To what degree to sharpen the chainsaw chain

Do-it-yourself chainsaw sharpening

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

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw with Elegant Efficiency [smoother & straighter cuts]

Intense sawing will quickly dull the chain. Several sharpenings may be required over the course of 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 fine 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 a decrease in productivity, high fuel consumption and increased wear of all parts of the chainsaw..

Chain sharpeners

The round file holder has a mowing line that allows it to be correctly positioned in relation to the chain. The holder fits onto the sharpened tooth in accordance with the line orientation. In this case, the insert 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 pitches of the saw chain. 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, while maintaining 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, do the same number of strokes with the file at the same pressure. This will result in the same tooth length. All cutting teeth must be of 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 so that the stopper falls into the slot, and the tip protruding from the slot is grinded with a flat file..

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

A round file is also used for sharpening the cutting tooth, and for sharpening 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..

Chain Teeth Parameters

To achieve optimal cutting properties, the tooth blades are given specific angles. 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 backward tilt of the upper blade..

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 top blade is the main blade and the back corner of the top 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.

The sharpening 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. Rule of thumb: the larger the sharpening angle, the higher the cutting performance when cutting non-frozen softwood. Reducing the sharpening angle 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, sharpening angle and 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.

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 productivity depends on the distance of the depth gauge. The distance of the depth gauge is set depending on the chain pitch and the 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.

General rules for sharpening chainsaw chains

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 less well-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 the 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 for it all the settings 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 for chainsaws 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.

Sharpening with a file

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


For sharpening and straightening saw chains, two types of files are used. The first 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, you also need 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.

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, because it allows you to sharpen the tool directly at the cutting site.)
  • Sharpening 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 quite 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..

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 to hold the sharpened tooth. The latch can be moved horizontally. 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 sharpening wheel, which can be changed if necessary.

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Description of the sharpening process with files

The first thing to start with straightening the saw chain on the saw is placing 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 outward. 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 can be used, with corner markings applied to them. 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 hand-held 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.

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 that shows the main values ​​of the angles, as well as clearances for the most common types of chains..

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

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 it is impossible to sharpen, it is worth replacing it with a new one..

The use of 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)

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 teeth of the chain 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 a notch with an angle grinder with an angle grinder of the eyelet for attaching the connecting link of the chain, which in the future will lead to 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 not very well, you should not despair, because with every next try, the result will be better and better.

Sharpening rules

Sections of the same type of each link must be uniformly processed. Otherwise, if in any one area there is an excessive sample of metal, then ultimately this leads to imbalance, uneven stroke and jerks during the operation of the chainsaw. The load on the mechanism increases many times, which in turn threatens to break the chain.

Therefore, the operation should be carried out at the required angle of sharpening of the Stihl 180 chainsaw chain (as well as any other tool) with extreme caution, avoiding excessive force. The procedure itself is performed sequentially, that is, you need to start on one side, then finish on the other.

In some cases, you can observe that one or more cutting edges have sharpened more. This happens when the chain ran into a knot on its way, which is found when cutting hard wood. Then it is necessary to determine which of the teeth grinded off the most and to equalize all the other links.

After sharpening is completed, blow the chain with air from a compressor or pump, and then place it in a container with engine oil for a short time. Usually few people do this, but for the chain it will be useful.

Features of the chainsaw

Sawing a tree is like working with a plane. In this case, the size of the cut depends on the thickness of the limiter. When the saw chain is used intensively, the teeth become dull more quickly. This is clearly manifested when the ground surface appears in the path of the chain. To completely blunt the teeth, it is enough to “catch” on the ground for a couple of seconds.

If you sharpen as often as possible, the chain will last much longer, since very little metal will be removed. In addition to the question of what angle of sharpening the chainsaw chain should be, this should also be known!

Working with a blunt tool is undesirable for a number of reasons. First of all, this is reflected in the quality of the cut, and not for the better. Also, fatigue quickly sets in, which is felt not only in the hands, but also in the body..

One more reason. unjustified excessive consumption of fuel. All parts will work in an enhanced mode, which inevitably leads to their rapid wear. Performance drops seriously, which also happens when using a defective chain.

Manual method

This is the simplest and slowest method for sharpening chain teeth. Nevertheless, the method is good when sharpening is done on the spot in the forest. Can’t carry a whole machine with you all the time ?! But here it is worth being more precise – not one instrument is meant, but a whole set, which includes:

  • flat file;
  • round file;
  • template.

Each of them fulfills his or her duties. The main purpose of the flat tool is to sharpen the depth gauge.

The round file is already performing the main operation, sharpening the cutting edges. Moreover, each chain requires a certain tool diameter:

  • step ¼ inch – 4 mm;
  • pitch 0.325 – 4.8 mm;
  • 3/8 inch pitch – 5.2 mm;
  • pitch 0.404 – 5.5 mm.

A 4 mm file is also suitable for Picco chains on Stihl 180 chainsaws in 3/8 and quarter-inch pitches. It is important to hold it correctly. With respect to the vertical plane, the file must be placed strictly perpendicular to the chain, and with respect to the horizontal plane – at a slight angle (about 30 °). The specific sharpening angle is selected depending on the needs, but within the range of 25-35 °.

Unlike sharpening a chainsaw chain on a lathe, the angle can be set here using a template, which is considered a useful assistant. For this, it is equipped with two slots: SOFT / S (for softwood) and HARD / H (for hardwood). The template should be pinned over the chain, which gives it delimiter privileges.

It should only be borne in mind that this method is not intended for permanent use, but only serves as a dressing of the blades. Using the file too often will wear out the chain over time and the teeth will not sharpen evenly.

Features of the structure of the chain

To effectively be able to sharpen a chainsaw chain, you need to know the structure of its teeth. You cannot do without knowing the sharpening angle. Each tooth has a complex structure. Its geometry is represented by the following components:

  • basis;
  • spatula;
  • depth gauge.

In this case, the blade consists of two blades: end and top. Moreover, between them there must be the correct sharpening angle of the chainsaw chain in order to provide it with the necessary performance.

As you can guess now. the chain does not cut the tree, since it serves as the basis for securing the cutting links, moves them at high speed. The links themselves have sharp blades, with the help of which the wood is cut.

What is the correct angle for sharpening chainsaws?

Chainsaw. a necessary tool for household needs, He will find a worthy application in the country. Chainsaw makes it easy to cut wood for a stove or fireplace. She also shows herself well when felling wood. Every owner of such an assistant should know the correct sharpening angle for chainsaw chains. It costs a lot of money to call a specialist at home, and even more so, to the dacha. Therefore, you have to make do on your own..

While it is best to outsource sharpening to a professional, some lumberjacks have learned the craft on their own. If specialists in forestry have to sharpen the chain 3-4 times a day, then the ordinary gardener does not have such a need due to the fact that he rarely uses the tool. How can you master the craft yourself? There are some guidelines for this..

Helpful hints

Some helpful tips will help keep your equipment in good working order and also eliminate the risk of injury. Of course, it is necessary to know the correct sharpening angle of the Stihl chainsaw chain. But timely tire care is also important:

  • The chain tension must be checked. Especially if the chainsaw tilts to one side during operation. Poor tension can be dangerous to humans.
  • Sharpen in a timely manner, without putting everything on the back burner. It may be expensive, but it is better to give preference to electrical equipment..
  • Lubricate the entire chain regularly, otherwise it may fly off (its speed is about 100 km / h). Everyone will draw conclusions himself.
  • Do not use used automotive oil or any product of questionable quality. It is worth choosing only specialized lubricants. As the best remedy – autol.

Before starting to work with the chainsaw, the chain should be run in. Let it run at minimum speed for 40-50 seconds. Lubrication will reach every part, and the chains with a sprocket will heat up a little, rub against each other.

Read more:  Which Stihl Oil To Choose For A Chainsaw

All these expert advice should not be ignored if you want to remain safe and sound.!

How to know when sharpening is needed?

It is possible to determine whether the teeth of the chain are sharpened or not by some characteristic features. Of course, it all depends on how intensively the chainsaw is used. It is worth taking a closer look at what kind of shavings it leaves. Its uniformity and square shape indicate sharp teeth. If the chain is worn off, then it usually leaves behind a wood dust, and the sawdust themselves look like needles, which are “produced” by a hand hacksaw.

If the cutting speed is reduced, then this is also considered a sign of a dull chain. An increase in the load on the instrument itself and the appearance of vibration are felt. Beginners may not always be able to notice some of these signs. Therefore, they should pay more attention to the quality of the chips. Sometimes it is brown, which is already guaranteed to indicate that it’s time to sharpen the chain..

Correct grinding angle values

The angle of sharpening of chainsaws is not a constant value, does not depend on the manufacturer or model of equipment. It is selected taking into account what kind of tree you have to deal with. You can choose an average value, but the cutting efficiency may be ineffective. For this reason, it is necessary to choose the correct value, taking into account the specific wood species..

When it comes to hard wood, including those trees that have been “frozen” for a long time, it has a high resistivity. In this regard, the sharpening angle should be reduced. This will virtually eliminate the occurrence of vibrations, and the chain will run more smoothly. The minimum value is 25 °.

For soft types of wood, the sharpening angle can be increased, but not more than 35 °. This will significantly increase productivity. The sharpening angle of the rip saw chain is 10 °. In this case, the cut will be as smooth as possible, and the vibration of the equipment is minimized. Knowing such features, you can proceed to consider different ways of sharpening.

Chain teeth characteristics

The chain teeth have several important parameters. These parameters include:

  • a cutting link device (consists of a base attached to a chain, a tooth blade with two cutting edges, a depth gauge that controls how deep the blade cuts into a tree, an end and top blade), the cutting action is performed not by the chain itself, but by the links, that is , teeth. They move on a chain, as if on a base, along a tree, and the link cuts the tree;
  • the angle of the end blade that allows the chain to cut through the wood (it is this angle that forms wood chips when sawing).

To carry out the correct sharpening of the chain, the owner needs to know:

  • chain metal type (soft, hard, medium);
  • chain pitch;
  • depth gauge distance.

How to sharpen the chain correctly depends on these two parameters. The softer the metal of the chain on the chainsaw, the more carefully you need to handle the file when manually sharpening. The upper edge of the file during the sharpening process should be located at an angle of 90 ° in the vertical plane and 30 ° or 10 ° in the horizontal plane..


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Chainsaw chain sharpening features

Chain parameters (cutting edge, stop height) cannot be changed..

  • The same type of sections of all links are subjected to identical processing. Excessive sampling of metal on one of them will lead to a change in the balance, an increase in the load on the mechanism and, ultimately, a chain break.
  • For the manufacture of its components, soft metal is used, so sharpening must be done extremely carefully, without much pressure. In this case, the file must be kept in a strictly defined position, along all axes. The picture above explains this well. The slightest deviation will lead to the fact that the chainsaw will not be able to work in the same mode without reducing performance. By and large, everything will have to be redone.
  • During the sharpening process, the file must be constantly rotated around the longitudinal axis. Otherwise, one-sided production of the metal of its sting is inevitable, and all further processing of the edges with this tool will lead to the fact that the error will begin to grow. In fact, such a chain will quickly become unusable, since the identity of the parameters of the links will be violated..
  • All teeth are sharpened in a certain order, sequentially, first on one side (of the same type), then on the other. In this case, the file is pressed only in the forward direction. Reverse – idle.

It often happens that one or more cutting edges are grinded harder than the others. For example, if a chainsaw hits a twig. This usually happens when cutting hardwoods. In this case, a tooth with a minimum length is determined, and everyone is fitted to it. The difference in their parameters will lead to uneven progress, jerks when cutting wood, and a rupture in one, or even several sections of the chainsaw chain.

About. On a note! Sharpening angles are different. They are selected based on the type of wood, the state of the material (first of all, its moisture content), the diameter of the workpieces and a number of other factors. That is why, when self-processing the edges of the teeth, when the saw is used in everyday life when working with different samples, it is recommended to focus on the average value of the angle – 30º.

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

Machine types

Manual. The most commonly used chainsaw machine is the manual one. This is a grinding wheel, the diameter of which varies depending on the size of the chainsaw. Although the process of using the machine seems simple, it needs precision. Given that sharpening is done by hand, the user needs a high degree of control to maintain the correct sharpening angle of the chain..

Mechanical. Another popular chainsaw sharpener is the automatic option. When using a rail mounted on a rod, the first step is to place the saw on a flat, stable platform such as a table. The operator then needs to attach the guide to the chainsaw, place it on the bar and secure it in place. After that, various adjusters on the machine must be set according to the sharpening requirements. This includes depth of field and feed angle. When using the guide, it is important to be careful with the chips that come off the blade. It can harm you and therefore it is best to work with protective equipment..

Electric models. A fairly popular option is an electric machine. Today it is one of the common tools used by professionals. An electric chainsaw chain sharpener differs from others primarily in terms of the time spent on the task. In fact, using an electric version of the saw is a quick way to sharpen a saw. In addition, there are many electric sharpeners on the market. They come in a variety of sizes and fit every budget. As with mechanical models, protective equipment must be worn when using an electric machine. Gloves, goggles and overalls.

Using saw chain sharpeners can be beneficial as it will speed up the process. People choosing this method should be aware of the rules for using the machine and setting it up. Using the correct settings is of paramount importance as chains break easily when sharpened by a tank that is incorrectly set. In addition, operators must pay close attention to the amount of time the grinding wheel or stone is in contact with the teeth. Proper chain sharpening should be a part of every tool owner’s maintenance. This is necessary to improve the safety and efficiency of using the chainsaw..

Also check out our article on how to file a chainsaw chain. Simple, cheap and effective.

Saw sharpening

It is unlikely that a professional will entrust someone with the operation of his equipment, and he does not need explanations on the methodology. But if the machine is purchased for personal use, then the problems with sharpening can be considered solved. The order of work is detailed in the accompanying documentation, so it makes no sense to duplicate the instructions.

The possibilities for sharpening the chain are increased (through a tooth or sequentially), and the quality of work is significantly increased. The wizard only needs to set the parameters recommended by the manufacturer (angle, polarity and a number of others, depending on the model). After the end of the sharpening process, it remains only to get rid of metal dust (blowing) and lubricate all chain links with oil.

. All you need is a 220/50 network connection.

In all articles on this topic, it is strongly recommended that you entrust your chainsaw sharpening to a professional. On the one hand, this is quite reasonable advice, since the process requires not only theoretical knowledge, but also a lot of practice. But after all, with the intensive use of the tool in the private sector, especially in suburban areas, several times a day you will not run into the master. The author strongly recommends that those who own a chainsaw master all the wisdom of sharpening it at home. And do not spare money and purchase a machine, or at least a set of accessories – they are worth it.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain correctly – step-by-step instructions with video

It is quite difficult for a beginner to cope with sharpening a chain for a chainsaw, although at its core the technology is not much different from the methods of sharpening the cutting edge of any tool designed for cutting materials. The explanation is simple – the sharpening of the chain is characterized by a number of features determined by its specific design and complex geometry of the teeth. How to sharpen the chain of your chainsaw correctly, what to consider and foresee – all the nuances of the process will be the subject of proceedings in this article.

This is how the dull and sharp teeth of the chainsaw look like (from left to right).

Regular sharpening of the chain is necessary not only in terms of productivity, or, as they say, keeping the cutting speed at a constant level. Severely worn teeth are much more difficult to bring into working order, and this will take a significant amount of time. In addition, more metal will have to be removed to align and sharpen the edges. As a result, a significant reduction in the operating life of not only the cutting tool, but also other parts of the chainsaw, for example, the drive sprocket.

File types and tips for choosing

As it has already become clear, you need to select a file for sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw chain with a round diameter and flat. Many manufacturers of motorized tools of this specificity, for the convenience of consumers, simultaneously produce sharpening sets, where such files are already present in the kit. But here it is also important not to be mistaken: a file of a suitable diameter is needed for a specific chain. Its size is determined based on the pitch of the chain teeth.

Following the rules, before choosing files for sharpening the chainsaw chain, the exact chain pitch is determined by the chain marking. Further, they adhere to the recommendations:

Step size File diameter, mm
0.25 2×2
0.325 2×2.4
0.375 2×2.6
0.404 2×2.75

There are saw chains where it is appropriate to use round files with a cross-sectional diameter of 2×1.6 millimeters.

With the correct selection of the tool for sharpening the teeth of the chainsaw, its protrusion above the surface of the horizontal edge of the tooth during the process will not exceed 1/5 of its own diameter, which can be a guideline when selecting a file when the chain pitch cannot be determined.

Read more:  How to sharpen a chain correctly on a chainsaw

Chainsaw chain sharpening angle. How to choose the right one?

Even the popular Stihl does not last forever: once the teeth of a chainsaw wear out, which is easy to determine by the nature of the chips formed. With a blunt cutting edge, the chips are small, because the working edge does not cut, but crumples the wood. Naturally, the effort expended by the operator increases dramatically. It’s time to sharpen the saw. How to do this correctly – choose the optimal technology, establish what angle of sharpening the tooth should be and how to check it?

Chainsaw chain sharpening template

When purchasing a chainsaw, it is advisable to acquire a special template (see Fig. 3), with which you can easily set the optimal values ​​of the tooth angles. It controls the values ​​of the rear angles of the upper and end blades, as well as the leading edge angle (it is indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions, and can vary within 65 … 80 °).

It is especially important to use a template to estimate the clearance angle of the upper blade. This angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain is very difficult to determine otherwise, but meanwhile it must be maintained within rather limited limits – from 50 to 60 °.

Measurement of the sharpening angle is performed by determining the angle between the upper cutting edge and a line perpendicular to the chain guide.

The angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain can be changed, depending on what kind of work will be done. As the hardness of the wood increases, its value should be lower. In general, it is considered the optimal value of the angle 10 … 12 ° – with a longitudinal cut, and 25 … 30 ° – with a cross cut.

Figure 3 – Appearance of the template for sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw

Sharpening can be done manually using a round file with a working diameter of 4 … 5.5 mm, or on a machine. In the first case, it is extremely important to correctly position the tool in relation to the sharpened tooth. The upper edge of the working part of the file is approximately one fifth higher than the upper edge of the tooth. The tool is placed perpendicular to the chain axis, and at an angle of 25 … 30 ° to the upper edge of the tooth

One round file is not enough. You will need a flat file to sharpen the limiter, and a hook that removes the resulting sawdust to clean the work area. There are also commercially available special holders on which the mowing line is graduated with the direction of movement of the file relative to the axis of the chain. As can be seen from Fig. 4, the holder can be mounted on top of the tooth and rest on its upper edge. Since the height of the holder is adapted to a certain chain pitch, it should be selected in relation to chainsaws of specific models and brands..

The minimum required set in order to obtain the correct sharpening angle of the chain by hand is shown in fig. five.

Figure 5 – Set of sharpening tools and accessories

First, the teeth are sharpened in one direction, and then in the other. Start with light pressing of the tool away from you, gradually increasing the load. During sharpening, the round file is periodically rotated along its axis.

Chainsaw sharpening angles and tooth configuration

The cutting edge of a tooth is characterized by the following parameters:

  • Width;
  • Thick;
  • Sharpening angle.

In addition, each model of the tool has its own tooth pitch, the value of which for household and semi-professional models is associated with the power of the chainsaw, and the torque that the drive develops. For example, for rip sawing, the pitch is taken less (eg 0.325 inches). In this case, the productivity of work will decrease, but the required effort will be significantly lower. The upper values ​​of the steps for household chainsaws are extremely rare, mainly when felling trees with a large trunk diameter. In this case, the motor power should not exceed 2500 W.

The thickness of the cutting edge for most manufacturers of chainsaws is set the same, and equal to 1.3 mm (there are also edges with a thickness of 1.1 mm, but, firstly, they are extremely difficult to sharpen at home, and, secondly, such links are extremely not very functional: they can only be used for cutting thin branches).

The height of the chain profile can be either 0.625 mm or 0.762 mm, and in most cases it is a low profile that is used for household gasoline-powered tools. When sharpening limiters, this parameter is very important, because with a decrease in the height of the above-permissible values, the vibration of the tool increases during operation, although the quality of the cut remains satisfactory. Therefore, you should not get carried away with lowering the height of the limiter when sharpening a tooth..

The sharpening angle of the chainsaw chain depends on the main purpose of the tool – for transverse or rip sawing. Since the resistance of the wood is always noticeably higher when ripping, the edge of the tooth must also be very sharp. It is recommended to do it in the range of 6 … 12 ° (for comparison – with the prevalence of cross-cut – up to 25 … 30 °). Naturally, in the first case, sharpening should be done more often, and especially carefully, since an unacceptably small angle of inclination of the tooth contributes to its rapid chipping during the operation of the chainsaw. This is especially important for links that are made of structural alloy steels containing silicon and manganese, for example, 40KhGS or 35KhGSA..

External signs of a blunt cutting edge of a chainsaw tooth

Recall that the chainsaw tooth has a complex configuration (see Fig. 1), which also depends on the direction of movement of the chain. It has two working edges: the lateral one, which is located perpendicular to the axis of movement of the links, and the upper one, located at a certain angle to the direction of movement of the chain. In addition, a limiter is provided on each tooth, the parameters of which determine the height of the removed chips. Since the main cutting force falls precisely on the working angle, then all subsequent work with the tool will depend on which angle to sharpen the tooth..

Figure 1 – Functional parts of a chainsaw tooth and their appearance

Before starting long-term work with a chainsaw, she needs to inspect and perform test cutting, as a result of which:

  • Visually establish the presence (or absence) of a conical section adjacent to the corner of the tooth, as well as radius curvature on it – the main signs of bluntness (see Fig. 2).
  • Check the feed force at which the tool runs stably, with a fast cut. For sharp teeth, the initial moment of penetration of the tooth into the wood occurs quickly, and without significant material resistance.
  • Find out the presence of chain vibrations during a steady cut – if they are noticeable, then the teeth must be sharpened.
  • Inspect the appearance of the just cut end (especially if the tool is used for ripping). In the presence of rough chips and dents, the chainsaw chain must be sharpened.

Mechanized sharpening on the machine

Sharpening on the machine is much more convenient and does not require high qualifications of the performer. Such machines are electrically driven and equipped with special grinding wheels..

For a household workshop, it is worth purchasing compact units that do not take up much space during storage, and are suitable for quick and high-quality sharpening of chainsaw chains from different manufacturers. Such units must operate from a stationary power supply with a voltage of 220 V, have low power consumption (up to 100 W) and be easy to install on a circuit..

When choosing a machine, you need to pay attention to its following technological characteristics:

  • Possibility of processing teeth with different thickness of the upper edge and different chain pitch;
  • The ability to adjust the sharpening angle, within the limits specified earlier;
  • Availability of replaceable grinding discs;
  • Constant value of the cutting width.

The design of the machine is simple, and includes a drive motor, a shaft with a seat for a sharpening disc, a handle with controls, a device for attaching the machine to a chain. The adjustment of the pressing force on the sharpened element is provided by a spring clamp. Modern models of sharpening machines are equipped with a differentiated clamp, which provides for the self-centering of the product on the machine. For the convenience of work on the clamp body there is a measuring scale.

Optionally, the machines can also be equipped with a miniature electric lamp that illuminates the working area, as well as a hydraulic booster that makes sharpening easier..

Safety of work is ensured by a folding safety guard.

7 stage

Before sharpening the chain of a Stihl or other chainsaw, position the file correctly on the surface of the individual link. In this case, the angle must be maintained within 25-30 degrees. These values ​​are optimal..

How and how to sharpen a chainsaw chain?

Any owner who has a chainsaw in his possession sooner or later is faced with the fact that the chain loses its original sharpness. And here many do not see any other way out of the situation, how to acquire a new one. But the one who is used to making everything with his own hands and does not like to spend money on what he can do himself, begins to look for an answer to the question: “How to sharpen a chainsaw chain?” Let’s figure out step by step how to do it right.

First, without removing the chain, determine its size. For sharpening, it is better to use a whetstone, which almost everyone has on the farm, and a (special) file for a chainsaw. Today there are several sizes of chainsaw teeth..

Stage 3

Before sharpening the chainsaw, inspect it for any damage. Pay special attention to the teeth. If some of them are bent or chipped and badly worn, then it is better not to use such a chain anymore. For professional lumberjacks, the following rule of thumb is that in a usable chain, the blade of each tooth should be at least a quarter of an inch long..

Place the saw in a stable, secure position on a firm surface, free from potholes and bevels. Also, in some cases, you can use a vice. This must be done so that the chain remains mobile and rotates freely..

Stage 2

Before sharpening the chainsaw chain, you must thoroughly clean it. To do this, you need to use any cleaner you have, such as acetone, gasoline, but white spirit is the best option. At the same time, you can also clean the body of the chainsaw, just be careful so that the tool does not get into the engine.


Stage 5

Find the leading cutter for the starting point. It is usually the shortest. If your chain has all the teeth the same, you can start with either. During a process such as sharpening a chain, it is necessary to file each cutter so that all of its blades are the same size. Only in this case will they evenly cut the wood layer and form a correct cut. If all the teeth are the same, it is better to mark the starting cutter with a marker or a dot of paint before starting..

Before sharpening the chainsaw chain, inspect the file used for potholes. Then place it in the front notch of the cutter, which is an oblique tooth located on the flat surface of the link. It should be borne in mind that about 1/5 of the file should protrude when sharpening.

8 stage

Sharpen the chain with moderate smooth movements, rotating the file directly over the face of the cutter. In doing so, remove the metal shavings in a timely manner. Thus, process the prong through one, and then repeat the same manipulations in the opposite direction..

Now you have learned how to sharpen a chainsaw chain correctly, and what you need to use for this.