Sharpening the chain of a chainsaw for longitudinal sawing

Chain sharpening for rip sawing

A simple hand-held device that is suitable for sharpening chainsaw chains in the field.

Patriot manual CFG

Universal hand device weighing 730 grams, suitable for all types of chain saws. round files with suitable diameters: 4.0 to 5.5 mm.


Versatile mobile device made in Italy.

Weight, g 417
Height, mm 275
Width 860
Depth 540
Country of manufacturer Italy


US-branded universal device made of corrosion-resistant steel. Designed for machining without removing from the tire. All files are suitable for repairs. One year warranty period.

Weight, g 550
Height, mm 65
Width 165
Depth 290
Brand USA
  • low cost;
  • ease of use;
  • small dimensions;
  • Reliable fastening to the tire;
  • easy transportation.

wing couplings of insufficient rigidity.

Champion C6500

Small manual quick sharpening device directly on the bar. Mounted on both sides with secured screws. Angle can be changed by degree markings. Measuring handle can be used to hold the saw element.

Weight, g 550
Height, mm 60
Width 160
Depth 291
Brand Russia
  • adjustable in any direction
  • sharpening the limiting and cutting teeth;
  • high angle accuracy;
  • low vibration;
  • low cost.

What is the sharpening angle and why is it important??

The sharpening angle is determined by the relative positioning of the blade tips. Its value is very important for the cutting performance of a chainsaw. Horizontal cutting edge is responsible for plunging the blade into the wood and shaping the cut. End blade cuts wood fibers laterally. Determining the optimum grinding angle requires an entire manufacturing company’s research laboratory.

It has been established by experiments that chains with upper cutting angle up to 60 degrees show high sawing characteristics. Side blade is sharpened at an angle of up to 85 degrees. With the maximum possible angles tools are better able to cope with the cross sawing of logs. For longitudinal cutting, the chain is sharpened with an angle of about 10 degrees.

Chainsaw chain for working on wood

The geometry of the blades is only important if the depth limiter is set correctly. If you sharpen it wrong, the chain saw will vibrate while cutting and come out of your hands. Finish the stop by a template.

Tine material considerations

Most chainsaw chains use high-alloy chrome-nickel steel for the cutting teeth.

Therefore, when purchasing a new copy, you should only visually check the quality of manufacturing of cutting elements and their sharpening. However, when using the tool on extremely hard, frozen, or heavily contaminated materials, it is necessary to harden the teeth. For such purposes there are variants with special carbide tips on the teeth.

Additional information: Chains for chainsaws. what kind, lubrication with your own hands, tensioning

Features of chain structure

To know how to efficiently sharpen a chainsaw chain, you need to know the structure of its teeth. Knowing the right sharpening angle is essential. Each tooth has a complex structure. Its geometry is represented by the following components:

The blade consists of two blades: an end blade and a top blade. And between the two, there has to be a correct chain sharpening angle for the chainsaw chain to give it the right performance.

As you can now guess. it is not the chain that saws the wood, because it serves as the basis for fixing the cutting links, moving them at high speed. The links themselves have sharp blades that are used to cut the wood.

Chainsaws for chain saw longitudinal sawing. s

Chains, bars, sprockets. extending the service life For chain saw and chain saw owners with longitudinal sawing attachments it is a matter of course to extend the service life of the cutting equipment (software). High operating loads during the crosscut cause wear of the chains, sprockets, tires. Let’s try to find the main causes of wear on the saw headset and if possible reduce them to zero.

Drive sprocket for our chain saw

Let’s start our analysis of the flights with the drive sprocket, because this small detail experiences the maximum load, setting in motion the cutting system of our saw (chain saw). High-quality drive sprockets are made by powder metallurgy, they can withstand very high loads and are not resistant to abrasion.

But, alas, no machine is infinitely durable, and despite of such durability the chain sprockets wear out rather quickly, gradually coming to uselessness. Severe cutting conditions cause the chains, sprockets, sprockets and guide bars to show signs of wear. After initial lapping up with the saw chain, the sprocket wheel starts to wear down. When wear reaches a critical point, the sprocket breaks in half.

the service life of a sprocket depends on the length of the bar. the longer the bar, the faster the sprocket will burn out (the longer the bar, the higher the stress). The chain tension, vibration loads and not jerks, which can occur as a result of improper chain preparation or, in other words, as a result of the design of the sawmill, significantly reduce the service life of the drive sprocket. The chain saws with one point of the guide bar are the big losers here. Anyone who has ever worked on one of these sawmills knows what we mean.

The bars are much more complicated. Despite a large variety of bars that could be used for longitudinal sawing, we are mainly “fed” with Oregon bars (50cm / 1,3 / 3/8 / 72). This is by far the most common guide bar for chain saws.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain. the right procedure

Before the saw headset can be refurbished, it is important to understand the inner workings of the saw headset in detail. It consists of teeth, which in the process of sawing wood move like a planer. Each tooth is characterized by a complex configuration and an atypical cutting surface. The last one has two edges. the side edge and the slightly beveled top edge. A tooth limiter is responsible for adjusting the thickness of the cutter and can be adjusted in height.

Due to the complex design of the cutting teeth, beginner gardeners may have difficulty sharpening them. During operation, it will be necessary to set the top angle of the saw head correctly. To use only a file for restoration is quite difficult. For this reason, some auxiliary tools are used for the work.

To sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands, you need to have the right tools. A circular file is suitable for reproducing the inner contour of the cutting tooth. In doing so the edge of the file must be 20 % of the total diameter of the element above the cutting surface. The width of the latter depends on the pitch length, which is usually 4-5,5 mm. During the restoration of the cutting element, it is necessary to strictly follow the correct order of action.

To sharpen the chain of a chainsaw at home, you will need to first process the cutting teeth, then restore the tooth-limiter. When performing the first step, many beginners are confronted with the need to sharpen all teeth evenly. To do this you must use a template, which should be placed on the cutting element. The position of the template must be fixed in accordance with the arrows, in which the ends are guided by the movement of the saw head. During sharpening, the main pressure is on the front part, correlated with the pitch of the worn part.

To sharpen the chain of a chainsaw with your own hands evenly, you need to perform the same number of motions for processing each tooth. Tooth blunts must be sharpened one by one: first you sharpen the first left side piece, then the first right side piece, and so on to the end of the chain. To make it easier to work, the chain saw’s guide bar should be clamped in a vice. Then the teeth are sharpened one by one on each side.

To adjust the height of the burr, use a standard template and a flat file. There are two marks on the template, marked with the letters S and H. The first of these allows you to mill the limiter for subsequent sawing of soft wood. The second marking is for working with hardwood. Failure to use the guide bar will result in a low, irregular cut that will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the headset.

Mechanized sharpening on the machine

Sharpening at the machine is much more convenient and does not require high skills of the performer. These machines are electrically driven and equipped with special grinding wheels.

For the home workshop it is worth buying compact units, which do not take up much storage space and are suitable for fast and high-quality chain saw chain grinding from different manufacturers. These devices must operate from a 220 V fixed power supply, have low power consumption (up to 100 W) and be easy to install on the chain.

When choosing a machine on the following technological characteristics:

  • Possibility to process teeth with different thickness of top edge and different chain pitch;
  • The possibility of adjusting the angle of sharpening within the limits specified earlier;
  • Availability of replaceable sanding discs;
  • Constant cutting width.

The design of the machine is simple and includes a drive motor, a shaft with a seat for the grinding wheel, a handle with controls, a device to attach the machine to the chain. Adjustment of the pressing force on the sharpening element is provided by a spring clamp. Modern models of sanding machines are equipped with a differentiated clamping device which ensures self-alignment of the workpiece on the machine. There is a measuring scale on the clamp body for easy operation.

Optionally, the machine can also be supplied with a miniature light bulb that illuminates the working area, as well as a hydraulic booster that makes sharpening easier.

Safety in operation ensured by folding safety lock.

Idle stroke adjustment on the Husqvarna 137 chain saw

Chainsaw chain goes sideways

How to hone a chainsaw chain at home with a file

To correctly sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file the tool has an exclusively round cross-section. The size of the file depends on the dimensions of the saw itself. It is important to know the pitch of the teeth. One circular file is not enough. There are two kinds of tools for sharpening and dressing chains. First, it is a circular file with a diameter corresponding to the rounding diameter of the working edge of the saw tooth. A flat file is needed to work the depth stop of the guide tooth.

Sharpening can be done manually using a 45.5 mm round file. It is extremely important to set the tool correctly in relation to the tooth to be sharpened. The top edge of the file is about a fifth higher than the top edge of the workpiece. tool should be held perpendicular to the chain axle at an angle of 25º to 30º to the top edge of the tooth.

For sharpening saw chains of household tools, circular files 4 and 4.8 mm in diameter are used, as they have a small tooth. For professional models stronger chains with a bigger tooth are used. That’s why files with 5.2 and 5.5 mm diameter are needed.

For sharpening the limiter you need a flat file, and for cleaning the place of work. a hook, which removes the formed sawdust. There are also special holders available on which the direction lines of the file are programmed with respect to the chain axis. The sharpening head can be mounted on top of the tooth by resting on its top edge. Because its height is adapted to a certain chain pitch, this tool should be chosen for a specific chain saw model and brand. The minimum necessary kit for getting the right angle of chain sharpening by hand is shown in the photo.

A set of sharpening tools and attachments

Hand sharpening saves material costs and allows you to do the work in the field. First place the tool on a flat surface. If the work is performed in the forest, a cut of a log with a large diameter will be good for this. Then it is necessary to inspect the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After inspection, you need to set the brake to work, thereby blocking the movement on the bar of the chain, which during the sharpening file should be taut.

A file for sharpening chainsaw chains: types and tips for choosing

The diameter of the circular file is chosen according to the pitch of the saw chain. Files with 4 and 5,2 mm dia. correspond to 1,3 and 1,6 mm pitch. A flat tool is needed to reduce the height of the stops of the cutting links.

How to correctly sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file

Templates and templates need to be fixed on the area to be sharpened. These will give the file the proper direction, making it easier to sharpen. When all preparations are made, you can sharpen the chain.

According to the rules, it is necessary to sharpen the teeth of one direction, and then. the other. Work begins with a light pressure with the file in the direction from yourself, the pressure gradually increases. Reversing the file. no pressure. tool should be rotated continuously along its axis. The chain should be sharpened with outward and inward movements from the inside of the tooth. At the same time, the file must be positioned parallel to the special marking on the chain, which is applied by the manufacturer to indicate the standard sharpening angle.

The tooth to be sharpened should be placed approximately in the middle of the bar, it is necessary for the convenience of the work. While sharpening it is necessary to move the chain along the bar, not forgetting to put the brake in working position every time.

The angle of the tool must be straight, and the chain sharpening angle of the chainsaw chain horizontally. sharp, and it is allowed to change it in the range from 10º to 30º. Use the smallest tooth in the row as the base. Turn the bar over and do the same job for the teeth, which go in the opposite direction. The disadvantage of this method of sharpening is the high time consumption.

Sharpening a chain with a file

A round file with a broken off handle can be inserted into the chuck of an electric drill or screwdriver. You have a very handy mechanized sharpening device.

Sharpening the chain with a drill and file

How to avoid mistakes

Incorrect actions can lead to disastrous consequences up to bringing the chain into complete disrepair, so it is recommended to take into account a number of important points:

  • Wear gloves and safety glasses when working with dull blades.
  • The sharpening set is not universal and should be selected for the pitch size of the particular saw.
  • A file for sharpening chainsaw chains should be selected from the rounded ones.
  • Number of strokes and force applied are the same.
  • Sharpening is done only with backward facing movements.
  • For very blunt blades, it is better to use a mechanical or electric machine (the mechanism is started by the electric network).
  • First the teeth are sharpened, and after sharpening all sharp projections start the grinding of the limiter.
  • Angle of sharpening varies depending on the direction of future work.
  • The fastest way to sharpen is with the PowerSharp system.

A dull chain is not a reason to change your chainsaw for a new one, because it only takes a few actions to return the tool to its former performance, sharpness and shine.

Armed with these instructions, tips and recommendations, you will make sharpening quickly, easily and safely.

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