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How To Sharpen Your Chainsaw [12 Essential Steps To Follow]

how to sharpen a chainsaw

We know the importance a chainsaw holds for many of our readers. Using it is often fun, but the cleaning and maintenance part can be troublesome. And most are quite eager to know how to sharpen a chainsaw.

So, we thought of creating a guide to help our readers. So, first and foremost, before we start, we would like to remind you that whenever you buy a chainsaw, please remember to read the manual thoroughly.

It will often tell you about how to sharpen a chainsaw in great details. It also almost always notes about the things and products that are suitable for your particular chainsaw. So, please keep that in mind.

Tools You Will Need

  • A round file or rotary grind

  • A flat, mill bastard file

  • A file guide or gauge

  • Degreasing detergent

  • Chain oil

  • A pair of gloves

Discover Different Types of Chainsaws:-

The 12 Steps to Sharpen a Chainsaw

Step 1:

You will need to buy a chainsaw file or a rotary grind based on the size or gauge of your chainsaw. You can find it in the manual. But the most common sizes are 3/16, 5/32 and 7/32 of an inch in diameter. The size is important as a wrong size can lead to breakage.

Step 2:

Cleaning the chain is also important. To get rid of the dirt, oil, and grime you can use a degreasing detergent or mineral spirits. Do not use excessive amounts as it can cause harm to the plastic part of the chainsaw. 

Step 3:

Check for damage in the chain teeth. The top plate should stand at 1/4th of an inch. Checking it is important as a damaged part can cause breakage to the whole chain. Damaged chains should be discarded. 

Step 4:

Use a table to stabilize your chainsaw. It can be made stable using a vise. This will ensure that the chain will move freely and will be stable when you sharpen it. 

Step 5:

To start sharpening, you have to find the leading cutter. It is the smallest one in the chain. If you find that everyone looks similar, start from anywhere. You have to file every top of each cutter to be the same length approximately. You can dot the beginning with a sharpie or a permanent marker. 

Step 6:

Your file should be placed in the notch present in the cutter’s front present mainly on the flat surface. The curve of the file has to fit appropriately with the curve of the cutting tip. 

Step 7:

The sharpening angle should be the same as it came with. It typically is between 20-30 degrees, but it is best to consult the manual. Your chainsaw sharpening angle is important as a wrong angle can distort teeth.

Step 8:

You will need to slide the file towards the face of the cutter while making a moderate twisting motion. It is best to push towards the long point from the short side. Reading more about chainsaw sharpening tricks will make you more aware of the techniques.

Step 9:

Work all the way of the top from the beginning point. Also, make sure that everyone is done similarly. 

Step 10:

After the top has been done, reverse the saw and similarly do the filing. You should also measure the bites to make sure that they turn out equal. Once you learn to sharpen a chainsaw properly, you can guess the measurements.

Step 11:

Each cutting edge needs to be 1/10th of an each less than the cutter. This is important as it will ensure that equal portions of wood come out while cutting. A flat mill bastard file can be used to file any raker.

Step 12:

The last step would be to apply a good quality chain oil or machine oil on the chain.

Final Thought

We hope that we were able to answer your question of how to sharpen a chainsaw properly. Remember to read the manual and dispose of the chainsaw file after 5 uses. We are sure that you will ace the technique after a few tries.

    Jeremy Delores

    Jeremy is here to help you get the right tools and equipment for your yard and garden. Being obsessed with them for almost a decade, he knows how important quality and reliability is when using them. For this reason, he will focus on creating and sharing content that not only cover the latest information and trends but also his insights on the best products that will suit your needs and requirements.