How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

It is possible to sharpen your chainsaw within ten or fifteen minutes without any bulky equipment or extra contraptions. All you will need is a homemade stand that holds the chainsaw in place while it is being sharpened, as well as the proper sharpening files that will fit into the exact shape of the chainsaw blades.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

Different chainsaw chains require different diameters of files, so be sure that you have the correct file size before beginning to sharpen your chain. Chain saw files are designed specifically for sharpening saw blades and are not the same as regular round files.

To make a homemade sharpening stand for your chainsaw, you will nail together a few scraps of wood to make a shape that will loosely hold your chainsaw in a vertical position. The long vertical side of the stand should fall six inches or so below the top of the bar when the chain saw is placed on top of it.

There are two cleats on the long side of the stand that hold the saw from moving side to side. Leave a gap between the cleats on the chain saw that is wide enough to clear the chainsaw teeth as the chain is advanced to expose more teeth for sharpening.

Before sharpening your chainsaw, be sure that the off switch is firmly off. If the chainsaw is electric, be sure to unplug the chainsaw from an electrical outlet before sharpening.

Before beginning to sharpen your chainsaw, place the stand that you made on top fo a workbench that is the right height. The teeth in the center of the bar should rest at roughly eye level for optimal sharpening conditions.

IF you have a brand new file, use this for your first try, as this will show you how a good file cuts and help you see when the file should be replaced. When it is time to replace a file, there will be auditory signals as well as visual ones. You will notice in sight and sound that the file is not biting into the saw blade nearly as well. Visually, a worn out file will not produce much in the way of filings.

Most of the newer chainsaw blades have a diagonal line that shows the direction in which the file should be moved in order to sharpen the chainsaw blade correctly. IF the saw blade does not have the markings to show the proper sharpening angle, simply draw them on the sharpening stand yourself and use them as a guide when sharpening your chainsaw.

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