How to sharpen a chainsaw chain

The chain must be sharp and properly tensioned if you are to work efficiently, safely and precisely. Using a file gauge makes it easier to keep the chain in good condition.

WARNING: Use protective gloves when working with a chain!

Filing the chain

The chainsaw and the bar should be fixed in place for maximum stability. Lock the chain by activating the chain brake or by inserting the combi spanner between the bar and the chain on the underside of the bar.

Start with the cutting teeth. Place the file gauge with the arrows pointing towards the bar nose. File using both hands. Place the file at right angles to the rollers. File every second tooth with an even, pushing stroke. It is important that all teeth are the same length. When you have finished filing, turn the saw around and file the rest of the cutting teeth in the same manner from the opposite direction.

Filing the depth gauges

The height difference between the depth gauge and the tip of the tooth will determine how much the cutting tooth will saw. File the depth gauges about every third or fifth time you file the cutting teeth, assuming normal wear.

Place the file gauge on the chain and hold it steady with one hand. Select “Soft” or “Hard” depending on which type of wood you normally saw. Hold the flat file in your other hand and file the depth gauge until the file makes contact with the file gauge. Then continue to file all the depth gauges on the chain. How the file gauge rests on the chain depends on whether the cutting tooth has been filed right- or left-handed.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain

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