How to sharpen a chain on a chainsaw with your hands

How to correctly perform sharpening of the chain of a chainsaw with his hands?

Chainsaw chain requires regular maintenance and sharpening. On this depends on the performance of the tool, the rate of wear and operator safety. The need to renew the cutting edge of the teeth can be determined by the presence of sawdust on their surface, the characteristic dull sound during sawing. For sharpening the bar, you can use an electric or manual machine, an angle grinder, a regular file. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, certain skills.

Before starting work, you should determine the basic characteristics of the chainring. The choice of sharpening method, tools and the need for the procedure depends on it. What to pay attention to:

  • Features of the link. It consists of a base, a tine blade, a depth limiter, two blades. You should carefully inspect each item, identify obvious defects and mechanical damage. they should be worked with first;
  • Blade angle. It is what allows the chain to cut wood, determines the volume and shape of the wood chip. It must be free of defects. The parameter of the upper blade varies from 50 to 60 o, the end blade. from 60 to 85 o ;
  • The bar profile height can be 0.625mm or 0.762mm. When processing the limiters, you should get into this range to reduce the vibration of the tool during sawing.

Metal type and pitch are second most important features. For soft and medium density material an ordinary file will do the job, it does a great job of sharpening. For hard metal chains with a fine pitch (0.36″ and higher), it is recommended to use the machine tool dressing method only.

Important! The basic parameters of the harness and its components can be found in the instruction manual. Please always refer to the manufacturer’s website for detailed technical specifications.

When to sharpen?

You can determine the need for sharpening chain teeth while working with wood. Reduced cutting speed, tool makes a characteristic noise. Typical signs of a dull blade:

  • The saw does not cut into the wood but moves from place to place like a sander;
  • when working with hardwoods, the headset weakly enters the thickness of the log, you have to apply mechanical force;
  • The shavings become loose and rarely fall off during work;
  • All chain saw parts become hotter than normal, you can smell burnt oil.

A quality chain should have a smooth, metallic shine on the teeth. There must not be any rust, deposits on any part of the link. It is not recommended to operate the tool if there are chips, dents, or other mechanical damage to the cutting edge.

What we need

The main tool we will use is a circular file (not a tapered one)!). The diameter of the cross section of the file has to correspond to the diameter of the rounding of the cutting tooth of the chain. Files with a diameter of 4.8mm are good for sharpening most domestic saws. Check this size with your saw and pick up an appropriate file.

Often the teeth of chain saws are sharpened by hand with a file. I propose to improve and speed up this process, so we need a screwdriver or drill, preferably with adjustable speed.And the “zest” of my sharpening technology. is a small bearing. It can be anything. ball, roller, cylindrical, conical. The main thing is to hold it comfortably in your hand by the outer ring. Its purpose I will explain below.

Preparation of the tool

First of all we have to remove the shank, that is part of the file, which fits into the grip. You can do it with an emery machine or an angle grinder, whichever is more convenient. Then we insert the file into a chuck of your drill or screwdriver and clamp it.

Next, from wood, plastic or any other material we make a sleeve, which is tightly fitted on the free end of the file. The inner ring of our bearing should be firmly seated on the outer surface of the sleeve.

It is made for that during the work it is possible to hold the tool with two hands, one by the handle of the drill, and the second. by the bearing outer ring.

Sharpening methods

If it is necessary to sharpen the chain, you can use three ways:

Hand sharpening

You need two hand tools. two files (one round, one flat) and a file jig. The size of a flat file does not matter. you need it to work with a stop. But the required diameter of a circular file for sharpening is directly proportional to the pitch of the chain. You can see the degree markings on the file holder. This will help you hold the round file and set the correct sharpening angle. To know what angle is needed you should use a measuring tool. You need to determine the inclination of the cutting edge in relation to the bar. This value can range from 25° to 35°. It is best to stay within these limits. The only exception are circular saws with a sharpening angle of 10° to 15°.

To sharpen your chain by hand, proceed as follows:

  • Clamp the tire in a vise.
  • Put the file holder on the chain. A file must already be set in the file holder. Locate the arrows on the tool bar and place them parallel to the tire.
  • Check the angle at which the chain is to be sharpened. The optimal range is 25 to 35 degrees. Some suggest you narrow this range to 28-32°. If you succeed, try to work within these limits.
  • When sharpening move forward. note the number of times you ran over the first tooth and sharpen each tooth the same number of times.
  • The top edge of the file should protrude 1/5 of its diameter beyond the tooth boundary. Vertically, the angle of the file should be 90° to the chain. Horizontally, the angle is chosen depending on the chain.

It is advisable to first sharpen the cutting teeth that face one direction and then switch to the other side. This will speed up the sharpening process and help bring the file movements into automatic mode. It is best to find the most worn-out tooth and use it as a guide when adjusting the others.

Using a file is a good method, but lack of experience can cause the saw to veer sideways. It would negatively affect the tool and the quality of work. To avoid this problem, you may use special patterns.

Using templates

Templates are fixtures that are tailored to specific chain parameters. They allow you to work with a specific degree of sharpening and inclination, ensuring high accuracy. A template is used for each prong. It is moved along it by rollers. The only thing to keep in mind is that each jig is adapted to work with a certain type of chain. If you use several different chains, you’ll need a different template for each one.

sharpen, chain, chainsaw, your, hands

Templates are very popular among people who work professionally with a chainsaw. They greatly reduce sharpening time and produce a good quality of sharpening. These templates are great for people without much chain saw chain sharpening experience, and they help keep the chain from getting damaged.

Sharpening on the machine

Using special equipment you can sharpen the chain quickly and easily for maximum precision. Every chain sharpening machine comes with accurate measuring tools and scales. One disadvantage of this method is that it is expensive. Not everyone can afford a sharpening machine at home. Normally a chain sharpening machine for chain saws only pays for itself if it is used often or in the workshop.

Types and differences of chains

Among the characteristics by which chains for saws differ are two main ones:

Chain pitch

If you look on the outside of the depth stop, you can see the pitch. It indicates the distance between the neighboring links. This value is always stated in inches. From the pitch of the chain will depend on the choice of file for sharpening:

  • 3/8″ is a common size found on many gasoline and electric saws. For sharpening such a chain you need a 4 mm file. Chains with this pitch are mainly used for work with soft wood.
  • 0.325″. used on utility and professional class saws. An engine with at least 3.5 horsepower can handle such a saw. The diameter of the file for sharpening must be 4.8 mm.
  • 0,375″. Capable of handling thick logs. Such chain needs to be sharpened with a file of 5,2 mm in diameter.
  • 0,404″. mounted only on high-powered professional grade gasoline or electric tools. Recommended file diameter. not less than 5,5 mm.

Tooth height

  • Low profile. The teeth of such saws reach a height of 0.025″. Such chains are used on low-powered saws or semi-professional tools.
  • High Profile. Teeth height of such saws is 0,03″. Most often these are powerful tools for professional use.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain quickly and carefully without dismantling it

Chain saw chain can be sharpened in a workshop (cost of service from 250 ) or with your own hands in the presence of special devices. But what to do when the tool is blunt at the sawmill or in places where there are no workshops or special sharpening equipment?? In this case you can use diamond tipped tips and get your chain saw working again quickly and without too many problems by yourself, knowing a few simple rules of sharpening.

The use of diamond tipped sharpening tips for sharpening chainsaw saw chain links is not only attractive because of its simplicity and efficiency. Sharpening stones also enable a gentle sharpening process by removing a minimum layer of metal from the cutter teeth compared to an emery or angle grinder. This allows more sharpening cycles, which greatly extends the life of the chain before it wears out completely.

If you continue to work with a blunt saw chain, you will need to use more physical force on the tool, the cutting performance will fall, the engine will overload, the fuel consumption will increase and the overall life of the chainsaw will come to an end catastrophically fast. That’s why you can’t pull with the chain sharpening.

It is possible to sharpen cutting teeth with diamond-coated accessories without removing the saw chain from the guide bar, which not only reduces sharpening time but also provides certain conveniences at logging site. But be sure to put the chain on the brake.

For convenience, sharpen the left tooth first and then the right, or vice versa. We place the burr between cutting edge of the tooth and depth guide under the angle of 25-30 degrees in a horizontal plane and perpendicular to the chain in the vertical plane.

The burr should be slightly elevated above the tooth and rotate toward it when sharpening. This method is good because it does not burn the tooth stinger and does not weaken it, as it happens when grinding with an emery or angle grinder with their high revolutions.

By the way, instead of an electric screwdriver you can use a drill or boring machine with a speed of up to 2000 rpm. But extreme caution is needed, because metal removal is intense.

Because the height of the tooth decreases with each sharpening, it is necessary to resharpen the kerf after 2 or 3 sharpening intervals with a flat file or a diamond nose cap.

When it is time to sharpen the saw?

The time between two sharpening intervals depends on how often you use the tool. Some use it daily, others several times a year.

There are some telltale signs of bluntness that show up while you’re sawing:

  • The chain becomes slack and the saw blade does not always function accurately and slows down the cut. Working with this chain requires extra effort.
  • The sawing process slows down, productivity falls, you have to spend twice as much time on your work.
  • The appearance of the sawdust changes: it becomes uneven, sharp, finer. Sharpened saw chips look different: equal pieces of straight, rectangular shape.

If the saw loses precision and gets stuck in the cut, it’s time to get the chain teeth straightened

sharpen, chain, chainsaw, your, hands

Do not put off repairs for too long. The earlier you sharpen, the less material you have to grind, respectively, the longer the service life. And you do not have to work with a blunt tool for a long time, increase its wear and waste your own physical strength.

Two chip samples: the first is the result of sawing with a sharpened saw, the second is the result of sharpening

What sharpening tools exist

To begin work, you need to stock up on tools, which are divided into two types.

Hand tools

A set of tools you need to sharpen your saw teeth:

  • A flat file, which you learn how to use in school labor classes. Use it to grind the depth stop.
  • A round file with a certain diameter needed for sharpening a cutting tooth. It comes with an extra attachment, a holder with lines that tell you how to hold the tool properly 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.
  • Template for straightening and making adjustments.
  • A hook is needed to remove filings from the chain.

Sets of various accessories are available at your local dealership

Metal sharpening templates for calculating the sharpening depth

Manual 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? Files can also be used, but the process would be unproductive and time-consuming. The best option. the use of machines, and here you have to choose, because the machines come in different types. manual and electric.

Manual STIHL chain sharpening machine

it is necessary to set the parameters before working, and the sharpening process is much faster than with files: each tooth needs only 2-3 sharpening strokes. electric machines are also difficult to set up, but work quickly and accurately.

An electric tool can save a lot of time, but not everyone is willing to pay a lot of money for it

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain at home with a file

to correctly sharpen the chain of a chainsaw with a file will help a tool with an exclusively round cross-section. The parameters of the file are determined by the size of the saw itself. It is important to know the pitch of the teeth. One circular sharpener is not enough. For sharpening and dressing chains, two kinds of tools are used. First, it is a circular file with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the rounding of the working edge of the sawtooth. A flat file is needed for sharpening the depth stop on the saw’s guide tooth.

Sharpening can be done manually with a 4 to 5.5 mm round file. It’s important to position the tool correctly in relation to the tooth to be sharpened. The top edge of the file is about a fifth higher than the top edge of the workpiece. The tool is held perpendicular to the chain axis at an angle of 25º 30º to the upper edge of the tooth.

For sharpening saw chains of household tools, circular files 4 and 4,8 mm in diameter are used, because they have a small tooth. For professional models more powerful chains with a larger tooth are used. This is why files with diameters of 5.2 and 5.5 mm are needed.

A flat file will be needed for sharpening the limiter, and a hook is needed for cleaning the work site to remove sawdust that forms. there are also special holders available on which lines of file movement relative to the chain axis are programmed. A holder can be placed on the tooth from above, resting on its upper edge. Since its height is adapted to a certain chain pitch, this device should be selected for specific models and brands of chain saws. Minimum kit needed to get the right angle for hand sharpening a chain is shown in the photo.

Sharpening tool and tool kit

Hand sharpening saves money, allows work in the field. First you need to set the tool on a flat area. If you are working in the woods, a large-diameter log is a good idea. Then it is necessary to examine the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After the inspection you need to put the brake in working position, thereby blocking the chain bar, which has to be tensioned during the sharpening file.

A file for sharpening chainsaw chains: types and tips for choosing

The diameter of the circular file is chosen according to the pitch of the saw chain. Files with a 4 mm and 5.2 mm pitch correspond to 1.3 and 1.6 mm. A flat tool is needed to reduce the height of the blade stops.

How to correctly sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file

Templates and templates have to be fixed in the area to be sharpened. This will give the file the needed direction, making the process easier. When all preparatory work is done, you can start sharpening the chain.

According to the rules, it is necessary to sharpen the teeth of one direction, and then the other one. The work begins with light pushes with the file in the direction from yourself, the pressure gradually increases. A file reversal. without pushing. The circular tool should be rotated continuously along its axis. The chain is sharpened by sharpening from inside the tooth outwards. In doing so, the file should be placed parallel to a special marker on the chain, which is applied by the manufacturer to indicate the standard sharpening angle.

The tooth to be sharpened should be located approximately in the middle of the bar, it is necessary for the convenience of work. During machining you need to push the chain along the bar, remembering to put the brake in the working position every time.

The angle of inclination of the tool must be straight, and the chain sharpening angle of the chainsaw chain horizontally. sharp, and it is allowed to change it in the range from 10º to 30º. Use the smallest tooth in the row as a base. Reverse the bar and do the same for the teeth that go in the opposite direction. The disadvantage of this sharpening method is the great time expense.

Sharpening the chain with a file

You can insert a round file with a broken off handle into the chuck of an electric drill or screwdriver. You have a very handy machine tool for sharpening.

Sharpening the chain with a drill and file

sharpen, chain, chainsaw, your, hands

Sharpening the chain for a chainsaw with your own hands using an angle grinder

Experts seriously recommend not to apply this method to inexperienced masters. It is quite dangerous.

But if there is no other way out, you must follow the safety rules. place the angle grinder in a vise and clamp it securely. After turning the tool on, hold the edge to be sharpened against the rotating surface of the disk. Since it is impossible to maintain a constant sharpening angle with the angle grinder, the tooth sharpened in this way will differ significantly from the processed file. In addition, there is a risk of the angle grinder disc notching the lug of the tooth attachment.

Sharpening chain with an angle grinder

Using a machine tool

Specialists agree that it is better to use a special electric chain sharpening machine for sharpening chains from chain saws. It enables factory-precision sharpening.

To learn how to properly sharpen the chain from your chainsaw on the machine, you need to do these steps:

  • The saw should be set in a special hole;
  • loosen the chain clamping screw;
  • Adjust the level of sharpening, based on the table or the condition of the bluntest tooth;
  • work one tooth after the other, reversing the polarity on the machine;
  • or work the teeth one at a time (right, then left) so as not to reverse polarity;
  • Afterward, apply machine oil to the chain saw.

That’s it, the procedure is over. Minimum time and maximum precision.

What mistakes beginners make

There are a few common mistakes made by beginner sharpeners.

To avoid them, a few rules should be adhered to:

  • For each tooth to be sharpened, make the same number of strokes with the tool;
  • always apply as much force as possible to avoid uneven sharpening;
  • if chain is blunt, there is no point in using a file;
  • For severely worn tools the only option will be an electric machine;
  • choose the angle of sharpening based on the direction in which the chainsaw will cut the material.

This knowledge helps to avoid unnecessary mistakes, as well as to keep the chainsaw in optimal working condition by your own efforts.

You used to sharpen your chainsaw yourself? What was used for it? How good the result is?

We are waiting for your answers and personal experience stories.

Sign up, leave a comment, ask a question and tell your friends about us!

Saw Chain Design

To better understand what a chainsaw is and how it works, it is desirable to know how it is designed.

By the way, it would be more correct to call the cutting tool of a chainsaw a saw chain.

The first saw chains were born at the beginning of the twentieth century. The constructors didn’t rack their brains, they just assembled teeth on the chain, which quickly lost their efficiency. They looked like the kind found on hand-held wood hacksaws. Sharpening such a chainsaw was very difficult. But it was not until 1947 that repeated attempts to develop the perfect saw chain were successful.

This chainsaw has g-shaped links. Modern chains are, in fact, the direct ancestors of this development.

If during the work began to decrease the cutting speed, chain saw in the hands of the master begins to “walk”, then most likely, the saw chain has lost its operational properties, that is blunted and it is necessary to take measures to restore them.

Technology of manual sharpening

The choice of the diameter of the circular file is determined by the pitch of the saw chain The files with a diameter of 4 and 5,2 mm correspond to 1,3 and 1,6 mm. You will need a flat file to reduce the height of the stops of the cutting links.

  • Any kind of chain holder that is part of the standard sharpening kit can serve as a chain holder. To keep the sharpening angle stable, use a simple template, template or special Calibre.
  • The maximum file height over the back of the tooth is no more than 1/5 of its diameter.
  • To avoid one-sided wear, it is recommended that the file be rotated periodically 90 degrees, held in relation to the vertical plane 90 degrees and 15-30 degrees in relation to the horizontal plane.
  • For sharpening each link, it is desirable to use the same number of working passes.

Many home handymen prefer to work by clamping the chain in a vise. There are no objections from the experts, provided that the chain will not be deformed.