At what degree to sharpen chainsaw chain

Chainsaw chain sharpening at home. recommendations and tips

To properly sharpen the chain of a chainsaw with a file, you need to prepare the tools to restore its functionality:

A round file is needed for sharpening the saw teeth edges that have a rounded configuration. Usually choose a tool with a diameter of 4. 5.5 mm. A flat file is needed for sharpening the depth limiters, which determine how deep the chain cuts into the wood structure.

Files for sharpening chain Source

What you need to sharpen your saw?

To start sharpening the chain directly, you need to make some preparations:

  • When sharpening, the chain should be tightened tighter than usual to keep the correct sharpening angle;
  • First find the shortest cutting tooth; make a mark on it, according to its size, all the other teeth of the saw will be sharpened;
  • it is best to clamp the blade in a vice or a scraper. to fix the position when working;
  • The marked tooth is exposed in the sharpening area and then engage the chain brake;
  • the following tools are needed for sharpening: a flat file, a round file, a file holder, a template, and a filing hook.

Files and jigs

The main one used for sharpening the saw blade is the round one. The flat one is used to adjust the height of the tooth, which limits the depth of cut.

round file

The round ones vary in diameter. The main diameters are:

Depending on the size of the tooth, the optimum diameter must be selected. To facilitate sharpening, special file holders or support rollers with notations of the sharpening angle can be used.

Flat file

The flat file must not be more than 1 cm wide. It is convenient to sharpen the limiter tooth with a special bar (file gauge), which is mounted on the chain and indicates to what maximum depth it is necessary to grind the tooth, to achieve optimum performance of the chainsaw.

File holder for circular saw blade

The circular file is fitted in a file holder and secured with special clamps. Several markings on the holder plane indicate the specific sharpening angle. When dressing the chain with a file and a holder, the markings on the fixture are parallel to the guide bar of the chainsaw, which allows to maintain the required angle with sufficient accuracy.

It is rather inconvenient to use a holder all the time. You can use this device from time to time to check the correct angle of the tooth.

Sawing gauges

These jigs are used for checking the tooth sharpening angle and the distance to the depth stop in conjunction with a flat file.

Sharpening the chain with an angle grinder

If you have an angle grinder, you can sharpen your chainsaw chain much faster. It is best to use a small angle grinder with a 125 mm wheel. Grinding is done at low rpm. There are two ways to grind the angle grinder.

Method 1

We put the chainsaw on the table and clamp the guide bar in a vice so it does not move during sawing. Set the angle grinder to a low RPM (if it is only continuously adjustable, then do not press the start button too hard). Guide the disk at an angle of 30° to the plane of the tooth and slightly incline (as shown in the photo). Firmly press on tooth with gentle strokes.

the main thing is not to overheat the tooth and not to cut too much metal. It is much easier to cut teeth with this method of sharpening than with a hand file, but it greatly increases sharpening speed.

Method 2

In this case it is necessary to hold the angle grinder motionlessly. You can clamp it in a vice or bolt it to the workbench with a clamp. The sharpening is carried out as with a conventional grinding wheel. Hold the chain with your hands and turn it until the tooth is sharpened at an angle of 30°. This method makes your hands less tired, because you need to hold the chain and not the angle grinder. But the chance of injury increases many times over. We recommend using this method infrequently or not at all, as safety is still more important than speed or quality of sharpening.

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How to sharpen a chainsaw chain

The cutting segments of the chain get blunt during intensive sawing. This does not only happen with wood. If, for example, the guide bar accidentally slips off a log and hits the ground, the strong abrasion damages the cutting edges. An indication that the chain needs sharpening is a decline in productivity: the bar stops penetrating into the wood and fine filings fly instead of coarse shavings. The user has to work harder to get the saw into the wood. You can sharpen the cutting segments yourself by sharpening them manually. It’s not a problem if you know the saw blade geometry and sharpening.

Good to know! It is not advisable to cut with a blunt chain. This not only reduces productivity and is more demanding, but also increases fuel consumption, engine load and tool wear.

The cutting tooth is the first part of the link. It has two edges upper and lower (end blade). As it enters the wood, it removes a layer of wood just as a planer blade does. The second part is the limiter of cutting depth. It regulates the thickness of the wood chip. The top edge of the cutting tooth is beveled at an angle to the mowing line of the saw blade. Such features of the structure dictate their own rules for processing each segment. They need their own approach.

The best Chainsaw Chain sharpening video ever

Preparing the sawing equipment

Recall that the chain saw chain sharpening with their own hands is carried out without removing it from the tool. Position the saw comfortably with the clamping clamp on hard ground and secure the saw head. This prevents you from having to hold the tool and helps you sharpen your saw more securely. Don’t forget: you need protective gloves to protect your hands from cuts on the saw blade. To perform the work you need a set that consists of a template, round file and flat file. Working from the template, it is possible to accurately position the file relative to the tooth and repeat the action on each of the cutting links. So let’s look at sharpening in order.

A round file is needed for the cutting edges. The diameter of the bar is chosen according to the pitch of the chain. To properly position a sharpening tool you must observe the following guidelines:

  • In the vertical plane, its working part should be at an angle of 90 with respect to the tooling;
  • horizontally at 30 or 10 degrees, depending on the chain and its characteristics.
degree, sharpen, chainsaw, chain

A special template on the bar helps you to meet these requirements and repeat the same position on each link, so that you can sharpen quickly and accurately. Specially shaped templates are available for each saw model, so it is best to choose brand-name products recommended by the manufacturer. You can see examples in the illustrations below.

#STIHLsecrets When To Sharpen A Chain Of A Chainsaw | STIHL GB

Insert the file with the round tip inside the chain link and use a template to begin making circular movements parallel to the edge. Hold the tool horizontally and do not use excessive force. Also make sure the top of the file does not protrude over the top point of the tooth by more than 1/5 of its diameter.

Important! Only move the file away from yourself. Make sure the number of reciprocal movements is the same on each tooth. Then after sharpening, they will all be at the same height. For convenience, first sharpen the segments of one direction, then change the position of the saw headset and grind the teeth of the other direction.

Finishing the kerf

Use the same grinding template, but with a different tool. You need a file with a flat file head. The sharpening template has a small window for the kerf. Position the template on the sawing attachment so that the limiter comes out of this slot. Then take a file and make several movements in the direction from yourself to grind the tip of the segment protruding from the window.

Characteristics of a chain tooth

The chain teeth have several important properties. Such parameters include:

  • the cutting link device (it consists of the base fixed to the chain, the tooth blade with two cutting edges, the depth limiter which controls how deep the blade cuts into the wood, the end blade and the upper blade), the cutting action is performed not by the chain itself, but by the links, that is by the teeth. They move on the chain, as on the base, over the wood, and the link cuts through the wood;
  • the angle of the end blade, which enables the chain to cut through wood (this is the angle that causes wood chips to form when sawing).
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To perform a proper chain sharpening, the owner needs to know:

How to properly sharpen a chain depends on these two parameters. The softer the chain metal on the chainsaw, the more carefully a file needs to be handled during manual sharpening. The top edge of the file during sharpening should be at an angle of 90° in the vertical plane and 30° or 10°. in the horizontal plane.

The following video from a chainsaw owner on how to sharpen the chain of a chainsaw with your own hands

Front angles of different types of chains can have values from 60 to 85°. The greater the degree of the back angle of the upper chain blade, the more it will be tilted back, the average value of such an angle is between 50° and 60°. The rear angle of the upper blade is most important for the cutting process, and the upper blade itself is very important for a good cut.

The main condition when sharpening the chain of a chainsaw or electric saw: the cutting performance is directly proportional to the sharpening angle, i.e. the higher it is, the better the chainsaw will cut through the material. The smaller the sharpening angle, the smoother the tool will run and the less vibration will occur during operation.

Avoid a sharpening angle of more than 35° and less than 25°. In chains for longitudinal sawing an exception to the sharpening angle is allowed, in these chains the sharpening angle can be 10°.

Possible consequences of bad sharpening

One of the chainsaw owner’s main tasks is to keep the tool in optimal working condition. this includes measures to sharpen the chain.

If you ignore the characteristic signs of wear when tooth sharpness has noticeably diminished, the following consequences may result

  • the cut will be crooked and uneven;
  • The engine and other components are under increased stress;
  • Inability to get the cut exactly to the contour;
  • Increased fuel and oil consumption;
  • Reduced service life of equipment;
  • premature failure of the tire and motor.

As you can see, a badly sharpened chain can be a reason to buy a new chain saw. And you will have to do it against the owner’s wishes.

Sharpening chainsaw chain on a sharpening machine

Sharpening the chain of medium-sized tools is quite time-consuming and takes at least 6-8 hours. That’s why it makes sense to use electric devices to solve this problem.

If sharpening is carried out with a drill, it must be used in conjunction with a conventional sharpening stone attachment. Care should be taken, however, that the width of the stone head is equal or slightly greater than the flat of the tooth blade. Otherwise the chain will not be sharpened evenly.

degree, sharpen, chainsaw, chain

In addition, to ensure the quality of sharpening, it is necessary to use a sharpening stone free of burrs and any other defects.

The algorithm for preparation for sharpening of this type is as follows:

  • Loosen the screw that adjusts the chain clamp.
  • Then the chain must be set so that its teeth are facing the sharpening element.
  • Finally the machine must be clamped at a certain angle.

If you use a standard stone for sharpening, you need to grind it to the required size, or use special grinding stones. The latter are smaller in size than the sharpeners, made of less durable material and rather quickly lose their working life.

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At the same time, because of the lower strength, overheating of the metal is avoided and this allows the steel to remain as strong. When working with the sharpening stone, pause between every 2 or 3 sharpenings of the tooth, as it is necessary to allow the stone to cool.

And for artificial cooling to use water is inadmissible, here is an option with a fan or the application of the sharpening stone to pieces of ice, pre-wrapped in a rag.

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Given that the sharpening machine has a fairly large capacity, it is desirable that the sharpening operation on it be performed by professionals. If you use an ordinary household sharpening machine, it is able to return only the top cutting edge to its former sharpness.

This limitation is due to the size of the machine. However, if you use the machine only for sharpening half of the teeth, then this work will require half the time.

Tips from the experts

If you are interested in a sharpening and grinding machine to perform a number of other operations in addition to sharpening knives and saws, it is best to buy a compact low-power machine, which will be similar in its characteristics to the dentist’s drill.

This machine not only has a smaller size, but also has different functions, because it can be used for carving wood, metal and stone. If necessary, it can be upgraded so that it can be used to sharpen small parts.

A special group is formed by special machines for sharpening chainsaw chain. But the purchase of such devices would be impractical for the average consumer due to their high cost.

Every tool has a limited working life, so certain measures must be taken to extend its working life. In the case of a chainsaw, this is the chain sharpening.

Naturally, not in all cases, this operation will allow to return the saw tool to its former level of performance. Therefore, first it is necessary to understand the reasons for the deterioration of work, after which you can proceed to the selection of the device for sharpening.

Description of the sharpening process

Let’s look in detail how to sharpen a chainsaw chain. The first thing to do is to prepare a place to install a clamp, or if the process will take place without it, it is convenient to use an ordinary log as a stop to fix the bar in the horizontal plane. The chainsaw is placed on a level surface, a log is placed under the guide bar, and the brake is engaged.

To reduce the risk of injury when sharpening your chain saw, always use the chain brake.

The next step is the direct sharpening of the tooth. To do this, use a circular file to work from the inside of the tooth toward the outside.

It is very important to maintain the correct sharpening angle at this point. The standard angle is thirty degrees from perpendicular to the plane of the file. How to position it correctly is shown in the photo below.

In the process of sharpening a chain saw for a non-standard cut, for example, longitudinal. The angle to be sharpened changes to a less sharp angle. It is usually no more than 10°. It is in such cases, to control the angle of sharpening a holder, hand tools or filing calibers are used.

Some manufacturers of chainsaw chains, in order to facilitate sharpening, as well as to indicate the maximum possible sharpening, make a special mark on the upper surface of the tooth.

By keeping the file parallel to the marking you can be sure the correct angle is being followed.

The number of file movements should be the same for each tooth. This will allow all teeth to be ground evenly.

In the chain dressing process, it is customary to sharpen the teeth on one side first and then the other, this is convenient t. к. there is no need to constantly change its position in relation to the chainsaw.

After sharpening the working tines, you need to adjust the height of the limiting tooth with a flat file. To do this, the sawing caliber is placed on the chain so that the limiting tooth coincides with its slot, after which the protruding part is ground with a file. This procedure is performed on all limiting teeth.

Using a roller tool

Sharpening device with which you can quickly and accurately correct the tines consists of a small guide template with two rollers.

By installing a device on the bar, you can sharpen the teeth of a chainsaw, even without experience in such operations.

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