A blunt chainsaw can be a very dangerous thing. Blunt chains are far more likely to catch on material and cause kickback, causing unnecessary risk to you and your face. Moreover, they are far slower and more laborious than a properly maintained, sharpened chainsaw.

Today we are going to go through how you may go about sharpening your beloved tool.

 You will need:

  • A round file that matches the manufacturers recommended size (can usually be found in the user’s manual.)
  • A flat file.
  • A file guide.
  • A depth-gauge guide.

Step 1: Clamp the bar in place using a vice and engage the chain break.

Step 2: Place the round file into the file guide and insert both into one of the cutters on the saw blade. Mark this cutter so you know where you started.

Step 3: Line up the file with the factory-ground angle and begin to stroke.

Step 4: Stroke the cutter 5-6 times until the metal shines. Repeat with each cutter.

Step 5: As you go, check the height of the depth gauge fin to ensure they all remain the same size. If any protrude, grind them down with the flat file.


  • Practice the utmost caution. A stationary chainsaw is still a chainsaw.
  • Keep the file at the same angle throughout the process.
  • The cutter blades protrude from the side of the chain slightly. The depth gauge fins point upwards and resemble a shark fin.
  • Do not file one side more than the other. This can lead to some crooked cutting.
  • If there is any doubt at all, bring it to a professional.