Olson is a fine quality scroll saw, band saw, and jewelers saw blades maker, and so they know a thing or two about blade performance. They make a wax stick that is “specially formulated” to help blades produce quicker and smoother cuts when used on metal, plastic, and wood materials. It is also said to prolong the life of your blades.
I bought one of these 8″ long x 1″ diameter Olson wax sticks about 6-1/2 years ago, and it does make a difference when cutting certain materials, especially those that tend to clog hand saw blades.
The lubricant stick is easy to use. Simply – and carefully – apply it to a blade, or manually move a saw blade through the wax. The slight cutting action is enough to coat the saw blade teeth and sides where needed.
There are many other types of solid and gel-like waxy lubricants on the market. I’ve tried a few others, and the Olson formula is decent as general purpose saw blade lubricant. I mainly use it when hand-cutting wood or certain plastic materials. In my opinion, there are better products for metalworking applications. (Accu-Lube is one brand that I particularly like.)
Sometimes I use plain paraffin wax as a lubricant instead. The type I can easily find (regular household wax) comes in large rectangular bars the size and shape of soap, which makes it easier or harder to apply, depending on the application. The Olson lubricant seems to have additives that make it a little slicker than plain paraffin.
The Olson lubricant stick has worked well with my hand saws, but there are some types of applications where it shouldn’t be used. Typically, a saw or blade manufacturer will specify what types of lubricants should and should not be used.
While we’re on the subject, beeswax is sometimes used for lubricating squeaky or stubborn screws, but shouldn’t really be used on saw blades. Experiences vary, but most people seem to have better results with paraffin wax than beeswax, as it is harder, slicker, and less prone to messy clumping.
The reverse is also true – paraffin wax typically doesn’t work all that well with screw threads to reduce squeaking or ease entry into wood.
The Olson lubricant stick is priced at about $8-10.
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I always sand off the paint of the blades with heavy logos, to me it seems like they bog down the saw blades….never really used lubricant for saw blade though…. might give this a try to see if there is really a benefit.
I’ve never used a saw lubricant, but try to keep my blades clean. Would this leave a residue on the wood? I’m thinking a waxy/oily substance might interfere with finishing.