Save Money and Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain

Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain

Spring is in the air and many of us are looking to get out into the garden to give it a much needed tidy. Part of this is likely to involve cutting the tops of your conifers off to help get as much sun as possible into the garden.

To carry out such a task, you’ll need a fully working chainsaw, with a sharp chain. If your chainsaw was used excessively last year, the latter could be an issue. Thankfully, bringing your chain back up to sharpness doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or costly.

When to Sharpen:

If the chain has been used for an extensive period of time, you’ll need to sharpen it before you next use it. You’ll also need to sharpen it if you’ve noticed it is looking shiny, if its discharge is dusty or if the chain is seized.

In the instance you’ve cut through stone, you’ll need to sharpen the blade immediately, as cutting through stone automatically blunts the chain, and renders it useless.

What You Need:

When it comes to sharpening your chain at home, there are a few things you’ll need. These include a flat, sturdy surface which is well-lit to place the chainsaw on when filing the cutting teeth.

You’ll also need:

  • Protective Gloves
  • Filing Gauge – ensures each cutting tooth is being filed at the correct angle and to the correct height / profile.
  • Round Chainsaw File – used to correctly sharpen the chain’s teeth.

How to Sharpen Your Chain:

Before you begin to sharpen your chainsaw chain, we recommend you place a wooden block under the chainsaw to make sure it doesn’t move. You should also check that the tension of the chain is correct and the brake is activated, to prevent this from moving as you file.

Once you’re satisfied the chainsaw and chain are secure, you can begin sharpening by following these steps:

1) Start with the cutting teeth. To file these you’ll need to use the round file and file gauge. Place the gauge on the chain, making sure the arrows on the gauge point in the chain’s direction of rotation and that the gauge has contact with the chain.

2) Use both hands and place the file at a 90⁰ angle in relation to the rollers on the filing gauge. When filing, the file should rest on both rollers, this will ensure you’re always filing at an angle which is 25⁰ to 35⁰, depending on the type of chain you have.

It’s also important to make sure you file the cutting tooth away from you, with smooth strokes.

3) File every other tooth, making sure each tooth is filed so that it is sharp. It’s also important to make sure the cutting teeth are of equal length, as this will ensure when you come to use the chainsaw again, you are achieving a clean cut.

Once you’ve finished filing on the cutting teeth on one side, attach the gauge to the other side and sharpen the cutting teeth in the same way, from the opposite direction.

Providing your chain hasn’t stretched and isn’t damaged in any way, it is much cheaper to sharpen the chain than replace it with a new one; and by following the steps above there is no reason why you cannot do it yourself.

If you are unsure on whether you can sharpen the chain yourself, we recommend you watch this helpful video guide from Husqvarna which provides an excellent easy-to-follow guide in real time.

Whilst regularly sharpening the chain will help to ensure your chainsaw continues to work to its optimum performance, it’s also important to make sure you regularly lubricate the chain.

Correct lubrication of your chain will help towards good sawing results and also reduce the risk of unnecessary chain wear – keeping your appliance working to its full potential for longer.

How to Lubricate Your Chain:

If your chain isn’t lubricated, heat is likely to build up as a result of friction – and this will damage the saw. A poorly lubricated chainsaw is also likely to see the chain running at a much slower pace, due to more effort and power being required to keep the chain moving.

Thankfully, most chainsaws today are self lubricating and are designed to run out of oil at roughly the same time they need more petrol. We’d therefore recommend whenever you refuel your chainsaw, you check the chainsaw oil levels and refuel accordingly, it’s also important to make sure you lubricate around the sprocket (if your chainsaw has one) whenever you refuel too.

Following these tips on lubricating your chainsaw and keeping your chain sharp, will not only help to ensure your chainsaw will work, whenever it is called into action, but it’ll also reduce the risk of accidents occurring due to a faulty appliance.

If sharpening your chain feels like too much of a burden, visit BuySpares where you’ll find over 200 chains and bars available.

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