If you’re working with a chainsaw – whether you work with lumber as part of your regular job or it’s to cut down fallen trees after a storm – you know that the blades will begin to dull down from time to time. In the past, this proved to be a big problem for most workers because dull blades don’t cut through material nearly as well. Not to mention, they can easily create dangerous situations.
Luckily, 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. Use a pair of heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands while you work – and we advise you to wear protective eyewear as well. Once you’ve gotten these materials, you can proceed to sharpen the chainsaw chain.
The process will largely be determined by what type of tool you’re working with. However, regardless of the sharpening kit you use, you’ll need to turn on the chain brake to secure the line. Find a clamp to stabilize the nose bar so you’ll be able to use both hands while working.
If you’re using a manual sharpening kit, find the included guide and place it 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.
Follow the angle suggested by the guide and move your file across this area 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. 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 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. Again, be careful while doing this – you’ll need to maintain your concentration to make sure you don’t take off too much 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. Just file them down until they are the proper height.
There you have it – our guide to using a chainsaw sharpener.