How to sharpen a Stihl chainsaw chain

When to sharpen and how to find out

Problems that may arise due to untimely chain maintenance:

  • curves cuts;
  • huge pressure;
  • increased fuel consumption;
  • faster wear of the leading parts of the chainsaw and a reduction in its service life.

sharpen, stihl, chainsaw, chain

Signs by which you can find out that the chain is dull:

  • the tool tries to escape from the hands, gets stuck;
  • small shavings are poured, almost dust;
  • the saw deepens only with great effort;
  • cutting time increases.

In addition, blunt teeth can simply be examined carefully. Signs of dullness will be visible even to the naked eye.

The earlier the chainsaw chain is sharpened, the less metal is grinded, which means that it can last longer.

Sharpening kits

One of the most common methods is with a set of round and flat files, a holder, a stop template and a hook used to remove sawdust. For the correct positioning of the holder, special markings are applied to it, allowing you to determine the correct angle for sharpening. It is installed on the upper part of the tooth and the stop, while the round file remains under it and is located just next to the blade. Thanks to the holder, the file is at the correct height, or more precisely, protrudes 1/5 above the blade. For sharpening the cutting tooth, only round files are used, since the contour of the tooth has a rounded shape.

The best Chainsaw Chain sharpening video ever

Kits must be purchased based on the chain pitch. You cannot use the same sharpening kit for different chains.

Before you start sharpening the chainsaw chain at home, the tire must be secured in a vice or with a clamp, the main thing is that the saw does not move during processing. Having installed the holder according to the markings, begin smoothly and without too much pressure, move the file strictly away from you 2-3 times. Similar actions are repeated with all other teeth. The file must be turned over from time to time so that there is no one-sided wear. The force of pressure and the number of movements for all should be the same, this is necessary for uniform sharpening of all teeth. If they are different, then cracks may form in the chain, which will lead to its breakage.

To make it easier to work, the teeth are first sharpened on one side, and after them the saw is turned over and the teeth are aligned on the other.

They start sharpening from the smallest tooth so that the length of all the others is the same with it. After the work on processing the blades is finished, they move on to the limiters. A template from the kit is installed on top of the chain in such a position that the stopper is in the hole. The protruding part is grinded with a flat file.

How to use the best and easiest Stihl 2 in 1 chainsaw sharpener

The video shows an example of how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file:

There is another set, which, instead of a holder, has one template, both for sharpening the blade and for grinding the stop. Install it so that the chain falls into the holes. Then the round file is placed on top of the rollers and fed under the blade. During sharpening, you need to ensure that it is always parallel to the lateral edges of the template.

There are 2 separate holes for the stopper, labeled Soft for soft wood and Hard for hard wood. The protruding part from the slot, grind with a flat file.

Sharpening is carried out only from oneself and with smooth movements, the number of the latter should be the same for all teeth.

How and how to sharpen the chain teeth

The saw chain teeth are non-standard. They consist of a base, a blade and a depth gauge. At the same time, the blade has a vertical blade and a horizontal blade that falls at an angle. It is thanks to these blades that the chainsaw cuts wood. They work on the principle of a plane, cutting off pieces, and the limiter regulates their thickness (the difference in height between it and the horizontal blade will be the thickness of the chips). You can sharpen the chainsaw chain manually or using a machine.

Chainsaw chain sharpening blunt teeth

PowerSharp System

This system allows the chain to be sharpened in seconds without even removing it from the bar. Includes PowerSharp chain, abrasive bar, guide bar and sharpener. In order to sharpen the chain with them, you will need to take the following 3 steps:

  • install the PowerSharp bus and chain;
  • fix the bar inside the sharpening device, after which it is installed on the tire;
  • the end of the chainsaw is pressed against an object and started for a couple of seconds.

The video below shows in more detail how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands using this system:

Manual and electric machines

If the teeth are severely worn away and the cutting blade has lost its shape, it will take a long time to align them by hand. In this case, a manual machine or an electric one with a sharpening wheel is usually used. The first type of device looks like a bow saw with a round file. The machines are stationary and mobile, which can be installed directly on the bus.

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To adjust the necessary parameters, start with the smallest tooth. After all the teeth are sharpened and aligned, the round file is replaced with a flat file to sharpen the stops.

The video below shows an example of sharpening a chainsaw with your own hands using an electric machine.

The blades are always sharpened first, and only then the stops.

The sharpening angle can be changed. it depends on the purpose of the application. A smaller angle is used for sawing hardwood, and a larger one for soft. In any case, it should be between 25 ° and 35 °. 10 ° angle is used for chains intended for longitudinal cutting.

Chainsaw teeth

Chainsaw teeth have a specific geometry. You need to understand and know what part of them should be sharpened. In general, the “logic” of cutting wood resembles a plane.

The cutting surface has two edges. One is lateral, the other is slightly beveled. The cutting depth limiter adjusts the thickness of the chips. Let’s take a closer look. The elements of the cutting-working link are arranged as follows:

  • Base with axle holes;
  • Tooth scapula;
  • Cutting depth limiter;
  • End face of the blade (placement. vertical);
  • Upper edge of the blade (placement. horizontal);

Sharpened edge Dull After touching the ground

How to sharpen your chain the right way on a STIHL Chainsaw

After sharpening, the height of the stop and the angle of the sharpened working edges should not differ greatly from the parameters specified by the manufacturer. This is an important condition and it needs an “eye and eye” behind it. Otherwise, the saw will not work as expected.

Do not over-grind or change the location of the links. The normal operation of the instrument depends on the identity of their location. Otherwise, increased stress on the chassis, tire and engine is likely. The cut can be crooked. There is also a small chance of breaking the circuit.

How to sharpen a Stihl chain correctly and quickly: instructions from the manufacturer

Electric grinding machines

For straightening a large number of chains, as a rule, in service centers or in manufacturing plants, electric sharpening machines are used. Depending on the manufacturer, the design of the machines may vary, but they have the same principle of operation.

The saw chain is installed in a special guide, which is mounted on the basis of the turntable and has a special retainer to hold the sharpened tooth. The latch can be moved horizontally. An electric emery is installed at an adjustable angle to the sharpened tooth, which is turned on by the operator by pressing the start button. The immersion depth of the emery, as well as the angle at which the sharpening is performed, can be adjusted. The dive itself is performed by the operator. The chain is straightened with a special sharpening wheel, which can be changed if necessary.

Description of the sharpening process with files

The first thing to start with straightening the saw chain on the saw is placing the tool on a flat surface or table. In forest conditions, a large diameter chock is well suited for this. Next, you need to inspect the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After inspection, you need to set the brake in working condition, thereby blocking its movement on the tire.

The chain must be taut when sharpening with a file.

It is advisable to put a stand under the tire, as it you can use a log, a piece of a branch of a suitable diameter, or the manufacturers of sharpening tools have special clamps to hold the bar in the process of sharpening the chain.

The chain is sharpened by moving the file from the inside of the tooth outward. In this case, the file should be located parallel to the special mark on the chain. This mark is applied by the chain manufacturer to indicate the standard sharpening angle.

The sharpened tooth should be located approximately in the middle of the tire, this is necessary for the convenience of work, during the sharpening process, you need to move the chain along the tire, not forgetting to set the brake to the working position each time.

Work on sharpening the chain on a chainsaw must be carried out using gloves made of coarse material, otherwise it is quite easy to injure yourself, because the working surface of the teeth is very sharp.

Ideally, manufacturers advise to make the same number of file movements for each tooth, but in practice this is not always possible. teeth have different degrees of damage to the working edge.

To facilitate sharpening the saw chain with a file, special holders can be used, with corner markings applied to them. The markings are made not only for the standard cross-cut, but also for the longitudinal.

Tool holders are also handy if you don’t have sufficient sharpening experience. Experienced sharpeners do not use holders for sharpening, but can only use special devices that support the file.

Another sharpening device is a hand-held saw chain straightener. It uses a regular file as a sharpening tool, which can be replaced independently. The machine is mounted directly on the tire, it also has the ability to adjust the angle of sharpening of the tooth and a special stop that holds the sharpened tooth.

Manual sharpening machine, perfect for beginners. Along with electric models of sharpening machines, manual has its undeniable plus in the form of a low price. Depending on the manufacturer of the hand-held machine, their appearance may differ, but the principle of operation is the same for all.

The depth of cut is adjusted with a flat file, so that there is a difference between the upper cutting edge of the tooth and the height stop.

As you can see from the figure, the depth gauge is grinded in such a way as to bring the gap indicator to the factory value. Below is a table that shows the main values ​​of the angles, as well as clearances for the most common types of chains.

As a rule, the size of the gap is corrected using a special die. It is installed on the chain during sharpening, after which the depth gauge is grinded.

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How to sharpen a Stihl chainsaw chain


Sharpening the saw chain with the appropriate knowledge and skills is not difficult, but it requires adherence to certain rules. Let’s consider the most useful and necessary.

During prolonged use of the saw, it is necessary to periodically grind its cutting part during the day, since all cutting teeth must first of all have the same length, sharpening angle and depth gauge position.

To do this, first we find the shortest tooth, take it as the reference point and, in the process of sharpening, adjust all the other cutting teeth of the chain to its length. If it is in the right row of teeth, then we fix the guide rail in a vice with an end sprocket to the left, if in the left row, then we turn the tire with an end sprocket to the right. Then we place this tooth in the sharpening area and turn on the chain brake. We sharpen with a round file of a certain diameter, depending on the pitch of the chain Read more: How to dilute gasoline for a Husqvarna chainsaw

In this article, you will learn:

Electric sharpening machines

They are equipped with special adjustment functions to help you position the chain at a certain angle. At the same time, it is possible to accurately and accurately bring the disc to the chain teeth. There are machines equipped with automatic vices. They are switched on when the disc approaches the edge to be sharpened. Convenience and functionality are of course high. You can find models at “lifting” prices.

How to understand that the chain is dull

  • Increased physical effort;
  • Sagging (stretching) of the chain;
  • Vibration and “braking” cutting passage;
  • Inaccurate sawing and change in the type of sawdust (they become uneven with sharp “needle” edges, small and dusty). This is already the answer to the test.

“In the opinion of the experts, and in my opinion too: well-sharpened teeth are more important than engine power.”

Why dull? The reasons are generally known, but I will name the main ones:

  • Intense or voluminous work;
  • Accidental contact with stone, earth, hard knots, etc.;
  • Mishandling (broad term).

The following video from the owner of a chainsaw on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands

The rake angles for different types of chains can range from 60 ° to 85 °. The greater the degree of the back angle of the upper chain blade, the more it will be tilted back, on average, this angle is from 50 ° to 60 °. To carry out the sawing process, the indicator (degree) of the clearance angle of the upper blade is most important, and the upper blade itself is very important for high-quality sawing.

The main condition when sharpening a chainsaw or saw chain: the cutting performance is directly proportional to the sharpening angle, that is, the higher it is, the better the chainsaw will cut the material. The smaller the sharpening angle, the smoother the tool will be, and the less vibration will be during operation.

Avoid sharpening angles greater than 35 ° and less than 25 °. In rip saw chains, an exception for the sharpening angle is allowed, in these chains the sharpening angle can be 10 °.

When you need to sharpen your chainsaw chain?

In the process of working with a chainsaw for any, even the highest quality tool, the chain eventually loses its original sharpness and needs to be sharpened. What are the signs that you can understand that the chain of a saw or chainsaw is dull and it’s time to sharpen it?

Below are the main signs that it is time to sharpen the chain:

  • during operation, the saw loses stability, breaks out of the hands and vibrates strongly;
  • a chainsaw or a saw produces only small chips, but does not produce large chips;
  • the saw part gets bogged down in the material, cutting cannot be done efficiently and quickly;
  • the deepening of the chainsaw into the wood does not happen by itself, in order to perform a longitudinal cut, the tool has to be “sunk” into the material with your hands, applying efforts and pressing the blade;
  • during sawing, a curved cut is formed;
  • the chainsaw heats up quickly and strongly;
  • chain wear is much faster;
  • fuel consumption increases.

If you marked several of the described signs on your home tool, then it’s time to sharpen the chain.

The original chainsaw chain can be sharpened several times, it will retain all working properties. the sharpness of the cut, the quality of the cut, the speed of rotation along the tire.

Here are some important tips to help you stop sharpening your chainsaw longer:

  • do not use a new chain with an old sprocket and vice versa;
  • if during the operation of the chainsaw you have already ground off two chains, replace the sprocket with a new one;
  • the chain must be run-in before full-fledged operation of the chainsaw with normal load (run-in is performed immediately before sawing, 1 minute at low speed, and then 1 minute at medium speed);
  • after the new chainsaw has cooled down, check the degree of its tension;
  • always use chain saw lubricant, quality oil;
  • keep the links in a normal taut position, because during operation the chainsaw is often tilted in different directions, which increases the likelihood of the chain slipping off the bar;
  • check the position and direction of the depth gauge, after the 3rd or 4th sharpening check the parameters of the depth gauge.

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 trunk of the tree, 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;
  • shavings from large 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 for lubricating the guide bar.
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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 in the future 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 will 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 extra load on the body, because, frankly, you have to put pressure on the tool so that it saws;
  • overconsumption of fuel 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.

Sharpening the chain with an angle grinder

In some cases, you can sharpen chainsaw chains with an angle grinder. This is important when there is no time for a better file sharpening or there is no professional tool available for this purpose. It is necessary to immediately warn that the chain, processed by the angle grinder, will not be perfectly sharpened, the corners are broken here, but the chainsaw will be able to fulfill its task.

For the operation you will need:

  • angle grinder, preferably slightly powerful and large;
  • cut-off wheel for metal of the corresponding diameter and thickness of 2–3 mm;
  • vise or clamp to firmly secure the angle grinder to the table.

The angle grinder is clamped in a vice so that the disc is positioned strictly vertically, without a protective casing, in the direction of the operator. Sparks must fly towards the operator, therefore protective clothing and goggles 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.

We strongly advise against using this method of sharpening the tool. It can be very traumatic. When the metal of the tooth overheats (blackening), the latter becomes more fragile.

Working on the machine

The most convenient way to bring the tool into working order is to sharpen chainsaw chains on a machine. For these purposes, manufacturers produce manual machine tools and electric chain sharpening machines.

The first is a system of round files, guides and stops. The device is made in such a way that it is directly attached to the tire of the chainsaw. The operator only needs to move the file along the guide several times and rearrange it to a new tooth, all this is done without rearranging the devices.

Using an electric special machine, it is even easier to work. The chain is removed from the saw and inserted into a special guide, above which a sharpening disc is already set at the desired angle. The operator lowers the disc on each tooth, alternately moving them into the contact area.

We appeal to specialists and everyone who knows how to sharpen chainsaws: share your experience in the comments, write what machines and methods are best used in this matter.

“During the use of the chainsaw, I realized that no machine can sharpen better than hands! I have been with saws for 20 years, but I only sharpened with a machine when I needed to quickly and without standards for sharpness. I started working with the Urals and Taiga, I even worked on felling timber, and after that I still work with log cabins and wooden structures in general. All these machines are bullshit, especially when the revolutions are high and the circle is spinning in one direction. “.

Correct use and care significantly affects the quality and performance of the tool. For comfortable work, you need to sharpen the Stihl chainsaw chain on time. A blunt chain can be attributed to specialists or you can sharpen it yourself, especially since the whole process is not particularly difficult. You just need to acquire a certain skill, since the teeth on it have an unusual shape.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a Stihl file

It is very convenient to work with a chainsaw. Despite the fact that the unit weighs 5-7 kilograms, or even more, cutting a tree trunk into logs, you simply wonder how quickly this happens, and there is practically no fatigue. But then the moment comes when it is harder and harder for the tool blade to enter the wood. There is only one diagnosis. the saw is dull, so it is required to sharpen the chainsaw chain.

Whoever comes across this for the first time is a little upset, because it is not clear: to do it yourself or to give the instrument to the specialists in the workshop. And what is the general sharpening method? But in fact, there is nothing wrong with this, and if you have knowledge, you can easily sharpen chainsaw chains with your own hands. The correct strategy for resolving the issue in this case directly depends on the load of the unit.

If the chainsaw is used from time to time, several times a year, then it may not make sense to buy a special sharpening machine or accessories, it is easier to solve the problem by using the services of a service center. But if a chainsaw is a means of earning or there is a desire to master the sharpening process yourself, then you should definitely purchase a sharpener or a machine and manually carry out this simple manipulation with the chain. Let’s see below what the correct sharpening of the chainsaw chain is based on.