If you’re working with a chainsaw – whether it’s to cut down trees that have fallen during a storm or part of your regular job like working lumber, you know that the blades will begin to dull down from time to time. In the past, this issue proved to be very problematic for most workers because dull blades don’t cut through material nearly as well and can easily create dangerous situations.
Luckily, however, sharpening a chainsaw is a very simple and straightforward process that requires minimal effort on your end – especially if you use an electric chainsaw sharpener.
Before you get started, you’ll need to take some safety precautions. You’ll definitely need to use some heavy duty gloves to protect your hands while you work – and it is advisable to get a pair of protective eyewear to put on as well. Once you’ve gotten these materials you can proceed on to sharpening the chainsaw chain.
The process will largely be determined by what type of tool you’re working with. However, regardless of what type of sharpening kit you use, you’re going to need to turn on the chain brake to secure the line and find a clamp to stabilize the nose bar so you’ll be able to use both of your hands while working.
If you’re using a manual sharpening kit, you’ll proceed by finding the guide included in the kit and laying it down on top of the rivets in the chain. The arrows on the guide should be pointing down towards the nose bar of the chainsaw if you’ve put it on correctly.
Now follow the angle suggested by the guide and move your file across this area. Do this two to three times or until you see a shiny silver gleam on the metal. This means you’ve filed down the blade enough to make it sharp again.
If you’re using a bench sharpener, set the chainsaw up underneath the machine so that the rivets and cutters are directly below the machine. Then turn the motor on and let it file down the cutters. Make sure you don’t let the motor run for too long – filing the cutters down too low will make your chainsaw less accurate and could cause problems for you later on.
Finally, if you’re using a handheld sharpener, you’ll need to position the spinning disk and guide directly over the rivets in the same way that you would with a manual kit. Be careful while doing this – you’ll need to maintain your concentration to make sure you don’t take off too much from the cutter or file it down at the wrong angle.
Once you’ve sharpened the cutters in your range, disengage the chainsaw brake and rotate the chain forward. Then re-engage the chain brake and get your sharpening tool in position again. Do this until you’ve completed the entire chain, then turn the chainsaw around so you can sharpen the other side of the cutters. Read the full review of the top sharpeners right here.
Before you finish up, you’ll also want to check the depth of the cutters. Use the depth gauge that should come with your kit to measure the height of the chainsaw cutters. If the cutters are above the gauge, they’re too high and will need to be readjusted. You can do this by filing them down until they are the proper height.