How to Maintain Chain Saw Blades

Chainsaws: great as horror movie props, not so great for learning how to juggle. Like most bladed tools, chainsaws are actually safer when they're sharp. A sharp chain saw blade will cut easier, making it less likely you'll have to struggle. Regular chain saw blade maintenance will also extend the life of your chainsaw.

Of Bars and Tension
The bar that supports the chain the chain saw blade is under the most pressure on the cutting side. Eventually, the bar will wear out on this side. Rotating the chain saw arm will extend the life of the bar and the chain saw blade.

Check the tension of the chain saw blade frequency. Correct tension is important for safety and the life span of your chain saw blade.

Check Your Oil?
Properly lubricating your chain saw blade is an important aspect of regular maintenance. Two things to look for to make sure the chain saw blade is getting the proper amount of oil:

  • Make sure the oil reserve is almost empty when the chain saw runs out of gas.
  • Run the chain saw at full throttle over some newspaper. If you see a fine spray of oil on the paper, your oil ports are clean.


If either of these tests fails, the oil ports are most likely clogged and need to be cleaned.

Pay Attention!
When cutting through a tree or limb, make sure the blade doesn't touch the ground. This will cause debris to fly everywhere and will dull the blade very quickly. Attention to proper cutting technique will help avoid blade damage.

Also, watch the wood chips created by cutting. If the chips come out fine or looking like sawdust, then the blade is dull and should be sharpened.

Look Sharp
Chain saw blades can be sharpened after about an hour of use. After 10 to 12 hours of use, consider having your chain saw blade professionally sharpened.

When sharpening a blade, use a round file and a guide. Make sure that the size of the file matches the size of the blade teeth.

A chain-sharpening guide will help to maintain the proper angle when sharpening the blade.

Wear heavy gloves and protective eyewear when sharpening the blade.

Sharpen blades in a consistent manner, about three to five file runs per tooth. Inconsistent filing will reduce the performance of the blade.

Mark your starting point. Sharpen all blades facing right, then rotate the chainsaw and sharpen all blades facing left.

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