A dull and blunt chainsaw slows things down when you are down to cutting wood fast and easy. Learning to sharpen a chainsaw on your own is one of the best skills you’ll ever learn so that you can save yourself the heartache of having a professional do it for you each time. The art of chainsaw tensioning keeps your machine working in excellent condition.

Worse still, working with a dull chainsaw increases the chances of kickbacks which may result in injury. You’ll want to preserve the life of the chain so that it serves you for a decent time.

So which procedures do you follow when trying to accomplish this task?

Know when it’s time to sharpen the Chainsaw

Certain sure signs indicate a dull chainsaw. Look out for these indications:

  • You have to apply a considerable amount of strength to push the chainsaw into the wood
  • It produces dust instead of wood chips when cutting
  • You can’t keep the chainsaw in the correct position since it keeps on shifting and bouncing off the wood
  • It produces smoke even when the tension is at the proper level

There are two types of sharpening tools available on the market today. You’ll either need a chainsaw file or a grindstone. So first;

Identify the gauge of your chainsaw.

Some chainsaws have a number on the tooth to determine the pitch for some; you’ll have to calculate the gauge. This measure is essential when knowing which type of sharpener to acquire. There are usually three types; a 3/16, 5/32/ 7/32.

Get ready to sharpen the chainsaw
  • Wear the appropriate clothing. This includes gloves to keep your hands safe.
  • Clean the chain using the appropriate detergent to remove dust and debris
  • Remember not to overdo the cleaning
  • Set the chainsaw on a stable platform
  • Clamp the bar in a vise to allow free movement and precise filing
Locate your Starting Point

Identify the shortest tooth/cutter on the chainsaw. It’s usually a different color if all the cutters are of the same length. By a different color we mean it may have a dye or is silver in color while the other cutters are gold in color. Don’t worry if you can’t get a starting point. Paint or mark your desired position to keep track of your progress and so that you don’t sharpen it twice.

Begin the Sharpening Process

Angle the sharpener to fit exactly on the angled tooth located at the front of the chain. Ensure to leave some distance between sharpener and the cutter to allow free movement. Remember to look at the angle of the chain so as to make sure you file evenly on each tooth.

  • Use smooth strokes that leave each tooth in shining silver on the cutting edge. It’s recommended that you go from the short to the long edge for a clean finish.
  • Continue the process ensuring that the tooth you are sharpening is on top of the bar. This means you do not move from your position. Instead, adjust the chain using your hand.
  • Set the chain brake to maintain its rightful position.
  • After doing one side, now flip the chainsaw to expose the cutters on the other end of the chain.
  • Always check to ensure you are sharpening the teeth in the correct length. You can use a caliper to measure the height of the cutters as you proceed with the sharpening.
  • If the cutters can’t seem to acquire the same height, use a depth gauge tool to level the cutter that is too high.
  • Always file the cutter that seems to interfere with the working of the chainsaw.
  • Oil the chain and tension it to get it ready for work.
Special Insight
  • Always protect your chainsaw from catching dirt to avoid constant sharpening
  • Sharpen your chainsaw regularly to keep in as good as new
  • Sharpen the blade immediately if it glides through metal or ice

Summing Up

Sharpening a chainsaw is a simple process when you learn it. With this information, you should rid yourself any doubt regarding sharpening of a chainsaw correctly.