Hand saw sharpening files. Hand saw sharpening files

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How To Sharpen Your Hand Saw!

Basic Saw Sharpening – Sharpening a saw blade can be done by hand, but it takes a few special tools and some experience to do it right. You only get experience through trying however doing it wrong can ruin the blade. But a dull saw can ruin your work.

Below I will try and give some guidance on sharpening saw blades, however if you feel uncomfortable doing it send your blades in to a professional for sharpening. I am also not covering repairing teeth or cutting new teeth only the sharpening of the teeth on your existing saw blade.

There are many more experienced people out there and many, many write ups on this subject.

Here is a link to one site:

I am a qualified fitter machinist so personally this is not all that difficult but I have extensive training and experience in the use of the tools required for the sharpening process.

As with most processes if you understand it and practice the art of doing it, it will become second nature. At the worst you may learn something that you didn’t know.

I will only cover the sharpening process, information on setting or tuning your saw will not be covered.

There are many good reference sites for the sharpening process and a comparison between them would not go amiss, there may be somethings done by others that would better suit your own needs than my take on the subject.

You will need a saw clamp or vice, this will hold the blade tightly to minimise vibration when sharpening the teeth. Clamps are available to purchase however if you are wanting to do this yourself you can manufacture your own clamp to suit your specific saw or make one base unit and have a few jaw pieces which you can change for different lengths of saw blades.

The clamps or vices that are available for purchase are either cast iron or wood, you will need to decide which is best for you. Disston and Wentworth both have saw vices, I have heard good reports about both makes, if possible avoid ‘no name’ brands.

Personally I have never owned or bought a saw vice, my dad taught me to make one many years ago and I still use the same one, with a few modifications over the years.

I will try and give you a quick guide to making your own vice in a later post. Although there are many ideas and plans out there which could be used if you have the time to search around.

Basic Saw Sharpening

You will need a vice or clamp to sharpen your saw blades, having one is not optional as it is really impossible to sharpen a blade without one.

Place your saw, teeth facing upwards, in your clamp, ensure the section you intend sharpening is held firmly between the jaws of the clamp.

The longer your clamps jaws are, the more difficult it will be to ensure that the blade is held firmly, try and keep this to a maximum of 350mm to 400mm.

You will have to move the blade as you progress down the length of the saw. My clamp is hand made and the clamp jaws are around 350mm and I find this to be perfect for me.

Slow and Steady

The most important thing to remember, this is not a race, go slowly, once you get the hang of it you will speed up naturally however this is a slow process in any case and accuracy is more important than speed.

This can also be very frustrating at times, sometimes no matter what you do it seems to go wrong, the best idea when this happens is to give yourself a time out, leave it for a while and come back later. It will not seem as frustrating when you return.

Remember slow and a light touch will normally always do the trick.

The smaller the saw teeth are the more frustrating it can be, however patience and persistence will pay off, a sharp saw will bring a smile to your face.

Here is another link to an interesting site that has more information:


I use 3 different files, cheap files do not last, spend a little extra and you will have files that will last a long time. If you are a hobbyist or a DIY carpenter you will only buy these files once, they will last for many, many saw sharpening’s. All the files mentioned are triangular in shape for obvious reasons.

Files Types

Tapered files: Our local hardware stores carry most of the Pferd range and I have found these to be great files for saw sharpening.

Blunt saw files: These files are not in fact blunt as the name may infer, they are, unlike tapered files, the same dimensions along the length of the file.

hand, sharpening, files

Needle files: Needles files are great to use for finer toothed saws, 11tpi or finer, care must be taken to not go to deep into the gullet of the blade as this could create a to collect sawdust.

The smaller the file the easier it is to control, files longer than 150mm to 180mm, become cumbersome and the file itself becomes larger to create the stability. A good rule of thumb for the file size is, at least half the depth of the file should be greater than the teeth being sharpened. You must find the file and size that suits you.

How to sharpen a handsaw using a file with Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde (Part 1 of 2)

Age Of The Saw

If your saw is fairly new then the blade was most likely originally sharpened by a machine, or if you have a very old saw perhaps by a professional carpenter with many years experience.

If your saw is old and the uniformity has gone from the teeth and the original sharpening angle cannot be determined then this simple explanation will not be of much use to you.

A note about sharpening saw teeth your stance at the vice can make a big difference in how you apply pressure to the file and you must move as you progress down the saw, this will make a difference as to how the saw is being sharpened. You should stop after a few teeth and adjust your stance to the way in which you began. You should always be able to see what you are doing. Counting strokes I find helps to ensure that you use the same number of strokes on every tooth. Also always lift the file on the back stroke, this will enhance the life of the file.

It will help if you darken the teeth on the blade this will enable you to see which teeth you have already sharpened and which teeth you have not yet filed. I use a dark red marking ink which cleans off easily with a bit of benzine but stays on the blade while I am working on it.

Rip and Cross cut saws

A rip saws teeth are chisel shaped and this allows the saw to ‘rip’ through the wood whereas a cross cut saws teeth are more like knives that cut through the wood.

When sharpening rip saws I file across every second tooth from one side following the existing angle, then turn the saw around and do the exact same from the other side. I always file standing adjacent to the saw, I have seen people doing the same from the front end or the back end, you must do what is comfortable for you however don’t do all the teeth at the same time, you will confuse your strokes and leave the saw more dull than when you started. Always file the teeth at 90 degrees to the blade.

Normally on one or two light strokes are required, use the set of the saw to assist you, always keep the tooth that is bent away from you on your one side so when you rotate the saw it will remain the same. If you have used something to mark the saw this will also assist you to know which teeth you have already completed.

Repeat this process for your crosscut saws as it is much the same the main differences are the first being the angle that the teeth were originally cut at must be maintained, the angle of the rake should not be changed if possible, but if it is changed must not exceed 12 degrees.

Secondly, the fleam angle, the fleam angle is the angle that you file the teeth at, which would typically be 20 to 25 degrees off the perpendicular, where with the rip saw the file is perpendicular. As before file every second tooth, then rotate and file the balance of the teeth, use the same method of marking the teeth to keep track of where you are.

hand, sharpening, files

Be aware of your movements, small steady movements will give better results. If you are struggling file only a stroke or two on each tooth, you don’t want to remove too much material, rotate the blade do the same from the other side and repeat the process a few times. It is better to remove too little material than too much.

Another important thing to note is how you file the teeth, this is determined by the set of the teeth. I always start on a side so that the tooth bent away from me is to my left and file towards the handle. – Note I am left handed – so for normal people……try with the tooth bent away from you on your right and file towards the toe.

That is about it, I am not going to cover setting the teeth or any other saw sharpening as I have minimal experience with them. I am sure if you are looking for specific information on these topics there are professionals out there that could assist.

Click on the link below for more information on saw sharpening:

I trust that this was of some use to you and that you can feel the difference when cutting with a freshly sharpened saw.

Follow this link for a simple saw sharpening clamp

The 10 Best Battery Chainsaws of 2023

Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.

Johnathan C. Brewer II is a licensed general contractor specializing in kitchen, bath remodels, and general construction with two decades of professional experience.

It’s not going to fell lumberjack-worthy trees, but a battery chainsaw may well be your handiest assistant when it comes to more moderate cutting and felling jobs around the garden, campsite, or homestead.

Dan Morris, owner of chainsaw website Fire and Saw, advises: “The benefit of a battery chainsaw is that there are no fumes, and they are much quieter than gas-powered chainsaws. However, you are a lot more limited in what you can cut with them; these chainsaws max out at bar lengths of 18 inches, whereas there are gas chainsaws with bars as long as 6 feet, although admittedly, those are only used by pros. Still, a cordless electric chainsaw is best for smaller jobs around your property or a campground.

My advice when buying a chainsaw is to first have a clear picture of what you want to be able to do with it. Do you plan on using it just for pruning and trimming small trees and shrubs, or are you looking for a chainsaw that can fell trees and cut firewood?

Those only doing light work will get away with buying a less-expensive, smaller saw with lower power and a bar length of 10 to 12 inches. Whereas those who want to cut thicker logs will need something more powerful with a bar length of 14 to 18 inches.”

Here are our favorite battery chainsaws.

Best Overall

EGO Power CS1611 56V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

Cut the cord but keep the power with the EGO Power cordless chainsaw. You should have no problem felling small trees, cutting firewood, or tackling overgrown shrubs with this 16-inch chainsaw, boasting a 56-volt ARC lithium battery that lasts up to two and a half hours without needing a recharge. That’s up to 130 cuts on wood the size of a 4 x 4 and without the smell, fumes, or noise you’d experience with a similar-sized gas chainsaw. Nor should you struggle with a pull-cord to start the tool running. Just push a button, and you’re ready to go.

Customers also appreciate the other great features of this chainsaw, including: independent dials for fast and easy chain and bar adjustments; an automatic oiling system to keep the bar running smoothly; a high-efficiency brushless motor that requires less maintenance than brushed motors; and a chain speed of 20 meters per second. Plus, the metal bucking spikes help keep the log in place while you saw through it, and the chain is designed to help prevent dangerous kickback (when a saw “catches” on an irregularity in the wood and “kicks back” towards the user).

This is a great chainsaw for anyone looking to get away from the noise and smell of a gas-powered tool or the bother of a corded chainsaw. You still have plenty of power, speed, and control to tackle just about any typical landscape maintenance around your property.

Price at time of publish: 277

Bar Length: 16 inches | Battery Voltage: 56 volts | Tool Weight: 19 pounds | Battery Run Time: Up to 130 cuts | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best Budget

BLACKDECKER LCS1020 20V MAX 10-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

There’s no need to break your budget for a cordless chainsaw, particularly if you only expect to use it occasionally for light duties around your property. The BLACKDECKER 20V Max chainsaw comes at a very reasonable price point, but it’s no slouch when getting the job done. The 10-inch bar is more than adequate for pruning or removing shrub or tree branches, and depending on your specifics, it has enough run time to finish most garden tasks. At 7 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver without wearing yourself out.

The chainsaw comes with a 20-volt max lithium battery and charger, along with a scabbard to cover the tool when idle. The chain tension is easy to adjust, with no tools required, and the auto-oiler keeps the chain turning smoothly. For safety, the bar and chain are designed to reduce the risk of kickback, and the front guard helps protect your hands from flying debris. Even if you are new to chainsaws, you should find it easy to effectively wield this tool around your yard.

Price at time of publish: 111

Bar Length: 10 inches | Battery Voltage: 20 volts | Tool Weight: 6.8 pounds | Battery Run Time: Not specified by manufacturer | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best Top Handle

Makita XCU08PT 36V 14-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

Most chainsaws are rear-handled, meaning you grip them from behind the bar. Top-handled chainsaws, however, are designed to be gripped from above the bar, making them more compact and typically lighter. Generally, users of top-handled chainsaws are arborists and others who need to cut branches high in a tree or work in tight quarters. If you are one of those, it’s hard to go wrong with the Makita 36-Volt Top-Handle Chainsaw.

This is a formidable tool for pruning or other work in trees, tall shrubs, or brush. It has a 14-inch bar, high chain speed, torque-boost mode for tackling large branches, and variable speed trigger combined with plenty of power. Certainly, you could use this chainsaw on level ground. Still, a top-handle chainsaw is best for those who already have experience working with chainsaws and expect to use it mostly for removing branches up in a tree.

Price at time of publish: 412

Bar Length: 14 inches | Battery Voltage: 36 volts | Tool Weight: 19 pounds | Battery Run Time: Not specified by manufacturer | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Yard Work

DeWALT DCCS620P1 20V MAX XR 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

If you want a chainsaw that’s ideal for yard work, consider the DeWALT 20-Volt Max XR Cordless Chainsaw’s compact size, easy operation, and just-right bar size. No smelly fumes, loud noise, or endless tugs of the starter cord with this chainsaw; the 20-volt lithium-ion battery starts it right up and provides plenty of power for as many as 90 cuts per charge. The 12-inch bar is long enough to tackle most tree limbs or trunks but not so long as to be unwieldy or difficult to use.

At a lightweight 9 pounds, this chainsaw shouldn’t tire you out quickly. Also, a brushless motor reduces maintenance needs, an automatic oiler keeps the chain turning smoothly, and tool-free adjustment knobs make it easy to tighten the chain and bar. Plus, the DeWALT 20-Volt Max XR is designed to reduce the risk of dangerous kickback. This just might be your favorite tool for working around the yard when it’s time to prune, clean up after a storm, or even do some light demolition for a DIY carpentry project.

Price at time of publish: 187

Bar Length: 12 inches | Battery Voltage: 20 volts | Tool Weight: 9 pounds | Battery Run Time: Up to 90 cuts | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Light Tasks

Worx WG322 POWER SHARE 20V 10-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

A 10-inch bar isn’t big enough for felling large trees, but it’s more than sufficient for pruning smaller branches, cutting small logs, clearing brush, or getting your shrubbery looking its best. And the Worx 20-Volt Cordless Chainsaw is lightweight and compact yet still fast and powerful, with a clean-cutting 10-inch bar and plenty of power and battery runtime. Plus, it isn’t noisy, doesn’t emit harmful and smelly fumes, and starts right up at the press of a button.

Despite the reasonable price, you still get plenty of features, including automatic chain lubrication, an automatic chain-tension system to prevent overtightening, and a fast 12.5 feet-per-second speed. Worx even sells a separate pole-saw attachment that gives you up to 10 feet of reach for pruning high branches.

Price at time of publish: 150

Bar Length: 10 inches | Battery Voltage: 20 volts | Tool Weight: 6.2 pounds | Battery Run Time: Not specified by manufacturer | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Felling Trees

Greenworks GCS80420 Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

If you thought only a gas-powered chainsaw had enough muscle to take down a fairly large tree, then be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by the Greenworks Pro 80-Volt Chainsaw. With its 18-inch bar, 80-volt battery, and powerful motor equivalent to a 42cc gas engine, you can use this chainsaw to tackle even heavy-duty tasks, from felling trees to cutting logs to removing branches to clearing debris after a storm.

When you’ve fully charged this commercial-grade chainsaw, you can make up to 150 cuts and take advantage of its fast speed, strong torque, and overall power. Sturdy steel bucking spikes hold logs in place while you work; an automatic chain oiling system reduces maintenance, and a brushless motor furnishes long life and superior runtime. Plus, it charges super fast; in as little as 30 minutes, it’s ready to go.

Price at time of publish: 263

Bar Length: 18 inches | Battery Voltage: 80 volts | Tool Weight: 11 pounds (w/0 battery) | Battery Run Time: Up to 150 cuts | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Beginners

Husqvarna 120i 14-Inch Battery Chainsaw

  • Can set for maximum power or for maximum battery life
  • Quiet
  • Inertia-activated chain brake for safety should saw experience kickback

Never used a chainsaw before? No problem! The Husqvarna 120i is a lightweight battery chainsaw ideal for light yard work such as pruning branches or felling small trees. With a 14-inch bar, 40-volt battery, reasonable weight of 10.8 pounds with the battery in place, and quiet performance, this is a great first chainsaw. Turn it on with a push of the power button, and get to work. If you’re felling a tree and need a little more oomph, a push of the button on the keypad gives you maximum power. If you’re just trimming branches and shrubs and want the battery to run as long as possible, push the other keypad button for maximum run time.

It’s very easy to adjust the chain tension—just lift and turn the control. The chainsaw has a self-oiler to keep your chain running smoothly, and when it’s time for an oil refill, the cap flips up for refills without a mess. Should the saw kickback, there’s a safety feature that stops the tool immediately. A brushless motor keeps this chainsaw working well without a lot of maintenance or fuss and bother, and its ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use even for long work sessions. All in all, this is a great addition to your garden tool collection.

Price at time of publish: 280

Bar Length: 14 inches | Battery Voltage: 40 volts | Tool Weight: 10.8 pounds | Battery Run Time: Not specified by manufacturer | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Cutting Firewood

Ryobi RY40530 40V 14-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

Keep your fireplace logs coming all winter long with the 14-inch-bar Ryobi 40-Volt Cordless Chainsaw. It has loads of power, high speed, and enough torque to chew through about any log you throw its way. Of course, you can use it for more than cutting firewood: felling small trees, cleaning up brush, pruning branches, or even tackling small-demolition DIY projects. And you can do it all without the smell, noise, and fuss of an equivalent gas-powered tool.

A brushless motor extends the chainsaw’s life and runtime, and you take advantage of all the extras you expect from a Ryobi tool, including the automatic-oiling chain, easily adjusted chain and bar tension, and a reasonably fast charging time. This is a great chainsaw for anyone who regularly cuts firewood and demands reliable, powerful performance.

Price at time of publish: 160

Bar Length: 14 inches | Battery Voltage: 40 volts | Tool Weight: 11.5 pounds | Battery Run Time: Not listed | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best for Pruning

Milwaukee 2527-21 M12 FUEL HATCHET 6-Inch Pruning Saw

Maybe you have no plans or need to cut firewood, fell trees, or clear brush, but you do have a yard full of shrubs and trees that require regular pruning, and you’d like an easier method than using manual loppers. If so, then you’ll love the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw. Its 6-inch bar, 12-volt battery, and brushless motor combine to make quick work of pruning tasks, including hardwood branches up to 3 inches in diameter.

While the bar is short, the chainsaw still boasts plenty of big features. The battery allows you to make up to 120 cuts per charge in 2-inch oak. You also get an automatic oiler, an easily accessed knob for adjusting chain tension, and even metal bucking spikes to keep branches steady while you cut. The compact size and light weight of this pruning saw make it easy to maneuver, so you only clip the branches you aim for. It’s an excellent addition to the toolshed of any avid gardener.

Price at time of publish: 229

Bar Length: 6 inches | Battery Voltage: 12 volts | Tool Weight: 4 pounds | Battery Run Time: Up to 120 cuts | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

Best Pole Saw

DeWALT DCPS620M1 20V MAX XR 8-Inch Pole Saw

A pole saw is basically a miniature chainsaw on an extension pole, allowing you to prune branches high in a tree while you remain safely on the ground. If you have a heavily wooded property or just like to keep things tidy on the trees in your garden, consider the power and performance of the DeWALT 20-Volt Max SR Pole Saw. Its 8-inch bar and 10-foot extension pole give you up to 15 feet of reach, making it a breeze to prune tall trees and shrubs.

This pole saw has an automatic oiler, a low-kickback design, a hook that makes it easy to retrieve branches once you’ve cut them, and a brushless motor for long runtimes without a lot of maintenance. The 20-volt battery has enough oomph to fuel up to 96 cuts before needing a recharge. The balanced design and comfortable handle make the tool easy to wield and maneuver without too much stress or strain.

Price at time of publish: 219

Bar Length: 8 inches | Battery Voltage: 20 volts | Tool Weight: 10 pounds | Battery Run Time: Up to 96 cuts | Automatic Oiler: Yes | Battery Included: Yes

If you want a chainsaw with enough power to tackle anything you’re likely to ask of it yet still easy to use, then it’s hard to go wrong with the EGO Power 56-volt 16-inch battery chainsaw. But if budget is a concern, and you only need a chainsaw for light tasks, then take a look at the BLACKDECKER 20-volt 10-inch battery chainsaw.

What to Look for in a Battery Chainsaw

Battery Power

Technology has produced batteries capable of providing considerable power. So no need to fear that swapping your gas or corded-electric chainsaw for a battery-powered model means trading the ability to carry out all the usual tasks you expect of these tools.

Generally, a cordless chainsaw runs on one 20-volt lithium-ion battery. (Heavy-duty chainsaws use 40-volt or even 80-volt batteries.) Some chainsaws combine batteries for extra power, but typically, the tool uses one battery at a time. It’s useful to own two batteries, so one lives in the saw while the other charges, thus doubling your available work time.

Charging time is another consideration. Lithium-ion batteries charge fairly quickly, but different brands of chainsaws have varying charging times, ranging from as little as 30 minutes to as much as a few hours. So keep that in mind when choosing your cordless chainsaw.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the biggest considerations when choosing a cordless chainsaw. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult numbers to pin down, as battery life and battery runtime depend highly on the demands placed on the chainsaw. If you use the tool for light pruning, the battery should run quite a bit longer than if you muscle your way through a large tree trunk. Still, you should expect roughly 20 to 40 minutes of runtime if you use the tool intermittently to prune or cut small to medium logs or branches.

Many manufacturers define runtime in terms of how many cuts the chainsaw can make on one fully charged battery. This is the number of cuts on a 4×4 piece of wood, not a large log. Depending on the chainsaw, you might get anywhere from 50 to 100-plus cuts before needing to recharge the battery.

Bar Length

Don’t assume that the bigger the bar, the better. A longer bar allows you to tackle larger logs, but a shorter bar is easier to control. Ideally, match the length of your chainsaw bar to the average size of the expected cuts. Generally, you can easily cut through a log with a diameter two inches less than the length of your chainsaw bar. So, for example, a 12-inch chainsaw can easily handle branches up to 10 inches in diameter. (Of course, by cutting first from one side and then from the other, you can cut larger pieces of wood.)

For most homeowners, a chainsaw with a bar from 10 to 14 inches is the sweet spot; that’s long enough to prune or cut most tree branches or logs but short enough to manage, even by someone fairly new to using a chainsaw. However, you expect to be cutting down trees or splitting large logs, opt for a chainsaw sporting a 14-to-18-inch bar. If you need a chainsaw only for light pruning around the yard, an 8-to-10-inch bar is sufficient.

Automatic Oiling System

As the chainsaw spins the chain around the bar, a lot of heat and friction build-up. Without near-constant oiling, the friction creates drag and eventually can break the chain. That’s why all chainsaws require oiling the chain as you work. Luckily, most chainsaws have an automatic oiling system. This handy feature lets you work steadily without frequent oil breaks between cuts. Chainsaws without this feature usually require you to press a button to dispense oil onto the chain between cuts.

Tool-less Chain Tension Adjustment

Chainsaw chains tend to loosen over time due to stretching. A loose chain reduces tool efficiency, and if the chain becomes too loose, it can slip off the bar, which is a potential safety hazard. That’s why it’s necessary to periodically tighten the chain. Some chainsaws require using a tool to tighten the knob that maintains chain tension. It’s more convenient to choose a chainsaw that allows you to adjust the chain tension by hand.

There’s no denying that gas chainsaws have the edge when it comes to ultimate power and runtime. Plus, you’ll find gas-powered chainsaws with bars as long as several feet, while battery chainsaws top out at 18 inches. Still, unless you’re a professional lumberjack, chances are you can accomplish anything with a battery chainsaw you can do with a gas chainsaw, including felling trees, splitting logs, cutting firewood, pruning, and light demolition. Plus, you don’t have to contend with stinky fumes, super-loud noise, or environmental concerns.

  • Never use a chainsaw when you are tired, not feeling well, or under the influence of any substance that might impair your reflexes, balance, or judgment.
  • Before using your chainsaw, don protective gear. At a minimum, you should wear eye protection, work gloves, long pants, and shoes with sturdy tread, so you are in no danger of slipping.
  • Check the chain tension before starting work and periodically as you work. The manufacturer’s guide gives specific instructions on how to do this. Most position a tension-adjustment knob on the side near the handle.
  • Stand with legs hip-width apart on a flat, dry surface. Position your dominant hand on the handle towards the rear of the chainsaw. Your other hand should hold the upper handle.
  • Disengage the chain safety lock and push the start button.
  • Cut at around waist level. Keep your running chainsaw away from the ground, as contact of the bar with the ground can cause kickback. Don’t use a chainsaw to cut high above your head.
  • Stand slightly to the side of the chainsaw as you work.
  • Cut with the center of the bar, not the tip.
  • Never force or push hard on the chainsaw; let the chainsaw do the work. You should hold the bar against the log firmly but not forcefully.
  • Once you are finished working, turn the chainsaw off and re-engage the chain safety lock. Let the chainsaw cool down before you touch the bar or chain, as these can become quite hot due to friction.

While today’s power-tool batteries last much longer than those from even a few years ago, there is no easy answer to how long you can expect your battery chainsaw to run before you need to recharge. You can expect anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour of runtime, but the actual time depends greatly on the hardness of the wood you are cutting, the diameter of the log, and whether you run the saw continuously or intermittently.

  • Remove the battery. Engage the chain brake.
  • Clamp the bar of the chainsaw in a workbench vise.
  • If necessary, tighten the chain by turning the tension-adjusting screw. This prevents the chain from turning while you work.
  • Wipe away grit and dirt with a wire brush.
  • Marking one of the chain’s teeth with a marker or crayon helps you keep track of your full rotation around the chain.
  • Set the file in the notch directly behind the marked tooth. The file should be at a slight angle, pointing away from the chainsaw’s motor.
  • Stroke the file through the notch several times until the metal is silvery and appears sharp. Don’t saw the file back and forth; stroke in one direction only.
  • Skip the next tooth and insert your file into the second notch; sharpen every other tooth this go-around.
  • Hold your file at the same angle and make the same number of strokes as you did on the first tooth.
  • Continue around the chain in this manner until you return to your starting point.
  • Flip the chainsaw over, and re-clamp it to your workbench vise.
  • Using the same technique, sharpen the remaining teeth, moving to every other tooth until you return to your starting point.
  • Next, check the depth-gauge rakers (the small, slightly rounded points located before each tooth on the chain). Place the depth gauge tool that came with your sharpening kit over each raker in turn. If the raker sticks up above the depth gauge tool, use the flat file included with your sharpening kit to file the raker level with the depth gauge tool.
  • Work your way around the chain, filing any too-tall rakers.
  • Brush away any metal dust or scrapings.
  • Unclamp your chainsaw and reset the chain tension to your usual tightness.

For more comprehensive instructions, read our guide to sharpening a chainsaw.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience writing about all things related to the home and carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs.

She considered dozens of chainsaws for this roundup, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and customer Комментарии и мнения владельцев. She also received advice and suggestions from Dan Morris, owner of chainsaw website Fire and Saw.

What To Know About Sharpening a Handsaw

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Thinking of learning how to sharpen a handsaw? As an experienced woodworker, it’s a skill I personally find largely unnecessary. Here’s why.

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Though electric woodworking tools are better designed and more readily available than ever, handsaws still have their place in every workshop. If you’re an aspiring or seasoned woodworker, you most likely own at least one. If so, you’ve probably wondered if it’s worth learning how to sharpen a handsaw. The short answer is, probably not.

A Case Against Sharpening a Handsaw

A few highly skilled master woodworkers still sharpen their handsaws, but they’re rare. I don’t know a single serious woodworker besides myself who’s ever attempted it.

This doesn’t mean it’s never worth doing. But for most beginner and intermediate woodworkers, it’s probably a waste of time, and here’s why.

Hard-point handsaws don’t need sharpening

Many modern saws never need sharpening. You simply replace them when they get dull. The design and construction of modern handsaw teeth make this possible.

The teeth come from the factory razor-sharp. And they’re made of hardened steel, too tough to be ground down by files used to hone traditional handsaws. This toughness means the teeth maintain their edge for a long time. Woodworkers call these tools “hard-point saws.”

Not all modern hard-point saws cut well. One that has been consistently great for me for more than a decade is this handsaw from Irwin. It crosscuts extremely fast and accurately. It can even handle rip cutting in a pinch.

Sharpening handsaws requires specialized skills and tools

A good portion of woodworking skill involves keeping cutting tools sharp. Proper sharpening takes lots of time, skill, practice and often special equipment. That’s why it makes sense to minimize the amount of sharpening you have to do.

For tools like chisels, gouges and planes, sharpening is unavoidable. But for handsaws, hard-point models make sharpening unnecessary.

In the past, before hard-point saws were invented, many woodworkers sent their saws away to be sharpened by a specialist who had all the specifically shaped guides and files needed to sharpen each saw tooth. Those brave few who attempted it themselves were usually in for lots of boring, finicky work.

Hand-sharpened saws don’t stay sharp for long

Even if you invest all the necessary time and money to learn how to sharpen a handsaw and do a perfect job, the saw won’t stay sharp for long.

Like all woodworking cutting tools, the steel of sharpenable handsaws is soft enough to be ground. That means these saws can never stay sharp as long as hard-point saws. I’ve personally tested a hand-sharpened non-hard-point handsaw against my hard-point Irwin. I found the Irwin cut about 10 times as much wood before getting dull.

How To Care for a Handsaw

Whether you opt for a modern hard-point handsaw or stick with an older sharpenable style, it’s important to take good care of it. Here’s how:

  • Keep it in a safe, dry place to avoid rust.
  • Never store it with the teeth near any other metal tools that might dull it.
  • Always fit a handsaw blade guard over then teeth before putting it away.

When Should I Sharpen My Handsaw?

Some skilled woodworkers still like to kick it old school and sharpen their non-hard-point saws. There are a few situations when employing this skill still makes sense:

If you’re interested in woodworking without power tools

Having begun my own woodworking career with this impulse, I can certainly understand the desire to challenge yourself as a true woodworking purist and not use electricity at all, except to light your shop.

If this is your goal, hand sharpened rip cutting handsaws will rip cut better than general purpose hard-point saws.

If you don’t have a table saw or circular saw

Most modern woodworkers use a table saw or a hand-held circular saw for rip cutting. Both give faster, better results than handsaws.

The problem is, table saws are big and expensive. Not everyone can afford one, which leaves the smaller, more budget-friendly option of a circular saw.

Unless you clamp a straightedge to your workpiece for every cut, making perfectly straight cuts with a circular saw takes considerable skill. It takes skill with a rip cutting handsaw, too. But because the cut doesn’t happen nearly as fast or aggressively as with a circular saw, beginners are less likely to mess up.

How To Sharpen & Restore a Handsaw with Bob Garay of TakeADip Tools

If you like the idea of skipping the table saw and circular saw for rip cutting, learning to sharpen your rip cutting handsaw makes sense.

hand, sharpening, files

How To Sharpen a Handsaw

If you’re determined to sharpen your old handsaws by hand, know that saw sharpening techniques vary greatly, depending on:

  • The shape and size of the saw’s teeth.
  • How many teeth per inch (TPI) your saw has.
  • Whether it’s meant for crosscutting, rip cutting or both.

Fair warning: It’s not easy to do a good job. The first step is purchasing the necessary tools.

hand, sharpening, files

Tools for sharpening a handsaw

  • Saw set tool: A plier-like tool used to bend each saw tooth outward slightly.
  • Set of saw files:These triangular files grind away metal on each saw tooth to make it sharp again.
  • Handsaw clamps: These long, thin clamps fit in a benchtop vice and grip the blade of your handsaw as you sharpen it. It’s possible to make your own by rip cutting most of the way through the center of a 1- x 1-in. strip of wood of equal length to your saw, then positioning your saw blade in the cut and clamping the wood strip in your vice.
  • Benchtop vice: This holds your saw clamp in place on your bench as you sharpen.

Clamp your handsaw in place

Choose a handsaw clamp of sufficient length to hold the entire blade. Fasten the saw clamp to your work area with a benchtop vice. Place the saw upside down in the saw clamp with the teeth protruding from the top, with not much of the blade itself showing.

Set the saw teeth

Handsaw teeth need to be bent outward at a specific angle to work properly. This ensures the kerf of the blade is slightly wider than the blade itself, and prevents the saw from binding.

With use, saw teeth bend in. That’s why the first step is resetting the teeth with a saw setting tool. Adjust the tool for the number of teeth per inch of your handsaw, then set each tooth individually.

Choose the right file for sharpening your handsaw

Whether you’re sharpening a rip cutting or crosscutting handsaw, you’ll need a saw file with a shape that matches the tooth profile. The side thickness needs to be at least twice as wide as the height of your saw’s teeth to ensure even file wear.

Level each tooth

Pass the file gently over the tips of the teeth once or twice, holding the file perfectly level. This will level each tooth so the newly sharpened points are all in the same plane. The tiny flat spot created by the file on the end of each tooth will be shiny, a good visual reference for not grinding away too much metal.

File each tooth

Beginning with the tooth of your saw nearest the handle, hold your saw file with two hands and perform short, controlled strokes against the blade. If your saw isn’t too dull, it might only take one or two strokes per tooth. If it’s really dull, it might take more.

Sharpen each tooth in sequence, one at a time. Make sure you maintain the same pressure and angle on all file strokes.