How To Correctly Sharpen Stihl Chainsaw Chain

Method 1

correctly, sharpen, chainsaw, chain

We install the chainsaw on the table, and clamp the tire in a vice so that it does not move during operation. We set low revolutions on the angle grinder (if there is only smooth adjustment, then slightly press the start button). We direct the disc at an angle of 30 ° relative to the plane of the tooth and tilt it slightly (as shown in the photo). Press down on the tooth with light, soft movements.

With this method, the main thing is not to overheat the tooth and not to grind off too much metal. It is much easier to grind teeth, sharpening in this way, than with a hand file, but the sharpening speed increases significantly.

Method 2

In this case, it is the angle grinder that needs to be fixed immovably. Can be clamped in a vise or screwed to a workbench with a bracket. Sharpening is carried out as on a conventional grinding wheel. We hold the chain with our hands and turn it so that the tooth sharpens at an angle of 30 °.
With this method, hands are less tired, since you need to hold the chain, and not the angle grinder. However, the chance of getting injured increases significantly. We recommend using this method infrequently or not at all, since safety is still more important than speed or quality of sharpening.

Chain design

The saw chain consists of the following elements:

  • Left cutting tooth.
  • Right cutting tooth.
  • Cutting depth stop.
  • Leading link.
  • Rivet.

For the chain to cut well, it is necessary to sharpen each tooth on the left and right sides. However, in order not to spoil the sharpening, it is important to know what shape we have teeth on the chain. There are two common forms of saw teeth:

  • Chipper. This is the more common tooth shape and is found in almost all chains. Here the profile is somewhat rounded, so it is much easier to sharpen it with a round file. However, in practice, the chipper dulls a little faster than the chisel.
  • Chisel. The cutter profile in this case looks like a seven. Such a cutter has a rather small contact area when it comes into contact with wood, so it encounters less resistance. For this reason, in one cut, it makes a greater depth of cut, which means that the speed of cutting a log will be higher (in comparison with a chipper). But sharpening it without damaging the edge is much more difficult.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands: 3 proven methods

The quality of sawing wood with a chainsaw largely depends on the sharpness of the chain. How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands at home? We will show you three good ways.

The speed and quality of sawing wood with a chain saw depends on the sharpness of the chain. It needs to be sharpened from time to time. How can this be done? We will tell you about three reliable ways that you can sharpen the chain yourself. One of them allows you to sharpen the chain right in the field, while the other two require a special tool and electricity.

Sharpening the chain with a file

This type of sharpening can be used directly in the field. It requires a round file, a holder for it (clamp) and a vise for clamping the tire.

To sharpen with a file, you need to perform the following manipulations:

  • Clamp the tire in a vice. If you are in landing and did not take a vise with you, then you can clamp the tire by resting it on the log.
  • Place the clip with the file on the chain so that it creates an angle of 30 °.
  • With light movements forward (away from yourself), we sharpen the tooth. With a new file, it is enough to make 5. 7 movements. If the file has already been used several times, then more movements will be required.
  • After the tooth has been sharpened, remove the file with a clip and scroll the chain to the next tooth. After passing all the right teeth, turn the saw (or change the position of the file) and sharpen the left teeth.

Some file holders have a filed template on which the turning angle is already marked. So you don’t have to “figure out” this angle. But from experience we will say that you need to practice well until it turns out to sharpen the chain perfectly smoothly with a file.

Chain sharpening angle grinder

If you have an angle grinder, you can sharpen your chainsaw chain much faster. It is best to use a small, 125-disc angle grinder. Sharpening is done at low speeds. There are two ways to sharpen an angle grinder.

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Saw chain sharpening methods

There are three ways to sharpen your saw chain effectively:

  • File.
  • Angle Grinder.
  • Sharpening machine.

Chain straightening with a sharpening machine

Straightening the chain with a sharpening machine is one of the most convenient, fast and high-quality at home. True, you will have to purchase a machine, which costs about 2,000. 3,000 rubles, but you will forget about problems with chains.

The sharpening machines have a chain holder (1) with a blocker, with which you can fix the chain. It also allows you to set the horizontal chain sharpening angle in the range from 0 ° to 40 °. We put a chain on it and set the angle we need. Then, using the lever (2), we adjust the angle of inclination of the grinding wheel, that is, at what angle it will go under the tooth. Before starting sawing, lower the blade onto the chain and set the stopper (4) in the desired position so that during operation do not lower it further and cut the chain. Sharpen each right tooth, then turn the holder with chain 180 ° and sharpen each left tooth.

The advantage of this method is that even an inexperienced operator can sharpen. Also, the machine has a protective cover (3), which will prevent injury during operation. However, as we have already said, you will have to spend a little money on purchasing a machine. If you need a good model, but do not want to overpay for famous brands, take the Champion C2001, which is by far the best budget model.

Power tools for working with wood:

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands

Everyone knows that the saw chain, which is used in chainsaws, needs to be sharpened periodically, but not everyone knows how to do it correctly. Determining that the saw requires sharpening the chain is very simple, for this you need to inspect the sawdust, and if they consist of fine dust, then the tool needs to be sharpened. If sharpening is impossible, it is worth replacing it with a new one.

Using a chain that is not sharpened can lead to overheating of the engine and the formation of scoring on the cylinder.

We will analyze the main ways with which you can, without problems, sharpen the chain on a chainsaw.

  • How to sharpen a chain on a chainsaw with your own hands
  • Sharpening with a file
  • File
  • Description of the sharpening process with files
  • Electric grinding machines
  • How to sharpen with an angle grinder (angle grinder)

Description of the sharpening process with files

The first thing to start with straightening the saw chain on the saw is to set the tool on a flat surface or table. In forest conditions, a large diameter chock is well suited for this. Next, you need to inspect the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After inspection, you need to set the brake in working condition, thereby blocking its movement on the tire.

The chain must be taut when sharpening with a file.

It is advisable to put a stand under the tire, as it you can use a log, a piece of a branch of a suitable diameter, or the manufacturers of sharpening tools have special clamps to hold the bar in the process of sharpening the chain.

The chain is sharpened by moving the file from the inside of the tooth to the outside. In this case, the file should be located parallel to the special mark on the chain. This mark is applied by the chain manufacturer to indicate the standard sharpening angle.

The sharpened tooth should be located approximately in the middle of the tire, this is necessary for the convenience of work, during the sharpening process you need to move the chain along the tire, not forgetting to set the brake to the working position each time.

Work on sharpening the chain on a chainsaw must be carried out using gloves made of coarse material, otherwise it is quite easy to injure yourself, because the working surface of the teeth is very sharp.

Ideally, manufacturers advise to make the same number of file movements for each tooth, but in practice this is not always possible. teeth have different degrees of damage to the working edge.

To facilitate sharpening the saw chain with a file, special holders with corner markings can be used. The markings are made not only for the standard cross cut, but also for the longitudinal.

Tool holders are also handy if you don’t have sufficient sharpening experience. Experienced sharpeners do not use holders for sharpening, but can only use special devices that support the file.

Another sharpening device is a manual saw chain straightener. It uses a regular file as a sharpening tool, which can be replaced independently. The machine is mounted directly on the tire, it also has the ability to adjust the angle of sharpening of the tooth and a special stop that holds the sharpened tooth.

Manual sharpening machine, perfect for beginners. Along with electric models of sharpening machines, manual has its undeniable plus in the form of a low price. Depending on the manufacturer of the hand-held machine, their appearance may differ, but the principle of operation is the same for all.

The depth of cut is adjusted with a flat file, so that there is a difference between the upper cutting edge of the tooth and the height stop.

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As you can see from the figure, the depth gauge is grinded in such a way as to bring the gap indicator to the factory value. Below is a table showing the main values ​​of the angles, as well as the clearances for the most common types of chains.

As a rule, the size of the gap is adjusted using a special die. It is installed on the chain during sharpening, after which the depth gauge is grinded.


For sharpening and dressing saw chains, two types of files are used. First, this is a round file with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the rounding of the working edge of the saw tooth.

For sharpening saw chains of household tools, round files with a diameter of 4, 4.8 mm are used, due to the fact that they have a small tooth. For professional models, more powerful chains with a larger tooth are used, and accordingly files with a diameter of 5.2, 5.5 mm are needed.

In order to sharpen correctly, it is not enough to sharpen only the cutting edges of the tooth; it is also necessary to adjust the cutting depth limiter. If this is not done, the chain will not cut into the material being cut to the required depth, which will noticeably reduce the speed of work and, just like in a situation with a blunt chain, can lead to overheating of the saw motor due to insufficient load on the motor. This work is done with a flat file.

Sharpening with a file

The first thing you need to sharpen the chain, or tweak it a little, are special files.

Electric grinding machines

For straightening a large number of chains, as a rule, in service centers or in manufacturing plants, electric sharpening machines are used. Depending on the manufacturer, the design of the machines may vary, but they have the same principle of operation.

The saw chain is installed in a special guide, which is mounted on the basis of the turntable and has a special retainer for holding the sharpened tooth. The latch is able to move in a horizontal plane. An electric emery is installed at an adjustable angle to the sharpened tooth, which is turned on by the operator by pressing the start button. The immersion depth of the emery, as well as the angle at which the sharpening is performed, can be adjusted. The dive itself is performed by the operator. The chain is straightened with a special grinding wheel, which can be changed if necessary.

How to sharpen a chain on a chainsaw with your own hands

A person who has a chainsaw in his household should know how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with his own hands. There are several ways:

  • Sharpening with a file (the most common method of sharpening, since it allows you to sharpen the tool directly at the cutting site.)
  • Sharpen using a special machine (this method is used in service centers, but can also be used on a personal farm)
  • Sharpen using an angle grinder. To sharpen in this way, certain skills are required. Uncommon method, because it is rather difficult to sharpen with an angle grinder correctly.

In this video, you can familiarize yourself with the sharpening process, the most popular methods and tools used for this.

How to sharpen with an angle grinder (angle grinder)

The method of sharpening the saw chain using an angle grinder, the least common due to its insecurity. In order to straighten the chain teeth using an angle grinder as a sharpening tool, it is necessary to install it in a vice and clamp it securely. Then the tool is switched on and the sharpened edge of the tooth is placed on the rotating surface of the disc. A tooth sharpened in this way can differ significantly from that sharpened with a file, because in the process of dressing using an angle grinder, it is rather difficult to control the sharpening angle.

A big disadvantage can be considered the possibility of notching the disc of the angle grinder of the eyelet for attaching the connecting link of the chain, which in the future will lead to a rupture during work. If, in the process of carrying out work using a chainsaw, the need arose for sharpening, it is better to use a special tool than to come up with various tricks that can result not only in financial losses, but cause serious injuries during their implementation.

Sharpening the chain is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. Any person, after studying the process of straightening chains, is able to sharpen the cutting set of his tool on his own. Even if the first time you manage to do it is not very high quality, you should not despair, because with every next try, the result will be better and better.

Sharpening with a sander or angle grinder

The process of sharpening a chainsaw chain with a grinder or an angle grinder is performed using a special attachment, the same grinding disc that is used as a attachment in professional machines. Of all the turning methods, the angle grinder method is the simplest, however, it requires some skills.

To sharpen, you need an angle grinder and a 2.5 mm metal disc. You need to sharpen the chain at minimum speed, alternately processing each tooth on the chain. Wear a protective plastic mask or goggles and gloves when using an angle grinder.

Video on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain angle grinder

Sets of necessary tools, templates and accessories for sharpening the chain

Most popular chain sharpening tools:

  • round file;
  • flat file;
  • holder;
  • depth gauge template;
  • sawdust removal hook.
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The sizes of files for sharpening chainsaws are different, but in everyday life for household needs and home use for sharpening chains with a pitch of ¼, 0.325 ″, 3/8 ″ and 0.404 ″, files with a diameter of 4.0 are recommended; 4.8; 5.2 and 5.5 mm. For some chains, cylindrical files with a diameter of 3.2 mm are used. For manual sharpening with your own hands, a file 200 mm long with a diameter of up to 5 mm would be ideal.

Some manufacturers sell these tools with sharpening kits, you can also purchase them separately. The round file is one of the most popular tools that many owners use to sharpen their chains as well as on machine tools. Each set is designed for a specific chain pitch and chain size. To find a set for sharpening chains, you need to know these two parameters.

There are markings on the holder. they help the owner of the chainsaw to determine the correct angle position for sharpening the chain. The holder is installed simultaneously on the upper part of the stop and the tooth, and the round file is placed under it immediately near the blade. The holder holds the file at the desired height, according to the norms, it should rise 1/5 above the blade.

To sharpen the chainsaw chain at home, the tire is secured with a vise or clamp. It is important to keep the tool still while sharpening. The holder is placed on the markings, and then the file is moved along the chain from itself 2-3 times. Each tooth is treated the same way. From time to time, the file is unfurled with the other side so that it does not grind unevenly.

For convenience, the teeth are sharpened evenly on one side, after which the saw is turned over and aligned on the other side.

STIHL 2-in-1 Easy File | How to Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain | STIHL GB

Start sharpening with the smallest tooth, as the length of the remaining teeth must match. When the blades are sharpened, the stops are processed. A template from the set is placed on the chain so that the stopper falls into the hole, all protruding edges are grinded with a flat file from the sharpening set.

Types of chainsaw sharpening and correct work with them

Next, we will tell you about several popular ways to sharpen the chain, which can be done both at home and in production.

Other chain sharpeners, sharpening tools and devices:

  • roller sharpening device;
  • files of various companies (round, flat);
  • file holders;
  • file handles and guides;
  • plastic cases, containers for storing tools;
  • file. a small file, an oblong-shaped device with a diamond cut, most often needle files are used for sawing very small parts, often sold in sets.

How and how to sharpen the chain teeth

The saw chain teeth are non-standard. They consist of a base, a blade and a depth gauge. The blade has a vertical blade and a horizontal blade that falls at an angle. It is thanks to these blades that the chainsaw cuts wood. They work on the principle of a plane, cutting off pieces, and the limiter adjusts their thickness (the difference in height between it and the horizontal blade will be the thickness of the chips). You can sharpen the chainsaw chain manually or using a machine.

We offer you a short rating of chainsaw chain sharpeners from the category of inexpensive:

All models described are suitable for the chain sharpener on saws and chainsaws. A small work space is required to place the machine: a stable table and a power source to connect the device to the network.

Oregon chainsaw chain sharpening machine. video with an overview of the operation of the device. Oregon is suitable for sharpening 91VX chains; 91VPX in.325 ″ and 3/8 ″ steps; LPX with pitch. 325 ″ and 3/8 ″; BPX 3/8 ″ pitch, LGX.

Video about the Dnipro-M NSM-550 machine

Sharpening as a business service. what is needed for this

To provide mass sharpening services, that is, to create a business in this direction, a lot of equipment and conditions are required. The following are the main materials, equipment and consumables that will be required to create a mini-workshop:

  • heated room with electricity supply, space for a machine tool, chair, shelving (minimum area 2 square meters, mains voltage 220 volts);
  • machine tools with washers for various discs (electric grinder);
  • sharpening discs, including diamond;
  • grinding wheel;
  • mounts for tools such as skates, scissors, chainsaws;
  • touchstone. a die for manual sharpening;
  • hammers;
  • small tools (hacksaws, screwdrivers, keys, etc.);
  • vice;
  • spindle oil;
  • lamps;
  • punch;
  • storage boxes, baskets, furniture.

Manual file sharpening at home

A flat file can be used for the tooth stops. The sharpening template is attached to the sharpening element.

Stages of manual sharpening of a chainsaw chain at home:

  • fix the chain (bar) so that it is completely motionless;
  • do not change the sharpening angle during the entire sharpening;
  • perform 2-3 forward movements with a file with light pressure;
  • turn the file in different directions;
  • sharpen to the size of the smallest tooth.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw?

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file with your own hands. about this video below: