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Using an electric chainsaw sharpener, quickly and easily sharpen your own cutting chain

Updated on February 16, 2015

Easy to use chainsaw sharpener

Oregon chainsaw sharpener is easy to use...
Oregon chainsaw sharpener is easy to use...

You can sharpen a dull chainsaw!

Suffice it to say, there is nothing more frustrating than a chainsaw that will not cut because of a dull chain. Ok, a saw that will not start has to top the list of gas and electric powered chainsaw problems we just as soon not have to deal with.

There are many good reasons a chainsaw chain gets dull. For instance, while cleaning-up falling trees and the damage left behind by a winter snowstorm, or spring thunderstorm. Where unbeknownst to you hitting a hidden foreign object in the wood you are cutting dulls the saw chain, and the saw suddenly stops cutting properly.

The good news:

  • Using an electric chainsaw sharpener, with a little practice, you will soon easily sharpen dull chain saw chains.
  • Saving yourself the cost of paying someone else sharpen dull chains,
  • No more down time waiting on someone else make time to sharpen your dull saw chains.

In this article, we discuss solutions to these, and other important how to sharpen a dull chainsaw questions.

Why Chainsaw will not cut properly

Ok, I feel your pain, the saw works great on the small limbs and branches; however, it will not cut through the larger branches, or the trunk of the wind-damaged tree.

Every time you start using your chain saw to cut a large branch, the saw starts out cutting straight, but after a few inches it starts to cut to the right or left causing the bar and chain to get bound-up.

What it takes a Chainsaw to cut wood

Chain saws use a combination of the bar, and the saw chain working together to cut a tree, its limbs and branches.

  • When any of the cutters on a saw chain gets dull, you can expect cutting problems to arise.
  • A saw chain has alternating cutters, which is to say. There are cutters on the right side of a saw chain that removes material from the right side of the cut, which establishes the right side of the kerth.
  • Subsequently, there are cutters on the left side of a saw chain, responsible for the removal of material on the left side of the kerth.
  • What is the kerth you ask; simply put, the gap left by the material cut away by the saw chain and its cutters is the kerth.

Chainsaw cutter has two cutting surfaces

  • Cutters on a saw chain have two different cutting surfaces on the same cutter.
  • The top portion of the cutter works much the same way a wood chisel works, with the side of the cutter limiting how wide a chip of wood is.
  • When everything is as it should be, your chain saw works, as it should. However, when on one side of the saw chain hits a foreign object, damage occurs resulting in a dull set of cutting surfaces.
  • This results in one side of the chain cutting well, taking bigger bites out of the wood as compared to the damaged cutters, making the saw cut badly.

You too can save money and sharpen chainsaw chains

The easy solution, replace the saw chain with a new chain. This option is a good one if you have lots of money to spend.

For most of us however, there is a better option, use an electric chain saw sharpener, save your money, and sharpen the saw chain.

Best of luck with all your lawn maintenance tasks, Mike

Electric chainsaw chain sharpener

Electric Chainsaw Sharpener, Save Your Money


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    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      ashleyoutdoor, thanks for the comment, electric chain saw sharpeners are a must for anyone that cuts their own firewood, or cleans-up after a wind storm. Keep your saw sharp, be safe and make it a great day. Mike.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Electic chan saw sharpener came in very handy. Once again you are a wealth of knowledge.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      katiem2, thanks for stoping by, chain saw sharpeners make a great gift, and are a good addition to any handyman's tool collection.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Great gift idea for the tool man who seems to have most everything. I know of a few men on my list that could use a good Saw Sharpener! Thanks for the heads up!

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Sandyspider, great to hear your husband has a chain saw sharpener. Am I to understand he is a collector of fine power tools like, chain saws as well? Thanks for the comment, make it a great day.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great hub. My husband has one of these.


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