Eric Stromer shows you some simple steps to sharpen a chainsaw for his GMC Trade Secret.
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How to Sharpen a Chainsaw
Featured Pro: Eric Stromer Category: Home Improvement Time: 1:52
ERIC STROMER: To do the job right, you need to keep your tools in top shape. I’m Eric Stromer with another GMC Trade Secret. I’m going to show you how to sharpen a chainsaw.
Before getting started, you need to know the parts of the chain. Each link in the chain consists of the sharp cutting element, depth gauge, and the gullet, the area between the two. Now determine the gauge of the chain by checking the owner’s manual. This will tell you the correct size of the round file to use in sharpening your saw.
You want to clean your chain thoroughly to remove any dust and debris. Use a small wire brush and some paint thinner. Now set the saw on a solid surface, clamp the bar with a vise, and unplug the wire to the sparkplug. Locate the leading cutter. It’ll be the shortest cutter on the chain, and that’s where you’ll begin filing.
Set your guide and use your round file to start filing the first cutting element. The file should fit almost exactly in the curved area of the cutter surface being filed. You want to grind the cutter in the direction going away from the bar, using three to five strokes. But always use the same number of strokes on all the cutters.
Next, file down the depth gauge with a flat metal file to make sure it stays slightly shorter than the cutters. At the end of your stroke, round the curved edge of the depth gauge to keep it rounded. Repeat the process on every cutter link of the chain on one side. Then rotate the chainsaw in the vise and repeat with the cutters on the other side of the bar.
Next, you’ll want to lubricate your chain and check the tension. Different models have different procedures, so check your owner’s manual for instructions. But as a general rule, the chain should be taut and not pull away from the bar much.
Sharpening the chain will reduce the strain on the saw’s engine. It’ll save fuel and it’ll be less work for you.