Sharpening Tips

Carefulness costs you nothing. Carelessness may cost you your life.

After a certain amount of use, the cutters on your saw chain will need sharpening. When you see dust rather than chips, it’s time.

If you’re using a square chisel, take it to the shop. Those square files are tricky to use.

You can sharpen all other cutters yourself.

Follow these steps to find the right file for your cutter:

  • Determine the pitch of your chain; measure any three consecutive rivets in the saw chain from center to center in 1/16ths of an inch. Divide that measurement in half. This number is the pitch.
  • Use this chart to determine the size of the file you need.
  • The file size needed for your chain may also be printed on the saw bar.
  • Don’t forget to file the depth gauge with a depth gauge tool. Otherwise you’ll still have a slow cut with a sharp chain.
    depth gauge tool

  • Most cutters have a witness line on the top of the tooth. It will help you maintain the correct file angle when sharpening.
  • When the cutter is sharpened to the witness mark, it is time to discard the chain.

There are many great videos online to help with sharpening.

A sharp chain is a safe chain.

Brian Maddy
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