You may have the best chainsaw in the world, but if the chain is blunt it’s not going to be worth squat. Unless you know how to use a chainsaw sharpening tool, your tree felling days are going to be filled with frustration and anger. Let’s find out, then, how to keep your chainsaw sharp and ready for business.
What You’ll Need To Keep Your Chainsaw Sharp and Ready For Business
Chainsaws come in different sizes, which are expressed as fractions in the United States, and millimeters elsewhere. So, a 5/32 chain in the US, would be called a 4 millimeter in England. The tools you’ll need to sharpen your chainsaw are a flat file, a round file, a chain guide and a file with a guide built into it.
Before you begin, make sure that the chain is well adjusted. A chain that is too loose will be difficult to sharpen. Your saw will be much easier to work with if you clamp the bar into a vice. Be sure that the chain doesn’t hit on the vice, however – it should be able to move freely.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw
Select a file size to match the chain. Then use your file guide to select the right angle on which to sharpen the chain. The guide will have cut out angles on it (typically 35, 30 and 10 degrees). Place the guide over the portion that you are about to sharpen, matching up the appropriate angle (usually 30 degrees). Insert your file in the teeth of the chain, and proceed to sharpen in a forward direction. Do not push on the file when you are going backward. Make sure to keep the file level, so that the teeth get sharpened evenly. Also, ensure that you give each of the teeth the same number of strokes with your file (about 5 strokes should do it).
Continue to sharpen the links one at a time. After you’ve done a few, check you’re your guide to make sure that you are sharpening on the right angle. If you prefer you can use a file with a built-in guide. This would be the best option for beginners. Not only does it have all the angles marked on it, but the guide helps you to keep the file straight when sharpening the saw.
It’s a good idea to mark the first link that you sharpen with a marker. That way you’ll know where you started from when the chain comes back around. You should also wear protective gloves when sharpening your chainsaw.
Once you’ve completed sharpening the teeth on one side of the chain, pick up your file guide and check to make sure that the angles are correct. Use the other end of the guide to make sure that the chain is filed down enough. Just sit the tool over the tooth. If it is protruding, then you need to file it down a little until it is flush with the tool.
Now, that you know just how to sharpen your saw, let’s check out the best chainsaw sharpening tools on the market.