Monday, December 11, 2023

What is a chain saw sharpener and what are its types?

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It has happened to every worker in the wood industry: the chainsaw gradually loses its cutting power and in a short time sawdust in powder sprouts from the wood. The chain sharpener for chainsaw is a tool that arose from the need to maintain the cutting edges of each link in the chain in conditions, in times when modern tungsten and vanadium alloys were not yet on the market.

History of the chain saw sharpener

History of the chainsaw sharpener

For many years a machine which was actually manually operated, but it allowed to achieve a much greater precision than with the only help of the specialized file for this task.

The machine consisted of a support – similar to the sword of the chainsaw– where the chain slid; A stop facilitated its positioning, and an arch device mounted transversely to that support contained a file, in such a way that when the arch was lowered, the file was in contact with one of the links, allowing, by means of a back and forth movement, sharpening and precise adjustment.

Chain Sharpener Features for Chain Saws


We know that each chain link, when properly sharpened, releases chips, and that the cutting function of each of them is determined by the height between the cutting teeth and the clearance projection.

Chainsaw sharpener chains detail

Here we see in detail the cutting edges of the chain. As can be seen, the edges are placed interspersed on the left and right.

The fundamental advantage of chain sharpener for chainsaws with respect to lime specialty lies in the speed and precision with which each link receives its sharpening. With the file, not only does it take much longer to perform the sharpening, but each link is sharpened in an artisanal and manual way, so the angles are not sufficiently precise, and great dexterity and experience are required to achieve the same results as with the machine that occupies our attention here.

Another advantageous factor of this tool Compared to other more primitive solutions, it is its versatility: most manual files are designed for a single type of chain, so it is not possible to modify the angles to adapt them to the geometry of the different links on the market.

It is also important to consider the chain sharpener for chainsaw It has stops that prevent the abrasion disc from reaching beyond where it is necessary; This allows to operate with precision and to reduce maintenance times enormously, since the operator does not worry about verifying the depth at which the disc operates.

Finally we have the security of the operation: although the tools purely manuals do not involve great risks in their use, the problem appears when operating the chainsaw; if the links have been badly sharpened, the tool it will behave in an unpredictable way.


Abrasion disc detail

Abrasion disc detail

In this detail we can see the abrasion disc (indicated in white and blue for clarity), the support for the chain and the stop, which allows it to be kept in place.

A chain sharpener for chainsaws It basically consists of a guide and support for the chain, a graduated plate to select the appropriate cutting angle, a head that houses the cutting disc and of course, an electric motor.

The chainring – or clamping device – has a brake or lever that allows the chain to be held firmly so that it is impossible to move. At one end it also has a stop, which allows the links to be positioned in such a way that the cutting disc, when lowering, is exactly opposite the edge of the corresponding link. In this way it is impossible for the operator to cut or damage a link that does not correspond to the current angle.

It is also important that you are machines They have a safety device such as the screen, to avoid the projection of sparks and other materials, and a secure fastening system.


It is necessary to disassemble the chain to be able to place it on the support of the chain sharpener for chainsaw.

Once it has been properly secured, we proceed to calibrate the machine so that the sharpening angle is correct. Then all edges are sharpened clockwise first, then the chain is reversed and the process repeated.

Security advice

  • Always keep the chain properly attached to its support. Check this before starting the sharpening task; a loose chain could come loose and cause a serious accident.
  • Check that the angles are appropriate; an incorrect choice of them will result in the disablement or destruction of the chain.
  • Before starting the operation, prepare the machine: choose the correct angles, check that the chain is correctly fastened, that the stop correctly marks the link to be sharpened and that the stop for the abrasion disc is correctly positioned.
  • Never operate the machine without its corresponding screen placed; if for any reason the chain is dirty or broken, fragments of hazardous material could be dislodged.
  • Also remember to safely operate your chainsaw immediately after sharpening. Give it a try and remember not to use the sword; a tool sharp cuts without pressing down.

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