A sharp chain is critical to the performance and safety of your chainsaw. A chainsaw file allows the user to sharpen the saw chain accurately, efficiently, and effectively to ensure you are getting the most out of your chains. Dull chain increases the chances of the chainsaw bar launching upward after chain gets caught in the wood. This is commonly known as kickback and is one of the most common causes of chainsaw injury. Increased fuel consumption and excessive damage are two more reasons to avoid cutting with a dull chain.
How to Sharpen Your chainsaw chain
To sharpen the saw chain, it’s important to follow these 7 steps to ensure you are using the file correctly and ensuring your tool’s health.
1. Determine the gauge and pitch of your saw’s chain. Clean the chain thoroughly with mineral spirits or commercial degreasing detergent to remove any dirt, oil, and debris.
2. Clamp your chainsaw securely with the clamp centered on the bar to allow the saw chain to rotate freely while inspecting the chain for any damaged or links and teeth that may be overly worn or weakened.
3. Before placing the file in the notch on the front of the cutter, which is the ‘angled tooth’ on the front end of the flat surface of the
chain link, mark the cutter to achieve an even sharpen on each section.
4. When filing, hold the file at the same angle the cutter was filed with; it’s crucial to match the angle the chain was originally machined to.
5. Work every second tooth identically from your beginning point using a slight twisting motion to remove metal chips. Make sure to sharpen each tooth equally to allow all teeth to be uniform.
6. Once one side is complete, repeat steps 3-5 to evenly file the saw chain.
7. After completing the sharpening process, saturate your chain with chain oil, check the chain tension to make sure it’s secure, and you should be ready to cut.