How To Sharpen A Saw Chain

General rules for sharpening chainsaw chains. Chain sharpeners

The round file holder has a mowing line that can be positioned correctly in relation to the chain. The holder is mounted on the sharpened tooth in accordance with the line orientation. In this case, the plate itself rests on the upper edge of the tooth and the depth gauge, and the file is located under the cutting edge.

The use of a holder ensures that the file will fit to the tooth at the correct height. There are different tool holders for different chain pitches. The correct choice of holder, combined with the correct file diameter, ensures that the file protrudes over the back of the tooth by 1/5 of its diameter. Use only special saw chain files.

Before sharpening the chainsaw chain, it is advisable to secure the bar. When sharpening, it is necessary, keeping the position of the holder and pressing the file to the sharpened edge, to make several (2-3) turning movements away from you. Do not try to press too hard on the file, the movements should be smooth and measured. Rotate the file regularly to avoid one-sided wear. All other teeth are sharpened in the same way. It is more convenient to first sharpen the teeth in one direction, then change the position and do the same with the teeth in the other direction.

When sharpening all teeth, file the same number of strokes with the same pressure. This will result in the same tooth length. All cutting teeth must be the same length. Different tooth lengths cause uneven chain running and cracking. If the length of the teeth is not the same, all cutting teeth must be filed to the length of the shortest tooth.

After several sharpening of the cutting teeth, the depth gauge is ground. To do this, a template is superimposed on it in such a way that the limiter falls into the slot, and the tip protruding from the slot is grinded with a flat file.

The principle of using a different set for sharpening chainsaw chains does not differ from the first, although its design is different.

A round file is also used to sharpen the cutting tooth, and the depth gauge is used to sharpen the depth gauge. Flat. A special template provides parameters for sharpening both cutting teeth and stops. In the first case, it is superimposed on the chain in such a way that it falls into its slots. The file, placed on the template and brought under the cutting edge, rests on the guide rollers. The direction of movement of the file must be parallel to the lateral edges of the template.

When sewing the stopper, the template is applied so that the stopper falls into the slot, near which it says SOFT (for soft wood) or HARD (for hard wood). As in the case of the first device, the file is seamed with smooth, even movements of the flat file away from you.

Chainsaw chain sharpening with your own hands

The chain tooth planes the wood like a plane, and the chip thickness is adjusted by the height of the stop.

Intense sawing will quickly dull the chain. Several sharpenings may be required within one day. The problem is aggravated by the fact that the tooth quickly dulls when it meets the ground. It is enough to hook the soil with the tire once or twice, and the work can be stopped. The shavings become small and the saw stops going deep into the wood.

The sooner dull teeth are sharpened, the less material needs to be removed during sharpening, as a result. The service life of the saw chain is longer. Determining the moment when sharpening is already required is quite simple. An important feature is the feed force. A properly sharpened chain is pulled into the cut with just a little pressure. If, on the contrary, the chainsaw is forced to cut by increased feed force, then the teeth are dull. A dull chain can also be recognized if only small chips fly out of the cut instead of coarse thick chips.

In this situation, the chainsaw must be sharpened urgently. Do not cut with a dull or defective saw chain. The consequence is high stress in the body, high cyclic load, poor cutting results. In addition, this means reduced productivity, high fuel consumption and increased wear of all parts of the chainsaw.

Chain teeth parameters

To achieve optimal cutting properties, the tooth blades are angled. The back of the tooth falling back at an angle forms the posterior angle of the upper blade. This angle is needed to cut the upper blade into the wood.

The backward tapering blade of the tooth forms the back angle of the end blade. This angle is needed for side cutting of the chips.

The edge of the end blade forms a rake angle with the sliding surface of the cutting link. Front angles for different types of chains vary from 60 to 85.

The back angle of the upper blade characterizes the tilt of the upper blade back.

This angle is measured relative to the sliding plane of the cutting link and, depending on the type of saw chain, ranges from 50 to 60. The upper blade is the main blade and the rear angle of the upper blade. This is the most important corner. The clearance angle of the upper blade is difficult to measure, the correct value is obtained by observing other prescribed values.

Grinding angle or entering angle is obtained by measuring from the top cutting edge at right angles to the guide bar.

The sharpening angle can be changed, depending on the application. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the sharpening angle, the higher the cutting performance when cutting non-frozen softwood. Reducing the angle of sharpening when cutting frozen and / or hard wood contributes to a smoother saw blade and less vibration. However, sharpening angles greater than 35 and less than 25 should be avoided (except for rip chains where this angle is 10).

The rake angle, the sharpening angle and the upper blade angle change when sharpening. These angles have a decisive influence on the cutting performance of the chain. Be sure to observe the prescribed values.

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A depth gauge is located on each cutting link in front of the tooth scapula. The difference in height between the top edge of the depth gauge and the front edge of the back of the tooth is defined as the distance of the depth gauge.

The depth of penetration of the upper blade into the wood (chip thickness) and thus the productivity depends on the distance of the depth gauge. The distance of the depth gauge is set depending on the chain pitch and type of execution. Normally, it should be 0.5-0.8 mm, more often 0.6 mm. High values ​​will lead to an increased tendency of the chainsaw to kickback, too much grip and chain vibration. Low values ​​lead to a drop in performance. Since the distance of the depth gauge decreases with each sharpening of the saw due to a decrease in the upper edge of the tooth, the depth gauge also needs to be filed periodically. After 5-10 chain sharpenings.

Chainsaw chain sharpening machines

Stihl produces two modifications of hand-held machine tools. Stationary FG 2 and mobile FG 1 mounted directly on the tire. There are analogues of lesser-known companies, comparable in price with the simpler devices described above.

The working part of these devices structurally resembles a bow saw, into which a round long file is inserted instead of a saw blade. FG 1 and FG 2 not only sharpen chains, but also straighten them, adjusting the length of the top edge of all teeth to the same size. On the smallest tooth, which is taken as the control one. A rather complex configuration mechanism allows you to set all the necessary parameters. Sharpening is carried out in 2-3 movements, after which they proceed to the next tooth, keeping all the settings for it that were made for the control tooth. This ensures the same sharpening parameters for all teeth. When sewing the stopper, the round file changes to a flat file.

The electric chain sharpener is simple and convenient to use. It has an adjustment system that allows you to set the chain at the desired angle and bring the disc exactly to the sharpened edge. There are machines that automatically clamp the vice when lowering the disc onto the chain.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain: instructions for working with sharpening accessories

How To Sharpen A Saw Chain

A sharpened sharp chain is one of the conditions for the effective operation of a chainsaw. If the chain becomes dull, business in the country will stop: the bathhouse cannot be repaired, the fence cannot be built, and firewood cannot be prepared for the stove. For help, you can turn to paid specialists, but you should remember that this procedure will be repeated at regular intervals, and this is additional financial costs and a waste of personal time. Another way out is to find out how the chainsaw chain is sharpened independently, without the involvement of specialists.

Basic rules and order of sharpening. What tools for sharpening are there

To start work, you need to stock up on tools that are divided into two types.

Sharpening of cutting teeth

The question arises: how to sharpen the chain so that all the teeth are evenly even and sharp? The work is facilitated by the use of a metal template, which is applied to the chain. It is installed in a strict position according to the arrows, the ends of which are directed along the movement of the chain. The main pressure is applied to the leading edge, respecting the angle of inclination, which corresponds to the length of the chain pitch.

You need to try to have an equal number of movements for each tooth. The teeth are sharpened in turn: one on the left, the next on the right, and so on. For the convenience of performing the actions, the tire is clamped in a vice, and then processed through the prong on one side, then the same on the other.

During sharpening, the fixture must be held at a certain angle

Manual and electric machines

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain if the cutting edge of the tooth has completely lost its shape due to prolonged work? Files can also be used, but the process will be counterproductive and time-consuming. The best option is the use of machine tools, and here you have to choose, because machines are different manual and electric.

Stihl manual chain sharpener

Before work, parameters are set, and the processing process is performed much faster than with files: 2-3 movements are enough to sharpen each tooth. Electric machines are also complex to set up, yet work quickly and accurately.

An electric machine can save a lot of time, but not everyone is ready to shell out a large sum for it.

When it’s time to sharpen the saw?

The periods between two sharpenings depend on the frequency of use of the tool. Some use it daily, others several times a year.

You can understand that the teeth are dull by some signs that come to light during operation:

  • The chain stretches and sags, causing the saw blade to function inaccurately and slow down in the cut. Working with such a chain requires extra effort.
  • The sawing process slows down, productivity drops, you have to spend twice as long on work.
  • The type of sawdust changes: they become uneven, sharp, and smaller. Shavings from a sharpened saw looks different: the same pieces of an even rectangular shape.

If the saw loses accuracy and gets stuck in the cut, it’s time to start straightening the chain teeth.

Repair work should not be postponed for a long time. The sooner you sharpen, the less material you have to grind, and accordingly, the longer the service life. And you don’t have to work with a blunt instrument for a long time, increase its wear and tear and waste your own physical strength.

Two swarf samples: first result with a sharpened saw, the second with a blunt one

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 directly in the field, while the other two require a special tool and electricity.

Chain design

The saw chain consists of the following elements:

  1. Left cutting tooth.
  2. Right cutting tooth.
  3. Cutting depth stop.
  4. Leading link.
  5. 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 our teeth on the chain are. There are two common forms of saw teeth:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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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.

Method 1

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.

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 vice 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 to 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 by eye. 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.

Saw chain sharpening methods

There are three ways to sharpen your saw chain effectively:

  • File.
  • Angle Grinder.
  • Sharpening machine.

Sharpening signs

The first sign that a regular saw needs setting and sharpening is moving away from the cut line or clamping it into the material. A sharp chain saw allows for effortless cuts, while high heat combined with too small chips signals the need for adjustments. Experienced technicians can determine the need for sharpening by changing the sound.

Circular saws also heat up, build up carbon deposits and become more difficult to move.

The chain saw dulls extremely quickly after hitting the ground. Its further use leads not only to an increase in muscle effort, but also increases the load on the nodes of a gasoline or electric saw.

The chain may vibrate, fuel consumption will increase, overall efficiency per unit of time will be significantly reduced. The size of the detached shavings will resemble flour.

The deformation of the teeth can be determined visually. Thus, the urgency of the operation will be indicated by a general decrease in labor productivity., decrease in accuracy, change in the nature of the sound, rounding of the tops of the teeth, the withdrawal of the tool from the mowing line of the cut and the use of large physical efforts.

By wood

Any wood saw works very efficiently if it is regularly checked and sharpened. Manual model can be sharpened by hand.

The machine is a good solution, but if only a manual version is possible, the procedure will look like this. First you need to fix the product on a stand that will rotate. Mark the corners with a marker. The template can be a standard disc, taken on the side or previously purchased in pairs. If there is none, you will have to take care of your own hardboard template in advance.

How to sharpen a saw correctly?

  1. Sharpening signs
  2. What tools are needed?
  3. How to sharpen correctly?
    • Saw
    • By wood
    • Framed
    • Helpful hints


    An electric or gasoline chain saw uses the chain as a contact cutting surface. It is sharpened in workshops using industrial equipment or do it yourself using a template. In the latter case, round (cylindrical) files with a small diameter are used, which are selected depending on the marking of the sharpened product.

    In particular, the Stihl MS brand chain from 180 to 250 will require a file with a diameter of 4 mm, for MS 290 and further up to 440, a tool with a diameter of 5.2 mm is required.

    The round file only moves forward and nothing else. Direction perpendicular to the chain plane. In addition, when sharpening chains, a flat file and a template are also used, after installing the template on the tooth, the cutting surface is sharpened.

    Before starting work, the tire is clamped in a vice. However, the use of the machine in such a case is still preferable, although there are opposite opinions. If the wear is small, the matter can be corrected manually, but we must not forget about the geometry of the cutting part.

    With heavy wear, machine tools are necessary. Complex equipment has a tuning system that allows it to work automatically.

    It must be borne in mind that different chains differ in the shape of the teeth, so the tool used must correspond to this.

    For manual sharpening of chain saws, the tool is sold in sets. When choosing it, you need to understand well which chains will have to sharpen. If in the course of solving the problem you have to choose between the engine power and the sharpness of the chain, the latter should be preferred.


    The frame saw is a tool commonly used in sawmills. It serves for longitudinal cutting of wood into boards and beams. Its peculiarity is that the saws are rigidly connected in the form of a frame.

    The undoubted advantage of the design is high performance. When sharpening, it is necessary to take into account the parameters of the teeth, which are usually selected for interaction with a specific material.

    Sharpening gang saws is considered more difficult compared to conventional similar tools for wood.

    The width of the set of teeth for sawing fresh softwood should not exceed 0.8 millimeters, the same figures for oak or beech 0.6 millimeters. The operation is carried out industrially, grinding material corundum.

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    At the end of the work, grinding is carried out. Gang saws are more difficult to sharpen because the material to be ground is not the same for different teeth. Both the front and back of the teeth are ground.

    What tools are needed?

    Various types of saws make their own adjustments to the list of tools used for sharpening. For a regular hacksaw, a triangular file is required, needle files are also used.

    In addition, you will need a clamping device, for example, a vise, or you will have to make a special device yourself. In this case, bonded plywood sheets are used, between which the canvas is clamped. In this case, the teeth should protrude slightly above the surface.

    A circular saw will require a pair of wooden blocks, self-tapping screws, a marker, a screwdriver, a jigsaw or a hacksaw, a ruler.

    Chainsaw attachments are used in conjunction with a special bar that is used to sharpen while rotating. Sharpener, rhombic stone, circle, disc these are the forms and types of sharpening tools.

    Machine tools, in turn, are divided into electrical and mechanical, the latter are driven only by muscle power. The most sophisticated and expensive electrically driven options allow the operation to be carried out automatically, turning the grinder into a regular machine operator.

    How to sharpen a chain for a household chainsaw correctly and quickly

    The sharpened chain ensures efficient, safe and precise operation of the chainsaw. The sharpening of chains for chainsaws is carried out as they become dull. You can gauge the degree of wear on the saw chain by its tension. In the event that the chain is elongated, we can say that it needs sharpening. For example, professional lumberjacks can do this 3-4 times a day, while in domestic conditions this need arises much less often. The frequency and intensity of instrument use have a significant influence here. As soon as the operator notices that the sawing is going slower than usual, it is time to sharpen the saw chain.

    • Chainsaw sharpening instructions
    • Necessary tools and devices
    • Chainsaw cutting teeth sharpening
    • Grinding the restraining tooth
    • Work order step by step
    • How to do without sharpening longer

    In addition, the condition of the chain can be determined by the chips coming out from under the saw. A well sharpened chain will produce consistent chips and sawdust of the same square shape. A dull chainsaw produces a large amount of dust and sawdust in the form of long needles, reminiscent of sawdust from a hand saw.

    Necessary tools and devices

    It is best to have your saw chain sharpened by a specialist. This is quite justified if there is no automatic chain sharpener at hand, and there are no special skills to work with it. You can tweak the chain at home using a cylindrical file of the appropriate diameter. To do this, prepare a flat file and a special combination template suitable for a particular saw. The vice can significantly facilitate the work, which will free your hands to work with the tool.

    Each link of the saw chain acts as a small planer, and the degree of sawing efficiency depends on the difference in the height of the guard tooth and the cutting tooth. It is this difference that determines the depth of cut into the wood. The ideal difference is 0.5 0.8 mm.

    Instructions for sharpening chains for chainsaws. Chainsaw cutting teeth sharpening

    When thinking about how to properly sharpen a chainsaw chain, you need to remember that the cutting teeth are sharpened first. To do this, a template for sharpening is imposed on the chain, making sure that the arrows of the template point to the direction of movement of the chain. Sharpening should be done with measured and light movements with the main pressure on the front part with some angle to the surface of the chain bar.

    Chainsaw chain sharpening angles vary. Their size depends entirely on the chain pitch. So, for each tooth you need to assign the same number of movements. In this case, one tooth must be sharpened on the left, and one on the right.

    It is recommended to clamp the saw bar in a special vice. Then it will be much easier to first sharpen every second tooth on one side, and then every second tooth on the other.

    Grinding the restraining tooth

    The key component of the saw headset is the chainsaw bar. Its length determines the depth of cut. The shorter it is, the smaller the barrel diameter the chainsaw can handle. At the same time, it must be remembered that the length of the bus must correspond to the power of the device.

    Insufficient engine power will lead to the fact that the operator will need to make considerable efforts when cutting, which will soon lead to wear of the headset, an increase in the consumption of the fuel mixture, and possibly the failure of the chainsaw. Grinding the stop tooth is done as follows: a template is applied to it and using a flat file the stop tooth is ground down to the template level.

    The template has two main positions: S Soft for soft wood and H Hard for hard.

    Here you need to understand that sharpening the stop tooth without using a template threatens with a too low cut. This increases the risk of kickback, increases vibration, impairs sawing accuracy and increases waste.

    Work order step by step

    Chainsaw chains must be sharpened to the same length. In this case, one should focus on the length of the tooth itself.

    Chainsaw chain sharpening starts by measuring the length of the canopy of any blunt teeth. The angle between the blade of the visor and the side during sharpening must not be changed. In the event that the visor is slightly inclined downward, the degree of the angle must be exactly 90. Otherwise, sharpening will not be effective.

    As each tooth is sharpened, its inner bore inevitably widens, so care must be taken to keep its base in a permanently horizontal position. However, the hole width has no effect on the efficiency of the saw.

    Each tooth has a depth gauge that adjusts how far the saw tooth enters the wood blade. The distance between the tip of this stop and the peak of the prong should be 0.5-1.2 mm. And this value should always be constant.

    The automatic chain sharpening machine in one stroke is able to grind the stop and the tooth to the same thickness. In order to maintain the original parameters of the hole rounding in the depth gauge, it must be corrected after every third or fourth grinding. This will prevent the saw from tripping, leaving gaps and unnecessary nicks.