— Sharpen Chainsaw Blade


A chainsaw is the most necessary tool for anyone who is working or running a business in the woods, working at cutting or have a firewood factory. In fact, a single chainsaw is just the start of having your own collection of chainsaws for different kinds of work and different people.

Yet, each chainsaw becomes dull overtime. In machines just like depreciation happens overtime where the machines productivity goes down, similarly a chainsaw loses its sharpness and reduces performance over a long period of usage.

However, you don’t need to worry about spending money on buying multiple new ones because we have a very simple and basic guide for you to sharpen your chainsaw blade by yourself. The guide below has a step wise process for you to follow and also lists the things you need to be extra careful about while working.


Step 1: Ensure that you have all tools available for the sharpening process. You’ll need a glove to protect your hands and ensure quick word. Then, use your owner’s guide to find the diameter of your chainsaw teeth and get a file accordingly from the local hardware store. With that, a depth gauge and a flat file for the rakers would also be needed.

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Things to be careful about:

  1. If you are a beginner or you are worried about being steady and consistent, it is suggested you clamp the chainsaw on a bench in one place and use a screw to tighten the chain enough to just allow for slight turning while sharpening.

  2. You do not need to worry about the chain, and only focus on sharpening the teeth and rakers of the chainsaw, which do the main work. You can oil your chain well at the end if needed.

  3. Make sure you avoid using a rattail file and go for a round file as a rattail file is rough and actually reduce long-term performance.

Step 2: Now, to start working on the teeth, use the round file by mounting it in the notch right in front of the cutter. Now, read the owner’s guide and angle the file accordingly for sharpening. Once the angle is set, start a forward motion away from your body and sharpen the teeth. Then lift the file back to its original position and repeat the same motion.

Things to be careful about:

  1. Make sure you get the angle right. The angle is usually anywhere between 20-35 degrees for chainsaws and varies from chainsaw to chainsaw.

  2. Always push the file away from your body and do not drag it backwards. Pulling it backwards would work against your favour and damage the teeth.

  3. Go through your owner’s guide thoroughly to avoid making any silly mistakes.

Step 3: Now carry the same process for every alternate tooth from your starting point. Usually, if you start with the right cutters, you sharpen all right cutters first and then rotate the chainsaw by 180 degrees and then work on all left cutters.

Things to be careful about:

  1. Stop sharpening a cutter when you see that it is shiny and silvery. It is time to move on to the next one.

  2. Keep a count of the number of times you sharpen, usually between 6-10 times so that you can keep it constant for each tooth.

  3. Maintain the same angle, given in the owner’s guide and use a file holder if you struggle.


Step 4: Once the teeth are sorted, you need to use the depth gauge and the flat file for the rakers. Put the depth gauge on a raker and move it forward, around your chainsaw to check each raker. If you find any raker above the height of the gauge, it is time to use the flat file to work on it and reduce the height to normal. Put the flat file on top and start sharpening the rakers.

Things to be careful about:

  1. Be careful while checking each raker because even if you miss one, your chainsaw would lose the right cutting balance.

  2. The depth gauge protects the teeth around a raker but the flat file can very well work through the depth gauge itself and reduce its height. So, don’t let that happen since it would also lead to inconsistency in the heights of future rakers and would be a reason for you to actually go buy a new chainsaw.

  3. You could use the depth gauge to check the height first and then remove it backwards, make 2-3 fine sharp cuts by using the flat file and then recheck. This might be time taking but ensures that there are no errors.

Step 5: Now, you are done sharpening and need to do a thorough review in case you missed out on anything. Check the teeth and raker heights once more before you can call it a day. Then release the chain and remove the clamp if needed. Well, it is the Time to take the newly sharpened tool for a test run now.

Additional tips: The above tutorial is for beginners and involves very low costs. It is manual and would take you around 10-15mins easily.

However, if you are looking for something more advanced and long-term especially if your work requires you to sharpen quite often, Electric Chainsaw sharpeners are a good bet. They are slightly more expensive but cover all needs and are easily available on Amazon.

Mostly, look for an inbuilt light, variety in the types of chainsaws each electric sharpener could work on and the speed. A 4200 RPM is the best and would finish the job in 5-7 minutes. Oregon and Buffalo are good companies to start looking at as the provide flexibility, choice and a sturdy design.

Although, please make sure that you don’t sharpen your chainsaw unnecessarily. Use the above suggestions only when you notice reduced performance, dullness or highly time-taking cutting.

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