How to maintain your chainsaw

How to maintain your chainsaw: sharpening the chain

It does not matter if you have a gas-powered, electric corded or battery powered chainsaw, maintaining it is important so that you have an easy to use, safe machine, working at its optimal performance that will last longer without being damaged or destroyed.

Sharpening the chain

A sharp chainsaw chain makes cutting a whole lot easier.

Your chainsaw chain is quickly blunted by contacting it with soil or rocks. However, normal use will also blunt your chain over time. A good indication that your chain is blunt is if you need to apply more pressure or push your chainsaw when cutting. Another indication is that your chainsaw is producing finer wood dust instead of larger wood shavings when cutting.

You can either have your chainsaw sharpened professionally or Do It Yourself.

DIY Chainsaw chain sharpening

If you choose to DIY your chains sharpening you have two choices. Using an

  • electric chainsaw chain sharpener; or a
  • manual file

Electric chainsaw chain sharpener

An electric chainsaw chain sharpener can be an efficient sharpening option and is ideal for anyone that does a lot of cutting and therefore needs to do a lot of sharpening or just want to sharpen their chain quickly. It can take a bit of practice to become efficient at using it for chain sharpening but once you have used it a few times you will be able to sharpen chainsaw chains very quickly.

The TruePower 01-0854 Electric Chainsaw chain sharpener is fairly straightforward to use. The chain needs to be removed from the chainsaw and placed on the sharpener chain guide.

TruePower 01-0854 Electric Chainsaw chain sharpener

TruePower 01-0854 Electric Chainsaw chain sharpener

The ‘handbrake’ on this electronic chainsaw chain sharpener is designed to be applied to hold the chain steady in place when the sharpening blade is being applied to the chain and released again to move the chain to the next ‘tooth’.

Manual hand file chainsaw chain sharpener

If you are using a hand file to sharpen your chainsaw you do not need to remove the chain from the chainsaw. This means that you can sharpen the chain at the same location that you are cutting wood if your chain starts to become blunt.

Drixet Chainsaw Sharpener & Filing Kit – Includes: 5/32", 3/16" & 7/32 Inch Round Files, Flat File, Depth Gauge, Filing Guide, Handle, Tool Pouch, Combo 8-Piece Pack with Sharpening Instructions

Drixet Chainsaw Sharpener & Filing Kit – Includes: 5/32″, 3/16″ & 7/32 Inch Round Files, Flat File, Depth Gauge, Filing Guide, Handle, Tool Pouch, Combo 8-Piece Pack with Sharpening Instructions. Available on Amazon.

There are different sizes of chains, so depending on the chain you have, so use a file that is the correct size for your chain. It will tell you your chain size on the packet that your chain came in. 

Be sure to use the file guide, which comes with the file in the image above, to help you file at the right angle. Most chains are filed at a 30-degree angle to the chainsaw bar.

Self-sharpening chainsaw bar and chain

The self-sharpening chainsaw bar and chain only works for certain chainsaws such as Husqvarna chainsaws but can be a good option to quickly & easily sharpen your chainsaw chain if you have trouble with the other methods.

You can buy the self-sharpening chain in different sized bars and chains here on Amazon.



I hope that this has helped you. If you have a question, please leave a comment below.

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