How to sharpen a chainsaw chain at home

When learning how to adjust your chainsaw, be extremely careful, because improper adjustments are the first cause of rapid chain failure and abrasion of its teeth. Usually chain blunts for the following reasons:

  • use of low-quality oil or oil that does not meet the specifications in the manual;
  • Improperly set clearances between the edge and the limiter;
  • Lack of lubrication in the system;
  • loose chain tension.

also be careful when sawing old boards, because they contain nails that also dull the sharpness of the teeth. Unskillful handling, frequent contact with hard objects like stones, bricks, intensive use, etc. are also considered to be important factors of element wear.

Chain design

To give your saw teeth optimal cutting properties, you need to know what parts of the chain and chain links are made of.

Chain teeth have a complex geometry with different angles and slopes, a cutting plane, and a sawing depth limiter. In the process, each chain tooth is sharpened left and right.

Sawing mechanics like a chain saw

The working principle of the teeth is similar to that of a planer. they gouge wood. Depth limiter adjusts cutting depth in wood. Upper blade lifts chips away from base of kerf and end blade. takes it to the side. The tooth blade tapers at the back to form the end angle of the blade. This angle allows the chip to be cut from the side.

Saw chains are specially marked for easy sharpening and wear control:

properly, sharpen, chainsaw, chain, machine
  • Sharpening angle. the upper blade is marked to determine the correct angle and the minimum tooth length. When reaching the mark. the chain is worth replacing.
  • Front angle. for the correct tooth angle and for the minimum tooth length.
  • Depth stop. Marks the correct angle for restoration work; the restoration must run parallel to the marking line.
  • The base of the tooth is marked to monitor the wear on the working surface of the cutting teeth. It is also an indicator of normal operation. If the wear is parallel to the marking.

Types and differences of chains

Among the characteristics by which chains for saw chains are distinguished, there are two main ones:

Chain pitch

If you look at the outside of the depth stop, you can see the pitch value there. It denotes the distance between adjacent links. This value is always indicated in inches. The pitch of the chain will determine the choice of file for sharpening:

  • 3/8″ is a common size found on many gasoline and electric saws. To sharpen such a chain, you’ll need a 4mm file. Chains with this pitch are used primarily for work with soft wood.
  • 0.325″. used on both domestic and professional class saws. An engine of at least 3.5 hp can cope with such a saw. A file for sharpening should be 4.8 mm in diameter.
  • 0,375″. Capable of handling thick logs. Such chain must be sharpened with file with diameter of 5,2 mm.
  • 0.404″. mounted only on heavy-duty professional grade gasoline or power tools. Recommended file diameter is at least 5.5 mm.
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Tooth height

  • Low Profile. Such saws have tooth heights up to 0.025″. Such chains are designed for low-powered saws or semi-professional grade tools.
  • High Profile. Tooth height on these saws is 0.03″. Most often, it is a powerful tool for professional use.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain correctly with your own hands. Step-by-step instructions

To sharpen your chain saw correctly, you need to follow some rules. Knowing how to remove and lock the chain correctly is one of the important factors for successful sharpening.

What you need for sharpening saw chain at home

It is possible to sharpen the chain of a chainsaw both manually and with a special sharpening machine. Most people do this procedure by hand.

However, professionals advise against doing it very often because it can lead to rapid wear and tear. But there are still times when it is necessary to sharpen the saw manually.

For this purpose, they sell special devices for sharpening chainsaw chains, which include:

A template is needed to adjust the depth stop to be sharpened. And the hook is for removing dust and sawdust from the chain. All gardeners will need such a chainsaw chain sharpening kit.

During sharpening, the file holder is positioned on the tooth you are sharpening. A flat file is used to work with the depth stop.

  • When sharpening by hand, the teeth are ground unevenly, resulting in imbalanced operation;
  • Old chains wear out over time and sharpening by hand becomes almost impossible;
  • The cutting edge may lose its normal shape;
  • there is a risk that the chain will break over time.

There is also a third method of sharpening a chainsaw chain. This method is fairly new and probably the easiest. All you have to do is buy a special chain sharpening wheel for chainsaws together with a special chain. This is a small device that is put on the end of the bar and fixed in a stationary position. In the middle of it is an emery stone, which will sharpen your chain as long as you just push the button.

This stone is placed with the concave side facing the bar. The chain has links on it that mash the stone and keep the oil out of the saw. How to sharpen the chain with your own hands by this method, you can see on video.

Removing a chain from a chainsaw

To remove the chain from the chain saw, you first need to pull the chain guard toward you. As soon as you hear a clicking sound, get a screwdriver and loosen the chain. After that with a wrench unscrew the nut and remove the bar together with the chain. There’s nothing complicated about this procedure, except that you have to tension the chain correctly when you put it back on, because if you over tension it, there’s a chance of breaking it. If you don’t tighten it properly, the chain can come off the tire.

But you also need to know how to properly tighten it. After you put the chain on the bar and put everything back together, make sure it’s tight under the bar. A tensioned chain should come off the bottom of the bar by 3 to 5 mm when you pull it by hand.

How to fix and sharpen the chain at home

To understand how to properly sharpen the chainsaw chain with a file, and learn how to do it at home, you need to adhere to the following step-by-step instructions. First, you need to get the chain properly locked in place. There are several methods of fixation. The first method is to clamp the bar in a vise. this is the most correct method.

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That way you can be sure the chain stays in place. But there is a second method. You might just sit back, place the saw between your legs and at knee level and start sharpening. The most important thing is to make sure that the bottom of the guide bar is not below your knees.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file:

  • Clamp the chain saw bar in such a way that it is in a stationary position.
  • Select the right round file and file holder so that the file tip does not protrude more than 20% when sharpening the cutting edge.
  • Mark the tooth where you start sharpening so you don’t have to go a second round.
  • When sharpening, pull the file in only one direction and twist it regularly about its axis to ensure even wear.
  • If necessary, use a flat file to sharpen the depth stop.

And it’s important to remember the chain saw chain sharpening angle. The angle in the vertical plane of the file in relation to the chain should be 90º, and in the horizontal.30º or 10º, depending on the parameters of the saw (at an angle of 10º are sharpened saws, which are designed for longitudinal cutting of logs). A file holder will help you hold the angle and position of your file.

Important! If you see that the depth of sharpening of the teeth is already deep enough, it is better to change the chain to a new one in order to avoid its breaking while working.

If you or a neighbor has a chain sharpening machine, you are in luck. With this equipment you can sharpen your saw quickly, qualitatively and without much effort. Here is an approximate order of sharpening on the machine:

  • Loosen the chain on the chain saw a little by turning the side screw with a screwdriver.
  • Then you should position the chain saw in the sharpening machine with the teeth pointing toward the sharpening stone.
  • Next, you have to choose the sharpening angle (it depends on the type of chainsaw).
  • Set Polarity.
  • Select whether you want to sharpen the file in series or across the teeth.

Now you can proceed to the procedure itself.

There is no need to worry about how to sharpen a chainsaw chain as accurately as possible on the machine. All modern automatic sharpeners are brought almost to perfection. So you just need to follow the instructions above.

What sharpening tools are available

To get started you need to have the right tool, which can be of two kinds.

Hand tools

Set of tools required for sharpening saw teeth:

  • A flat file, which you learn to use in the labor lessons at school. Use it to sharpen the depth stop.
  • A round file with a certain diameter, needed for sharpening the cutting tooth. It comes with an additional device. a holder with lines that tell you how to properly hold the tool in relation to the chain. The holder is positioned on the saw tooth with respect to the guide lines, the file position is under the cutting surface.
  • A template for the sharpening and matching of settings.
  • Hook necessary for removing sawdust from the chain.
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Sets of various equipment can be purchased at a specialized store

Metal templates for sharpening help calculate sharpening depth

Handheld and electric machines

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain, if the cutting edge of the tooth has absolutely lost its shape due to prolonged work? You can also use files, but the process will be unproductive and time-consuming. The best option. the use of machines, and here you have to choose, because machines come in different forms. manual and electric.

Manual STIHL chain sharpening machine

Parameters are set before work and processing is much faster than with files: for sharpening of each tooth 2-3 movements are enough. Electric machines are also difficult to set up but work quickly and accurately.

Electric machine allows you to reduce a lot of time, but not everyone is willing to shell out a round sum for him

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain

Chain blunts most when cutting hard, wet, frozen wood. Least of all for dry softwoods that have been in storage for a while.

There are two types of sharpening: manual and machine sharpening.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw by hand with a file

When sharpening by hand, the cutting teeth are ground with a circular file that is matched to the tooth size and pitch. A number of conditions must be met:

  • it is necessary to sharpen the teeth at an angle of 25°-35° (that means the angle of the cutting edge of the tooth relative to the perpendicular axis to the chain link). A smaller angle ensures a smoother running and is needed for hard and frozen wood. A larger angle. for soft wood, dry wood, fast cutting;
  • trimming of depth limiter is made 1 time in 5-10 sharpening of teeth in order to keep 0,5-0,8 mm difference between its height and height of cutting edge of tooth (otherwise the saw can cut unproductive, give fine chips, give more bounce);
  • hold the file at 30° horizontal and 90° vertical angles;
  • Ensure that the top of the circular file is about 20% of its total diameter from the edge of the cutting tooth.

In order to meet all of these difficult conditions a special tool is produced with nozzles that limit the cutting depth to the optimum cutting depth and have tips for the optimum angle of the file during operation.

As you can imagine, if the saw is used frequently and intensively, manually undercutting the teeth will be a pretty noticeable waste of time. Machines are used for optimization. Handheld machines are either attached to the chain blade to provide hand sharpening, or involve removing the chain. Electric machines are the most productive. By setting the sharpening parameters once, the chain can be sharpened on it in minutes.

How to keep a chainsaw chain sharp for longer?

Deciding to sharpen the tool chain with your own hands, remember to be careful. Foreman’s safety comes first. Attention during work will save you from injury and ensure the correct sharpening angle.

You can choose from our catalog and order supplies, chainsaw accessories, files, and other tools for the job. If you have any questions, call 7870.

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