A chainsaw is a versatile and powerful tool that can be used for various tasks, from cutting wood to boat work. To ensure optimum performance, it is essential to keep the chainsaw sharp. One of the most effective and traditional methods to sharpen a chainsaw is by using a file.
In this article, we will discuss how to sharpen a chainsaw with a file.
Sharpening your chainsaw with a file is a traditional and effective method that requires securing and tightening the chainsaw, engaging the brake, filing the teeth, adjusting the depth gauges, rounding the raker corners, and lubricating the chain. Regular maintenance ensures optimal chainsaw performance and longevity.
Steps to Sharpen a Chainsaw with a File
Secure the chainsaw
Place the chainsaw on a stable surface, such as a small stump vise or a bench vise, to hold it steady while sharpening. Ensure the bar does not wiggle, and the chain is taut.
Tighten the chain
Loosen the pinch bolts and use a screwdriver to tighten the chain. Ensure that the chain is tight enough to prevent wiggling but still movable.
Engage the chain brake
To ensure safety, engage the chain brake before proceeding with sharpening.
Determine the angle
Chainsaws come with markings on the teeth that indicate the optimal angle for sharpening.
The common angles are 20, 25, and 30 degrees. Place a piece of wood with the corresponding angle markings parallel to the chainsaw bar to use as a guide.
File the cutting teeth
Hold the round file at the marked angle and file each tooth evenly, maintaining the file level.
Follow the existing angle on the tooth and apply steady pressure while filing.
Remember to file all the teeth on one side before moving to the other side. Use chainsaw files specifically designed for chainsaw teeth to achieve the best results.
Adjust the depth gauges
After filing the cutting teeth, it’s essential to adjust the depth gauges (rakers). Place the depth gauge guide on top of the raker tooth and file it down until it is even with the top of the gauge. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or file at the wrong angle.
Round the corners of the rakers
After adjusting the height of the depth gauges, use the flat file to round off the corners on the front of the rakers. This ensures smooth cutting and prevents the chain from getting stuck.
Reinstall the chain
After completing the sharpening process, reinstall the chain on the chainsaw, ensuring it is properly aligned and tensioned.
Lubricate the chain
Apply bar and chain oil to the chainsaw blade to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear.
Test the sharpness
Start the chainsaw and test the sharpness by making a few cuts. A sharp chain will produce long, uniform wood chips, while a dull chain will create fine sawdust.
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw With A File: FAQs
Do you push or pull files to sharpen the chainsaw?
To sharpen a chainsaw, it is recommended to push the file away from you while maintaining contact with the cutting tooth.
This ensures proper sharpening and reduces the risk of injury. However, you can also pull it to sharpen the chainsaw.
How many file strokes does it take to sharpen a chainsaw?
To effectively sharpen your chainsaw, it usually takes about 3 to 7 strokes per tooth, depending on the chain’s condition and tooth size.
Why is my chainsaw not cutting after sharpening?
Check for incorrect sharpening angle, uneven teeth, depth gauge height, chain tension, and bar issues. Addressing these factors should improve cutting performance
Sharpening a chainsaw with a file is an effective method that can be done at home or in a workshop.
It requires some practice and attention to detail, but with time and experience, you’ll be able to maintain a sharp and efficient chainsaw.
By following the proper angle and plate filing angle, you can ensure that your chainsaw’s cutting teeth remain sharp and effective.
Regular maintenance and sharpening will help prolong the life of your chainsaw and ensure optimal performance for various tasks.