Ontario Structural Wood Association

How To Make Chainsaw Cut Faster

The leap from axe to chainsaw is probably one of the most evolutionary leap that has happened in the history of tools. Suddenly, the task of felling a tree moved from the extremely difficult and time-consuming task it used to be, to an incredibly quick process.

Today, chainsaws have become some popular that even gardeners now own them for felling and pruning trees. Despite the efficacy of chainsaws, they will be nearly useless without a sharp saw chain. There’s no need to be too worried, however, because unlike most other power tools, the chain of a chainsaw can be sharpened. The good news is that it doesn’t even take too long to get done with the process.

In case you have a dull saw chain, here are a few tips and tricks by OWTFA.com that you can adopt to get it back to the sharp tool you desire.

Sharpen With a File

How To Make Chainsaw Cut Faster

This is one of the most popular ways to get your chainsaw sharp again. This method involves the use of a file to hand sharpen the chain until it gets sharp enough again. At first, this method will be slow, but with time and mastering, it gets surprisingly faster.

To start, take a close look at the chain. You will find that it a series of teeth with sharpened edges that are semicircular shaped. This is the curved edges that normally needs sharpening. In order to efficiently sharpen it, you would need to have a round file with matching diameter. You’ll also notice on close examination that the cutting teeth are arranged at alternating angles.

In between the cutting teeth, you will find flat pieces of metal with the shape of the dorsal fin of a shark. They are usually slightly shorter than the cutting teeth, so you will easily identify them. This part of the chainsaw doesn’t require sharpening, but it is important to know them before going on with the sharpening.

For consistency in result, you will need to mount the file on a sharpening guide. The guide is meant for two things: providing a flat surface on the saw chain where the file can be rested and controlling the depth that the file can cut. You will find sharpening guide being sold in most tool stores.

Usually, you will need to select a round file that will match the diameter if the cutting teeth edge. With a no permanent marker, mark the first cutting tooth that will be sharpened. This should play the role of a visual reminder of where you began sharpening from.

Rest the guide on top of the chain, them adjust until the angle line drawn on the guide gets parallel with the steel bar of the saw. At this point, pull the file in a forward motion across the cutting tooth.

Slowly and steadily repeat the process a couple of times, repeating the same amount of filing strokes on the other teeth. You will notice that the entire cutting edge is clean and shiny when it gets sharpened properly.

Portable Power Sharpener

Portable Power Sharpener Chainsaw

This is a less popular way to sharpen the chain of a chain saw, but it is very effective too. It is quicker and more efficient, considering that most of the job is done automatically. You will find the portable power tools in two types when you want to purchase. The rotary tool is the first one. It comes with other chainsaw sharpening accessories including an alignment guide and q grinding stone. They are available in cordless and electrical versions.

The second type of portable power tool that you will likely get in the market is the electric rotary grinder. This one is designed specifically for sharpening saw chains. It does it very efficiently and in a very short time.

Using a Bench-Top Sharpener

Using a Bench-Top Sharpener Chainsaw

This is a more advanced way to sharpen a chainsaw. It is the perfect option for people that use their chainsaw professionally and all round the year. It is the fastest method on our list and it delivers the most consistent and accurate results as far as sharpening the saw chain is concerned. This tool operates in the form of a miter saw. However, it is equipped with a 4½” diameter grinding wheel instead of the wood cutting blade. When in operation, the wheel moves up to 35 degree in the two opposing directions, so that it can accommodate all the cutting angles of the saw chain.

Proper Maintenance

Finally, nothing beats proper maintenance if you desire to keep your chainsaw sharp end ready to work all year round. When not in use, store in a cool dry place, to keep it from rusting. Ensure to clean properly and regularly to avoid debris of woods stocking up in sensitive angles of the chain.

Adhere to other maintenance tips on the pack of the chainsaw, to minimize the potentiality of the saw chain going blunt. When the chain Gets blunt, once in a while, it is important to get an expert to handle its sharpening if you can’t. This is to avoid getting nit spoiled in the process of trying to repair.

There you have it. A few tips that can help you get the best out of the chain of your chain saw. Remember that the efficacy of your chainsaw is mostly dependent on how sharp the chain is. Hence, the need to keep it constantly sharp.


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