Keeping my chainsaw chain sharp is incredibly important for effective and safe operation of my chainsaw. I’ve learned the hard way that using a dull chain is not only inefficient but also dangerous, as it can increase the risk of kickback accidents. That’s why I make it a priority to regularly sharpen my chainsaw chain. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share the methods I use for sharpening chainsaw chains, tips for choosing the right Oregon chainsaw sharpener, and advice for proper maintenance and troubleshooting of common issues.
There are two main approaches to sharpening a chainsaw chain – manual filing with a round file and using an electric grinder. I’ll explain how to properly use both an Oregon manual filing kit and an electric Oregon chainsaw grinder so you can keep your chainsaw chain operating at peak performance.
How to Use Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener?
To use an Oregon chainsaw sharpener, first, set the appropriate sharpening angles according to the chain manufacturer’s recommendations. Then, clamp the chainsaw bar in a bench vice and engage the chain brake. Use a round chainsaw file or an electric chainsaw grinder to sharpen the chain, ensuring that you follow the correct filing technique and maintain the recommended angles
Manual Sharpening with a Round Chainsaw File
When I first started sharpening my chainsaw chain, I used the manual filing method with a round chainsaw file and guide. Here are the steps I follow:
First, I assemble the file guide according to the instructions so that it fits on the chainsaw bar and aligns with the chain properly. Choosing the correct file size for the chain is crucial – I refer to the chain packaging or owner’s manual to determine the right file diameter.
With the file guide in place, I use proper filing technique – holding the file horizontally at the correct sharpening angle and applying firm pressure as I stroke towards the front of the tooth cutter. Maintaining the proper filing angle is key for an even and sharp edge. I try to use smooth, consistent strokes across each tooth.
Electric Chainsaw Grinder Sharpening
While manual filing works, I’ve switched primarily to using an electric grinder for sharpening my chainsaw chain. The Oregon electric grinders make the process so much faster and easier.
To set up an electric grinder, I secure the chain in place on the clamp and mount the grinder on the guide bar according to the instructions. I adjust the grinder settings and wheel position as needed for the specific chain pitch and type that I’m sharpening.
Once it’s set up, I power on the grinder and apply light pressure as I guide it along each cutting tooth. It’s important not to grind too aggressively or allow the chain to overheat. I take care to grind each tooth evenly and make smooth passes across all the cutters.
Occasional cooling of the chain with water helps prevent overheating during the grinding process. Following the manufacturer’s tips helps me safely sharpen the chain quickly with the electric grinder.
Choosing the Right Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener
When it comes to selecting the best Oregon chainsaw sharpener for your needs, you’ll generally be deciding between manual and electric options. Here are some key factors I considered when choosing my sharpener:
Manual Sharpening Kits
Oregon makes round filing kits for sharpening chainsaw chains by hand. They include files and guides sized for different chain pitches.
The manual method is more portable and doesn’t require power. However, it takes more time and skill to file the chain evenly by hand. Frequent sharpening can also wear out files quickly.
Electric Chainsaw Grinders
Electric grinders like the Oregon PowerSharp use a small grinding wheel to reshape the chain teeth. They allow fast, consistent sharpening without as much personal skill needed.
However, electric grinders are less portable, require electricity, and the grinding wheels eventually need replacement. But for frequent home use, I’ve found using an electric sharpener saves time and hassle compared to hand filing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use other chains with the Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener?
The Oregon chainsaw grinders are designed specifically for their brand of chains but can work with some similar aftermarket and OEM chains. However, the integrated sharpening feature may not line up properly with differently sized cutters.
How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?
It depends on your usage, but plan on sharpening the chain after every 2-3 hours of use as a general rule. Cutting very dirty or abrasive material shortens this timeframe. Regular sharpening is key for optimal cutting performance.
What is the difference between manual and electric chainsaw sharpeners?
Manual round file kits require more skill and time but are more portable for field sharpening. Electric grinders are faster and easier but less portable. Each has pros and cons to weigh for your purposes.
How do I know which file size to use for my chainsaw chain?
Consult your chainsaw owner’s manual for the proper file size, or measure the chain’s pitch and match the file diameter to it. Using an incorrectly sized file is a common mistake.
Can I sharpen a square-ground chain with an Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener?
No, the Oregon is designed for round-ground cutter teeth. Square chains require a specialized square file and guide. Don’t attempt to sharpen them with a standard round file or grinder.
After learning the hard way, I now understand the importance of maintaining a sharp chainsaw chain for performance and safety. Regularly using my Oregon electric grinder makes the task fast and efficient. I hope these chainsaw chain sharpening tips help you keep your saw running optimally. Don’t wait for the chain to get dangerously dull before sharpening it!
Michael Boyle is the founder and main author of Chainsaws Finder, boasting over 20 years of experience in the chainsaw industry. Hailing from Texas, Michael combines his extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise to provide reliable advice and top-notch service. His vision is to empower chainsaw users to tackle any project with confidence, making Chainsaws Finder a trusted resource in the field.