Chainsaws are highly durable and powerful tools. They can slice and cut through the toughest timber like a hot knife slices through butter.
But even at their sharpest, they are bound to deteriorate at some point. If not maintained regularly or not sharpened periodically, they can lose their pristine edge.
This will lead to a tool that is not only blunt but highly ineffective.
But worry not, there is a way to maintain sharpness, and it doesn’t require much expertise.
I’m referring to grinders, which are specialized tools for sharpening. This article will cover how to sharpen a chainsaw with a grinder, thereby restoring that saw to its former glory!
Getting Down to Business 101
In this section, we will cover the ways and steps you should take when sharpening a chainsaw with a grinder. So pay attention, because this is the part that will cover the good stuff.
Step 1: Pick a Grinder
The first step is to obviously pick the tool that will do the sharpening. A chainsaw grinder of high quality should be your first priority.
Do not go for ones that proclaim they are the best, rather do some research beforehand and also know a bit about the chainsaw you are dealing with.
Once you have done all that, picking out the right grinder is only a matter of stopping at a hardware store.
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Step 2: Pick a Suitable Spot
This step is often not done well enough, and not many people emphasize the importance of picking a good spot.
The spot should be a place where you are comfortable working, like a workshop or garage. Set the chainsaw on a desk and clamp it down as needed.
Step 3: Get the Grinder Ready
A grinder can be a delicate tool to work with and could easily malfunction while you are working with it.
Chainsaw sharpening tricks only work if the grinder is working. Test the grinder on a piece of wood and see if everything is up to speed.
Step 4: Identify the Starting Point
You certainly do not want to sharpen the same tooth or region over and over again. This is just a waste of time and effort.
To prevent this, you must pick out a starting point and then proceed in a serial manner.
Make sure to mark the point you pick out and as you subsequently move across regions, be sure to add some sort of mark to keep yourself updated.
This will help you avoid making mistakes.
Step 5: Angles Are Important
The tooth and grinder angle should match; otherwise, the end result will be a coarsely sharpened blade or saw.
There is a range of chainsaw sharpening angles, and they all depend on what the chainsaw is used for. As a rule of thumb, if you are working with wood, then an angle of 25 or 35 degrees will provide the best sharpening effect.
For grain, an ideal angle is around 10 degrees.
Step 6: Some Depth Fixing
When sharpening the chainsaw, you will notice a slight variation in-depth as you use the grinder along with the saw. If the depth is messed up, it may result in a non-uniform level of sharpness on the chainsaw.
Hence, it is important that you monitor the depth at all times.
Step 7: Last Minute Polishing
Once you are done with sharpening, you will notice some sharp edges, splinters, and spikes. These are pieces of metal that must be removed in order to ensure uniform sharpness.
This is where polishing comes in, and it is one of the most valuable professional chainsaw sharpening hacks. There are wheels that are made for polishing, and you will need one of those.
These wheels are coated with an abrasive substance that removes splinters of metal from the saw.
Place the part of the chainsaw you want polished in contact with the wheel, and monitor how much material you want to be removed.
Once you think it’s polished enough, you are good to go. This polishing process is an important part of keeping things smooth and running. It takes little effort to get it done, but you get a brilliant end result.
Some Useful and Handy Tips
From knowing how to sharpen a chainsaw with an angle grinder to the secrets of polishing, we have covered the most important aspects.
However, we would still like to share some last-minute tips to ensure that your sharpening experience goes like planned and does not result in some unwanted mishap.
Read this section to keep yourself aware of the dangers and challenges and how to circumvent them.
Wear Eye Protection
This cannot be stated enough times, and sadly, it is one of the most ignored safety measures. People often forget that a grinder can be a powerful tool, and when combined with a chainsaw… well, you can make it out for yourself.
When using the grinder, you will notice bits and pieces flying off the table, and these will often go in all directions.
While these pieces may look small, they are part of the chainsaw and can be very sharp. This means that even a slow impact on your eyes could result in some serious pain.
Of course, they will not be flying at you slowly; they will hurl towards you with a lot of speed and acceleration.
If a piece catches you off guard, the damage to your eyes could be irreversible. Hence, to avoid such occurrences, always wear a pair of goggles when working with grinders.
Keep a Track of Grinder Speed
The grinder rotates with some velocity, and if not controlled, it could end up doing damage to the chainsaw.
At the same time, if the grinder rotates too slowly, it could risk being overheated, and this could damage it completely.
Hence, you should start off slowly and then build up the pace as your work along. Be sure to adjust the speed according to your needs and do not think that more speed will result in finishing the job faster.
Avoid Excess Pressure
A rookie mistake is to exert too much pressure on the chainsaw, thinking that will result in better grinding. This could not possibly be more wrong.
Exerting too much pressure will not provide any advantage, and it could even damage the grinder.
A smart thing would be to apply pressure softly and then build up slowly. Of course, there is a pressure threshold that you should stay below, and this depends on the chainsaw.
This will eventually work out with experience, and it is something you will learn along the way.
Avoid Sharpening Too Often or Too Little
Both of these mistakes are pretty common, especially among new and amateur users. Sharpening too many times will result in a weaker chain, and not sharpening when needed will make the chain dull.
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Both of these two actions should be avoided, and the best thing to do is to sharpen periodically.
However, there is also the matter of how frequently you use the chainsaw and what you use it for.
If you work on a farm, then you must use it often, and hence it will have to be sharpened every fortnight or so.
If you use it to clear the tree branches once in a while, then there is no point in sharpening it too frequently. In that case, sharpening it once a month or once before use would be more than enough.
Maintain the Chainsaw
The best way to sharpen a chainsaw is to maintain it in the first place. A well-maintained chainsaw will give you better performance, last longer, and will not need to be replaced too soon.
Maintenance comes in the form of lubrication and ensuring that the chainsaw does not become wet. This could lead to rusting and thereby destroy the chainsaw.
As we conclude this article on how to sharpen a chainsaw with a grinder,we leave you with some important tips, tricks, and of course, all the steps needed to ensure your chainsaw gets a good sharpening session.
The rest is now on you, and we believe that by utilizing our suggestions, sharpening a chainsaw will not be a burden ever again.
Who knows, you might even start enjoying it! So, till next time, and till then, do take care.