How Long Should a Chainsaw Stay Sharp

Published on: June 2, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

The chainsaw is a powered saw which operates by gasoline, electricity, or battery. This saw is relatively easy to use because of its portability.

Using a set of teeth attached with a rotating chain driven by a guide bar, chainsaw cuts trees or any wood comfortably. That’s why it is an important question: how long should a chainsaw stay sharp. Though the sharpness of the chainsaw depends on many factors, it can last 5~6 years or more by being frequently or occasionally used.

how long should a chainsaw stay sharp

Before knowing the details about the sharpness of a chainsaw, we need to understand why a chainsaw blade dulls fast. It will help if you read the whole article to know why dullness and staying sharp in the chainsaw.

Reason for Quick Dullness

When your chainsaw blade gets dull, it will be annoying for you. Sometimes it feels like the dullness of the chainsaw blade gets away faster than usual. It can happen for many reasons. Here, I discuss some reasons below:

Cutting Dirty or Wet Wood

Wood can be a different type with its resistance. That’s why every wood doesn’t cut in the same way. If you cut any wood with the same force or same process, it may cause the chainsaw to be dull.

Another reason for dullness is to cut dirty or wet wood. If you cut wood filled with dirt and leaf, the chainsaw gets dull faster.

Though the wet wood contains moisture, it will not place extra resistance or difference in the cutting process. The sawdust stuck in the chain rather than being cleaned away by air filter because of wet wood. It can make the chainsaw dull if you do not maintain it after use.

Constant Usage of Chainsaw

It is a common fact that constant use of anything makes dullness. According to this, chainsaws also get dull from continuous use even though you maintain chainsaw properly.

Sometimes it is tough to track how much the chainsaw is being used. Due to this reason, we may not think to sharpen the blade soon after doing it once.

A Steep Angle on the Cutters

The angle of the cutter is a crucial factor for the chainsaw. Generally, the sharpening angle is between 25 to 35 degrees. Depending on the angle, the chainsaw can be dull faster.

The angle of the chainsaw may differ according to its usage. For cutting hard things, you need a greater angle. It is essential to follow the manual for proper use. Otherwise, the chainsaw becomes dull faster.

Touching the Ground

Sometimes we couldn’t realize that the tip of the chainsaw bar touched the ground. This incident can happen accidentally. But the chainsaw becomes dull quickly because of this carelessness.

It would help if you were careful about how you are cutting wood. Otherwise, the tip of the chainsaw bar touches the ground again.

Having the Rakers Too Far Down

Raker is also known as the depth gauge. If the rakers sit too far down, it can cause the blade to dull.

Setting the depth gauge higher helps maintain the blade length’s sharpness. But the opposite can happen with lower settings. This trouble can be noticed after the blade becomes dull.

Though you set the rakers correctly, the blade becomes dull. In this case, you should check the other possibilities.

Before replacing the chainsaw chain  to keep the chainsaw sharp, we need to know how many times we can sharpen it. We can easily sharpen 10 times or more where replacing the chain depends on two factors. They are-

  • Amount of metal removed every time after sharpening;
  • Amount of wear your chain incurs.

To get rid of the dullness of chainsaws, buying a new chainsaw  is an easy way.

Method of Sharpening the Chainsaw

To sharpen the chainsaw, you can follow any method between electric chainsaw sharpener or manual sharpening. Generally, an electric chainsaw sharpener is used by the tradesman. The process of sharpening the chainsaw is given below by which anyone can do it:

Cleaning the Chainsaw Chain

Required Items:

  • Gloves;
  • Safety glasses;
  • Towels;
  • Screwdriver;
  • Mineral spirits.

Before cleaning the chainsaw chain, we need safety gloves and glasses. It is essential to remove all dirt, oil, and debris to clean the chain thoroughly. We need to use towels and a screwdriver for these deep cleans. Sometimes we should use mineral spirits according to the condition.

Through this procedure, it is urgent to scrutinize the chain. It can be unsafe due to the damage of teeth. That’s why we should replace the chain first.

Chain Tension

Balancing the chain tension is the most crucial factor to avoid any problem during work. Like- the kickback chance of the chainsaw increases due to a loose chain.

On the other hand, tightening the chain may cause friction and spontaneously reduce movement. As a result, it generates heat up, increasing the risk of fire and decreasing the parts life.

To fix this problem, it is important to adjust the tensioning screw. Using the screw will be easy to tighten and loosen the chain. By pulling the chain from the guide bar, you can snap back into the perfect position of the chain.

Chainsaw Stabilizing

Before filing the chain, it is essential to stabilize the chainsaw firmly. It is suitable with the clamps holding the guide bar for rotating the chain freely.

Sharpening at the Shortest Cutter

After selecting the shortest cutter blade, you can start a chainsaw sharpener. You can start with any tooth if the height of all cutters is the same. It will be helpful if you sharpen one for working in the same chainsaw chain direction.

Stroke the Teeth at an Angle

To determine the proper angle, we need to follow the chart of a chainsaw sharpening. Creating friction as you stroke, we should hold the file at an angle. This angle should be the same as the notch of the initial ground.

Sharpening the Other Side of the Chain

It is also vital to sharpen the other side of the chain. So, you need to proceed with the file for each of the teeth. After finishing, all the cutters’ flat top height should be the same.

Inspecting the Depth Gauges

By inspecting the depth gauge, you can identify that every depth gauge or raker is shorter than the adjacent cutter.

We can easily maintain a chainsaw sharpness long by following the above process and identifying the reason for dullness. Also, the chainsaw sharpening is cost-effective. The cost varies according to the business. Depending on the blade category, the price can increase or decrease as the blade has no expiration date.

Final Verdict

We need to sharpen the chainsaw once a year due to occasional use. On the other hand, it is better to sharpen the saw almost every day to reduce the effect of dullness. With the proper maintenance, it is easy to avoid any accident. I hope that this article will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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