How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Safely & Correctly

Learning how to sharpen a chainsaw is incredibly important for the general up keep of your saw. Cutting with a dull chainsaw saw leads to high fuel consumption and greater strain on your equipment. Avoid damaging your chainsaw and get the most out of your chains with this simple chain sharpening guide from SGS. Learn everything you could need to know about chainsaw chain sharpening.

When should I file my chainsaw chain?

Even the best of chainsaw chains will go dull very quickly if you catch soil, small stones or sand when you're cutting. The cleaner your working area and wood for sawing is, the longer life span you'll get out of your chain. Eventually, even the best looked after chain will need sharpening. We’d suggest checking the sharpness of the chain every 5 hours of use or before each re-fuelling. It’s a lot easier to do a little filing often than waiting until your chain is completely blunt. It’s also worth inspecting the waste material from your saw; if the waste is wood chip, with a fair amount of volume, the chain is sharp. If your waste is more like dust, then your chain could definitely do with sharpening. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in the performance of a chainsaw with a well maintained chain.

Tips and Warnings:

Use a 4mm chain file when sharpening your chain - one is included in every chainsaw toolkit. Never try and file a chain while it’s hot. Wait for it to cool first. Wear safety gloves. Chainsaw chains are sharp! Never force a chain file across the chain. The file we include in our kit is made to measure so if the file doesn’t move freely then chain is warped and you need to buy a new one. Never, ever have the chainsaw on when sharpening the chain. Advance the chain by hand only.


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