Is it time to sharpen your chainsaw blades? You might have thought this hefty power tool would stay sharp forever, however that’s simply not the case. If your chainsaw’s performance has been less than stellar, it’s clearly time for a crash course in sharpening chainsaw blades.
Have you noticed your chainsaw blade obviously buckling as it cuts through wood? Furthermore, is it leaving burn marks on the wood? Or have you used your chainsaw to cut metal? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then obviously your blade needs sharpening. It can be especially slow and dangerous to use a chainsaw with a dull blade. Many people feel that they are unable to sharpen their own chainsaw blades and would therefore rather pay someone to do the job for them. However, sharpening the blade is actually much quicker and easier than you previously anticipated. The following simple steps will help you get your chainsaw back into good working order.
Tools you’ll need
For this task, firstly you will need a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the blade. Secondly, you’ll need a filing kit. Special filing kits that have been designed especially for chainsaws are generally available at garden centers or hardware shops and they contain a guide, depth gauge tool, and files. You can also use a flat or a round file to sharpen the blade. However, it’s not advisable to use a rat-tail file for sharpening as this can ruin the blades of your chainsaw.
And before embarking on a project like sharpening your chainsaw blade, you’ll first want to get familiar with the dangers of using a chainsaw. Also note that if sharpening your blade seems too difficult, simply swapping in a new blade is also an option; however, chainsaw blades are not universal so take care when picking out a replacement.
Steps to sharpen a chainsaw blade
- First, it’s important to make sure that the chainsaw brake is on in order to avoid any accidents. Once you’ve confirmed that your chainsaw is safely turned off and the brake is on, then lightly clamp the bar in a vice so that you can work on the blade.
- Your filing kit should contain a guide so you can place it between the rivets of the chain. The guide will help you to file in the right direction and will also stop you from filing too deeply.
- Next, place the file on the guide and then gently move it back and forth two or three times. You will then notice the face of the cutter turns a silver color. Continue sharpening each cutter in this way.
- Once you have sharpened a couple of the cutters, you will need to release the chainsaw from the vice and move the chain around so that you are able to sharpen the other side. Then do this until each cutter looks clean and sharp.
- To make sure that the cutters can reach the wood, use a depth gauge tool in order to adjust the height of the depth gauges on the chain.
In order to ensure your chainsaw is working to the best of its ability, it’s important to sharpen the blade regularly. On the positive side, this is a simple task that can take as little as ten minutes. It’s also a good idea to get in the habit of sharpening the blade every time you refill your chainsaw with fuel because then it will always be sharp when you use it. Keep the chainsaw blades out of the dirt when cutting because this will make it dull more quickly. (To maintain optimum sharpness, you should also try to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture.)
If you want an even easier way to keep your chainsaw blades sharp, you can use a rotary tool. To sharpen your chainsaw blades with a rotary tool, simply place the grinding wheel on the cutter. Turn it on and then grind the cutter to the count of four. Of course, make sure you always use safety goggles when using power tools!
By using these simple tips to sharpen chainsaw blades, you’ll ensure that each and every project, from cutting firewood to trimming trees, is undoubtedly as precise as it can be. And if you’re ready for a new chainsaw entirely (or want to buy your first!), here are our top picks for small gas-powered chainsaws as well as our guide to the best overall chainsaw brands.