How To Sharpen A Chainsaw

James Lawson
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Sharpening a chainsaw can seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s actually a simple process that requires a few tools and supplies, and can help your chainsaw run more efficiently. With the right knowledge and technique, you can sharpen your chainsaw quickly and safely.

In this article, we’ll discuss the steps for sharpening a chainsaw, including:

  • Preparing your chainsaw
  • Examining the chain and chain bar
  • Selecting the right sharpening tools
  • Sharpening the chain
  • Maintaining the chain and bar

Let’s get started!

Preparing Your Chainsaw for Sharpening

Now it’s time to get your saw ready for some TLC – let’s get it prepped for the maintenance it needs!

Before starting to sharpen your chainsaw, you should inspect the saw blade and all its components to ensure that they are in good condition. Start by checking the tension of the chain; it should be tight enough to stay on the bar but loose enough to move freely. If the chain is too tight or too loose, you’ll need to adjust the tension by using the adjustment screws located on the side of the saw.

Additionally, make sure that the bar and chain are securely attached to the saw and replace any missing or broken parts.

Lastly, check the oil level and fill it up as needed. Once you’ve completed these tasks, your chainsaw is ready for the next step in the sharpening process.

Examining the Chain and Chain Bar

Examine your chain and chain bar closely, for it’s essential to get the job done – and the consequences of overlooking it could be dire.

To begin, check the tension of the chain by lifting it with your fingers. If it’s too loose, you may need to adjust the tensioner.

After checking the tension, inspect the links on the chain for signs of wear, damage, and fatigue. If any links show signs of excessive wear, you should replace them with new ones.

Take special care to check the depth gauges, which should be flush with the cutters. If any of the depth gauges are too high or too low, you will need to adjust them for optimal performance.

Lastly, look for any cracks or chips in the chain bar. These can compromise the safety of the chain and should be replaced as soon as possible.

With the chain and chain bar in good condition, you’re now ready to select the right sharpening tools to get the job done properly.

Selecting the Right Sharpening Tools

Ensuring the chainsaw is properly sharpened is essential for successful operation, so selecting the right sharpening tools is key. When buying sharpening tools for a chainsaw, there are several important tips and safety concerns to consider:

  1. Always select a sharpening tool that’s the right size for your chainsaw.

  2. Look for a sharpening tool that’s easy to use and simple to adjust.

  3. Check to make sure the sharpening tool is well-made and durable.

  4. Make sure the sharpening tool complies with all safety standards.

Taking these factors into account will help you find the right sharpening tool for your needs.

With the right tool in hand, you’ll be ready to sharpen the chain and get your chainsaw running smoothly.

Sharpening the Chain

Once you’ve found the perfect sharpening tool, you’ll be ready to tackle the next step: getting that chain ready to go!

Before sharpening the chain, it’s important to ensure that your chain is well-oiled. This will help to prevent the chain from becoming too hot during the sharpening process. Additionally, it’s important to take safety precautions such as wearing gloves and safety glasses. It’s also essential to stay focused and alert to avoid any injuries.

Once the chain is oiled and safety precautions are taken, you can start sharpening the chain. To do this, you must secure the chainsaw against a flat surface.

Then, you can begin using the sharpening tool to sharpen the chain. It’s important to move the tool slowly and evenly, in line with the length of the chain. This process should be repeated until the chain has been sharpened to the desired level.

Moving on to the next section, you’ll be ready to maintain the chain and bar.

Maintaining the Chain and Bar

To keep your chain and bar in top shape, you’ll need to take a few steps to maintain them. Regularly inspect and lubricate your chain and bar to ensure they can do their job safely and efficiently.

Here are some tips for lubricating and maintaining your chainsaw chain and bar:

  • Regularly inspect for damage or wear.
  • Regularly sharpen the chain.
  • Regularly clean the chain and bar.
  • Oil the chain and bar after every use.
  • Use only bar and chain oil.

Remember to apply oil to the chain and bar after sharpening.

Following these safety practices and lubricating tips will help you keep your chain and bar in good condition. This way, you can enjoy safe and efficient chainsawing for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety precautions should I take when sharpening a chainsaw?

When it comes to sharpening a chainsaw, safety is key. Before beginning the process, it’s important to make sure you have the proper tools. Choose a chainsaw file or grinding stone that’s the same size as the chain’s teeth.

Be sure to store the blades in a safe place, such as a blade cover or sheath, to avoid injury. Additionally, make sure to wear protective gloves, eyewear, and hearing protection. Finally, always make sure the chainsaw is off before beginning to sharpen.

Following these safety precautions will ensure that you have a safe and successful sharpening experience.

How often should I sharpen my chainsaw?

Sharpening a chainsaw is an important part of its maintenance. To keep a chainsaw running smoothly, it should be sharpened regularly, at least once a month or more depending on the amount of use it gets.

You should use the correct sharpening tools and tension the chain properly. A chainsaw that is not sharp enough can cause the chain to jump off, creating a dangerous situation.

Additionally, a dull chainsaw takes more effort to cut, so sharpening it regularly will help ensure efficient performance.

Is it difficult to sharpen a chainsaw?

Sharpening a chainsaw is surprisingly easy – it’s almost like a superpower! But in order to master the art of chain maintenance, you’ll need to be precise, knowledgeable and have a good eye for filing techniques.

To get professional results, you’ll need to follow the chain manufacturer’s recommendations and choose the right file size and type. Once you’ve got that sorted, you’ll be able to sharpen your chainsaw quickly and safely.

What type of oil should I use on my chainsaw?

When selecting a type of oil to use on your chainsaw, it’s important to choose an oil that is specifically designed for high-speed chain lubrication. You should also consider the chain selection and chain angles of your chainsaw when selecting the oil.

A high-quality oil should be able to keep the chain lubricated without being too thick or thin. It should also be able to reduce friction and reduce the amount of heat generated by the chain.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using oil on your chainsaw.

How can I tell if my chainsaw needs sharpening?

You can tell if your chainsaw needs sharpening if you begin to experience eye strain and other signs of deterioration.

Over time, as the chainsaw is used, the teeth of the blade start to wear down, resulting in a saw that is less efficient and causes more effort to use.

This can be seen in the form of a jagged or rough cut, or in more extreme cases the blade may become clogged with sawdust.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good indication that your chainsaw needs sharpening.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to sharpen a chainsaw. It’s a surprisingly easy process that doesn’t take too much time or effort.

You can now enjoy a chainsaw that’s in top condition, ready to take on any job. It’s ironic that a tool that looks so dangerous is actually quite easy to maintain.

With a few simple steps and the right tools, you can keep your chainsaw in good working order for years.

Now get out there and start cutting!

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