Best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by Stainless, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Stainless

    Stainless Member

    Ft Smith, AR
    I bought me a new 18" Stihl 250 the other day and am wanting to learn how to sharpen the chain correctly when needed. I talked to the guy from where I bought it and he told me in all honesty that I would be better off taking it to the chainsaw shop down the road if I wanted it done correctly. That doesn't sound like a plausible plan since they are going to charge around six bucks to do it each time and I can buy a new chain for thirteen dollars. I want to learn to do it myself.

    I've seen the sharpening guiders and was curious if they were any good or if I would be better off trying to learn to do it with just the file alone? To sum it up, what's my best route to to this on my own and not get the chain all out of wack.
  2. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    I buy them little files to dress them up a little to keep it sharp when I'm out using it.
    The cheapest way I have found is to use a Dremel moto tool, they actually make a little grinding stone just for chain saws. It was the cheapest for me cause I had the moto tool already. The little stones cost a few bucks though if you treat them gentle and not try to hurry your sharpening job you can get e few sharpenings out of them.
    Also with a little practice you can get the chain sharpened to make it cut faster than the original.

  3. mailhiker

    mailhiker New Member

    Yes sir. Do you have a bench vise? Mark a line across the jaws of the vise at a 45 degree or whatever angle your saw says to sharpen at. Then clamp your chain with the teeth above the jaws. Line your file up with the mark you made on top of the vise jaws, and sharpen the teeth. Sharpen each tooth the same number of times, usually 3 to 5 strokes. You will have to take you chain off to do this. Hope this helps. Clear as mud?
  4. samh

    samh New Member

    I've run chainsaws my whole life and I still can't sharpen one and get it to cut straight, I finally bought 2 chains for it and when it gets dull I switch chains, when that one gets dull I get a buddy of mine that's a logger to sharpen both of them and I'm good to go again.
  5. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    certainly am no expert here, but since no one else has replied at this time....
    i used a small round file that fit the grooves of the "teeth". work all of them..takes a bit of time, but is pretty effective.

  6. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    hey corey , iv had plenty of dealings with chain saws i worked for a mill cutting trees for two years so listen up
    get the dremel attatchment for now or the guide and use them untill you learn the angles once you know the proper angle you can hit the chain with a speed sharpening by hand every so often without fileing off to much steel and promote longer chain life
    i like to use the file you may have to sharpen more often but the chain will last longer
    power tools that sharpen also have the tendancy to over heat the chain and can weaken its strength when used by a newbe to chain sharpening
    i normally sharpen mine at a 30 to 35 degree angle and always push the file as opposed to dragging it remembering the number of strokes and keeping them the same for each tooth
    i always remove the plug and sharpen it on the saw
    hope you get the help your looking for
  7. FS Driver

    FS Driver New Member

    weve always sharpened them on the saw and by hand without the guide
    it takes doing it a few times to get it right but it will save you down time and $ to do it yourself.
    believe me even a unskilled sharpening is going to be better than cutting with a dull chain and if its isnt throwing out long chips then shut it off and file it better.
  8. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    I allways 'eyeballed it' and did fairly well just use the right sise file as chains come in diff.sizes and pitch
  9. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    I love watching the rooster tail of a Husqvarna bow saw with a sharp chain.
  11. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Sheridan, Arkansas
    When you sharpen a chain on a saw use the same amount of strokes on each tooth and when a chain has been sharpened alot it will get to where it want cut no matter how sharp the teeth is. Its because the rakers or drags on the chain are to high now. those points sticking up in front of the tooth.Take aflat bastard file (thats what thay are called) Holding the chain firmly in one hand and stroke the point of the drag about 5 times. Use the same amount of strokes on every drag on the intire chain. If you don't the saw will cut half moon cuts and want cut staight.
    I hope this helps.
  12. CaTmAnDo55

    CaTmAnDo55 New Member

    florence, SC
    i use a chain sharpening tool it is basically a small round file with an angle guide attatched to it and it works great for me i have no problems doing myself i just follow the angle and run it down a couple of times and its as good as new
  13. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Willow Woo
    I use an electric sharpener that mounts on my work bench and does a better job then by hand. If you plan to use a chainsaw a lot it will pay for itself in the long run to get a good electric sharpener and learn to use that. I keep a couple of sharpened chains with me and just change the chain when one gets dull. Even some of the best at sharpening by hand have to take the chain into a shop to have it sharpened from time to time because most people have a tendency to sharpen more on one side then the other when sharpening the chain on the saw which makes the saw cut at an angle.
  14. richard dunbar

    richard dunbar New Member

    just get you one of those round files same size as your chain teeth and go for it it takes practice but if you work with one every day it will come to you