If you own a STIHL chainsaw, then you might have probably wondered the best time to sharpen it. If your chainsaw is dull and does not cut through the wood, then it’s time to do it.
Hence, this guide will show you how to sharpen a STIHL chainsaw and the frequency you need to do it.
How Often Should I Sharpen My STIHL Chainsaw?
Even if you own STIHL chainsaw’s best model, it eventually wears and becomes dull after a particular time.
Moreover, there is no specific number of times when you should sharpen your chainsaw. You only need to do this when you observe the following conditions with your chainsaw:
There is not much difference in sharpening a gas chainsaw or even a electric chainsaw. Be sure to check the instructions before sharpening. Electric chainsaws are quite new to the scene and can be great for home owners who have small trees or bushes they wish to cut.
- Wearing or damage your chainsaw incurs every time you use it
- Produces an amount of metal that is nicked or chipped every time you sharpen it
- The chain cannot cut an object easily
- Fine sawdust, rather than thick chips, appears every time you use your chainsaw for bucking
- Despite how well-lubricated your chainsaw is, it produces smoke when you use it
- The cut from the chainsaw wanders in one direction
Lastly, if you find your chainsaw bounces and chatters during the cutting process, you might need to check the depth gauge settings.
Now let’s proceed to the main part. Before sharpening your chainsaw, you need to prepare a round file to sharpen the cutter’s semi-circular cutting edges. Then, follow these steps to sharpen your STIHL chainsaw:
1. Choose the appropriate file
Each chain pitch has a specific diameter and code digit to match with the round file. For this step, you can refer to the code in your user manual.
When choosing a file, you need to use one that is used specifically for saw chains. You can tap with the nearest STIHL dealer in your area to find a high-quality file for your chainsaw.
2. Hold the file
When sharpening your chainsaw, hold the file firmly. Then, guide it with your other hand along the cutter using a forward stroke. Also, make sure to mark one side of the cutter with a pen so you can check the amount of material that is sharpened.
Start filing starting from the inside to the outside of the master cutter. Hold your file at a 90-degree angle to the guide bar. Make sure to file the cutter edges in a forward stroke motion.
Then, position the file from the cutter using a backstroke motion. Rotate it at regular intervals until you sharpen every side of the cutter thoroughly. In this way, you avoid one-sided wear on your chain.
After, hold the file until one-fourth of its diameter is projected above the top plate. If the surface of the cutter looks smooth and uniform, then you’re filing it correctly.
However, if you see patches of colour in random places, validate if you’re using the right file or you’re holding the file either too high or too low.
3. Check the Result
There is one way to validate if you’re filing your chainsaw correctly. If the cutting edge looks bright, you have sharpened it correctly.
However, if you see dark areas on the edges, the cutter needs more work on your part. Make sure to repeat the steps above until it looks bright and sharpened.
File the cutters to the same length in the row you have recently checked. Then proceed to the chainsaw cutter’s other side and sharpen it similarly from the other side. File the cutters until they are the same length as the master cutter.
4. Lower the depth gauges
After sharpening the cutter successfully, the setting on the depth gauge becomes smaller. Make sure to check the setting and lower it after sharpening the cutters.
Sharpening a STIHL Chainsaw is easy once you follow the instructions carefully. In this way, you can achieve a perfect result.
Make sure to use a similar number of strokes of filing a cutter on each side to obtain equal length.
However, if you find that one row of the cutters is shorter than the other one, you might have applied more pressure on the shorter ones. With this, file the longer ones with more strokes until you achieve the desired length.
Remember safety is very important when sharpening a chainsaw, you can easily cut yourself.
We hope this helps you in sharpening your STIHL chainsaw successfully. If you have more concerns, you can ask a professional to assist you.
Most chainsaws have the same sharpening methods as the stihl chainsaw but make sure you read the instructions before starting.