The right information on how to sharpen your chainsaw is one of the most fundamental factors that ensure your safety and the precision of your portable mechanical saw when used. Heavy-duty equipment like the chainsaw must be handled and maintained with extra care to preserve its quality, durability and efficiency. For instance, chainsaw chains are often exposed to pressure and friction since it is the part of the equipment where the blades are attached. As such, applying a haphazard method of polishing the chains will only lead to higher risks when operating the chainsaw.
Before you pick up your tools and get started with refining the blades of your trusty chainsaw, consider going over the following critical reminders when sharpening this intensive equipment.
- Check first whether your chainsaw urgently needs sharpening or not
An excellent way to tell whether a chainsaw needs refining or not is to take a closer look at the residue left from the materials cut by the saw. Sharp chips indicate that the chainsaw’s blades are refined; while dust would mean that the edges have gone dull and therefore require polishing. At the same time, if you start to feel as though you need to exert more effort to make your chainsaw cut through surfaces, then take it as a sign that it is time to apply proper maintenance on your trusty tool.
- Mark each blade on the chain before sharpening it
The chainsaw chains contain blades or more commonly referred to as the ‘cutting teeth’ or raker. When the chainsaw is set in motion, the cutting teeth begins to rotate around the saw’s guide bar to commence cutting trees or timber. By marking each blade before sharpening it, it prevents refining a single tooth or blade more than once. Also, it lets you keep track of your progress more quickly. You can use a regular marker or pen to write on the cutting teeth. As the teeth are sharpened, it instantly erases the marks left by the pen.
- Check that each blade and raker are of the same height when sharpened
Don’t just focus on honing your tool. It is essential to ensure that the blades and rakers are of the same height when sharpened. Uneven teeth and rakers tend to make it more challenging to cut through objects with sturdier material. At worse, it is possible that the chainsaw may be jagged or stuck while in the middle of cutting. Evenly refined rakers and cutting teeth make more precise and seamless cutting motions, thereby making the workload more manageable.
- Take note of the diameter of your chainsaw’s blades
The width of blades for each chainsaw varies. Make sure to use a file with a rounded shape and a diameter similar to that of chainsaw’s teeth. Rounded files with a wider diameter will be harder to fit in between the crevices of each blade. On the other hand, files that are smaller in diameter will make the sharpening process impractical and time-consuming.
- Apply uniform force and file at the proper angle
Applying the same amount of force when sharpening the cutting teeth helps you achieve the same height and amount of sharpness for your chainsaw. You can tell that a file is positioned at the proper angle when it is vertically at a right angle and horizontally at about a 35° angle to the chainsaw’s guide bar. Move the file away from you as you sharpen your chainsaw’s blades.
Bonus tip: Always wear protective gear when sharpening your chainsaw. Sharp blades and rakers surround chainsaw chains. Be extra careful to avoid any accidents or prevent any unwanted injury while you work on enhancing the quality of your chainsaw.