How To Sharpen A Pole Saw Blade

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A blunt blade ultimately defeats the purpose of trimming and cutting, wouldn’t you agree?

For those who are unsure of how to CORRECTLY and SAFELY sharpen the blade of your trusty pole saw, don’t worry.

This article will walk you through the 2 sharpening methods (file and grinder) and tips to get that saw ready and sharp in no time.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sharpen a Pole Saw Blade

We’ve divided the process into three simple steps.

In this tutorial, we will also teach you the two ways to sharpen a pole saw – using a file or grinder. Any of these two methods should get back the sharpness of your pole saw in minutes.

Cool fact: The same method is also applicable for sharpening a chainsaw chain!

Tools You’ll need:

  • File OR Grinder
  • Orange oil
  • Grease or lubricating oil
  • Brush wire
  • Vise or control rope

Pre-requisite step: For those who will be doing this the first time, we recommend wearing PROTECTIVE GEAR as a safety precaution.

Wear gloves, eye goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt.

While sharpening the blade, there might be small metals that can cut your skin or ricochet to your face, so it’s best to have these gears in place.

Step 1: Secure and Clean

If the pole saw is attached to the pruner pole, UNSCREW IT FIRST. You only need the saw blade.

Next, you’ll need a tool to SECURE your saw blade before you can begin. Afterward, keep these in mind before starting:

  • Keep a saw in place throughout the whole process with the use of a vise or a control rope.
  • Clamp down or secure the saw blade on the table vise or a box surface.
  • Tightly secure the pole saw with the serrated edge FACING UP.
  • Once the blade is tightly set, clean and dust off wood chips or dirt using a brush wire.
  • Dab a bit of orange oil to help clean the blade and in between the saw teeth.
  • When the blade is free of any tree debris, you can now begin the sharpening process.

Step 2a: Metal File – Option A

file rod

One of the simplest and oldest ways to sharpen a pole saw blade is by using a FILE ROD.

If you look closely, the blade has sharp edges both in front and in back. When sharpening, START with the side from the end CLOSEST to you and work your way up to the other end.

  • Take a piece of metal file and position it at a 45-degree angle. Do not sharpen the blade with the rod perpendicular to the blade. Hold the blade with one hand or the other tip of the rod. Check which method is more convenient.
  • Run the file against the back edge of the tooth. When sharpening, avoid pushing the file back and forth. Move it in one direction only as this sharpens blades more effectively. Remember to follow and go with the tooth shape. You also need a little force to create friction.
  • Repeat the process with each tooth until you reach the farthest end of the blade.

Once you’re done with the back edge of the teeth, you can either flip the blade to the other direction or just shift your position to the opposite end. Repeat the filing again with the front edge of the teeth. 

Picking Your File

Files come in different types and sizes. Determining the proper file rod to use for your blade will make the task EASIER on your part.

The size of your file should fit well in between each tooth. You need to file the whole length of the teeth, so it should fit until the point where the teeth are attached to the blade.

RELATED: What Is The Best Electric Pole Saw?

For pole saw blades, WHETSTONE and DIAMOND FILES are highly recommended to improve the sharpness of your pole saw blade.

Step 2b: Grinder – Option B

More people prefer this equipment compared to a metal file since it’s a faster and safer method if done correctly.

Any type of small grinder can get the job done. But we recommend using an angle grinder as it’s easier to control.

Before you start: Make sure the blade is securely clamped. You might damage or cut through the pole saw blade if it’s improperly fastened.

Familiarize yourself with the angel of the teeth and of your grinding disc. BOTH should be aligned with each other.

How to perform Step 2:

  • Start with the back portion of the teeth. Lower down the angle grinder and slide the disc against each side. Pre-caution tip: The direction of the grinder should be away from you
  • In contrast to filing, there is no need to put too much pressure when you sharpen the blade with a grinder. It should be similar to sharpening a butter knife.
  • When you’ve managed to sharpen a third of the blade, pause for a bit and check the work you’ve done. Look at the edges and adjust the pressure of the grinder if necessary.
  • If the sharpened edges seem to be too low compared to the unsharpened parts of the blade, then it means you’re applying too much pressure. Relax your hand for a bit and then continue. Be more mindful of the disc and the pressure from your hand.

Do this for ALL TEETH from the back side. Repeat the process from the front and work your way to the other side of the pole saw blade.

Step 3 – Finishing Touches

Once you’re done sharpening every tooth of your pole saw blade, congratulations as you’ve passed the hard part!

We’re down to the last step – spray some lubricating oil.

This keeps the blade shiny and PREVENTS rust and any corrosion. Adding oil regularly improves the durability and keeps the sharpness of your pole saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Safety Precautions are Needed When Sharpening a Pole Saw Blade?

  • Like with any DIY projects, always wear protective gears such as cut-resistant gloves or any gloves as long as they are thick enough to protect your hand from any metal cuts.
  • Put on safety gear for your eyes, i.e. goggles or glasses.
  • Whether you are using a file or grinder, you should always push in the direction away from you. ALWAYS PUSH FORWARD and not pull backward.
  • Pull out the plug of your electric pole saw.

Do I Need to Remove the Pole Saw Blade From the Saw?

This step is not required and depends on what equipment you are using to sharpen a pole saw blade. The simplest way to do this is to use a clamp or control rope to secure the pole saw blade.

If you are using a grinder machine with a stand, UNSCREW the pole saw first and secure or clamp down the pole saw blade.

Can You Sharpen a Tree Pruner Blade or a Pruning Saw?

Yes! A pruner blade or a pruning saw for large trees or shrubs functions the same way as a pole saw. Again, the process for sharpening these saw blades is the same way as a regular pole saw.

Maintenance of Pole Saws

Pole saws enable one to reach and trim the top part of trees or large shrubs.

However, since the work requires extending your arms for a reasonable period of time, a dull blade only leads to more time WASTED.

A sharp pole saw changes EVERYTHING:

  • It speeds up your work
  • Easily cut through thick tree branches in your garden or lot

And that’s where MAINTENANCE comes in.

Sharpening your saw’s blade and teeth is crucial to maintaining your pole saw. Blunt blades do not only slow down the work. They are more dangerous as well.

You would need MORE EFFORT to push and pull the saw. The result? It may break the saw or worse, push you off balance.

Sharpening your manual pole saw does not only make the work a lot easier but also prolongs the life of your saw.

The good news is, the whole process is fast and easy. There aren’t many tools needed, and it will just take 15 minutes max.

How To Sharpen A Pole Saw Blade


There you have it! That ends our guide, and we hope it gave you a clearer idea of how to sharpen a pole saw blade.

Remember to go through each tooth and to sharpen both sides of a saw blade.

It might be tedious, but it will definitely pay off when you do your pruning. Lastly, don’t rush and be patient when doing the whole process! As they say, “do it nice or do it twice.”

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial plus some tips on how to sharpen a pole saw blade.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.