Best Table Saw Lubrication Guide (An Oft-Forgotten Step)
As a woodworker, you understand the importance of a table saw in making accurate cuts and achieving precise joinery. A table saw, like any other machine, requires routine maintenance to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. However, table saw lubrication is an oft-forgotten step in table saw maintenance by many.
One important part of this maintenance, is table saw lubrication. Lubricating the table saw gears will helps reduce friction and wear on the moving parts of the saw, like the table saw blade lift.
In this guide, I’ll explain why and how to lubricate your table saw, so you keep it in good condition and get the most out of it. That way you can avoid breakage like I had with mine, something I learned from and want to keep you from through this article about good table saw lubrication.
Why Should You Lubricate a Table Saw
The table saw contains mechanical parts that will make you able to lift or lower the blade, or tilt the blade at an angle. When you turn the handle , the table saw gears and threaded rods will drive each other and set the blade at the position you need.
As a table saw operates, the blade, motor, and bearings all generate heat due to the friction caused by their movement. This heat can cause the table saw gears to expand, which can lead to increased wear and tear on the saw. Over time , this can result in the parts becoming damaged or even failing, which can be pretty costly to repair or replace.
You can see my bad experience of this in my YouTube video below.
Lubrication will help to reduce the amount of friction and heat generated by the moving parts of the saw. By adding lubricant to parts like the blade, motor, and bearings, you can help reduce wear and extend the life of the saw. on top of better and smoother running table saw gears, table saw lubrication also helps the saw run more smoothly, which can improve the accuracy of the cuts you make and make the saw quieter while running. More table saw tips can be found in this article here.
How Often Should You Do Table Saw Lubrication
If you use your table saw less frequently , you can lubricate it less frequently, such as once a month. As a bare minimum, I would recommend this. This will keep the saw’s moving parts lubricated and operating efficiently. If you frequently use your table saw, you may need to lubricate it more frequently, such as every few days or once a week.
It’s also a good idea to lubricate the saw after making any adjustments or repairs , as this can help ensure that the parts move smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, if you notice any unusual noises or performance issues with your table saw, lubricating it may help resolve the problem, but also a lot of other table saw problems.
In general, the key to effective table saw lubrication is to be proactive and apply lubricant regularly. This will help ensure that the saw’s moving parts are well-lubricated and functioning optimally , and to get the best results on your cuttings.
What Table Saw Parts Do You Need to Lubricate
The main parts of a table saw that you need to lubricate are the bearings, gears and threaded rods that move the blade up and down. From my experience, this is the most important part to lubricate, as it generates a lot of heat and friction as it cuts through wood.
The motor and bearings of the blade are other parts that are important to lubricate, as they help power and support the movement of the blade. Lubricating these parts can help reduce wear and extend their life. just with as lubricating the gears, lubricating the motor and bearings can help the saw run more smoothly and quietly.
In general, it’s best to lubricate all the moving parts of the saw , including the blade, motor , and bearings. This will help ensure that the saw functions optimally and has a long lifespan.
What Do You Use to Lubricate a Table Saw?
When lubricating a table saw , my initial recommendation is to use a lubricant for table saws specifically designed for the type of moving parts of the saw and recommended by the manufacturer.
A general purpose lubricant , such as light machine oil or penetrating oil, can also be used. These lubricants are intended to lubricate a wide range of moving parts and can help in reduce friction and wear on the engine and bearings.
When it comes to lubricating the moving mechanical parts for the saw blade lift , I always use WD40 Dry lubricant as a table saw lubricant. In my opinion this is the best lubricant for table saw gears. Thanks to this lubricant, all gears slide smoothly over each other and because this lubricating oil does not stick, dust and dirt do not stick. WD40 on table saws will keeps the gears clean and they are less likely to clog.
However, Even I think the WD40 is the best lubricant for woodworking machines, I would not recommend this to lubricate the saw blade itself. The silicone in the WD40 can stick to the wood , and if you paint this wood later, this can cause fish eyes. The best saw blade lubricant is the one that does not have silicone as an additive.
It is important to note that you should never use a table saw lubricant that is not specifically designed for use on a table saw , as it may damage the saw or result in poor performance. Always consult your saw manual or manufacturer for recommendations on the best lubricants to use.
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Can You Use Grease For Table Saw Lubrication?
You can use white lithium grease on a table saw , as long as it is the recommended grease by the manufacturer. Do not use any other grease than recommended to ensure proper operation of your table saw!
However, personally, I’m not a big fan of (lithium)grease. Grease is a thick, viscous lubricant that is designed to lubricate heavily loaded moving parts, such as gears and bearings. However, the moving parts on a table saw are typically not heavily loaded and do not require the thick lubrication provided by grease. Also, grease can trap dirt and allow it to creep between parts in some situations.
Using grease on a table saw can actually cause more harm than good, in my personal opinion. The thick consistency of grease can make it difficult to apply evenly , which can result in excess grease accumulating on the saw’s parts. This excess grease can, besides attracting dust and debris, also fly away with the rotating blade.
Table Saw Lubrication Step by Step
To help you make table saw lubrication a smooth and quick action, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to lubricate a table saw:
- Before you begin, make sure that the saw is unplugged and the blade is not moving , This will ensure your safety and prevent damage to the saw
- Next, Clean the entire table saw, especially the moving parts of the saw. You can use a vacuum cleaner and a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust , or sawdust, that may have accumulated on the parts. This will help ensure that the table saw lubricant is applied evenly and effectively.
- Apply the lubricant. Spray the lubricant for table saws onto the gears and threaded rods, making sure to cover the entire blade evenly. For the motor and bearings, apply a few drops of general-purpose lubricant to the moving parts.
- Wipe off any excess lubricant. To do this,use a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess lubricant that may have accumulated on the saw’s parts. Excess table saw lubricant can attract dust and debris, which can reduce the saw’s performance.
- Plug in the saw and test it. Check if the table saw blade lift is running smoothly and efficiently. If you notice any issues , such as unusual noises or poor performance, check the lubricant and reapply as needed.
Overall , lubricating a table saw is a simple process that can help ensure the saws performance and longevity. By following these steps and using the right table saw lubricant, you can keep your table saw in top condition and get the most out of it.
See the pictures on how I apply these steps on my Makita table saw, but know that you can take te same steps on your machine, whether it is a jobiste saw, contractor saw or cabinet saw.
Do not confuse table saw lubrication with waxing your table saw blade. This is another maintenance that you can perform regularly to improve the performance of your table saw. To know how to do this and to find the best coating for table saw tops, you can find all the information you require in my article How to Wax a Table Saw Top Correctly (4 Simple Steps).
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