How To Sharpen A Chainsaw Chain At Home
Sharpening angles and configuration of the chainsaw tooth
- Base. the lower part of the tooth, which has holes for connection with the rest of the chain elements and during operation hides in the guide channel of the bar. It is this part that is lubricated.
- A special stop is a design element of the tooth that allows the cutter to remove only a certain thickness of wood chips in one pass. Thanks to him, the chain does not get stuck in the fibers, and the chainsaw does not wedge.
- The so-called tooth scapula is a cutter consisting of vertical and horizontal working surfaces that form cutting edges.
Tooth blades, or cutting edges, need to be sharpened at a specific angle, otherwise it will be difficult to achieve optimal sawing characteristics of the chain. The upper blade (horizontal) has the function of cutting the tooth into the wood and forming a groove. Side or end blade (vertical) helps to trim fibers from the side.
The productivity of operations when sawing wood in the transverse direction increases if you increase the angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain to the maximum possible and vice versa. Chains designed for longitudinal cutting of a tree trunk should be sharpened at an angle of approximately 10 degrees.
Under no circumstances should the depth gauge be touched again: improper grinding can lead to vibration during tool operation. Its debugging is done according to a special template.
Signs of a dull chain and the consequences of further operation
The difficulty of working with a dull chainsaw should not be confused with the difficulty of sawing hardwood or heavily dried logs. In all these cases, the speed of the operation decreases, but a blunt instrument has a certain character of behavior. signs by which one can judge the need for sharpening:
- The chainsaw does not immediately bite into the tree trunk, as if grinding, moving from the point of contact;
- During cutting of soft breeds, the tool sluggishly enters the thickness of the wood, you have to press on the tire;
- Coarse shavings with characteristic elongated particles turn into small thyrsa, which very rarely crumbles;
- The chain heats up quickly, there is an unpleasant smell of burning oil to lubricate the guide bar.
In addition to these alarms, always after hitting a chain on metal nails, wire or burying a chainsaw in the ground, you can be one hundred percent sure of the need for subsequent sharpening of cutting edges.
What can happen to the tool later if you ignore the problem? The most harmless thing is that it will be impossible to work with a chainsaw, in the end it will get bored and force you to service the unit. But adherents of the saying "You don’t need to have power" can come to the following conclusion:
- An unnecessary load on the body, because, frankly, you have to put pressure on the tool so that it saws;
- Excessive fuel consumption up to 30%, which is explained by the need to go through a longer cycle of revolutions to achieve the same result;
- Accelerated wear of the tire and other parts of the chainsaw.
In addition to all these negative consequences of a blunt saw, there is a high probability of the chain jamming in the trunk and injury to the operator performing the work.
Stages of work for manual sharpening at home
- The bar with the chain is fixed with a vice so that its upper line is in a horizontal position.
- Take the shortest tooth as a reference point and mark it with a marker or nitro enamel.
- The body of the round file is wound under the main cutting edge, pressing it to the corner along the entire mowing line and at the same time pressing the holder against the tooth surface. Thanks to the holder, the round file will automatically take the desired position, protruding in relation to the upper plane of the chainsaw tooth.
- With confident, even movements away from you, without changing the feed angle, two or three times are filed along the beveled surface of the upper cutting edge.
- Rotate the file along its axis so that the development of the abrasive surface does not occur, and repeat the operation until the tooth sharpens.
- After that, using a template for sharpening the chain, check the height of the limiter and, if necessary, grind it with a flat file.
- Then, through one tooth, the entire cycle of operations is repeated until they reach the originally marked tooth.
- Turn the tire over with the opposite side and sharpen all the other teeth of the chainsaw through one.
Sharpening the chain with an angle grinder
For the operation you will need:
- Angle grinder, preferably lightly powerful and large;
- Cutting wheel for metal of appropriate diameter and thickness 2-3 mm;
- Vise or clamp to secure the angle grinder firmly to the table.
The angle grinder is clamped in a vice so that the disc is located strictly vertical, without a protective casing, in the direction of the operator. Sparks must fly towards the operator, therefore protective clothing and glasses must be worn to work. The angle grinder is turned on and, observing the angle, each link of the chainsaw chain is sharpened by eye.
Than manual sharpening is inferior to machine
- Difficulty keeping the required angle. You don’t need to think that you can sharpen the chainsaw chain with just one round file, for this operation you will need at least a special guide and a second flat file.
- Low speed of the operation. It is necessary to fix the guide on the tooth, manipulate with a round file, check the gap between the limiter, if you need to correct it with a flat file, and only then proceed to the next tooth.
- The need for experience. Despite the various helpers for sharpening a chainsaw by hand, first of all you need to feel the process, and this requires some experience.
File types and tips for choosing
Following the rules, before choosing files for sharpening the chainsaw chain, the exact chain pitch is determined by the chain marking. Further, they adhere to the recommendations:
There are saw chains where it is appropriate to use round files with a cross-sectional diameter of 2×1.6 mm.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain at home
At first glance, sharpening chainsaw chains with your own hands is a rather difficult and long task, but with special sharpening devices, this process will not be more difficult than sharpening other cutting tools. In this article, we will tell you about how to sharpen a chainsaw chain.
Chainsaw chain sharpeners
The most common chain sharpening set includes a round file on a special holder, a flat file to reduce the depth gauge, a template for the last operation and a hook for cleaning the chainsaw from sawdust.
The mowing lines on the round file holder allow the correct positioning of the tool in relation to the chain. According to the line orientation, the holder is placed on the tooth to be sharpened. It lies on the top edge and the depth gauge and the file is under the cutting edge.
The holder allows the file to fit to the tooth at the correct height. There are different tool holders for different chain pitches. Selecting the correct holder and the correct file diameter will allow the file to protrude 1 / 5th of its diameter above the tooth back. We strongly recommend that you use only special files for sharpening chainsaw chains.
Before starting sharpening, it is advisable to fix the tire. When working, it is necessary to make 2–3 turning movements away from you, while firmly pressing the file to the edge of the tooth and not changing the position of the holder. Do not press too hard on the file; move it smoothly and steadily. The file must be rotated regularly to avoid clogging and one-sided wear. With this operation, all other teeth are also sharpened. For more convenience, first sharpen all the teeth in one direction, and then the teeth in the other direction.
When sharpening teeth, try to keep the pressure and amount of motion the same for each tooth. This will ensure that the teeth have the same length. Otherwise, the chain will run unevenly and may crack. Tooth size differences can be eliminated by filing all teeth to the shortest length.
After 5-10 sharpening of the teeth, the depth gauge must be ground down. For this, a template is used. It is placed so that the stopper protrudes from the slot, and this protruding tip is grinded with a flat file.
The design of the other set is different, but the principle of its operation is not much different from that described above. It uses all the same round and flat files, and a universal special template allows you to properly sharpen the cutting tooth and the depth stop. When sharpening a cutting tooth, the chain must fit into its slots. The file is placed on the template and guided under the cutting edge using the guide rollers. The file should move along the side edges of the template.
Before you grind the height stop, think about what kind of wood you will be cutting in the near future. For soft wood, the stopper is inserted into the slot labeled "Soft", and for hard woods, it is inserted into the slot labeled "Hard". Sewing the height limiter, as with the first device, should be done with several smooth movements of a flat file.
Chain sharpening machines
If the chain has plowed the gravel or sandy soil quite hard, then it will hardly be possible to sharpen it with a file with a high quality. Also, sharpening with a file will not help with severe wear of the chain, because it has lost its shape. In such cases, it makes sense to use special machines. Such machines are divided into electric and manual.
An electric machine is the best way to sharpen chains. It is versatile and comes with many settings and benefits such as:
- Setting the chain at the right angle;
- Drive the disc exactly to the sharpened edge;
- Automatic vise clamping when the disc is lowered onto the chain.
However, its only drawback is the high price. Its purchase is advisable only for workshops and enterprises engaged in the extraction of wood.
Hand-held machines also give good sharpening results, and the price of some of them can be commensurate with the devices described above. We will describe the principle of their operation using the example of two models of manual machine tools manufactured by Stihl.
The design of these devices resembles a bow saw, which has a file instead of a blade. The model called "FG 1" mounts directly to the tire of the chainsaw, while the "FG 2" is stationary. These machines are good because you can not only sharpen the chain, but also fit them to the size of the smallest tooth. Although the setting mechanism is quite heavy, it allows you to sharpen the chain with any tooth parameters and save this setting for subsequent teeth and chains. This allows you to make the teeth perfectly identical to each other.
Angles and parameters of links
Correct sharpening of a chainsaw chain is impossible without knowledge of the link parts and the angles at which they should be sharpened.
The main parts of the cutting link:
- Tooth scapula
- Depth gauge
- End blade
- Upper blade
Upper blade angle, rake angle and sharpening angle can be changed during sharpening. These angles greatly affect the cutting performance of the chain. It is advisable to observe the recommended values of these angles.
Each cutting link has a depth stop in front of the tooth blade. The difference in height between the leading edge of the back of a tooth and the highest point of the depth gauge is called the depth gauge distance. This distance determines the depth to which the upper blade will cut into the wood and, as a result, productivity. This distance is set depending on the type of execution and the chain pitch. Its average value is 0.6 mm and can vary in both directions by 0.2 mm. Higher values of this parameter will result in a greater tendency to kickback, too much grip and vibration of the chainsaw. And its low values will lead to loss of performance.
With each subsequent sharpening of the chainsaw, due to a decrease in the upper edge of the tooth, the height of the cut chips decreases, therefore, every 5-10 sharpenings the depth gauge needs to be sawed.
Main corners of chain links:
- The depth to which the top blade cuts into the wood is controlled by its clearance angle. It is formed from the back of the tooth falling back at an angle.
- The back angle of the end blade is formed from a backward tapering tooth blade. Its purpose is lateral cutting of chips.
- The rake angle is formed from the edge of the end blade relative to the sliding surface of the cutting link. For different chains, this angle can vary from 60 to 85 degrees.
- The clearance angle determines the amount of backward tilt of the upper blade and is measured from the sliding surface of the cutting link. And different circuits can have values from 50 to 60 degrees. The main blade of any chain link is the top, and the rear corner of the top blade is the most important angle. This angle is quite difficult to measure, but if other prescribed values are observed, it forms correctly.
- The sharpening angle or entering angle is the angle from the perpendicular to the guide bar to the upper cutting edge. It can be changed depending on the type of wood you are going to cut. A larger sharpening angle increases the cutting performance of soft non-frozen wood, while a smaller value allows cutting hard and frozen wood more smoothly and with less vibration. However, sharpening angles less than 25 degrees and more than 35 degrees are not recommended. As an exception, chains are produced for longitudinal cutting, the given angle of which is 10 degrees.
Chainsaw chain sharpening rules
Since the inner contour of the tooth is quite close in shape to a circle, and the chain is made of a fairly soft metal, sharpening is done with a round file with a small diameter. To sharpen the chainsaw correctly, you need to accurately position the file relative to the tooth. The upper edge of the file should protrude about 1/5 of its diameter relative to the upper edge of the tooth. Before sharpening, find out the parameters of your chain, since the file diameter is selected depending on the chain pitch. Usually it is 4-5.5 mm.
Principle of operation and bluntness of chain links
The chain link tooth has a rather complex geometry. The top and side cutting edges are inclined relative to each other at a certain angle, which makes the sharpening operation difficult. Planing wood with a chain tooth is like a planer, and the thickness of the cut layer is controlled by the thickness of the stopper.
With intensive work, the saw teeth quickly become dull. Sharpening may be necessary several times during the day. This problem is especially aggravated by the contact of the chain with the ground. It is enough to hook the ground with the tire once for a couple of seconds, and you need to stop work due to the fact that the saw stops going deep into the wood itself, and the chips become rather small.
The more often you sharpen dull teeth, the less material you have to remove when sharpening the chainsaw chain, and it will last longer. Determining when it’s time to sharpen is easy enough. The easiest way to do this is by listening to your sensations when cutting: a properly sharpened and sharp chain will be pulled into the notch even with a slight pressure, and if you have to make an effort, the teeth are dull. You can also understand that the chain can be sharpened by the size of the chips flying out of the cut. Long thick shavings can only be with a sharp chain, and small ones indicate that it is urgently time to sharpen the chain.
Chainsaw operation with a dull or defective chain is highly discouraged. This can result in fatigue in the arms and body and poor cutting results. It also entails a strong decrease in productivity, increased wear of all parts of the chainsaw and higher fuel consumption.
Chain sharpening angle grinder
If you have an angle grinder, you can sharpen your chainsaw chain much faster. It is best to use a small, 125-disc angle grinder. Sharpening is done at low speeds. There are two ways to sharpen an angle grinder.
The saw chain consists of the following elements:
- Left cutting tooth.
- Right cutting tooth.
- Cutting depth stop.
- Leading link.
For the chain to cut well, it is necessary to sharpen each tooth on the left and right sides. However, in order not to spoil the sharpening, it is important to know what shape our teeth on the chain are. There are two common forms of saw teeth:
- Chipper. This is the more common tooth shape and is found in almost all chains. Here the profile is somewhat rounded, so it is much easier to sharpen it with a round file. However, in practice the chipper dulls a little faster than the chisel.
- Chisel. The cutter profile in this case looks like a seven. Such a cutter has a rather small contact area when it comes into contact with wood, so it encounters less resistance. For this reason, in one cut, it makes a greater depth of cut, which means that the speed of cutting a log will be higher (in comparison with a chipper). But sharpening it without damaging the edge is much more difficult.
We install the chainsaw on the table, and clamp the tire in a vice so that it does not move during operation. We set low revolutions on the angle grinder (if there is only smooth adjustment, then slightly press the start button). We direct the disk at an angle of 30 ° relative to the plane of the tooth and tilt it slightly (as shown in the photo). Press down on the tooth with light, soft movements.
With this method, the main thing is not to overheat the tooth and not to grind off too much metal. It is much easier to grind teeth, sharpening in this way, than with a hand file, but the sharpening speed increases significantly.
Sharpening the chain with a file
This type of sharpening can be used directly in the field. It requires a round file, a holder for it (clamp) and a vise for clamping the tire.
To sharpen with a file, you need to perform the following manipulations:
- Clamp the tire in a vice. If you are in landing and did not take a vice with you, then you can clamp the tire by resting it on the log.
- Place the clip with the file on the chain so that it creates an angle of 30 °.
- With light movements forward (away from yourself), we sharpen the tooth. With a new file, it is enough to make 5. 7 movements. If the file has already been used several times, then more movements will be required.
- After the tooth has been sharpened, remove the file with a clip and scroll the chain to the next tooth. After passing all the right teeth, turn the saw (or change the position of the file) and sharpen the left teeth.
Some file holders have a filed template on which the turning angle is already marked. So you do not have to "figure out" this angle. But from experience we will say that you need to practice well until it turns out to sharpen the chain perfectly smoothly with a file.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands: 3 proven methods
The quality of sawing wood with a chainsaw largely depends on the sharpness of the chain. How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands at home? We will show you three good ways.
The speed and quality of sawing wood with a chain saw depends on the sharpness of the chain. It needs to be sharpened from time to time. How can this be done? We will tell you about three reliable ways that you can sharpen the chain yourself. One of them allows you to sharpen the chain directly in the field, while the other two require a special tool and electricity.
In this case, it is the angle grinder that needs to be fixed immovably. Can be clamped in a vise or screwed to a workbench with a bracket. Sharpening is done as on a conventional grinding wheel. We hold the chain with our hands and turn it so that the tooth sharpens at an angle of 30 °. With this method, hands are less tired, since you need to hold the chain, and not the angle grinder. However, the chance of getting injured increases significantly. We recommend using this method infrequently or not at all, since safety is still more important than speed or quality of sharpening.
Possible ways to sharpen the chain
Sharpening method using electric machines
It is not always possible to use a tool with a template. There are situations when it is necessary to use the machine. They are of two types:
The machines have special functions that make it possible to position the chain at the desired angle. Such a machine is simple enough to use and allows you to correctly correct all parameters of the chain. It takes 2 to 3 movements to adjust the parameters of one tooth. To work with the limiter, you need to change the file to flat.
The cost of these devices is certainly not low, but with regular use of a chainsaw, this machine will be simply irreplaceable and will pay off over time.
- Allows to restore the shape of the teeth;
- Fast chain sharpening;
- Product cost;
- Stationary use.
Sharpening method with a file
The most affordable, but long enough way to return the chainsaw to working condition is a file. To find a round file, you need to know the chain size.
- For links with Ø 1.3. file Ø 4 is required;
- For Ø 1.6. Ø 5.2.
To sharpen the limiter itself, they resort to using a flat file. In the event that you are going to do this process for the first time, it is better to hone your skills on cheap copies.
Sharpening is as follows:
- It is necessary to first turn on the chain brake, and then fix the saw bar in a vice;
- Attach the sharpening template so that the arrow points to the nose of the tire;
- Make a note from which of the teeth the process was started;
- Follow the process by following the directions. Please note that there are factory notches on the teeth, which indicate which sharpening angle is the maximum;
- Limiters are not always sharpened, this is done as needed.
To understand whether you need to work with the limiter, focus on the height of the teeth, if it has decreased, then the limiter will have to be sharpened.
What parameters need to be taken into account for sharpening the chainsaw chain with a file:
- The pressure during the whole process should be controlled, since the force applied during this must be the same.
- The file should not extend beyond the part of the cutting edge by more than 1/5 of its working surface.
- An equal amount of movement is required for each of the chain links.
- Sharpening movements must be performed in the same direction.
- With teeth of different heights, it is necessary to focus on the one that is lower than all.
- Budgetary way;
- The ability to perform at home;
- No special skills required.
- Requires time and physical activity;
- This method may not always be useful, when changing the shape of the cutting edge, the chain, therefore, cannot be corrected.
How to know when it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw?
There are several ways to understand that the main element of the chainsaw is time to sharpen, namely:
- You put more effort into working with the saw;
- Sagging of the chain is observed;
- There is vibration when cutting;
- The saw cut is ragged.
If in the process of performing any actions with the tool you observe at least one of these reasons, then you need to give the chainsaw for sharpening, or sharpen the chain on the chainsaw with your own hands. Those who are engaged in AL-KO forestry or actively work with wood often have to sharpen their chainsaw. In some cases, the saw needs to be sharpened several times during the day.
Chainsaw teeth specifics
Saw teeth have their own specifics, therefore, in order to understand which part of the teeth should be sharpened, you need to know how the process of sawing wood works. In fact, this process can be compared with a plane.
The cutting link of the teeth is arranged as follows:
- Tooth scapula;
- Cutting depth limiter;
- End face;
- Upper edge.
During the manual sharpening procedure, it is necessary to control such parameters as the sharpening angle and the height level of the limiter. These parameters should remain close to those stated by the manufacturer. Correct sharpening guarantees the correct performance of the tool.
It is not recommended to grind links too much or change their order. The correct location is responsible for the correct operation of the instrument, otherwise there is a chance of increasing the load on the body and the motor of the instrument. There is a likelihood of rupture of links, as well as a guarantee of a curved cut.
The main thing to pay attention to when performing the process at home and with your own hands is the following: the higher the angle value, the more the saw performance increases. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out the process of bringing the saw into working condition at an acute angle in the range from 25 to 35 degrees. Exceptions include cases when it is necessary to perform a longitudinal cut, then the angle is 10 degrees.
How to sharpen a chainsaw correctly
The cutting element of any chainsaw is a chain, but after a certain time or when working with low-quality wood, it tends to become dull. Therefore, sharpening the chainsaw chain is an integral part of the operation of the device.
When working with round and flat files, remember to keep the spacing between the teeth in mind. It is unlikely that everything will work out the first time with an inexperienced specialist. This is a very time-consuming process that requires close attention.
First you need to sharpen the cutting teeth, to which it is better to attach a template. Without applying excessive effort, you need to carry out equivalent pressing at an angle with smooth movements, gradually approaching the saw bar. The angle of inclination can be very diverse, depending on the chain pitch.
After the sharpening of the teeth has been finished, you should start grinding the stop tooth. In this case, it is also better to use a template so as not to accidentally protrude beyond the mark. A flat file is useful when working with the limiter.
Sharpening with a special set
Typically, such a set consists of two files, a round and a flat file, a holder, hooks for easy cleaning of the teeth, a template, gauges and several handles that can be put on files.
The holder contributes to the successful fixing of the position of the file in the working process in relation to the chain, controlling the protrusion in the chainsaw above the edge of the tooth and responding to all possible tilt angles.
The gauge allows you to adjust the exact depth of the tooth edge. It is a metal plate on which there is a limiter, which is required specifically before sharpening.
The template performs useful functions of both the gauge and the holder, as it is responsible for sharpening the cutting teeth and the stop.
When working with a sharpening kit, you must adhere to a certain sequence of actions:
- Install a tight clip for the chain, which will slow down its sliding.
- Secure the template as much as possible. It is important that the arrows embossed on the template point exactly to the nose of the tire.
- Make a mark on the first tooth, from which sharpening will begin, so as not to get confused.
- Work with sharpeners from yourself.
- Change a round file to a flat file and take a control tooth.
If the chain teeth are not dull, then you can get by with a sharpening kit. For more serious work with the tool, you will have to use the machine.
Helpful Tips for Maintaining the Chain
Only with proper maintenance of the tool you can not worry about its service life. You can take the saw to the workshop in a timely manner as a preventive measure, or you can just talk to specialists to understand how to sharpen its chain yourself. Here are some helpful tips for caring for this tool:
- It is necessary to control the sharpness of the chain so that the teeth do not grind off completely;
- Periodically, for example, before starting work, you need to lubricate the drive sprocket with machine oil;
- It is necessary to rearrange the tire from time to time so that it does not wear off on one side;
- It is necessary to regularly check the condition of the fuel, as well as the air filter, which are in the engine, in the tool for water and dirt;
- Before starting to work with the tool, you need to check the tightening of the nuts and screws so as not to injure.
Not many people use a chainsaw regularly. It is usually only needed during the pruning season. It also happens that the tool gathers dust for a long time, no one uses it. To protect it from breakdown, you need to pour the fuel mixture into the engine, start it so that it can stand for a while. It is better to inspect the tool in a timely manner than to pay for carburetor and engine repairs later.
Visually demonstrates the process of sharpening the tool chain.
Using an angle grinder
As a rule, it will be difficult for an inexperienced person to handle an angle grinder in such a matter. There is a risk of ruining the instrument. This is a very difficult method, and it is better to refuse it by a person who does not know how to handle this equipment.
How to get rid of a toothache, read the article.
It is necessary to take a disc for metal with a thickness of 2.5 mm and put it on an angle grinder. There is absolutely no need to remove the chain from the chainsaw. The sharpening angle is chosen exclusively by eye. Experts recommend only installing a wooden wedge between the chain and the underside of the bar.
The positive aspects of this method are that you have to spend a little time, and the service life of the equipment can be extended even at home.
The disadvantages when working with an angle grinder include the need to adhere to safety measures. It is imperative to have a protective face mask and gloves for hands.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain yourself
In order to ensure the quality of work with the chainsaw and increase its service life, it is necessary to regularly sharpen the tool chain. It is important to do this in a timely manner, since you can violate safety rules when working with a chainsaw and injure yourself. The final result of the laborious process depends on how to sharpen the chain. According to experts, the sharpening of the teeth should be done as their sharpness deteriorates.
Chainsaw chain sharpening
It is better to entrust such a difficult matter as sharpening the cutters of such a device to a specialist who at least has an idea of the tools with which to work in the process. It is not difficult to determine when to take emergency sharpening measures. As a rule, the chainsaw itself manifests itself from the bad side and this happens at the moment:
- Reducing the saw rotation speed;
- When the instrument starts twitching in different directions;
- Characteristic changes in the quality of the shavings, as if it turns not into sawdust, but into needles.
In addition, you can understand that it is time to sharpen the teeth of the tool by dust in the chips. It simply should not be noticeable during the workflow.
Every owner wants to try to do it on his own, relying on the good result of his work. over, there are many ways and tools to help you do this. For this you will need:
- Files of various sizes and shapes;
- Angle Grinder;
- Sharpening kit;
- High-quality chain sharpening machines.
Sharpening of the tool can be carried out in time depending on the intensity of use of the chainsaw. Of course, if there is no special need to turn it on, then the teeth will remain sharp. Of course, it is more difficult for lumberjacks, because they practically do not part with this tool, and summer residents constantly grind down the chain during the pruning season.