How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain to Increase Productivity and Safety

Chainsaw kickbacks are among the top injury reasons within the woodwork community. Usually caused by the dull teeth of a chainsaw, a kickback can be easily avoided by maintaining and sharpening the chain regularly. However, few people know how to sharpen a chainsaw chain to keep it acute for longer.

Whether you like to hone your teeth regularly or not, you should follow up on it because your safety is at stake. Despite the claims about the complexity of sharpening, it’s not that difficult. And that’s what I would like to share with you today.

Chainsaw Handbook: How Do You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?


The difficulty of chainsaw chain sharpening is more about how you prepare your tool before working with chainsaws. For this, find your chainsaw manual, get a chainsaw teeth sharpener ready, and follow the 5-step plan to have your saw sharp and ready.
chainsaw chain

Step 1: Find out sharpening angle specifications

It might come as a surprise to you, but each chainsaw chain is designed with specific tooth angles, which provide various cutting characteristics. Because of this, your sharpening gets a little complicated since you have to find out the specific angle of honing, which comes with your chainsaw.

Step 2: Put on protective gear

Yes, it’s a must. Despite many people being skeptical about wearing protection when a chainsaw is off, it has kept a lot of fingers intact. Put on thick gloves, preferably made of fabrics, and make sure they fit tightly. Also, don’t discount eyewear. It covers your eyes and guards them against dust, debris, and splintering.

Step 3: Make sure the chainsaw is off

Many people think that if a saw doesn’t buzz, it’s not running, which is wrong. Turn off the chainsaw and unplug it, as well as turn it downwards if possible. Besides, it’s advisable to let the tool cool down since it can be hot, which leads to burns.

Step 4: Degrease the chain

Wipe the oil and grease off the chain before getting to sharpen the chainsaw. If a chain is covered in grease while being sharpened, there is a high chance of dirt and wax depositing on it. This may lead to malfunctioning or worsened cutting power. Preferably, use dry wipes or a rag to clean the blade because moisture can build up between the teeth and cause damage.

Step 5: Sharpen the chain

The best way to sharpen a chainsaw is to use the manual. Depending on what tools you use, the techniques may differ. If you apply a round file, choose an angle, and give a few strokes to each dull tooth. Make sure that your strokes are even and steady to prevent scuffing or breaking of the kerf.


Do you want to know more about saw blade sharpening? Take a look here!
chainsaw in the forest

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?
Only once the chain is off the saw, you can use an angle to sharpen the chainsaw. First, put the chainsaw file in the guide hole at the end of the bar. Then, start at the bottom of one of the teeth and hold the file at a 30-degree angle. The best way to sharpen is to apply pressure as you move the file forward and backward across the tooth. Once you’ve sharpened all of the teeth on one side of the chain, flip it over and repeat the process on the other side.

How to put a chain on a chainsaw?

Remove the old chain and clean the inserts of old sludge and dirt. Place a new chain on the chain cutter and fix it tightly. Tend to the side plate and change it if needed. Finally, tighten the side plate nut, and you are ready to go.

How tight a chainsaw chain should be?

The chain has to be a little loose and not wrap the cutter completely. Make sure that you cannot draw the chain from the nose.

How often should I sharpen a chainsaw chain?

Regularly. As a rule, a chain has to be sharpened after each 10th use to maintain proper sharpness, like the chainsaw 20″ – 24″.

Sharpen Your Chainsaw with Cautiousness

As you can see, there is more to sharpening a chainsaw than just a sharpening file and a pair of gloves. Pay attention to the angles and thickness of the bar. Besides, don’t forget about safety with chainsaws, and tell me if you have any special strategy for yard maintenance? What manufacturer do you prefer? Leave your opinion below!

Ronnie Collins

Ronnie Collins

I’m Ronnie Collins. I’ve been passionate about gardening and woodworking all my life and even earned an MS degree in Botany from the University of Maryland. I’ve been working at a gardening company for a while, so I know the ropes about a whole lot of dedicated equipment such as the table saw, track saw, lawnmowers, chainsaws, garden hoses, and much more.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Solve : *
2 + 29 =