How to Sharpen a Stihl Chainsaw Chain

During operation, the chainsaw chain periodically requires sharpening. A special machine can be used for editing, but it is better to learn how to sharpen using files. As a rule, two types are used for sharpening.

Files and accessories

The main, which sharpen the working tooth of the saw is round. Flat is used to adjust the height of the tooth. cutter depth limiter.

Round file

Round vary in diameter. The main diameters are:

Depending on the size of the tooth, it is necessary to choose the optimal diameter. To facilitate the process, special file holders or supporting rollers with a tooth angle can be used.

How to Sharpen a Stihl Chainsaw Chain

Flat file

Flat should have a width of not more than 1 cm. It is convenient to sharpen the limiter tooth with the help of a special bar (filing gauge), which is installed on the chain and shows at what maximum depth it is necessary to grind the tooth in order to achieve optimal performance of the chainsaw.

File holder

The circular file is installed in the holder and fixed with special clamps. On the plane of the holder there are several markings indicating a specific sharpening angle. When editing a chain with a file with a holder, the markings on the device are placed parallel to the chainsaw tire, which allows you to accurately withstand the required angle.

Using a holder is constantly quite inconvenient. You can use this tool from time to time to control the correct angle of the tooth.

Filing gauges

These devices are used to control the angle of sharpening of the teeth, as well as the distance to the depth gauge together with a flat file.


Manufacturers of equipment for chainsaws, make special guide machines for installing files and sharpening in them. The machines are mounted on the tire chainsaw and are adjustable in height and angle to the chain. The use of such equipment is relevant for those who are just trying to learn how to sharpen the chain of a Stihl chainsaw with their own hands.


This device allows you to hold the tire chainsaw when sharpening. For its proper use, the process must take place directly at the cutting site. The clamp is hammered into a tree or board, then the tire is clamped into it and securely fixed from displacement. The device can be used for all types of tires, regardless of size.

In some cases, for example, in garage conditions, an ordinary vice can be used instead of a clamp, the tire is clamped in them so that the vice lips do not interfere with the free movement of the chain. Next, sharpening is performed according to the usual scenario.

Sharpening Process Description

Let’s consider in more detail how to sharpen a chain of a chainsaw. The first thing to do is to prepare a place for installing the clamp, or if the process goes without it, it is convenient to use ordinary log as an emphasis for fixing the tire in the horizontal plane. The chainsaw is mounted on a flat surface, the log is placed under the tire, the brake is applied.

Video: How to Sharpen a Stihl Chainsaw Chain

To avoid personal injury when sharpening a chainsaw, be sure to apply the chain brake.

The next stage is direct sharpening of the tooth. To do this, round file moves from the inside of the tooth to the outside.

It is very important at this moment to maintain the correct sharpening angle. The standard angle is thirty degrees from the perpendicular arrangement of the file to the plane of the tire. How to position it is shown in the photo below.

In the process of sharpening a chainsaw for a non-standard cut, for example, longitudinal. The sharpened angle changes to less sharp. As a rule, it is not more than 10 °. It is in such cases, to control the angle of sharpening, a holder, manual machines or filing calibers are used.

Some manufacturers of chains for chainsaws, to facilitate sharpening, as well as to indicate the maximum possible sharpening, make a special mark on the upper surface of the tooth.

By holding the file parallel to the mark, you can be sure that the correct angle is respected.

The number of working movements with a file should be the same for each tooth. This will evenly grind all the teeth.

In the process of straightening the chain, it is customary to first grind the teeth on one side, and then on the other, this is convenient since there is no need to constantly change its location with respect to the chainsaw.

After the working teeth are sharpened, it is necessary to adjust the height of the restrictive tooth with a flat file. To do this, the filing gauge is laid on the chain so that the restrictive tooth coincides with its slot, after which the protruding part is ground off with a file. This procedure is performed for all restrictive teeth.

Use of roller tool

The sharpening device, with which you can quickly and accurately correct the teeth, consists of a small guide template on which two rollers are mounted.

By installing the device on the tire, you can sharpen the teeth of the chainsaw, even without experience in such operations.


For those who are just learning to sharpen the chainsaw chain on their own, it will be useful to take into account a few basic tips for the correct implementation of this process.

  1. During any manipulations with the chain, the engine must be turned off, in no case is it permissible to sharpen the chain of the chainsaw on the wound saw.
  2. The chain must be tightened before sharpening to normal operation.
  3. The chain brake must be set to its working position when dressing.
  4. When sharpening the chain, gloves must be used to protect against cuts by sharp tooth edges.
  5. Compliance with the same number of movements with a file is guaranteed to ensure uniform grinding of all teeth.

Below you can see how to sharpen a chain of a chainsaw with a file in the video, it describes in detail what files you need to use. What is the best place for a chainsaw. And of course, how the grinding tool should be located in relation to the saw bar.

In conclusion, I would like to note the main advantages of file sharpening, compared with straightening the chain in the machine.

Benefits of file sharpening

  • Significantly increased chain life.
  • There is no risk of ruining it.
  • Editing can be done anywhere wherever you are, regardless of the availability of electricity.

To sharpen a chainsaw at construction sites, as well as in places of work on sawing wood, it is most convenient to use a file. Due to the presence of numerous devices to facilitate the process, even a person who has no experience will be able to correct the chain, the main thing to remember is safety when working with a chainsaw and adhere to the recommendations received in the article.