How To Sharpen A Chainsaw

Chainsaws are the woodsman’s most useful tool.  If you plan to get the most out of your chainsaw, you need to know how to sharpen a chainsaw.  Keeping your chainsaw maintained is key for making perfect cuts.

Chainsaw blades come in different sizes, and you need to know the size of your chainsaw teeth when sharpening the blade.  Once you know the size of your teeth, you need to buy either a grindstone or file to sharpen the teeth.  Buying a grindstone or tile that is the same size as your teeth is imperative.  Using too small of a tool will make the teeth uneven; while too big will not fit inside the chain.

Starting Out

Before you begin sharpening, you need to clean off the blades of the chainsaw.  In order to clean your chainsaw, start by removing the clutch to your saw.  This will give you easier access to the entirety of the chainsaw blades, which you will need to clean the entire length of.  Use mineral spirits, or alternately a commercial degreasing agent that will help eat away at the gunk that slowly builds up on the saw.  These can be found cheaply and easily at most home improvement or department stores.  Take a rag and wipe away the gunk after the cleaning agent has had some time to soak in.  One you have the gunk removed from the chains, go ahead and take time to check the chains for any broken or weak links.  If you discover anything, you are better off simply taking the chain into the shop and purchasing another one.

Once you have the chains cleaned off, it is time to begin sharpening!  Take your saw blade and put it in a vise grip.  Clamp it down well so that it will not move during the sharpening process.  There are two parts of a chainsaw tooth: the cutter and the drive link.  The cutter appears as an angled sort of hook, and is responsible for most of the cutting action of the chainsaw.  Put your file on the notch inside of the hook, and behind moving the file in and out of the hook to sharpen it.  Try to file the notch at a 25 to 30 degree angle for best results.  Repeat this process down the entire length of the chainsaw blade, so that all of the teeth are equally sharp.

Finishing Up

Once you have the chainsaw blades sharpened, reattach them to your saw, and reattach the clutch.  After sharpening, you should lubricate the saw so that it continues to run smoothly.  There should be a well in your chainsaw that will allow you to fill up with lubricant.  There are also other points of wear on the chainsaw that should be cleaned regularly, such as the air filter, air intake, flywheel pins, and brake band.  The chainsaw chain is not the only part that needs regular cleaning.

Ensuring that your entire saw is consistently cleaned will help ensure that your saw runs well for days to come.