How To Sharpen A Chainsaw? [Follow The Strategies]

Many of you don’t know why they need to sharpen their chainsaw. But it is a crucial part to make a fantastic substantial cut. Using the saw to cut a big tree or anything like that is a great thing, but after using it frequently, it becomes dull. Therefore, learning how to sharpen a chainsaw is essential.

For this reason, you should pressurize to cut with it. You can sharpen the chainsaw to restore its previous condition using the right tools and methods. In whatever way, I am here to provide information about the excellent tricks to sharpen a chainsaw.  You’re going to get all the information you need to do it. 

Keep reading to know more. So, let’s get started.

How To Sharpen Any Chainsaw: A Step-by-step Guide

Sharpening a chainsaw with a file guide is a manual task. It’s somewhat different than using a filing machine. A file guide can reach the exact angle of the blades and sharpen the blade too deep. The marking on the file guide shows the guide angle when you’re sharpening. Certainly, it’s a very easy process.

Generally, you can apply this guide to all chainsaws. However, you should read the chainsaw user manual for any recommendations from the manufacturer.

Things You’ll Need

  • A round file- to sharpen the curved hollow part of the cutting link
  • A filing guide- to get the right chainsaw sharpening angles when using the round file and to determine the proper cutting depth to which you’ll file the cutting link
  • Screwdriver
  • Clamp
  • Vise
  • Safety equipment (Hand-gloves, goggles)
  • Cleaner and rag

Chainsaw Sharpening Process

For your easy understanding, we’ve divided this guideline into three PARTS.

Part 1: Pre-steps

Step 1:  Find The Size Of The Pitch Or Chainsaw Link

Different chainsaws come with different size pitches or teeth. In general, there is code (depth gauge marking) etched on the side of the pitch. You can find its size on the outer side of the depth gauge.

Step 2: Buy The Correct Sized File

Different chainsaws will need different-sized files to sharpen. Using the incorrect-sized file will damage your file and of course your chainsaw. So, buy the round file that matches the diameter of the chainsaw’s teeth.

From this conversion table, get the matching rounded file. Try to buy the files from the tool shops or suppliers recommended by manufacturers.

Chainsaw Sharpening Angle Chart:

Depth Gauge MarkingAlternative Depth Gauge markingChain PitchRound File
11/4  ¼”4.0mm
6P, PM3/8” Picco4.0mm
7¼” Picco3.2mm

Step 3: Thoroughly Clean Your Chain

Remove the dirt, debris, and sawdust from the chain. For removing oil, you can use less aggressive detergents and mineral spirits.

Step 4: Check To Find Out The Damaged Cutting Link

If you find any excessively damaged, bent, or chipped pitch, you should replace it with new ones. Also, measure the upper plate of the pitch. Note that, it should be a minimum of ¼” long. If you find it shorter, replace it.

Part 2: Setting The File

Step 1: Clamp The Chainsaw And Bar To The Work Surface

Use a vise or tabletop clamp to keep the bar and chainsaw in the most stable position so that it won’t move when filling. Position the bar in the vise such that the bar can spin freely. Isn’t the clamp Available? No worry!

Remove the chain from the chainsaw bar and secure it in the vise. Though you may need to make a few more adjustments, it’s an easy alternative. If a clamp or vise isn’t available, you can go without it. Just be careful enough to hold the chainsaw steadily when you file it.

Step 2: Tighten The Chain

Tightening the chain in advance will make it easier to sharpen each tooth. It’ll also help the chain to stop moving as you sharpen the teeth. Tighten the tension adjusting screw on your chainsaw by using a screwdriver. Don’t tighten too much. Make sure that you can move around the chain with a little effort.

Step 3: Put A Mark On The First Tooth You’re Going To Start Sharpening

It’s a good idea to mark the first tooth that you start sharpening. It’ll help you to keep track of your starting point and know where to stop. You can use a bright permanent marker to mark the starting tooth. If you don’t like to mark the chainsaw or no marker is available, look for a unique link in the chain.

Step 4: Set The Round File In The Curve On The Front Of The Flat Surface Of The Chain Link

Place the tip of the round file inside the curve on the marked tooth. To maintain the correct shape of the cutting surface, make sure that you hold approximately 20% of the height of the file above the top of the cutting tooth.

Step 5: Use A File Holder To Hold Your File At The Same Angle The Cutter Was Initially Ground

If you use a file guide for sharpening, to find the correct angle for each tooth, check your chainsaw’s manual or look online. Keep the file in line with the file holder across the bar at an angle needed for your saw and keep the file very very level too.

Part 3: Sharpening The Cutters

Step 1: Move The File Smoothly Across The Face Of The Cutter

Slide the file through the cutter so that you feel the file grinding against the cutter. You should slide the file only on the forward motion. Don’t move the file in a backward motion through the cutter while sharpening.

To restore a sharp edge to a tooth that has been lightly worn, two or three strokes should be enough.

  • More strokes may be required if the tooth is heavily worn.
  • Count and remember how many strokes you have applied to sharpen the first tooth so that you can do the process consistently.
  • Generally, the chain features two types of cutter that are facing alternate directions. First, focus on one type of cutter, before sharpening the other type.

Step 2: File Every Second Tooth From The Marked Tooth

Once you’ve filed one type of tooth, spin the chain to bring the second tooth closer. File every other cutter at the same angle, using the same motion. Use the same number of strokes to file the second tooth. You should stay consistent while filing across all the chainsaw cutters.

Step 3: Turn The Chainsaw At a 180-Degree Angle

When you are done sharpening one side, to sharpen the teeth for the other side that you’ve skipped sharpening at the first loop around the chain, turn the chainsaw 180-degree and follow the same process.

Step 4: File Each Tooth That Has Not Been Sharpened Yet

Sharpen each other teeth using the same motion and stroke to keep every cutter level consistent.

Step 5: Loosen The Chain

Loosen the chain and back to a proper tension by using the adjustment screws. Also, loosen the vise or clamp and take your chainsaw out. That makes a nice job and your chainsaw is now ready to use. Instead of using a file to sharpen a chainsaw, you can use a circular electric chainsaw sharpener.

How Will You Know That Your Chainsaw Needs To Get Sharp?

Few top signs will indicate your chainsaw need to get sharp. Some of these are –

  • If you find that your chainsaw is no longer chewing through wood like it used to
  • If you find difficulties and need to apply pressure for pushing down on the saw to cut with it, and your saw isn’t drawing itself.
  • If your chainsaw produces waste while cutting wood that appears more like sawdust than small wood chips. Note that a sharp chainsaw will make regular, square-ish wood chips.
  • If you face any of the above-mentioned situations, the chain has probably become blunt, and you need to sharpen it.

Is it Important to Sharpen a Chainsaw?

Like any other cutting tool, a chainsaw gets blunt with the usage and time. So, what will be if you don’t regularly sharpen it? Well,

  • Its efficiency will decline, and at one stage it’ll stop cutting.
  • You may get injured if you force it to work.
  • It’ll consume lots of fuel but do less cutting.
  • It may create kickback that will cause accidents
  • So, it’s important to sharpen your chainsaw.

4 Mistakes That Can Happen While Sharpening A Chainsaw:

If you are a newbie or try to sharpen in a quick time, you can do something wrong. Often many of you make some common mistakes. To avoid these, one needs to point out the mistakes beforehand:

1. Not Checking The Cut:

Before sharpening, it is a big mistake not to check how much the chainsaw has become dull. Sharpen it accordingly. This is the most intellectual work. If the chainsaw’s teeth are in a state of rust, you must understand that it is a lot of hard work. 

But if you just have to sharpen your dull teeth, it is a relatively effortless task. Now, check the chainsaw before starting work. Try to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. So, try to check the chainsaw cut first. 

2. Unbalanced Sharpening:

Make sure your teeth are evenly sharpened with a saw. This is a fatal mistake to sharpen it unevenly. This will create curvature in the cut. You will get an imbalance cut when cutting anything.

Keep an eye on how many times you are rubbing the sharpening machine when it is sharpening. If each tooth is rubbed in equal numbers, there is no possibility of uneven sharpening. That would be a great solution.

Another thing is needing to sharpen the blunt teeth first. You will be tired when you sharpen the low teeth. This will reduce the amount of sharpening of the lower teeth. As a result, all the teeth will be sharpened evenly.

3. Applying The Imprecise File Size:

It’s a big deal that you can use the perfect size file on the chain saw. Different sizes of chain saw teeth of various sizes. Teeth get smaller and bigger according to the size of the chainsaw. 

The files are also of the prescribed size for sharpening work. You need to match the right size file with the right size chain. You need to use the right size file to avoid this kind of problem. That’s why applying the imprecise file size is a great mistake.

4. Using A Tedious File:

As a result of using each file of Chain Sou, it gradually fades away. You have to be fully aware of the possession of the file. Lack of caution towards the file can cause it to become dull. That’s why using a tedious file is a great mistake in this case.

Chainsaw Sharpening Tips and Warning

  • Don’t wait for the pitch to be blunt before you sharpen it. Whenever you notice any sign of wear or bluntness of the cutting edge, take steps to sharpen the chain.
  • Make it a practice of regular sharpening your chain. It’ll help you to avoid spending much energy and time sharpening the chain.
  • Check the chain-link periodically for worn or damaged. It’ll help you to identify the defects early enough.
  • Worn chains, when operated, may cause injury or even death.
  • It’s advisable that after the chain has been manually sharpened five times, examine it by a professional to ensure that each tooth is at the correct cutting angle.
  • Correct any variations in chain links that may occur during filing.
  • Leave the chain to cool before you start sharpening it. Also, adjust the chain when it’s cool.
  • Never apply pressure on the file while sharpening.
  • You should check your chainsaw owner’s manual before deciding on sharpening the unit.

Related Questions:

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

The best way is to clean and set the chainsaw file first while sharpening it. For this, set it with a clamp bar to its work area. Then, tight the chain with a tensioning adjusting screw. Now, mark the teeth to start sharpening and also try to mark the round file. Now, slide the file frequently. 

You can try to file the cutter 5  to 15 times. Remember how many times after trying it is getting sharper. Slide each tooth evenly so that it is not sharp or too sharp. Thus the main sharpening work will end. Now, set the miter gauge on the chainsaw and check the depth. 

Is It Easy To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

It’s a straightforward task that will sharpen and refresh the dull chainsaw. It’s a great thing that chainsaws solve a lot of big cuts starting from cutting big trees. Because of this, it can easily become dull. It’s possible to sharpen it with little effort at no cost.

It is easier to get it dull by placing it on the ground or the floor while cutting anything. It is very easy for you to finish the sharpening work in just a few minutes whereas other cutting machines take a long time. That’s why it’s simple 

to make the chainsaw sharpen.

What Causes Chainsaw Chains To Dull So Quickly?

Having the chainsaw cut parallel to the floor causes it to dull quickly. If you set the chain saw on the ground or floor and then do the cutting work, there may be friction on the floor sand. Because of this, the chain saw slowly fades and becomes dull.

This is because the sand in the floor contains gravel which causes extra friction with the chainsaw. Another reason is to complete it with unripe hands. You may think it’s very easy, but you will be able to do it in the first place. But the saw will quickly become a pulse if you don’t practice. So know well in advance and start working after that.

How Often Does A Chainsaw Chain Need To Be Sharpened?

Some people recommend sharpening the chainsaw after sawing a certain number of trees. Some others also recommend sharping after 10 uses. Some users say to do it after a certain number of hours of use. How often you should sharpen the chain cutting links or pitches depends on several situations.

It’s a thumb rule that you should sharpen it before it becomes blunt and risky to use. Experts recommend sharping it after 40 hours of use. Also, when you hit soil, rock, or cut a hardwood tree, your chain becomes dull easily. So, you should sharpen it after each use. To sum up, you must keep a watchful eye on the sharpness of your chainsaw.

Is It Worth It To Sharpen Chainsaw Chains?

Of course, sharpening the chainsaw is valuable work. With a sharp chain saw, you can make any big cut. But if it is dull, it can be hard work or sometimes impossible.

Sharp chainsaws are essential for speedy and strong cuts. It will also make the job much easier. If you are dumb, you can easily sharpen it with little effort without any cost. All you need is an idea and knowledge about sharp work. That’s why it is worth it to sharpen chainsaw chains.

Final Verdict

A chainsaw is enough to cut any tree or thick wood. But your hard work will be in vain if its teeth or blades are dull. Sharp chainsaws will make the cutting process easier compared to the dull one. Additionally, you must know the best way to sharpen it. 

Otherwise, provide more pressure while cutting anything with it. I hope you are clear about the strategy of sharpening a chainsaw. 

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