A pole saw is an invaluable tool that you can use to trim trees in your outdoor area. It comes with a long handle that allows you to cut high tree branches. 

Just like any other tool, you need to keep your pole saw blade sharp so that you can maintain your yard easily and quickly. You should NOT use a dull blade as it’ll decrease the efficiency of your cutting and can also damage the tree.

Here is a detailed guide that will show you the correct way to sharpen the pole saw blade.


How to Sharpen a Pole Saw Blade

These saws come in a variety of different types, from powerful gas pole saws, to efficient electric pole saws, to simple manual pole saws.

The best pole saws come with blade with many teeth to cut high tree branches effectively. Unfortunately, you will need to sharpen every tooth on the blade individually. You can use the following method to sharpen each blade’s tooth effectively.

Pole saw placed on the green grass

Step 1: Clean Pole Saw Blade

The first step is to clean your manual pole saw blade and get rid of small wood particles stuck between the teeth. Performing this step is critical or you won’t be able to sharpen your blade properly.

  • First, you need to detach the blade from the handle and apply degreaser or orange oil to the teeth.
  • Then, grab a brush with brass bristles to clean each tooth individually. You can also use a brush with stiff nylon bristles as well for the same purpose. Using these brushes will not only clean the blade but they’ll also keep it from damaging.
  • Once you have removed wood particles and sawdust, use a dry cloth to clean the blade. Perform this step carefully to avoid hurting your fingers.

Step 2: Secure Pole Saw Blade

Now you’ll need to use a vise or type of clamp to secure your pole saw blade properly. We recommend you use a vise with soft jaw pads so that it doesn’t damage or bend the blade.

Attach the base of the blade’s backbone to the vise and tighten it using the handle.

Step 3: Ensure Safety

It’s important to ensure your safety before starting the sharpening process.

The pole saw blade has pointy teeth that can lead to a hand injury. That’s why you should wear leather gloves to ensure your safety.

Step 4: Start Sharpening

Using a feather edge file is the most effective way to sharpen a pole saw blade. Most pole saw blades are made of alloy or carbon steel and this file can sharpen these materials effectively. It also comes with a narrow edge that not only allows you to sharpen and deepen the blade’s teeth.

Use the following steps to sharpen the blade in the correct way.

  1. Grab the feather edge file from its handle using your dominant hand.
  2. Place the top of the file on the backside of the first tooth from the lower side.
  3. Adjust the file to match the angle of the tooth. The entire surface of the tooth’s backside must be in contact with the file.
  4. Use your non-dominant hand to grab the file’s tip.
  5. Press the file towards the tooth gently and move it forward firmly. You don’t want to apply too much pressure as it’ll alter the angle of the tooth.
  6. Remove the file and place it again on the same tooth to make another stroke. Making three to four strokes on each tooth will be enough to sharpen it properly.
  7. Continue the process until you reach the end of the vise.
  8. Loosen the vise and shift your pole saw blade over and tighten the vise again. It’ll provide you with the support you need for sharpening.
  9. Make sure that you mark the last tooth you sharpened using a marker before shifting the blade. It’ll keep you from skipping a tooth or sharpening the same one twice.
  10. Use the same technique to sharpen all the teeth from the backside.
  11. After that, remove the pole saw blade from the vise to flip it.
  12. Attach the flipped blade to the vise again and secure it properly.
  13. Use the same technique to sharpen the front side of each tooth.
Sharpening a pole saw blade that is placed on a wooden plank

Sharpen Sticks

Some pole saw blades have both lower and upper sticks, which are used to cut small branches. If your blade doesn’t have sticks, you can skip this step.

The best way to sharpen the sticks is to use a bench grinder with an 80 to 100 grit grinding wheel. Use the following steps to carry out this process.

  1. Dress the wheel properly using a grinding wheel dresser. Make sure that the bench grinder is turned off.
  2. Wear safety goggles with a face shield, a pair of leather gloves, and a leather apron. It’ll protect you from the small and extremely hot metal particles produced during the sharpening process.
  3. Place the blade of the upper stick on the wheel and set the tool rest of the grinder accordingly. The entire blade’s surface should touch the grinding wheel.
  4. Turn on the bench grinder and let the wheel achieve its full speed.
  5. Place the upper stick on the tool rest and start pushing it forward slowly to touch the spinning wheel. Don’t press too hard to keep the blade from getting damaged.
  6. Move the stick left to right without changing the angle as the grinding wheel is sharpening the blade.
  7. Sharpen the upper stick from both sides and don’t keep the wheel and blade in contact for more than 5 seconds. Otherwise, the stick will overheat which can lead to irreparable damage.

Use the same technique to sharpen the lower stick of the pole saw blade.

Step 5: Clean Blade Again

After sharpening each tooth from both sides, you’ll need to clean your pole saw blade again. It’ll allow you to get rid of metal residue that the sharpening process generated. 

Apply some degreaser or orange oil to sharpened teeth and use the same brush, with brass or stiff nylon bristles, to clean them. 

Now, you can attach the blade to the handle and start cutting tree branches with your manual pole saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Sharpen the Pole Saw Blade?

Generally, you should sharpen the blade of your electric pole saw once it has been used for two to three hours to cut wood. However, it depends on the material of your saw and the hardness of the wood you normally cut. So, you should consider sharpening your pole saw blade if you see chipped or worn-out teeth.

Can You Use Sandpaper to Sharpen the Pole Saw Blade?

Yes, you can use sandpaper to sharpen the pole saw blade but it’ll take a lot of time and effort. Not only is it difficult to maintain the sharpening angle but it’s also almost impossible to deepen the teeth with sandpaper. That’s why we recommend you use a feather edge file. It’ll allow you to complete the sharpening process within a matter of minutes.

Why Do You Need to Deepen Pole Saw Teeth?

The teeth of the pole saw blade wear down with consistent use and they become small. You need to deepen them to increase their size so that they can cut the wood effectively. It also means that you can only sharpen the pole saw blade so many times. The blade will start to lose the width of its teeth over time and you’ll need to replace it eventually.

How to Safely Operate Your Pole Saw

Final Words

It’s important to keep your pole saw blade in good condition so that it keeps working efficiently. Not only does it allow you to cut wood quickly and accurately but it also maximizes the lifespan of the blade. We hope now you understand the right method to sharpen the pole saw blade to keep your garden trees trimmed and neat.

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