How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener? Electric & Manual

Sharpening your chainsaw is one of the most important factors that ascertain the cutting efficiency of your chainsaw. If the edges chainsaw blade is dull, it will be less likely for that chainsaw to deliver a smooth and nice cut. Before the blades of your chainsaw chain are damaged enough to be replaced, it is better to sharpen the teeth of the blades of your chainsaw chain. However, to sharpen the teeth of blades, it stands unavoidable to know about Using a Chainsaw Sharpener.

Typically, blades on the chainsaw chain are sturdy enough to sustain even after massive use – however, this capacity reduces when you keep on using your chainsaw without sharpening its blades, and there comes a time when there is no other option than changing the chain of the chainsaw. So, to avoid this extra burden on your pocket, it is preferable to consider frequent sharpening of the blade of your chainsaw chain.

I have vast experience in using different models of chainsaws, and I have experienced that timely sharpening of the blades of a chainsaw chain adds an incredible time to the service span of your tool.

Therefore, I am going to tell you how to use a chainsaw sharpener – go through the given details, and sharpen the blades of your chainsaw before you have no other option but to replace it.

Styles of Sharpening 

Before I tell you about the use of a chainsaw sharpener, it seems unavoidable to discuss the styles of the sharpener; sharpening can be of two styles electric and manual;

1. Electric Sharpening 

Electric sharpening is more efficient than manual sharpening; however, it is a bit trickier process. Typically, Dremel or grinders are used to sharpen the blade of the chainsaw. The whole chainsaw is placed on a flat surface where the chain is set at one position using a vise. Then grinder is used to sharpen the teeth of the blades. The sharpening must be done in a pre-sharped direction; otherwise, you may get the chain of your chainsaw ruined.

Dremel attachment is cheaper than grinder; however, you must have the Dremel tool and all its attachments. It may take a bit more time than a grinder, but delivers the best results.

2. Manual Sharpening 

This is the most common and mostly used method to sharpen the blades of a chainsaw, and this manual sharpener is known as ‘rat tail-file’ or ‘file’ only. These files are specifically made for chainsaws. These files are easily available at hardware stores at a cheap price. But there are some prerequisites before you buy these files to sharpen your chainsaw; you must know the diameter and the size of your chainsaw.

Once you know the size and diameter of your chainsaw, you can get a suitable file from the nearby hardware store and start sharpening the edges of the blade. Using this method, you need to sharpen each edge individually while taking huge care of the sharpening angle.

This process is cheaper, but requires significant experience from the user and takes more time than electric sharpening. Another manual sharpening option is to use a guide bar mounted sharpener – these sharpeners are attached to the guide bar and sharpen the blade when it passes by it.

Therefore, having known about the styles of sharpening, let us learn to use chainsaw chain sharpener.

How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener in 2023?

What do You need to Know Before You Start Sharpening?

When it comes to sharpening your chainsaw, it can be divided into two steps. The first step belongs to sharpen the cutting edge for which material is removed from the cutting link.

In the second step, the height of the cutting link is compared with the guide link to ascertain the suitable cutting depth. If material from the cutting link is removed only, it will be lower than the guide link, and cutting edges would not touch the wood while cutting.

How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener

So, once you have removed the material from the cutting link, and calculated the suitable cutting depth, you are ready to start sharpening;

1. Manual Filing

As I have already told you that manual filing is performed using the file. Although the process is slow enough, still brings good results to your efforts. To sharpen the blades of your chainsaw manually, put it on a flat surface, and apply the chain brake to avoid rotation of the chain on the guide bar. Get a suitable file, and also inquire about the right sharpening angle.

Make sure that the chain is still on the guide bar, and then start sharpening the blade from the shortest cutter, and keep going unless all cutters are sharped. The process is time-consuming, but cheap and reliable as well.

The given video will further help you understand about using a chainsaw sharpener manually.

2. Electric Filing 

Prerequisites for electric filing are the same as for manual filing. Electric filing is faster than manual filing, but more expensive and difficult as well.

Usually, electric grinding is performed using grinders, or Dremel is also used for sharpening. To sharp the cutters of the chain using a grinder or Dremel necessitates the use of a vise for holding the chain. Once you have set the chain using a vise, you can start sharpening the cutter at the required cutting angle. Keep on sharpening cutters unless all cutters are sharp.

The process may be complex, so here is a video that can help you comprehend the whole procedure.

Final Words

Whether you are sharpening the edges of the cutting blade manually or electrically, it is going to take practice. The technological advancement has significantly reduced the gap in cost incurred to buy files used for manual sharpening and electrical sharpeners. If you use your chainsaw after every two or three months, you have no need to buy an electric sharpener, rather you should have a suitable file.

Meanwhile, if you have frequent use of your chainsaw, you may think about buying electrical sharpeners.

So, I have provided you with complete details about how to use a chainsaw sharpener along with video demonstrations, still, if you have any questions, you can ask me.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. What angle do I set my chainsaw sharpener? 

Before you start sharpening the blades of your chainsaw, do consult the chainsaw sharpening angle chart, and know about the exact sharpening angle. If you are sharpening using a file, it will only sharpen in the forward stroke.

Q2. What is the easiest way to sharpen the chainsaw? 

Inarguably, the easiest way of sharpening the chainsaw is to sharp it using a file – but it takes more time than sharpening cutters using electric sharpeners.

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