Keeping saws sharp

I see Ryan’s saws on the live stream cut through branches like butter. I have a Joshua Roth saw and a few other hand saws. When I first use them, they do cut through branches and trunks quickly and easily. However, they quickly lose their ability to do this. How do you keep your saws in good shape Ryan? Or do you just buy new blades all the time? Any thoughts from the Mirai community would be appreciated.

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Keeping them clean, dry, and undamaged will allow for cleaner smoother cuts. A lot of time what we perceive as a dull saw is really just drag from sap and gunk on the blade. With as little as we use our saws they should last many years before they need to be sharpened. They make cleaning fluids for saw blades that can be found at woodworking supply stores which will be very useful for a heavy build up. You may be able to keep them clean by wiping down with a light oil (Ryan listed olive oil for cleaning his hands once) - camellia oil is the traditional oil for tool protection. I picked up some cans of cheap (free actually) cooking spray that I use for both hands and tools. WD40 is also very good for cleaning up the gunk.

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Thanks! I will have to give it a try. I feel like you are right, it’s gunk in the saw. I have Camellia oil and going to try to clean it out and see if that helps. I will need it for reporting season :+1:

First, don’t buy cheep… For what we do, Japanese saws are best… And, keep the bandaids handy…
I’ve had the 13" Corona Razer brand landscape saw, pull n push cut, for 25 years. Still cuts so fast, I dont get the chainsaw out for less than 6" limb. Like Marty said, keep the teeth clean. I use a plastic or brass brush on the teath when it gets clogged. I do use it on larger bonsai. Moderate aggressive teeth. (Probably not made anymore… have another odd name brand saw with a plastic belt sheath I like, too. Any garden shop?)
I also recently found a “flush cut " American cabinetry saw. REAL slick fine cut, smooth with no drag, especially on my smaller trees! (Harbour Freight…)
I also acquired a Buck (knife) brand 4” saw, with a plastic sheeth. Real agressive fast pull n push cut. Still crazy sharp after 10 years. Good for 1- 2 inch rough cut on large trees, though not as smooth finish. (Anywhere they sell Buck knives…)

The only issue with flush cut saws is that that there is no set to the teeth so teeth are the same thickness as the rest of the blade. This tends to lead to binding in deeper cuts. However if you apply a small amount of force to open the cut behind the cut so it does not bind, it should give a nice smooth cut as Kurt has stateed.

Have the saws a good cleaning, out oil on them.
C and they are cutting much better. I think they were just getting clogged during repotting season back in March! Not only the wood but all the grime and stuff from field grown trees. Much better now though and sharper than I remember!

I use a fine brass brush to clean my saw after use.
I have found with wood power saws (skill saw) if you run it through some plastic (deck board) it feel like a new blade.

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I don’t remember where I got the idea on Mirai or at our Bonsai club but use vegetable oil from the grocery store to clean pitch off my hands and tools. Works great and not hard on the skin like paint thinner or solvent. I have a Pocket Boy folding Bonsai saw and a larger retracting blade pruning saw.