recycling center that can accept the old saw blades you want to do away with. Reusing, of course, is another excellent course of action.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.