How to sharpen a chainsaw manually

A question that preoccupies a great many people and that is discussed a great deal.

Sharpening the chainsaw by hand or with a machine?

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But which one is better?

In this article we address these questions. You will experience the biggest differences and in the end you can decide for yourself which variant suits you better.


Chainsaw sharpening by hand

Manual sharpening by hand has many supporters and seems to hold up despite today's technology. There are several methods of hand sharpening the chainsaw:

With a simple file set, file tool and filing device! More here ...

They all have one thing in common: They always file with round files.


Advantages :

1 ) You can get a finer grind with a file. This is because it is round and is guided along your longitudinal axis. This enables an undercut on the tooth flanks, which is unfortunately not possible with a rotating grinding wheel. The saw chain teeth become sharper.

2) You don't have to remove the chain and you don't need a power connection. You can also sharpen the saw chain on the go. However, you will need a mobile vice.

3) If you sharpen the chain saws by hand, teeth cannot burn out. There is also very little wear and tear if you do it right. It is the gentler way to sharpen a chain.


Disadvantage :

1) Sharpening a chainsaw by hand takes more time and is more strenuous. Especially when you have to sharpen several saw chains. Then you have to be patient.

2) It often happens that you sharpen unevenly. As a beginner, you can do a lot of wrong things. Therefore, there are many aids that are supposed to prevent this. See file sharpening tool.

3) In addition, there is always the risk of getting out of the corner when sharpening by hand. The sharpening angles continue to deviate from each other after each processing and thus reduce the cutting performance.


Sharpening chainsaw with machine

Leaving chainsaw sharpening to a machine also has its advantages, as many have already recognized and are using it. There is basically only one way to do this:

Sharpening a chainsaw with a machine? Only with a saw chain sharpener!

However, the devices differ greatly in functionality. So there is always a suitable model for the do-it-yourselfer and professional. We sharpened here with the help of a grinding wheel.


Advantages :

1) If you sharpen the chainsaw with the machine, all saw chain teeth will be given the exact same angle and will also have the same length. With a file, on the other hand, the deviation increases after each sharpening.

2) You save a little time. Especially when you have to sharpen several saw chains. It is also easier and less strenuous. Overall, sharpening with the machine is more convenient.


Disadvantage :

1) When sharpening with the machine, you often have a higher level of wear. More material is removed from the teeth. However, with good guidance and careful handling of the settings, wear and tear can be greatly reduced.

2) There is a risk that the teeth will burn out during sharpening and lose their hardness. However, this can also be avoided with sensible use.

3) If the saw chain teeth are ground with the machine, they often have a rougher surface so that the saw chain becomes blunt faster.


Conclusion: sharpening a chainsaw with a machine or by hand?

Both variants have their advantages, but also unmanageable disadvantages that one likes to do without. You can only minimize these disadvantages if you combine both variants.

Hence the answer:It is ideal to combine both variants!

Many do-it-yourselfers and professionals do it this way: Use the chainsaw and re-sharpen it by hand with a file if necessary. The whole thing can be repeated about 3 times.

The chainsaw is then properly processed with the machine. All teeth are brought back to the same length and at the correct angle.

This is how you keep the ideal cutting performance and get the most out of your saw chain.

This variant does not have to be expensive at all. You can find out how to work with the two methods here. There you will find two practical videos and detailed instructions.

We hope that the question: "Sharpening chainsaws by hand or with a machine?" Has been answered and we hope you enjoy your selection.