How To Sharpen A Chainsaw? – A Thorough Tutorial

If you are acquainted with cutting things with a chainsaw, you will see how important it is for a chainsaw to be sharp. A sharp chainsaw will save your effort, your time, improve the cutting results, and be much safer while manipulating. However, many people neglect to sharpen the chainsaw because they don’t know the technique. 

Don’t worry; we will show you how to sharpen a chainsaw right below.

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How To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

Sharpening a chainsaw is quite tricky for beginners because it requires focus and carefulness. You should carry out these steps carefully for the sake of your safety and work efficiency. 

Plus, our tutorial not only guides you on how to sharpen chainsaw stihl or how to sharpen a chainsaw with a dremel, but you can also apply this instruction on any chainsaw with any tools from different brands.

#1 Prepare Essential Tools

Before doing anything, the preparation stage is crucial. It will decide how fast and convenient your work is. Before getting into the tutorial on “ How to sharpen a chainsaw chain?” you should get some files below:

  • A round file: This item must acquire a compatible size with the diameter of the cutter. Usually, the diameters for DIY or casual duty chainsaws will be 7/32, 3/16, or 5/32 inches. 

You should look at the provided manual of the chainsaw or find the drive link with the identification number of the chain carved on it. 

Once you know the number, you can compare it with the appropriate file’s diameter via a file-chain chart. This chart is available at any hardware store.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
  • A file guide: This tool is for assisting the round file in delivering the exact sizes cut
  • A flat file: You will need a flat-file to cut the depth gauges into the uniform size of the file guide
  • A depth gauge: If you don’t know how to sharpen a chainsaw blade, a depth gauge is an answer and practical side-kick.
  • A set of Dremel tools: The Dremel tool pack consists of sharpening stones. The stones will help in some cases. This is how to sharpen a chainsaw with a Dremel.
  • Mechanic gloves: For your safety

#2 Deactivate The Chain

The chainsaw blades, blunt or sharp, are a potential risk to your skin. For this reason, you have to make sure that the chainsaw can’t start by finding where the spark plug cap is, then remove it.

#3 Know What Time To Sharpen

The time to sharpen your chainsaw depends on your experience. But, down here, we have two factors that will precisely indicate the appropriate time for your sharpening. Getting to know these indications will prevent you from performing unneeded filing.

  • If you see sawdust, it’s time for you to sharpen the saw. 
  • On the contrary, if there are wood chips, the chainsaw is still sharp.
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw

#4 File The Chain

To get excellent sharpening results, you have to follow these procedures and notices to know how to sharpen a chainsaw with a file.

  1. Firstly, you have to keep the chainsaw in a steady position by clamping its bar in a vice and placing the saw on a non-slide surface.
  2. Next, position the guide between the chain’s rivets so that the guide’s arrow icons will face the bar’s nose.
  3. Insert the round file into the file guide. The recommended horizontal angle of the file should be from 30 to 35 degrees. These are the common angles of a saw’s upper side which will assist you in maintaining the angle while filing.
  4. Mark the starting point on the saw’s top before you start the sharpening process.
  5. When making some first strokes, your hand will feel a slight vibration because of the dull blade. To ensure safety, you should keep the chainsaw away from your body parallel to the non-slide surface with the recommended angles. At this time, the file guide moves on the depth gauge and the saw.
  6. You should perform even and steady strokes for every cutting edge. 5-6 strokes for each one are adequate to make the blade shiny. Apart from noticing the outside condition of the cutting edges, you can listen to the “burr” filing sound to know whether you have completed your task or not.
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
  1. Check the lineup of the file and the blade by looking via the file guide. You have done an excellent job if you see the blade and the file completely fit into the guide. Keep doing what you are doing.
  2. After filling some edges, you should rotate the chain for its other cutters coming up. Remember to wear gloves for protection because we are showing you how to sharpen a chainsaw by hand.
  3. While sharpening the blade, you can check the depth gauges’ height simultaneously by using the file guide. In case the gauges’ height exceeds the guide, it’s time for you to make them flush by using the flat file.

Accomplish all of these steps, and you now know how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file.

#5 Continue With The Other Cutting Edges’ Side

Using the file guide allows you to cut one side of the blade only. Therefore, you will need to repeat all of the steps above for the other side.

#6 File The Rakers

Since rakers’ purpose is to keep the wood crust from staying on the chainsaw, they are lower than the cutting edges. These parts support your cutting if the blade is in its optimal condition. However, when the blade becomes dull, rakers will somehow be a hindrance to your cutting.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw

In this case, you will need to utilize a flat-file and gauge from the Dremel tools pack to reshape the rakers until they are lower than the top of the cutting edges. 

Read more: Gardening

Bottom Lines

Knowing how to sharpen a chainsaw is a practical and valuable experience for your daily life, especially when interested in doing DIY work with a chainsaw. The best way to sharpen a chainsaw is to thoroughly and safely follow our tutorial above. Remember to ensure your safety first because even dull cutting edges can cause you injuries.

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