A chainsaw is a tool that eases up the work of cutting through trees and wood in general. Just like many other cutting tools, a chainsaw that has been in use for some time becomes dull. If you notice that you are now using too much pressure when trying to cut through wood when using a chainsaw that is when you realize that it’s probably time to sharpen it.
This means that you will be required to be conversant with the ideal tools to use and the appropriate procedure of using them when it comes to sharpening the chainsaw and bringing it back to its rightful working condition.
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Truth is, dull chain saws are very slow and are easily prone to causing accidents. Not only does sharpening the chainsaw make it cut better, it also helps in extending its lifespan.
Set The File
Setting the file happens to be the first step you need to follow in preparation for sharpening your chainsaw. It is recommended that you secure the bar of your chainsaw to the surface where you will be working from. This will keep the chainsaw firm enough thus there will be no chances of it making any unwanted movements when sharpening it. This will in turn give you an easier task when sharpening it.
In case you do not have a clamp to secure your chainsaw on the surface you will be working from, remove the chain and firmly fix it on your vise. Depending on your work surface, you may opt for securing your chainsaw upside down or in an upright position. Go for whichever way that works best for you. You can also do without the clamp if you can’t get one but ensure that your chainsaw is firm when sharpening it.
Tighten the Chain
Secondly, you will need to find the tension adjusting screw to make the chain tight enough. In most cases, it is normally placed in a perpendicular angle to the chain’s direction. Tighten the chain using a screw driver by making the tension screw tight enough. Ensure that in as much the chain is tight enough, it can still move around the saw easily.
Tightening it ensures that the chain doesn’t unnecessarily move during the process of sharpening it. It is important to note that the tension adjustment screw can be in different positions in different chainsaws and this is where your manual becomes of great use in helping you locate it.
Mark the First Tooth
The third step is taking note of the tooth you intend to sharpen first which you can do with help of a permanent marker pen. This will make it easy for you to remember where you started sharpening your chainsaw from there by preventing you from sharpening the same tooth twice.
You need not to worry about the mark being too visible later on since with time, it will fade away as you continue to use your chainsaw. Different chainsaws have different methods of marking the tooth that will be sharpened first although this can be one difficult task in trying to locate it. However, if you are avoiding putting marks on your chainsaw, you can take note of a unique part of the saw and start sharpening it from there.
Set the File in the Notch
Next, you will need to properly set your file in the notch on the front part of the cutter. There is an angled tooth at the front of the flat surface of the chain link. The tip of the file should be in the notch on the marked tooth so as to have only about 20% of the diameter of the file above the upper part of this marked tooth.
From there, you will need to use a file holder to secure your file at the same position that the cutter had been secured. You are supposed to position the file holder in an angle that is well suited for your chainsaw ensuring that it is in the same line with the chain when filing.
Sharpen the Cutters
When sharpening the cutters, ensure that the file is in such a position that it is level and flat on top of the chain. Now move the file via the cutter lightly enough for you to feel the file grinding against the cutter. Once you are done with filling the cutter, you can now lift the file.
Try not pulling the file backwards via the cutter since it may destroy both the file and the cutter. See to it that you have filed the cutter about three to ten times until you notice that it has acquired a silvery shine and when you can clearly see that it is sharp. For purposes of being consistent on how sharp each cutter is, try to keep a record of the number of times you sharpened the first cutter and from there ensure that you sharpen the rest of the cutters in the same number of times you sharpened the first cutter.
How To Choose A Chainsaw File
Choosing a file that is ideal for your chainsaw is also another paramount step to follow through. You will be required to choose a file with a matching diameter as that of the teeth of your chainsaw. Chainsaws differ in the sizes of their teeth thus calling for different sizes of files.
Ensure that you do the same to every other tooth rotating the chainsaw so as to bring the next tooth nearer. As you continue to sharpen, keep rotating the chainsaw until it has made a 180 degrees rotation up to where you had started to sharpen it from. Rotating it will help you locate any cutter or tooth you may have left out.
From there, you will also need to sharpen the rakers. The rakers ensure that there is consistency in how deep each cut is. Using a depth gauge, check whether the heights of the rakers are at the ideal position. Using a round file, sharpen the rakers and the level them using a flat mill bastard file.
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In conclusion, it is important to take note of the fact that sharpening your chainsaw will not only increase its lifespan but it will also make your work easier since you will not require to put so much pressure on it when in use.