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How to sharpen a chainsaw chain ?

2023-01-23
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain ?

Sharpening a chain is, despite appearances, not an easy and straightforward operation to perform by those without experience in this activity. Proper sharpening of the cutting teeth requires the use of appropriate tools and jigs to properly sharpen the cutting teeth of the specific type of chain installed on our saw. The following tools are required to perform this activity:

  • round file of the correct diameter for the pitch and tooth profile of the chain
  • flat file for depth gauges
  • gauge for depth stops

There are also auxiliary accessories commercially available to make the job easier - especially for inexperienced chainsaw users. A very useful tool is a file guide to help maintain the required angles of the cutting tooth. It's also a good idea to get a guide bar holder to help immobilize the saw during the sharpening process.

Chain sharpening consists of two stages. The first is to sharpen the cutting teeth of the chain with a round file. The file is guided in a smooth motion, moving the file slowly from the center of the cutting tooth to the outside. When doing so, remember to sharpen the right-hand teeth and the left-hand teeth of the chain separately. When working, use the entire length of the working part of the file, guiding it at an equal angle when sharpening all teeth ( right and then left). Properly sharpened chain teeth must be of equal length. The second step is to reduce the height of the depth stops. The necessary gauge is placed on the upper surface of the cutting teeth so that the depth stop is in the slot made in the instrument. Reduce the height of the stop with a flat file to the height of the top surface of the gauge. Perform this operation carefully so as not to damage the gauge. A properly sharpened chain, whose stops have been adjusted, cuts efficiently to guarantee safe handling.

If the above description scares you a bit, the blunted chain can be brought to a service shop with a special chain sharpening grinder. In this way, the sharpened cutting teeth will regain the factory values of attack angles and sharpening. In addition, all the teeth of the chain will have the correct length, which guarantees smooth operation of the chain.

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