11 Steps To Sharpening Your Chain
1.Determine the size or gauge of your Chainsaw's chain. (This can usually be found in your user manual): You will need to purchase either a rotary grindstone or a Chainsaw file that matches your chain tooth. Since there are several sizes of chainsaw teeth, the grindstone or file you purchase must be the correct diameter for your Chainsaw.
2.Clean the chain thoroughly: To clean your chains use a mineral spirit or a commercial degreasing detergent to remove oil, dirt, and debris from your chain. Try your best to not flood or get excessive cleaner on the engine or other components such as your plastic housing since some of these products can cause damage.
3.Inspect the chain for damaged or overly worn links and teeth: Once your chain is clean check individual teeth for chips, any broken or bent teeth. Missing these can make your chain dangerous and unsafe to use. As a rule of thumb, the top plate (flat surface at the top of cutting teeth) should be at least 1⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) in length. If the teeth are worn any shorter than this, there is a higher risk it will break while in use. Any damaged, weakened, or overly worn chains should be discarded.
4.Set your saw on a solid surface or clamp the bar in a vise: The chainsaw must be stabilized and the blade must be firmly supported to permit safe and accurate filing. It is best to clamp the bar in a vise, with the jaws of the vice holding the bar and allowing the chain to rotate freely.
5.Locate the leading cutter as your starting point: The leading cutter will be the shortest cutter on your chain. If all of the cutters seem to be the same length, you can start anywhere. The main concern is that you file each cutter so that the flat edge on top of each cutter is very nearly the same length. That way each will slice away the same amount of wood as they pass through the wood your cutting. It can help to mark the first tooth you file with a dab of paint or a permanent marker so you'll be sure of where you started ensuring all teeth are the same length.
6.Set your file in the notch on the front of the cutter: This is the angled tooth on the front of the flat surface of the chain link. The curve of the file should fit the curve of the face of the cutting tip exactly, and the top 20% of the file diameter should be above the top of the tooth.
7.Hold the file at the same angle that the cutter was ground or filed to begin with: When doing this you should always refer back to your user manual to make sure your cutting angle is correct for the Chainsaw you have purchased. Special ripping chains tend to have a flatter angle. It is essential to match the angle the chain was originally machined to. Some saw teeth have witness markers as a visual aid.
8.Slide the file across the face of the cutter, using a moderate twisting motion to discharge metal chips (filings) that are removed: There are differing opinions as to the best direction for pushing the file, but usually you will push it from the short side of the angle toward the long point. This should leave a smoother cutting surface (an important consideration).
9.Work every second tooth identically from your beginning point around the loop: As you progress through the chain, keep passing the chain round the bar by hand so that the tooth you are filing is on top of the bar.
10.Check the clearance of the rakers (depth gauge), the curved hook shaped links between the cutters: They should clear each cutting edge about one tenth of an inch lower than the cutter. This determines the amount of wood that the cutter removes on each pass. A special tool that is laid on top of the blade is available to purchase from chainsaw dealers or hardware stores. If the gauge is too high and must be filed, this tool protects the adjacent tooth as you file the gauge down.
11.Oil your chain: After filling saturate/soak with chain oil and
check the tension in your chain. Once this is done you should be up and running
and ready to cut again.
We have compiled a list of products you can purchase from TIMBERPRO-UK for
sharpening your Chain and maintaining them.