Sharpen your Chainsaw

How to Sharpen Your Chainsaw?

The advancement from the axe to the chainsaw might be one of the greatest evolutionary leaps in the history of tools.

Today, chainsaws are commonly used by both pro and DIYers for various wood cutting purposes. However, even a powerful chainsaw, which has dull blades won’t cut properly. The process will be slow and dangerous too. So, here is how to sharpen your chainsaw blade and cut more quickly.

Setting the File

  • Clamp the bar of the chainsaw to your work surface. You can use a vise to hold the chainsaw in place on your work surface. This will prevent the saw from shifting while you will sharpen it.
  • Use a screwdriver to tighten the chain by tightening the screw. Make sure the chain is tight but is still moveable with a little effort. This stops the chain from moving as you sharpen it.
  • Choose the first tooth you are going to sharpen and mark it with a marker. It is important to mark it as you can easily keep track of where you started and prevent sharpening the same section twice.
  • Different chainsaws have different sized teeth, and due to that, they require different sized files to sharpen.
  • Set your file in the notch on the front of the cutter, Place the tip of the file just inside the notch on the tooth you have marked.
  • Use a file holder to hold your file at the same angle the cutter was initially ground. Position the line on the file holder at the appropriate angle for your chainsaw.

Sharpening the Cutters

  • Slide the file across the face of the cutter. Hold the file so that it remains level and flat over the top of the chain. Don’t apply a lot of pressure while pushing the file through the cutter.
  • Once you have sharpened the starting tooth, rotate the chain to bring a new tooth closer and sharpen every second tooth from the starting point.  
  • Loosen your vise and rotate the chainsaw 180 degrees.
  • Use the same motion to sharpen every other tooth that has not yet been sharpened.

Filing the Rakers

  • Place a depth gauge over the chain near your starting point and push forward until it presses against a raker.
  • Check for any part of the raker above the top of the depth gauge.
  • Use a flat mill file to level the raker. Be careful not to file away the gauge, as this can lead to inconsistencies between rakers.
  • Continue the same process of checking rakers with a depth gauge and filing them down
  • Use the adjustment screws to loosen the chain of your chainsaw. Loosen the vise holding the chainsaw in place and take the chainsaw out. Your chainsaw is now sharpened and ready to use.
  • Turn your chainsaw on its side to reveal the cap for the oil reservoir. Unscrew the cap and use a funnel to pour bar and chain oil. Make sure the cap is tightly screwed back before you operate your chainsaw.

These are the steps that you can follow to sharpen the chainsaw. Regardless of which tool or technique you use, keep the saw chain sharp and your chainsaw will last longer, perform better, and cut quicker and more safely.

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