Sharpening A Chainsaw Chain: Is It Really Worth It?

Depending on the kind of wood you are cutting or how often you are doing it, your chainsaw chain will eventually dull. Constantly using a dull chainsaw to cut down trees or timber makes your work extremely difficult. But is it worth sharpening your chain? Or should you buy a new one straight away?

Sharpening your chainsaw chain is definitely worth it as a sharp chainsaw chain is easier to work with. It takes less effort to cut through wood and your chain will make cleaner cuts with sharp blades. A chainsaw chain can be sharpened multiple times without much of a cost.

When Should I Sharpen My Chainsaw Chain?

A tell-tale sign that your chainsaw needs sharpening is when you notice that it’s not cutting as well as it did before. Another way is by examining the sawdust. If you see small chunks or fine wood dust, it’s an indication that your chainsaw needs sharpening. However, there is no set interval at which you should sharpen your chainsaw.

So, how exactly do you know that your chainsaw chain needs sharpening? Below are a few signs that can help you know when it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw. They include:

  1. The chainsaw creates fine sawdust instead of coarse or large chunks.
  2. You have to apply pressure to force it to saw through wood.
  3. When the chainsaw produces smoke even when you have already oiled it and made sure that the chain tension is correct.
  4. The chainsaw produces uneven cuts. It means your chain has either dull teeth on one side or the cutting teeth are uneven.

After using your chainsaw, always check the condition of the chain, whether it’s dull or has any teeth missing. To extend the chain’s life, you should avoid any activities that can dull or damage your chain. These include:

  • Hitting hard objects such as metal, rocks, or ice.
  • Poor storage of chainsaw. Don’t place your chainsaw in a wet or moist place as the chainsaw might rust.
  • Not lubricating your chainsaw as often.

How Many Times Can A Chainsaw Chain Be Sharpened?

Should I replace or sharpen my chainsaw chainA chainsaw chain can be sharpened up to 10 times, sometimes more, before the entire chain needs replacing. It’s mostly dependent on two things; the amount of wear your chain incurs and the amount of metal removed every time you sharpen. Different materials can have a harder impact on the chainsaw chain. The number of times you will be able to sharpen the chain is very dependent upon what you use it for.

For instance, if you happen to hit a rock and your chain chips or even breaks, you might not be able to repair it through sharpening at all. Also, if you sharpen your chainsaw chain and take off 60% of the metal, that means you can only sharpen it 40% more before you have to get rid of it. It’s not a specific number or a recommendation from a manufacturer. But it does show that it’s a good idea to understand how and when to sharpen your chain efficiently!

Of course, once you have worn out both your chain and chainsaw, there is always the fun adventure of buying a new chainsaw altogether! But make sure you get the most out of your purchase first.

How Long Should A Chainsaw Blade Last?

A chainsaw blade should last up to 5 years with heavy frequent use. For occasional use, a chainsaw blade can last you a decade or more. The chainsaw blade’s life expectancy is highly dependent on chainsaw maintenance and use. Chainsaw blades don’t have an expiration date. Neither is there a pre-determined timeline for how long it should last.

Here are five items that can reduce the longevity of your chainsaw blade:

  • Rocks: It’s very common for blades to slip through timber and hit the ground or a rock underneath. Try as much as possible to not hit rocks with your chainsaw blade to make sure it lasts longer.
  • Metal: Sometimes wood has unexpected metal objects within them. Common examples include nails, bullets, or fence staples. These can cause damage to your chainsaw blade too.
  • Ice: It might not seem like much, but frozen wood and ice can cause your chainsaw blade to chip and wear. Just be careful when using your chainsaw in the winter.
  • Rust: Your chain is susceptible to rust. Therefore, you need to clean and oil it properly. Also, store it properly to ensure that your chainsaw blade lasts longer.
  • Improper Lubrication: Not using lubrication is a sure-fire way to overheating your chainsaw. Lubricate it to keep the chainsaw cool and maintain your blade.

Remember, your chainsaw blade is not perfect. It wears down as you regularly use it.

How Do You Know If A Chainsaw Is Sharp?

A key way of telling that your chainsaw is sharp is by looking at the chips or sawdust coming from it. If the sawdust is coarse or hasShould I sharpen or replace my chainsaw chain large chunks in it, then the saw is sharp. A dull chainsaw often produces fine sawdust that’s smooth and less thick than sawdust from a sharp chainsaw. Other tell-tale signs include:

  • Chainsaw operation is smooth, efficient, and effective: You shouldn’t be applying a lot of pressure to get the saw through wood. The chainsaw should pull itself through the wood.
  • Easy position and cutting: A sharp chainsaw will not get stuck in wood while the engine is still running. It will go right through the wood and remain stable without shaking or veering off target.

How Much Does It Cost To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

The cost of sharpening a chainsaw chain varies from business to business. Most tool places will sharpen the chain for less than $30 (AUD).

If you bring your chainsaw into Canberra Diamond Blade, we can sharpen your chainsaw chain for the affordable price of $15 (AUD). This is highly dependent on the number of cutters. For an additional fee, we are happy to remove and re-fit your chain to your saw.

After your chain is sharpened and ready to go, find out what the best chainsaw bar length is in our article. We also know why your chainsaw dulls so fast and what chainsaw cuts the fastest. Don’t forget your personal protective equipment when you’re working! Got some more questions? Canberra Diamond Blade is here to help!

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