Chainsaw Sharpening Guide – Maintain Your Chainsaw for Peak Performance
Your chainsaw is a useful tool around the garden, but only when it is kept in tip-top condition. As with any garden tool, regular maintenance of your saw, including chainsaw sharpening, is vital. Sharpening a chainsaw can be done at home using a simple, readily-available chainsaw sharpening kit costing just a few pounds.
Why chainsaw sharpening is important
Sharpening a chainsaw is essential for its efficient, safe operation. A blunt chainsaw is an inefficient tool - it won't cut effectively and it will take a lot more effort to get the cuts you want. Professionals pride themselves on maintaining their saw for peak performance and so should you - hence this chainsaw sharpening guide.
How can you tell if sharpening is needed?
Professionals recommend two simple checks for the condition and sharpness of your chainsaw chain. First of all, there's the self-feed test: blunt chains won't self-feed and will have to be actively 'pushed' into the wood. Secondly, look for telltale small wood chips that resemble sawdust. (rather than the chunky woodchips associated with a sharp chain). If either applies, it's time to sharpen the chainsaw chain.
How to sharpen a chainsaw
Chainsaw sharpening, while time-consuming and fiddly, can be done at home using a readily available kit. Many professionals also recommend the use of a suitable resin solvent to help maintain the life and performance of the chain. Typically, the kit for sharpening a chainsaw includes the following:
- A chainsaw file gauge
- A round chainsaw file
- A flat file for the depth gauge on the chain's teeth.
Sharpening the chain involves cleaning the chain with a stiff brush, then systematically filing the top plate, side plate and depth gauge on each of the chain's teeth. Important safety precautions include the following:
- Switching the saw off before work
- Sharpening the saw with the chainsaw engine cold.
- Wearing safety gloves - protects fingers when sharpening the chainsaw
- Working on a flat, sturdy, well-lit surface
Is sharpening a chainsaw really a DIY activity?
Chainsaw sharpening is well within the capability of a domestic user, providing you follow the instructions that come with the sharpening kit and apply commonsense safety procedures. If in doubt about your ability as a chainsaw sharpener, you should always seek professional advice and help. Remember too, that the chain isn't the only chainsaw component requiring regular maintenance - other components will also need routine attention.
As for many other garden tools, DIY chainsaw sharpening can give a satisfying sense of achievement, as well as enhancing the pleasure of using your chainsaw. If your saw is cutting badly, maybe it's time to invest in that sharpening kit and spend some time breathing new life back into your saw. Mowers Online stock a huge range of garden products ranging from chainsaws to hedge cutting equipment.
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