Best Way to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain in 5 Minutes

Using a chainsaw in the right way can make your wood cutting job very efficient. You can optimize your time and work fluently with a chainsaw. But all you need to know is the proper technique of using this.

Notice carefully when the chain on your chainsaw becomes dull. Because a dull chain will take a longer time to cut wood, won’t cut smoothly, overheat the chain and probably burn the wood.

Moreover, you need an accurate sharpener to sharpen your chainsaw for your safety. Sharpening a chainsaw takes just a few minutes and, in this article, I provide you step by step guidelines about the best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain.

You can read our user reviews on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain the best in 5 minutes. Also, we’ve discussed a lot more about your defense when you sharpen chainsaws.

best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain

When to Sharpen

When the shavings cut from the chainsaw are almost like dust, then it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw. Another symptom of a dull chainsaw is that it will not be able to cut straight.

Over vibration is also a sign of dull chainsaw. When you find it difficult to set a precise positioning, sharpen your carving chainsaw immediately.

1. Wear Protective Clothing and Gather the Necessary Equipment

Before sharpening the chainsaw, you have to think about safety. Though accidents like finger cutting or injury occur frequently during the sharpening process, don’t forget to wear protective clothes first.

You need to wear heavy hand gloves to avoid finger injury. Safety goggles are also recommended. Then gather all the equipment whatever you want to sharpen your chainsaw. You probably need a round file, flat file, depth gauge, file guide, screwdriver, measuring equipment, etc. Organize them properly before starting work.

Another important thing is to use the proper size and shape of the chainsaw file. Thus, you need to identify the type of your chainsaw with the help of a package label or user manual. It will make your task easier and more efficient.

2. Adjust the Chainsaw and Clamp It on the Work Surface

The wrong step taken by most of the people is that they try to sharpen the chain while it isn’t on the chainsaw. This will make the task more difficult. So, first of all, adjust the chain with the saw.

Using a tabletop clamp is important. It will hold your chainsaw tightly so that the chainsaw will not move during the sharpening process. But if you can’t manage a table clamp or vise instantly, then go without it. But special care should be given to make the saw steady during the process.

3. Careful Inspection Before Sharpening

Inspect carefully which teeth have damaged more and need to sharpen. This step is important both for effective sharpening and safety issues.

If you are confused about which parts need to be inspected then read the user manual. There you will find maintenance procedures and suggestions from the manufacturer.

4. Mark the Tooth from Where You Will Start the Sharpening Process

Most chainsaws have their own marking techniques. But it will not be easy to find during sharpening. So, it would be better to use a bright permanent marker to mark the starting point. This step is important to prevent the mistake of sharpening the same teeth twice.

5. Place Your File at the Notch on the Front Portion of Cutter

Place the file in the notch of the angled tooth so that around 18% to 20% of the file will above the top of the tooth

6. Use A File Holder to Maintain A Constant Angle

First of all, read the user manual to identify the appropriate angel to file a cutter. The next step is positioning the line on the file holder at the required angle for your chainsaw.

Then you have to keep the holder online till the end of the operation. Move the file frequently across the face of the cutter: You need to keep the file over the cutter such as it remains flat. Don’t apply too much pressure. Start grinding the file Against the cutter. Repeat this task as previously.

7. Repeat the Motion

You need to repeat the motion at least 3-10 times until your cutter will properly sharpen. The number of repeated actions required to sharp accurately is different for the different chainsaws. So, observe carefully how many times you need to file the first cutter. Then file other cutters the same number of times.

8. Set a Depth Gauge

The height of the rakers should be kept at the right height. For this step you need a depth gauge that you may find at any hardware store. Place the gauge over the chain and drive it forward.

Inspect carefully if the top of the raker is higher than the top surface of the depth gauge or not. If it is higher, fill down the raker and then move the gauge in the forward direction.

9. Unfix the Chain and Loosen the Chainsaw

Loosen the chain of your chain saw by using an adjustment screw. Unfix the vise that holds your chainsaw tightly. Take your chainsaw out from the tabletop vise. Now you have a perfect sharp chainsaw that is ready for use.


You need to keep the chain on your chainsaw sharp enough to ensure well operation, safe cutting and place less strain on the motor.

So, I have tried here to represent the step by step process to easily make your chainsaw sharp. Probably this will be effective for you.

Relevant Resources:

Hi, I am Gavin Ford. I am a full-time power tools salesperson and a part-time mechanic. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. Which one to buy, how to buy it, how to use it, methods to fix broken tools, and so on. In I will do the same for the rest of the world. You will get everything you need to know about tools for regular and professional use.

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