How To Sharpen Chainsaw Chain

How to Sharpen Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw chains need to be sharpened regularly to ensure effective cutting. In this article, we’ll go through the steps on how to sharpen chainsaw chain.

Tools Needed

Before getting started, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Round file
  • File guide
  • Flat file
  • Depth gauge tool
  • Sharpening stone
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Step 1: Check Chain Condition

Before sharpening the chainsaw chain, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. If the chain is damaged, it may need to be replaced instead of sharpened.

Step 2: Secure Chainsaw

Secure the chainsaw in a vice or clamp to prevent movement while sharpening.

Step 3: Determine File Size

Determine the file size needed for your chainsaw chain. This can be found in the chainsaw manual or by measuring the distance between the chain teeth.

Step 4: File the Cutters

Using the round file and file guide, file the cutters on the chainsaw chain. Make sure to keep the file at the same angle as the cutter and file in one direction only. Repeat this process for each cutter on the chain.

Step 5: Check Depth Gauge

Use the depth gauge tool to check the depth of each cutter. If the depth is too high, use the flat file to lower it to the correct height.

Step 6: Sharpen Rakers

Using the flat file, sharpen the rakers on the chainsaw chain. Make sure to only file the top of the raker to maintain the correct depth.

Step 7: Check Chain Tension

After sharpening the chainsaw chain, check the tension before using. A loose chain can cause damage to the chainsaw and a tight chain can cause the chain to break.


How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

You should sharpen your chainsaw chain after every few uses or when it starts to dull.

Can I sharpen my chainsaw chain without a file guide?

No, a file guide is needed to ensure the correct angle and depth when sharpening the chainsaw chain.

What is the correct angle to sharpen the chainsaw chain?

The correct angle to sharpen the chainsaw chain is typically between 25 and 35 degrees. Refer to your chainsaw manual for the specific angle recommended for your chainsaw chain.

Do I need to replace my chainsaw chain if it is damaged?

If the chainsaw chain is severely damaged or worn, it may need to be replaced instead of sharpened.


Sharpening your chainsaw chain is an important part of maintaining your chainsaw and ensuring effective cutting. With the right tools and technique, you can easily sharpen your chainsaw chain and extend its lifespan.