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A Comprehensive Guide to Using a Hand Sharpening File for Chainsaw Maintenance

by Hipa Store 18 Aug 2023 0 Comments


Keeping your chainsaw chain sharp is crucial for optimal performance and safety. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of using a hand sharpening file to effectively sharpen your chainsaw chain. Let's dive in!


Why You Need to Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain:

Regular sharpening maintains cutting efficiency, ensures smoother cuts, reduces kickback risks, and prolongs the lifespan of your chainsaw chain. It is essential for maintaining safety and achieving the best results.

 hipa chainsaw chain how to sharpen a worn chainsaw chain

The Benefits of Hand Sharpening Files:

Hand sharpening files are an excellent choice for chainsaw owners due to their convenience and ease of use. With these files, anyone can sharpen their chainsaw at home or in a workshop with great results, provided they have a good understanding of the process.

 hipa sharpening file kit hand sharpening file kit

Hipa chainsaw sharpening file kit

Positioning and Chain Tension:

To facilitate easier sharpening, consider using a device such as a stump vise to secure the chainsaw bar. This prevents excessive movement and allows you to tighten the chain appropriately. Ideally, the chain should be pulled up from the bar enough to see the tips of the drive teeth. Check the tension by pulling it above the guide bar; if it snaps back into place, the tension is correct.

 how to check the tension of a chainsaw chain hipa chainsaw chain

Cleaning the Chain:

Before sharpening, ensure that the chain is clean and free from debris. Use a wire brush to remove any dirt or wood particles that may be lodged between the teeth.


 Choosing the Right File:

Selecting the correct file size is critical for effective sharpening. Match the file size with the pitch of your chainsaw chain. Different types of chainsaw chains require specific file sizes depending on their pitch. Refer to a measurement guide or consult the chain's manufacturer to determine the appropriate file size for your chain.

Once you have identified the pitch for your chainsaw chain you can then work out the size of file you need using this table:

Chain pitch

Round file diameter











 the specification and diameter of hipa round files

Marking and Filing:

Locate the starting point or hash mark on the tooth. Align the file with the mark, hold it level, and start filing. Take note that chainsaw blades have a sharp side that points in different directions. When sharpening adjacent blades, they should be filed in opposite directions. Consult the manual or manufacturer for guidance if your chain lacks a hash mark. Alternatively, you can check the angle of the blade's cutting edge to find the correct angle for filing the chainsaw chain.

 How to sharpen the chainsaw chain with hand sharpening files

Adjusting Chain Depth:

Use a chainsaw chain depth gauge to determine if the teeth are sticking above the gauge. If so, use a flat file to file them down, ensuring they are level with the top of the gauge. High rakers make dust and slow cutting and rakers set too low can repeatedly bog down the saw.

chainsaw rakers and cutters

Maintain consistent direction when filing the teeth to prevent chatter. Once all the depth gauges are sharpened, the chain is ready for installation.

 how to use the depth gauge to measure and flat sharpen a chain raker


By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively use a hand sharpening file to maintain a sharp and efficient chainsaw chain. Regularly sharpening your chainsaw chain will enhance cutting performance, extend its lifespan, and ensure a safe and productive chainsaw experience. Happy cutting!

A Video Explain How to Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain.


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