You can order sharpening services but the best bet is to learn how to sharpen a chain yourself and save money. There is no magic shortcut, unfortunately.
A chainsaw is an essential tool, and it requires regular sharpening of the chain. It is not a fast-fix job.
The sharpening is to remove the dirt-encrusted inside so that the chain does not wear by overheating rapidly. At the same time, chainsaw sharpening is equally crucial for regular use.
Places to get a chainsaw sharpened
There are a few ways to get a chainsaw sharpened. One way is to take it to a professional sharpener. Another way is to buy a sharpening kit and do it yourself.
Tips: Sharpening yourself isn’t hard. I got the Husqy roller guide system and did pretty good.
local hardware store/ACE
Chainsaw sharpeners are usually attached to chainsaw stores. They sharpen chainsaws on-site by running the chain through a machine equipped with grinding wheels. These stores also sell chainsaws and parts and provide repair services. They charge $5-$10 for sharpening chains.
local saw shop
You can go to a local saw shop, and ask for a sharpening service, but their service would be like $30. It costs much less if you have your own sharpening kit (the kit costs around $10-$20).
Professional chainsaw sharpener
The chainsaw sharpening is done by professionals who have knowledge of the chainsaw and the sharpening techniques.
They are trained and certified for this job and the tools that they use are the best for the job. They also have the proper safety gear and protective clothing. You can find them on social media.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw by yourself
Sharpening a chainsaw has two approaches:
- An electric chainsaw sharpener may handle the task; it is the best for frequent tree felling.
- Manual sharpening is the next approach but it requires using a combination of sweat, muscle, and sharpening files.
Tradesmen use electric sharpeners mainly and the focus is a manual method of sharpening that is common and accessible as a chainsaw sharpening tool.
The chainsaw chain comprises teeth in a series that you need a chainsaw file precisely matching up with an individual tooth size in the chain. The common sizes are 3/16-inch, 5/32-inch, and 7/32-inch.
Steps to sharpening the chainsaw:
Step 1- Clean the chainsaw chain– Obtaining a correct size file is vital and put the correct safety equipment such as safety glasses and work gloves.
Begin working such as cleaning the chain, and removing dirt, oil, and debris. Use a screwdriver and an old towel to clean. You may use mineral spirits, relying on the chain condition.
Check the chain to ensure there is no damage to the teeth. Before proceeding to sharpen the chainsaw, first, check the repairs or if essential, replace the chain.
Step 2: Set the chain tension- The chain on the chainsaw is set to a specific tension to prevent problems while working. A tight chain fails to move or increases the friction between parts, causing an excessive buildup of heat.
A loose chain in the chainsaw increases the chances of kickback or the chain is thrown off the bar. Overheated parts reduce the lifespan of the parts and increase fire risk.
Set the chain tension by adjusting and locating the tensioning screw on the saw front or side. Then, turn clockwise the screw to increase the tension or loosen the chain by turning counterclockwise.
Pull it under the guide bar, and release the chain to snap into position directly, indicating the chain is tight to use. If the chain fails to snap into position, it means it is loose and requires tightening.
Step 3: Steady the chainsaw- Firmly steady the chainsaw before filing the chain. Choose the chainsaw to place in a vise such that the clamps hold the guide bar and the chain rotates freely.
Step 4: Start sharpening at the shortest cutter- Start by using the chainsaw sharpener. Locate the cutter’s shortest blade, but if all cutters are of the same height, start with anything.
Remember to mark using a marker or a pencil on the blade you sharpen. It helps you to work using the same chainsaw.
Step 5: Stroke the teeth- Set file at the cutter head. Hold the file at an angle where the notch is ground initially, or slide the file across the teeth.
It creates friction on twisting while you stroke. Refer to the instruction manual to understand the chainsaw sharpening angle chart and determine the angle properly.
Step 6: Sharpen the chains on another side. Reverse the saw and file each tooth in the course. On finishing the cutter’s flat tops, everything should be the same length.
Step 7: Check depth gauges.
Inspect depth gauges. The depth gauge should be shorter than the adjacent cutter. If you notice a depth gauge exceeding its close cutter in height, file the raker down, so that it is around 1/10 of an inch below the cutter height.
Working with an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- Working with an electric chainsaw sharpener requires you to measure the chain gauge and pitch. Determine the appropriate stone for sharpening the chainsaw and ensure the correct tooth angle.
- Place the chain of the chainsaw on the sharpener and tighten the vise in place. It will hold the chain perfectly. Once you have the angles set to the grinding angles chart, you may bring down the grinding wheel to the chain to sharpen the cutting tooth. Slide the chain and loosen the vibe to line up the cutting tooth and sharpen the tooth using a grinding wheel.
- Make sure to measure the chainsaw chain by referring to the product manual to get the correct setup for sharpening. Ensure the wheel depth to avert the grinding wheel from getting into contact with the chain chassis. Follow a sequence of completing the cutting teeth of the right hand and then start the left hand to avoid switching forth and back.
More details on chainsaw sharpening
Learning to sharpen a chainsaw is not a tough task. Ensure to wear safety equipment while sharpening and cutting. It is easy to notice the time to replace the chain.
You may look for signs such as tool failure or overuse, severe dents, uneven cuts, rusting, overheating chainsaw blades, and smoking.
The duration between chainsaw sharpening relies on the saw amount used. The need for a chainsaw sharpening maybe once a year, if it is not much in use, but with frequent use, it needs regular sharpening so that the blade does not become dull.
A chainsaw blade on average retains the sharpness actively for nearly 3 hours of cutting wood actively.
The chainsaw blade dulls quickly due to cutting through dirty wood, steep angled cutting teeth, overuse, or working with tough woods such as ironwood, hickory, and black oak.
What is a chainsaw sharpening?
Sharpening a chainsaw is important like cleaning it. A chainsaw sharpening is a skill set helpful for regular users.
It helps reduce the downtime of a tool. It is a straightforward process and is best done each time before use.
Knowing to sharpen a chainsaw is the best, but remember, the more you use them too, you have to give maintenance.
Using for hours a chainsaw requires you to pause so that the chain also restores its sharpness. Keep paying attention to the saw tip to notice wear signs.