How to Sharpen A Chainsaw

Sharpened chainsaws produce wood chips, not dust. (Photo by Russ Hendricks,

Cutting through trees is a lot easier when you have a chainsaw. And a chainsaw with a sharp blade is faster and much safer to use than one with a dull blade that just bucks through wood.

In this article, we will share how you can effectively sharpen your chainsaw so it’s ready for the next big cutting project.

But first, an electric chainsaw sharpener can be used for sharpening several of your tools and will significantly reduce the time it takes to sharpen them.

If you don’t have one, read on…

What You’ll Need

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Bench
  • Clamp
  • Round file
  • Flat file
  • Depth gauge

Safety First

Wear safety glasses and gloves and power off the chainsaw before performing any kind of maintenance.

Then, it’s on to sharpening!

1. Secure the Chainsaw

You don’t need to disassemble the chainsaw to sharpen the blades. Lock the clamp onto your bench by bolting it down.

Next, place the chainsaw inside the clamp and position it horizontally.

Once you have fastened the clamp, use a screwdriver to tighten the clamp so it is secure.

2. Start with the Teeth

Using a round file, start filing each of the teeth. The round file enables you to go in between the teeth and not damage their pattern. The size of your round file will vary depending on the size of the chainsaw.

As you complete the motion, mark all of the teeth so you can see where you started. You won’t want to file over the same thing twice.

3. File the Cutters

With the rounded file, you will need to file the cutters. Use the right-size file, as one that’s too small might undercut the teeth. Slide your sharpener over each cutter three to 10 times until it is sharper. Sharpen at an angle for the best results.

4. File the Rakers

Rakers control how much wood a cutter tooth severs. Since you want the chainsaw to have an even cut, make sure the rakers are aligned with the rest of the chainsaw.

Using your depth gauge, check to see if any of the rakers stick out above the others. If one does stick out, use a flat file at an angle.

Best Practices

Here are a few tips that will help you when filing your chainsaw:
●Sharpen at an angle
●Use even pressure
●Sharpen regularly

Do you have chainsaw sharpening tips and tricks? Share them in the comments!


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