Q:

How do you sharpen chain saws with hand files?

A:

Quick Answer

Sharpen a chainsaw by first clamping the bar in a vice, and using a file guide to ensure the correct angle and depth. Sharpen all of the cutters on one side of the chain before moving to the other side. Re-sharpen the chain every time the chainsaw is refueled.

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Full Answer

After cleaning and inspecting the chain, clamp the chainsaw's bar in a vice, and set the chain brake. This holds the chainsaw steady while still allowing the chain to move.

Begin with the lead cutter, which is the shortest cutter on the chain. Set the file inside the cutter's tooth; the file should fit exactly.

File at the same angle to which the cutter was originally ground. Slide the file across the cutter, and twist it to remove any metal filings. Continue filing every other cutter until one side of the chain is fully filed. Release the chain's brake, and rotate the chain by hand when necessary.

Change sides, and file the remaining teeth, which face the opposite direction.

Check that the depth gauge is correct, then oil the chain and ensure the tension is adequate. Dirt can dull a chain quickly, so keep it as clean as possible. A dull blade cuts slowly and can lead to burning.

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