It’s a common misconception that all chainsaws are made alike. Sure, most people know that different brands will produce different designs, but many people think that these brands still produce the same sized chain to work with. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Because there’s no standard chain size for all chainsaws, it stands to reason that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all chainsaw sharpener either.
This can be frustrating if you need to buy a replacement chain or a chainsaw sharpener and happen to guess wrong. The good news is if you’ve made this mistake, it isn’t too difficult to correct. All you need to do is take a quick look at your chainsaw, and you should be good to go.
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure the chainsaw is off and the chain brake is on. Then take a look at the side of your chainsaw. When you look at the side of your device, you should be able to check the gauge. To do this, look closely at the links on your chain.
There should be a series of numbers or figures engraved into the side of your chain. You’re looking for the size (or pitch) of your chainsaw. Look carefully and confirm that you have the right number before you proceed – if you don’t, you won’t be able to figure out what size chainsaw sharpener you should use.
Once you’ve located the chain pitch, look at the manufacturer’s website or instruction manual to see what size file you need to sharpen your chainsaw blade. This is the only way to be 100% sure that you’re buying the right sized file. However, if you can’t access this information, the following numbers should give you an idea of what you need to do.
If you’re working with a 32 sized chain pitch, you’ll probably need a file that’s 3/16 inch or approximately 4.8mm. If you’re working with a 38 sized chain pitch, you’ll most likely need a file that’s about 7/32 inch or 5.5 mm. If you’re working with a chain pitch that’s 40 or 50 in size, you’ll probably need a file that is 1.4 inches or 6.4 mm. Again, these numbers are all just rough estimates.
You won’t be able to positively confirm their accuracy unless you check them against the instructions given by the manufacturer. Once you’ve found the right chainsaw sharpener file size, you’re good to go! See how it measures up against your chain and make sure that you’re able to work effectively with it.
Line up the file with the angle of the line that should be marked on each cutter. This line will show you the correct angle to file down to sharpen it. If you don’t see a line on any of your cutters, you can put the sharpener down and go to the store – no line means there isn’t enough of the cutter left to sharpen anymore.