A lot of chainsaw owners really don’t know how to go about safely sharpening a chainsaw’s chain once it becomes blunt. This is a really common occurrence, so it’s not strange.
We can all admit that handling a chainsaw can be very intimidating, so there’s that. This guide will give you information on the right ways to sharpen your chainsaw’s chain.
The Best Way to Sharpen a Chain
There are three major options for you to make use of here:
- Sharpen the chain manually with the help of the file normally supplied by manufacturers and accompanies the saw. This particular method requires a considerable amount of skill, meaning it can be quite dangerous for the unskilled – with a high risk of injury.
- Employ professional help by taking the saw to a shop specialized in chainsaw maintenance. It should be noted that this might take its toll financially in the long run.
- Make use of a sharpening tool. These are quite effective. They are also different brands with varying effectiveness and prices.
A lot of chainsaw operators make the mistake of not sharpening the chain until it becomes almost impossible to effectively make use of it. This is an act that shortens the lifespan of the chainsaw and chain.
It is always better the chainsaw chain gets sharpened and maintained at intervals so that its lifespan doesn’t waste away. This will also affect the efficiency of its operation.
If the chainsaw’s chain isn’t properly sharpened, the operator will be required to apply a lot of pressure while using the saw – just so that cutting can continue.
This particular act can very well destroy the chain and even cause injury to the operator. It is also important to note that the chain can only be sharpened a handful of times before a replacement will be required.
How to Use a File to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
I am of the opinion that using a file is arguably the best way a chain can be sharpened. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or just a home user. The tendency of you getting a sharper chain with a file is very high. It is also cheap, so a win-win on both fronts.
All that is required is a set of gauges and files. This skill will need to be learnt and honed, meaning it will take considerable time. For me, the best way to learn is by practising with an old chain because you will most certainly damage a new one if you decide to use it from the get-go.
Choose a round file with a similar diameter to the semi-circular ends on the teeth. Lose the thumbscrews that are atop the sharpening guide. Then slide the file below the hold-down clamps.
Remember to secure the file inside the guide by tightening the screws. After this, use a permanent marker to indicate the first tooth meant to be sharpened. It will give you an idea of the place you started sharpening.
Put the saw chain under the sharpening guide, with the file near the marked cutting edges. Tweak the guide till the angled lines are aligned with the steel bar of the saw. While this angle is being maintained, push the file in a forward motion across the tooth.
Repeat this six or seven times while making use of steady strokes. Ensure that you keep track of the number of strokes you made across the initial tooth. Use the same number for the remaining teeth to make things even. The teeth should be shiny and clean when you’re done.
Portable Power Sharpeners
Hand filing will work well for sharpening chainsaw chains. However, if you can lay your hands on a portable power sharpener, you’ll make your life easier – as it is more efficient and faster.
There are two kinds of portable power tools. The first is referred to as a rotary or Dremel tool with a sharpening accessory. This kit comes with a cylindrical grinding stone as well as an alignment guide with an ability to clamp onto the tool. Dremel tools can be purchased in cordless and corded versions.
The second is the electric rotary grinder. This was specifically created just to sharpen chainsaws – something it does well and quick. It is in kit form, accompanied by different sizes of grinding stones. It also comes with a sharpening guide that can mount on the tool’s nose.
The chainsaw blade sharpeners above are super simple to use and operate. You just need to plug the chainsaw blade into the two holes of the chain sharpener. Then close and lock the chainsaw sharpener.
If you use chainsaws frequently or if you have multiple chainsaws, then you can be able to save a lot of energy and time by getting a bench-mounted sharpener. The bench chain sharpener below comes with 3 sharpening gardening wheels, with one fitted and 2 spare.
- Bench-top chainsaw blade sharpener
- Keeps chains razor sharp
- Easy alignment
This particular sharpener will deliver more consistent and accurate results. As a sharp chainsaw chain is essential in order to maintain a safe and effective chainsaw. The swivelling chain clamp and pivoting head also allows for easy alignment.
Safety Tips for Sharpening a Chain
Before doing anything else, tighten the chain
It can be very dangerous to work on a slack chain. Trying to do this might lead to injuries. Also, you’ll not be able to effectively complete the task as you’ll be unaware of the complete picture of what you’re trying to do.
Inspect the sharpener at close range
A sharpener that isn’t functioning properly possesses the potential to cause injury to the person trying to sharpen it. It can also cause additional damage to the chain. Making use of a faulty sharpener isn’t worth the risk – not even one bit.
Secure the sharpener and the blade
It is absolutely important to secure your bench sharpener (if that’s what you’re using) before embarking on the sharpening process. Also, you will need to secure the chain’s blade to ensure that it doesn’t move when you start. Doing this will make sure you avoid any injury as well as effectively sharpen your chain.
Put on protective gear
Before embarking on the sharpening process, ensure that protective gear has been worn (goggles, face shields, gloves, etc). This is because you’ll be using sharp equipment and tools – with the probability of injury very high if care isn’t taken.
The chain teeth should be filed in the direction they face
Every tooth on the chain has two different sides, with both needing sharpening. It is advisable that you file solely in the direction that the tooth faces.
Doing this in the opposite direction will mean that you inadvertently reduce their initial size. Doing it correctly will give the chain very sharp teeth that will be able to effortlessly cut through timber.
Final Thoughts on Effectively Sharpening A Chainsaw’s Chain
When sharpening the chain of a chainsaw, you will require the appropriate equipment for the task. Also, following the safety guidelines provided above ensures that injuries are avoided while also ensuring that your chain is kept in pristine condition.
Last update on 2023-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API