Effective Ways to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

For sharpening a chainsaw chain, you will need:

  1. Clean the chain: Remove all dirt, grease, and metal remnants using gasoline.
  2. Tighten the chain: Adjust the chain tension as described in the operating manual.
  3. Check tooth depth: Use a depth gauge to ensure the teeth are not overly worn. If so, replace the chain. Ensure you use the same type of chain as originally installed and that it meets the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  4. Decide your sharpening method – using a file, grinder, or a specialized machine. Set the chainsaw in a holder as described below and start sharpening the teeth at a 30-35 degree angle.

Photo guide on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain

What is the Best Way to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?

The first signs that your chain has dulled include reduced sawing speed, the working part jumping on the wood surface, and finer wood shavings.

There are several methods of sharpening a chain:

  1. Manual sharpening with a round file: This is the most labor-intensive method, but it can yield perfect results if you’re skilled.
  2. Using a sharpening tool: Specialized sharpening machines can make the process faster and easier.
  3. Sending it to a professional service: If you lack the skills or desire for manual sharpening, you can send the chain to a service where professionals will sharpen it for you.

The more frequently you use it, the more often it needs sharpening. The type of wood you work with also affects how often sharpening is needed.

Main Sharpening Methods

Using a Round File

This is the simplest method, where different file diameters are used depending on the chain size:

  • For a 1.3 mm chain size, use a file with at least a 4 mm diameter;
  • For a 1.6 mm chain size, use a file with more than 5 mm diameter;

Pay attention to the angle at which the file moves relative to the chain. A file usually comes with a guide that shows the correct angle. Besides the working teeth, you also need to grind each chain link’s depth gauge.

Manual Sharpening Machine

Manual sharpening machines typically consist of a stand to which the chainsaw is attached, and a movable file for sharpening the chain.

Using a manual machine allows for more precise results. However, the process is long and requires skills and experience for optimal outcomes.

Manual sharpening machine for chainsaw chains

Several sharpening methods include:

  • Sequential – each tooth is sharpened separately and in sequence
  • Sharpening every other tooth – first from the right, then from the left, in a sequence of your choice.

When using a manual machine, some nuances must be observed:

  • Don’t grind the chain too deeply, as it reduces strength
  • Unfortunately, this is a time-consuming and physically demanding job.

What Angle is Needed for Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain?

For sharpening a chainsaw chain, it’s recommended to use an angle of 30-35 degrees for optimal performance and durability.

Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain with an Automatic Machine

The “machine” method is often used in households due to its simplicity and ease.

Automatic sharpening machine for chainsaw chains

The machine resembles a grinding station. The chain needs to be placed in the chain holder and secured so that it remains immobile.

Securing the chainsaw chain for machine sharpening

Advantages of using an automatic machine include precision, speed, and no need for special skills or tools. However, such a machine can be more expensive than manual sharpening methods.

Станок для заточки  Бригадир standart GM1L

Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain with a Grinder

Sharpening a chain with a grinder can be done at home if you have the necessary tools.

Prepare your tools:

  1. A grinder, vise for holding the chain, safety glasses, and protective gloves.
  2. Secure the chain in the vise or holder, making sure it’s taut.
  3. Place the chain teeth on the lower part of the grinder and turn it on.
  4. Begin sharpening, holding the grinder perpendicular to the chain and moving it along the teeth.
  5. Continue until all the teeth are of equal length.
  6. Check the sharpening angle of the teeth and adjust if necessary.
  7. Turn off the grinder and remove the chain from the vise or holder.

Заточка цепи для пилы при помощи болгарки.

Video Guide on Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain

Заточка и правка цепи бензопилы

It’s important to remember that sharpening a chain is dangerous. Always adhere to safety practices, wear protective glasses and gloves, and ensure the chain doesn’t catch you or other objects.

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