Due to repeated use, your chainsaw chain will become dull after some time. For your chainsaw to continue being productive, you will have to sharpen its chain. You will not strain using your chainsaw and your work will be easier and safer. It’s also an advantage because you will use less maintenance cost.
A sharp chain will help reduce the rate of wearing and tearing of your chainsaw parts and it will have a longer life. The big question is how long your chainsaw chain should stay sharp or how soon you should sharpen it.
Rate of use
You should sharpen your chainsaw chain immediately after it becomes dull. Otherwise, you will have a tough time working with it. Many things come into play when you think about how soon the chain will become dull.
Consider someone who wakes up in the morning and begins to use their chainsaw at 8 and continues working with it the rest of the day. That person might have to sharpen their chainsaw chain by the evening in readiness for another productive day the next day.
Consider another person who uses their chainsaw once every few months, let’s say four or five times in a year. Their chainsaw chain will remain sharp the entire year and only require sharpening at the close of the year.
Type of material
The next scenario is the type of material being worked on. Consider someone working on softwood the entire day and another one working on the hardwood at the same time. Since hardwood is tougher, the chain of the chainsaw working on the hardwood will become dull several times during the day and will require sharpening three to five times the same day.
Softwood is softer and the chain might become dull once or twice within the same day. Consider another person within an area with lots of rocks and somehow, the chain cuts rocks in the process. The chain will become dull immediately and require sharpening.
How long a chainsaw chain stays sharp, all depends on how often your use your chainsaw and the type of material you work on. Another important but minor factor is the experience of the user. The angle you hold your chainsaw during use might determine how fast its chain gets dull. If it’s not aligned well, it might also get dull fast during use.
How to know if a chainsaw chain needs sharpening
When the chainsaw saw goes dull, its rate of productivity drastically slows down. It might begin to burn and buckle when cutting wood. The saw blades look complex and you might think it’s impossible to sharpen them. Another way to know is to check the waste coming from saw cuts. If the wastes are chips, your chain is perfectly sharp. But if you see the waste is fine like dust, know it is your time to sharpen it.
However, if you have the right tools, you can do DIY sharpening at home or in the yard and give your saw life again. Sharpening it makes your work enjoyable and you consume less energy. With time, you will soon become an expert in sharpening and will complete each sharpening exercise within 10 minutes.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain
If your chainsaw chain is dull, it is dangerous to use it and might destroy other parts of the chainsaw. To sharpen your chainsaw chain, get the tools ready. You require a flat file, a round file, a Dremel tool, and its sharpening kit, a guide for sharpening, and a depth gauge guide.
Once you have your tools ready, engage your chainsaw chain brake. Take the guide and place it between the chain rivets. Make sure the arrows point in the direction of the nose bar. The top place of the chain cutter is set at an angle. Follow that angle. Its rollers will prevent you from going deeper into the cutter’s side plate.
Put the rounded file into its guide. Sharpen at between 30 degrees to 35 degrees angle. Make sure to observe the cutters and sharpen horizontally towards the bar and at 30-35 degrees and vertically at 90 degrees.
Make sure the chain rests well in place to keep it from moving when sharpening. Also, ensure you mark your starting point to help you know when you finish sharpening. Make strokes while maintaining the angles as indicated to keep the cutters aligned well.
For each cutter, give it about five or six strokes until you see its face become shiny. Do not assume the number of strokes but count them as you sharpen and maintain the same number of strokes throughout the process.
To line up the file, use the file guide and feel it rest into the cutter perfectly. Once through with one side, move to the other side and repeat the same process. Keep releasing and rotating the chain to expose the rest of the cutters. Ensure you wear gloves to protect your hands from bruises and cuts.