How To Sharpen A Chainsaw 2024 – Professional Ways

There’s nothing like the sound of a chainsaw to make you feel like a lumberjack, even if you’re cutting down a small tree in your backyard. However, before you can start swinging that saw around with wild abandon, you need to make sure it’s sharp enough to do the job correctly.

If you’re a houseworker or woodworker, then you know that keeping your chainsaw sharp is necessary for safe and efficient sawing. For your ease, we have come up with some of the best ways to sharpen a chainsaw in no time so that it makes quick, clean cuts. Let’s get started!

How To Use A Chainsaw Sharpener?

The easiest way to sharpen a chainsaw is by using a chainsaw sharpener, which straightens out the teeth of your saw in four passes. There are many different models available these days, so you’ll have no problem finding one in hardware stores or online for around $50-$100.

Once you’ve selected a sharpener, the first thing you need to do is read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You shouldn’t have any problems as long as you stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for which chainsaw model it should be used with. Now here are two ways to sharpen a chainsaw with step by step process:

How To Use A Chainsaw Sharpener

This is the simplest way to use a sharpener to sharpen the chainsaw.

  • Step-1: Put the tip of the chainsaw sharpener against the tooth you want to sharpen.
  • Step-2: Ensure that the chainsaw sharpener is perpendicular to the chain and saw bar.
  • Step-3: Rotate the tip of the chainsaw sharpener clockwise around your tooth (if it’s a single-sided chainsaw sharpener), or move it left to right (if it’s a double-sided chainsaw sharpener).
  • Step-4: Continue rotating/moving it against your tooth in a single motion for four passes.
  • Step-5: Repeat step 1 until all the teeth have been sharpened.

How to sharpen a chainsaw – the best way to sharpen a chainsaw:

The instructions in this section apply to chainsaws without automatic oilers. If you plan to use the saw before sharpening it and notice that some oil is evaporating, stop immediately as you might damage the chain or bar if you continue to use it.

  • Step-1: Remove the Chain from Saw.
  • Step-2: Reset to 0 depth gauge wheel setting, 1/4 inch above the cutter’s base for a screw-type tensioner, or 0 depth gauge wheelset for a spring tensioner. Make sure the arrow on the bottom of the tensioner points to the loose side if it has one. If it doesn’t have an arrow on the tensioner, go counterclockwise to loosen it.
  • Step-3: Inspect the chain for any dents or bends in links, as this may also affect how your saw performs.
  • Step-4: Using a file, file each cutting tooth on the bar evenly to be of equal height and length. Look at the knife on each tooth to get them all the same.
  • Step-5: Make sure you remove any excess material from the bar by filing it off until it’s flush with the bottoms of the cutting teeth.
  • Step-6: Inspect once more to see if any further work is needed on your chainsaw blade, and continue to Step 7 if you do.
  • Step-7: Lastly, put the chain back on your chainsaw after filing it by following the instructions that came with your tool.

How To Sharpen a Chainsaw With a Drill?

If you own a drill or electric screw gun, then you can file your chainsaw blade by hand without any extra equipment. Keep these tips in mind as you sharpen your chainsaw to get the best results.

How To Sharpen a Chainsaw With a Drill

Following are tips that will help you out to sharpen a chainsaw with a drill:

  • To keep the tensioner from moving while filing each cutting tooth, use a flat head screwdriver or another tool that’s handy to hold it down. It might help if you have an assistant available to help you with this step.
  • Keep your file at an angle of 90 degrees to the bottom of each cutting tooth. This will help you avoid creating teeth that are uneven or too short.
  • Always keep your file as straight as possible to avoid filing the wrong side of the cutting tooth.
  • Remember that you’re not trying to sharpen a chainsaw blade as much as you are trying to maintain it with each time you use your saw, so all you need to do is make sure each tooth is of equal height and length before moving on to the next one.
  • If you’re ever unsure about whether or not you’ve filed a tooth evenly enough, try flipping your chainsaw over and looking at it from that side. It should be perfectly flat if all of your filing work has been done correctly.

How to sharpen a chainsaw with a grinder:

The more often you sharpen your chainsaw blade, the happier it will be. To get the most out of your saw, make sure you follow the perfect way as closely as possible. If you don’t already own a grinder or Dremel tool, then there’s no harm in saving up for one. These power tools will certainly get the job done and continue to keep your chainsaw performing at its peak.

how to sharpen a chainsaw with a grinder

Following are the tips for using them perfectly:

  • If you use a bench grinder or other type of power tool when sharpening your chainsaw, make sure there’s someone nearby to monitor the process in case anything goes wrong.
  • To speed up the sharpening process, always grind from tip to heel.
  • Keep your file flush with the bottom of each cutting tooth when filing it. This essential step will ensure that you’re not overworking any portion of your blade, which could potentially cause damage or problems to its performance in the future.
  • Use a left-to-right sawing motion while holding onto your file firmly to ensure that it doesn’t slip and cause you to either file too deeply or not enough.
  • Keep in mind that you’re trying to maintain the blade with each time you sharpen, so filing is only ever a part of the process.
  • Keep your saw at its best with this method for sharpening a chainsaw. Make sure it continues working well for you whenever you need it.

At this point, your chainsaw blade should be sharp enough to cut through wood without any trouble or potential for causing damage.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw Blade With An Electric Sharpener?

When it comes to quickly and efficiently sharpening your chainsaw blade, look no further than an electric sharpener. Instead of spending time filing each tooth by hand or using a power tool, you can use one of these fast machines to save yourself both time and energy.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw Blade With An Electric Sharpener

The following are a few of the tips to do it perfectly:

  • Make sure you’re wearing the proper protective equipment before working with this type of machine in any way.
  • Before you start sharpening your chainsaw blade with an electric sharpener, always make sure to ground yourself first, and this will protect you from the risks that come with working around electricity.
  • Always be aware of which side of the blade has been sharpened not to overwork one tooth more than the next.
  • Suppose you’ve never used an electric sharpener before. In that case, it’s recommended that you start by placing your chainsaw blade flat on the machine and begin with one tooth at a time until you get comfortable using it properly.
  • If you notice that your chainsaw blade isn’t sharp enough, then feel free to sharpen it a second time before you’re finished. This step will give you an even better edge on the blade and ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Always inspect your chainsaw’s teeth after they’ve been sharpened a few times to make sure they’re not becoming dull again.

How To Sharpen a Chainsaw With a Dremel?

Another option that can be used for sharpening a chainsaw is the Dremel. This is another type of machine that’ll give your blade a quick and easy edge without spending too much time or effort on doing so.

  • If you want to use this device as your primary sharpening method, it’s essential to start by using the smaller tip before working your way up to the larger chain size.
  • After getting used to the Dremel, make sure you don’t overwork any given tooth on your blade as you continue sharpening. Doing so will cause unnecessary damage and problems with its performance in the future.
  • Always be aware of which side of the blade has been sharpened. This will ensure that every tooth is sharpened perfectly, so you don’t cause any trouble or potential damage to your saw.
  • The Dremel can also be used with an electric sharpener if you choose to do so instead to save time and energy when working on a large number of blades for your chainsaws.
  • If you want to ensure that each tooth is sharpened evenly, it’s essential to rotate the blade clockwise when doing so.
  • Whenever possible, try using an electric sharpener alone before using a Dremel to get the best possible results without wasting time or effort sharpening your chainsaw blade.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw With a File?

It may seem like a simple option, but filing your chainsaw blade by hand can be challenging but effective too. While it’ll take longer than using an electric sharpener or Dremel, you’ll honestly know that each tooth is being treated with the attention and care that it deserves.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw With a File

The following are a few of the suggestions to perform the task.

  • If you’re looking to use this method for yourself, then getting a file is the first thing you’ll need to do.
  • There are a few different styles and brands available, so it’s essential to follow your personal preference when deciding which one to buy.
  • Always begin by filing away from yourself as you work your way around each tooth on your blade. This will help ensure that you don’t damage or ruin any teeth by accident as you work.
  • Be careful around the tip of your chainsaw blade and avoid too much pressure, and always file away from yourself before removing the filing and starting again.

How many times can you sharpen a chainsaw chain?

You can sharpen a chainsaw chain as many times as necessary to stay efficient and effective. Chainsaws have a life span, so your chain will not last forever, and typically chains need to be sharpened once every six months of use.

Moreover, to avoid adjusting your depth gauge wheel each time you sharpen it, try to set it at the correct depth every five hours of use. This should help you maintain your chainsaw’s original cutting power without any negative impact on its performance or efficiency.

How long does it take to sharpen a chainsaw?

All chainsaws should be sharpened every other time that the chain is replaced. A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay about $25 for a home sharpening and $50 for a commercial sharpening. Sharpening your saw will save you money, but learning how to sharpen a chainsaw by yourself can be somewhat tricky.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw- FAQs

Is it worth sharpening a chainsaw?
Believe it or not, a dull chainsaw is more dangerous than a sharp one. A sharp chainsaw has less kickback, so it’s easier to control. It’s easier to control on a precise cut than a rough cut. Finally, a sharp chainsaw will make your woodcutting tasks quicker and work more efficiently.
How often should a chainsaw be sharpened?
Many users will sharpen their saws after every use, but it’s OK to wait for a few usages if you’re not planning on using your chainsaw more often. Every six months is recommended, but it depends on the type of wood you’ll be cutting and how often you’ll be using your chainsaw.
What's the secret to sharpening a chainsaw?
An essential part of sharpening your chainsaw is patience and attention to detail. You need to take the time and go over every tooth on the blade with care. There’s more than one way to do this, so choose a method that fits you best!
Can I sharpen my chainsaw?
Absolutely yes! While it’s not recommended for complete beginners, you can still learn the basics of chainsaw sharpening to get yourself started. Once you get a bit more experience under your belt, go ahead and try sharpening on your own again.
How much does it cost to sharpen a chainsaw?
Like most things, this is dependent upon where you’re located and the cost of living in your country. The average price for sharpening a chainsaw chain is somewhere around $10 to $15 per saw, depending on what type of blade it is.


Bottom Line

A chainsaw requires regular maintenance to keep it running well. Sharpening a chainsaw is not a highly complex procedure but an important one. Thus, we have provided accurate information that can assist you in sharpening your chainsaw in every possible way. Follow the steps and enjoy precise cutting. Cheers!

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