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How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain


By Prev Info - January 13, 2023

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

Keeping a chain sharp is a lot easier than bringing one back from dead dull. I touch up my chain 5 or 6 strokes on each tooth every time I add fuel. It takes just a few minutes and will keep your chain cutting like a brand new one all the time. It takes a little practice, but just remember, pressure only on the push, work from the inside of the tooth to the outside and watch that angle to keep it parallel to the cutting edge.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
1 - Every chainsaw owner should have this gear, a bar vise, the right size file for your chain and a pair of cut resistant gloves.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
2 - The vise is designed to be pounded into a stump for field work. I drilled a couple holes in a portable work table and it drops in and wedges solid.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
3 - Hold the bar up just a bit and tighten the screw against the bar. The chain will spin freely, but the bar will be rock solid.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

4 - The file should be held perpendicular to the bar and parallel with the cutting edge. Most brands of chain also have an engraved line at the back of the tooth that shows the correct filing angle. I use the fingers of the hand on the bar to control the angle of the file and keep it correct. Make 5 or 6 strokes with the file for maintenance. If you've neglected the chain for a while, you might need 8 or 10 strokes per tooth. Pressure should only be made on the push stroke, from the inside of the tooth toward the outside. Let the file away from the tooth as you draw it back for the next stroke.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
5 - After filing the first tooth, take a marker and color the top of the tooth.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
6 - Advance the chain and repeat the process for the next tooth that faces the same direction (second tooth back from the one you just finished).
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
7 - Continue all the way around the chain until the marked tooth comes back around. Since you're filing every other tooth, shown here is the last tooth to be filed from this side of the saw.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
8 - Walk around to the other side of the saw and do the same thing for the other set of teeth. Start with the first tooth behind the marked tooth.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
9 - If you're stuck in the field without a marker, most chains have the joining link colored. That is the link where the chain can be taken apart. Shown here it is yellow. You can use this as your marker, but it is easy to miss from the other side of the saw.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain
When your saw drops straight through the log and the chips come out fluffy, you know you've got your chain dialed in.






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