How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

Learn how to safely sharpen the chain on your chainsaw in this free educational video.

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Video Transcript

Today we are going to talk about how to use and maintain a chainsaw. Now we are going to show you how to sharpen a chain. What I call it a touch up that I do every hour or two if I am doing some serious cutting or more frequently if you have cut into some dirty wood. We always try to avoid cutting into dirt on the wood because it dulls the chain very quickly. I am going to show you how to touch it up. What I do is maybe touch it up maybe 10 to 15 times and then I take the chain off and bring it to a sharpening company and they will actually grind it. They will get the angles perfect on it for you. So let me show you how we are going to sharpen it. First we need to file. There are different sized files for different sized chains. I don't mean necessarily the length like a 20, 24 or 16 inch chain. These are chisel teeth but the particularly teeth that are on there needs a particular size file. You can get a guide that goes on that will get the angle for you. I don't like using a guide. I do it freehand. I used to sharpen tools for machinery and have a good feel for. I put a glove on one hand just to protect the hand because I am going to be holding the chain and the chain is going to be sharp. Some people mark them. I usually just clean one off real good so I know where I start from because we are going to go all the way around. Now what you are going to want to do is go right down in where the groove is and go right into it. Now depending how dull it is, how many times you have to do it but if you have a good sharp file 3 to 5 times will do it. Whatever you do, do all the same on the teeth. If you start doing more on on, it is going to wear them differently and it won't cut as well. So what we do is cut it like so and then we advance the chain to the next one, repeat the process all the way around until I find my marked one. The we reverse the saw and I am right handed so I like doing it with the right. If you could do with the left hand, you could switch hands. But we did the ones on this side too. So we just cut down through them the 3 times on this one. We go to the next one. We go down. We do it 3 strokes also. What this is going to do is greatly increase how well it actually cuts. Like I said after 10 to 15 times, I bring it to a company that can actually grind it. They will straighten out the angle that you have gotten off a little bit and get it good and sharp for you. I would do this whenever it seems to be getting dull. How you can tell it is getting dull is if the chips are coming out, if it starts to look dusty like fine saw dust you know your blades are dull. The chips should be good size and if they are, you probably have a sharp blade.


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