How to Sharpen a Chainsaw With a File Guide

After using your chainsaw, you’ll notice that the teeth become dull. This is normal especially when the cutting blades run up against materials such as gravel, metal or sand.

For the chainsaw to work well, it needs to be sharpened regularly. When the teeth become dull, you will start to notice that it becomes difficult to use.

It is also a safety issue.

Cutting with a dull chain can lead to extra fuel consumption and excess wear and tear on the chain. It is also more prone to kick back and presents a danger to the user.

To avoid the above, you need to keep your chain sharp

You Will Need:

  • Round File – the file should be sharp match the size of the chain and fit in the filling guide. There are several sizes to choose from, so confirm from the owner’s manual if you are unsure which one to use.  It is a good idea to replace your round file after every 5 rounds of sharpening. After use, coat it lightly with machine oil and wrap it in a cloth so that it does not hit other objects and become dull.
  • Depth-Gauge – to make sure you don’t grind too deep
  • Vise – to hold the blade in place

Guide to Filling a Chainsaw

The first thing to do is to secure the saw. Loosen the chain lock and then tighten the chain to take up the slack. Make sure that the chain is tight to the saw by ensuring there is less than ¼ inch of play.

Try to clean the grease and oil off the chain as much as possible. After cleaning tighten the lock and check for slack. Check for the tooth with the worst wear and use it as a starting reference. The number of strokes used to sharpen this tooth is the same used to sharpen all teeth.

Attach the filling gauge to the chain. The gauge’s arrows should point in the chain’s direction of rotation. Make sure the gauge touches the chain. With a round file, place it at a 90-degree angle to the roller on the filling gauge.

While filling, ensure both of your hands rest on the file on both rollers and use smooth strokes. Do the same for each tooth. Ensure that all the teeth are of equal length. After filling the tooth on one side loosen the vice and attach the guide in the opposite direction. Sharpen the teeth just as you did from the opposite direction.

After sharpening all the teeth, oil the chain as is indicated in the owner’s manual.

I found this video from Stihl helpful as well:

Having a chainsaw with a sharp blade is safer to use, saves the user effort and reduces general wear and tear. Sharpening the blade takes a short time, and you notice the difference when you use the chainsaw.

Don’t forgot about sharpening cordless chainsaws as well – all power types need sharpening, not just gas.