Is your chainsaw not working as well as it should? It probably means that your chainsaw chain is already dull. So what do you do if that happens? Do you replace the chain? Well, you may do that if you’ve got a big budget to spend on your chainsaw, but personally, I’d just learn how to sharpen a chainsaw chain.
If it’s your first time using a chainsaw, then you probably don’t know how to sharpen it, and that’s totally understandable! That’s why I will provide a few chainsaw sharpening tips that I personally use on my own powerful Stihl chainsaw. Of course, my chainsaw sharpening tricks also work for other brands aside from Stihl so you don’t have to worry that they’ll not work for you.
Why Sharpen Saw Chains
Before we get to the actual guide, I’d like to first emphasize the need to sharpen your saw chains. What happens when the chainsaw is worn out and how to keep it sharpened?
I know a lot of novice chainsaw users who think that sharpening the blade is something they can put off. What they usually do is that they just use the chainsaw until the chain becomes totally dull. In which case, they have no choice but to have it replaced. I’ll tell you right away that is a bad idea, and here are some reasons why:
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw Chain With A File
There are several methods we can use to sharpen a chainsaw chain. First, we’ll learn how to sharpen a chainsaw with a file guide and a chainsaw file.
Materials To Use
Before you proceed to sharpen your chainsaw chain, you must first prepare the following tools:
Different chains require different file sizes. A file that is too big or too small for your chain will not be able to sharpen it properly. In fact, it can even damage it. Be sure to check your manual.
If you think you’ll have a hard time remembering which tooth you’ve already filed, you can use a marker.
Professionals suggest that you always use a stump vice in your sharpening operation. It can make the process easier, faster, and safer. This tool allows you to keep your chainsaw tightly in one place.
You will need this to loosen and tighten the screws in your chainsaw whenever necessary.
Get the hammer from your toolbox as you will need it in setting up your stump vice.
Steps On How to Do It
Here are the steps you need to follow when sharpening a chainsaw with a file:
Step 1: Set up your stump vice
So, the first thing that you have to go to the nearest stump and get out your stump vice. Hammer the stump vice into the stump so that you’ll have a stand for your chainsaw.
Step 2: Prepare the chainsaw
Prop the chainsaw’s tip on the vice stump and screw it tight, so it won’t fall off. Get your scrench out and loosen the screws on the other end of your chainsaw, so you can maneuver the blades easily.
Step 3: Start filing
As a general rule, the file should be protruding one-fifth of the tooth. If you are somehow able to get this right, then you’re pretty much on the right track. The best way to sharpen a chainsaw is to file the teeth from the inside of the bar. This will lessen the chance of getting the file droppings into the bar channel.
Sharpen one side first until it is already very sharp, then go on to the next one. Mark the ones you’ve already done filing with a marker.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with An Electric Sharpener
If you prefer the quicker way to sharpen your chainsaw, then you might want to use an electric sharpener instead.
Materials To Use
You don’t need a lot of things in order to sharpen the chainsaw using this method. All you need is one thing: Electric Chainsaw Sharpener. This tool is made specifically for sharpening chainsaw blades. However, for first-time users, it may be hard to control. Thus, it’s suggested you carefully read the manual before you start operating it.
Steps On How To Do It
If you happen to have an electric chainsaw chain sharpener, then your job will become easier. However, you have to take note that not using the electric chainsaw properly can actually break your chainsaw. So you have to be extra careful when using it.
Step 1: Set the electric sharpener on a flat surface
First of all, you have to make sure that the electric sharpener is on a hard and flat surface so it won’t move. Once the saw is securely fastened, get the sharpening stone and put it in the teeth gap. Generally, sharpening stones are 3/16 inches but you should buy the ones that match the size of your chainsaw’s teeth. After that, adjust the swivel angle. The ideal swivel angle is around 60-80 degrees.
Step 2: Start grinding the teeth
When everything is already in place. Lower the stone into the blade and let the stone grind each teeth. Don’t keep the stone on a tooth for too long as that may damage the metal. Once you see the metal become shinier, go on the next one until you finish all.
Which method is the better to use? It will all depend on your own preference and the tools that you have. Using a file is a safer but more time-consuming method while using an electric grinder is faster but riskier. Whatever your choice is, follow proper safety procedures.