Sharpening your chainsaw blade periodically enhances the productivity of your work. It helps faster cutting and minimizes the tear and wear on the saw along with the sawyer.

In this article, we are going to talk about the best way to sharpen a chainsaw. If you follow the chainsaw sharpening tricks we are going to share, you don't have to struggle with your dull saw anymore. Let's get started.

How Do I Understand If It is Time to Sharpen My Chainsaw?

To accurately decide whether you will sharpen your chainsaw now or later, it is important to check the waste material that comes out of your saw cuts.

Dust is an indication that it is time to sharpen the chainsaw while chips indicate that the blades are still sharp and you can sharpen it later.

What Tools Do I Need to Sharpen My Chainsaw?

You’ll need to have the following four tools to sharpen the chainsaw:

     A round file that is appropriate for the cutter diameter.

     A flat file.

     A file guide. When you sharpen each cutter, it will hold the round file at a uniform depth.

     A depth-gauge guide to reset the depth gauges.

How Can I Sharpen My Chainsaw Step by Step?

Sharpening is not as hard you might think it to be. With the help of a professional chainsaw sharpener, you can do it quite comfortably. Knowing the chainsaw sharpening tricks also makes the work easier. However, we are going to share with you the steps you need to follow to sharpen your chainsaw like a pro.Step-1: Get Everything You Need

First of all, get all the tools you need to sharpen your chainsaw.

When you’ve gathered everything, it is time to engage the chain brake. Make sure that you’ve also clamped the bar in a vice lightly.

Position the guide between the rivets. The guide arrows should be pointed towards the bar nose.

Note that you should follow the angle of the cutter's top plate.

Step-2: Set the File at the Proper Angle

In the file guide, mount the round file. Clutch the file at either 30 to 35-degree angle to the bar in a horizontal manner. And then when it comes to the right angle, you have to do it vertically.

Step-3: Start Sharpening

It is time to start sharpening. Make sure that you have cut a two-inch deep kerf in the log. To secure the saw bar, rest it on the kerf.

When it comes to placing the file guide and the file, position it near the bar end and the and on the top into the cutter.

To make sure that you do not forget where you began, mark the cutter-top with a felt-tipped pen.

After completing lining up the file, it is time to make a stroke. Always keep your body at a safe distance when you are stroking. On top of that, maintain the right angle on the cutter.

Step-4: Check the File Guide

To ensure that the cutter lines up with the file, you’ve to examine and check the file guide.

After filing the other cutter, it is time to go to the other side of the bar so that you can sharpen the rest.

Step-5: Move the Chain Ahead

When you complete sharpening some cutters, it is the right time to release the chain brake.

For sharpening more cutters, rotate the chain a little bit forward.

You have to reset the brake if you want to sharpen the new section.

Repeat this step till you’ve completed sharpening one portion of the chain.

Step-6: Work with the Other Side of the Chain

Keep sharpening the cutters till you reach the point you had marked.

Now, move to the other end of the saw bar. Start sharpening cutters that are angled oppositely. Make sure that the number of strokes per cutter remains the same as before.

Step-7: Look Through the Depth Gauge Heights

Use your filing guide to look through the depth gauge heights when you sharpen. When they go above the guide, use the flat file to file them flush.

Best Way to Sharpen a Chainsaw: The Do’s and Don’ts

Along with learning the chainsaw sharpening tricks, there are some do’s and don’ts you should remember while you sharpen your chainsaw. Let’s get to know them.


     Study the chainsaw very well. Read the owner's manual of your chainsaw carefully so that you gain knowledge of different parts of the saw.

     Make sure to stabilize the chainsaw. While you sharpen the cutters, hold the chainsaw steady on the mounted vice. In case you spend the whole day in the woods, a tailgate-mounted vice will come to your help for stabilizing the saw.

     Use the suitable file diameter. The standard diameter range of most files is 4mm to 6mm. However, remember that all the saw-chains do not come in the same size. 

     File in one direction. Do you want to get the sharpest cutting edge? Well, follow a trick. Make sure that you file from the inside edge of your cutter towards the outside edge. Place yourself on one edge of the saw while filing the cutters from the opposite end of the chainsaw.

     Leverage a chainsaw sharpening guide if you are not confident to file the factory cutter angles.


     Push the file, don’t pull it. A round file has the capacity to sharpen only in one direction. When you want to hone the cutting corner, make sure to hold the file horizontally.

     Don’t forget your file behind. When you need timber cutting away from your home, it is very important to bring the sharpening tools. If you forget, you might need to go back without filling the pickup with firewood.

     Never proceed without wearing protective gear. Chainsaws have dozens of sharp cutters that can cut bare skin within a blink of the eye. Wearing heavy-duty gloves is really important to keep you safe. Shavings can harm your eyes and wearing safety goggles can keep you protected.

Final Thoughts

Make sure to sharpen your chainsaw before it gets too dull. By now you know a lot of chainsaw sharpening tricks along with the best way to sharpen a chainsaw. We hope that you will now be able to sharpen your chainsaw like a pro from now on.