How to Sharpen Chainsaw with a Dremel

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Are you a chainsaw user, and you are looking to sharpen your chainsaw using a Dremel, but don’t know how? If yes, then this is definitely the right place for you to be.

Sharpening chainsaw with Dremel is actually pretty easy as long as you know the right steps. The way to sharpen a chainsaw using a Dremel involves attaching the Dremel sharpening guide to the Dremel, marking the tooth on the saw chain where you wish to start, putting on gloves to protect your hands, using the Demel Sharpening guide to keep the Dremel level and at the proper angle for the tooth, and turn on the Dremel to sharpen that tooth.

After that, you must ensure that you’re sharpening each tooth on the chainsaw chain the same number of times to keep the teeth evenly sharpened. Every other tooth on the chainsaw will be in the same direction. The ones in between will be in the other direction on the sharpening guide. You must sharpen each tooth on the blade until you’re back to the tooth from which you started.

In this article, you will get to know all about sharpening your chainsaw with a Dremel, how to sharpen chainsaw with Dremel, how to know if the chainsaw chain needs to be sharpened, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Use a Dremel Sharpening Kit to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

It shouldn’t come as a secret that a chainsaw is an extremely powerful tool. It can be used for cutting through timber and other materials very easily. However, for your chainsaw to function properly, you need to keep the chainsaw blade sharp. Using a Dremel will be a great way to sharpen the chainsaw chain, and it isn’t as difficult as you may think.

Yes, you can sharpen your chainsaw easily using Dremel tools. In fact, using a Dremel for sharpening the chainsaw is an easy and quick way of sharpening the chainsaw chain. A Dremel Sharpening Kit will come with a guide that’ll help keep the Dremel level and at the correct angle when sharpening.

How to Know If Your Chainsaw Chain is Dull and Needs Sharpening

It is often said that to be on the safer side, you must sharpen your chainsaw chain each time you fill the tank with gas. A sharp chainsaw will be able to cut through wood faster, safer, and cleaner. Having a dull chainsaw blade means that it’ll be harder to use and be more likely to result in kickback. 

So, how does one know if their chainsaw chain is dull? If your chainsaw is resulting in dust instead of wood chips during cutting, this means it is dull. If you’re having to physically push your chainsaw against the wood to make cuts, this means it is dull. Your chainsaw should be able to cut through wood without much pressure easily.

Is It Worth Sharpening the Chainsaw Chain?

Sharpening a chainsaw chain will definitely save you a lot of money. This is a fairly quick and easy job.

Chainsaws can be quite expensive, especially if you have to replace them regularly. Removing and replacing a chainsaw chain is more work than merely sharpening a chainsaw using a Dremel Sharpening Kit. You must sharpen the chainsaw for safety reasons as well. Having a dull chainsaw will have a higher chance of kickbacks and injuries.

This is why it’ll be a smart idea to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a Dremel.  It will only take 5–10 minutes to sharpen the chainsaw, which will not only save you money but also make the chainsaw safer to use.

Generally, you can easily sharpen your chainsaw chain ten times before purchasing a new chain. If the chain cost $35, sharpening it could save you as much as $350.

How to Sharpen Chainsaw with Dremel

Sharpening the chainsaw blade can be best accomplished when you’re using a special jig that can be attached to the Dremel tool head. The marks on the jig will help align the sharpening stone with the chainsaw chain’s teeth. Using a jig will make sure that you get proper angles of cut and depth on the chain blade.

The cost of outfitting a Dremel tool with a chainsaw jig and stone will be almost half the chain blade’s cost. A quick touch-up of the chain blade with every gas fill-up is essential. A sharp blade will be much safer and more efficient. Here are the steps that you’ll need to follow if you want to keep your chainsaw cutting safely and efficiently – 

Step 1: Select the workspace

First, you’ll need to find a place to work on your saw at waist height. Remember to cover the work surface with a newspaper or tarp. Chainsaws are quite notorious for dripping oil and things can get messy. You have to find a place that has good light, adequate ventilation, and is big enough that it allows you to lay out the tools and the chainsaw blade.

Step 2: Gather the needed tools and equipment

Before you start, you’ll have to arrange a Dremel tool and the Dremel chainsaw sharpening jig. The jig will be available at most hardware and home improvement stores. You’ll require appropriately sized wrenches for adjusting the chainsaw blade tension. Depending on your chainsaw manufacturer, the tools might include –

  • Open-end or box wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen wrenches
  • Special tools that are supplied with the chainsaw 

You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the chainsaw so that you can prevent any damage to the chainsaw chain or the chainsaw itself. You should be cautious with the blade. Even though this might seem dull, the chain’s individual teeth will still be sharp enough to deliver a painful cut.

Step 3: Be safe and protect yourself

Safety should always be your first concern when you’re taking on any project.  You should always wear eye protection when you’re using any cutting equipment. The sharpening stone on your Dremel will spin at a remarkably high speed. When you’re sharpening the chainsaw blade, the stone will produce small pieces of metal, which could end up damaging your eyes easily.

Further, wearing gloves will also be a good idea for protecting your hands from the sharp teeth of the chainsaw chain. Leather will be the best option, but wearing any high-quality work glove would do the trick.

Step 4: Assemble the Dremel

Follow the instructions that came along with the Dremel tool chainsaw sharpening jig. As you’re putting the jig on your Dremel, you must note the markings on the metal tab of the jig. These markings will show the proper angle for grinding the teeth of your chain’s blade.

Step 5: Choose the best sharpening stone

The chain blades come in different pitches and depth gauges. Pitch is used for referring to the distance between the drive links on the underside of the chain blade. The pitch of the blade will determine the correct diameter of the sharpening stone.

You should select the proper stone diameter before you start sharpening the chainsaw. Remember to put the correct size sharpening stone in the Dremel and then tighten the chuck. Further, you must follow the instructions mentioned with the Dremel tool.

Step 6: Prepare your chainsaw blade for sharpening

Using the Dremel chainsaw blade jig will be quite easy when the chainsaw blade is on the chainsaw bar. The bar will give you a solid surface on which you can work and keep the chain upright. The clag on the bar will be an easy way of securing your chain for quick sharpening.

Set the chainsaw on the workspace where it’ll sit upright and slip as you’re working. Re-tension the blade depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. A properly tensioned chainsaw will not move as you’re sharpening the saw and result in great results.

However, some people prefer to remove the bar from the chainsaw. To sharpen the chain blade on your chainsaw, you will have to remove the bar from the chainsaw. Here are the tips that you’ll need to follow –

  • Pull the chain bar off the chainsaw. There will be a lever or button on the side that you’ll need to press to release it.
  • If the chainsaw bar is stuck, you can use a mallet or hammer to tap it loose. You should be careful that you don’t hit the chain, as it can damage your saw.

Step 7: Have a proper orientation

To start, you’ll need to place your chainsaw on the work surface with the motor to the right. The chainsaw bar’s side should be facing you. The teeth on the outside of the chain will be the only ones that you’ll be sharpening in the position. The cutting teeth on the blade should alternate from side to side along the chain. You should sharpen every other tooth from that position.

Step 8: Use the correct angle guide

Position your Dremel at the correct angle with respect to the chainsaw bar. The Dremel jig comes with two markings, each will be labeled at 30 degrees. Use the 30-degree mark that’s parallel to your chainsaw bar. Keeping the mark parallel to the chainsaw bar will ensure that the grinding stone runs correctly on the cutting tooth.

Step 9: Sharpen the tooth

With your Dremel sharpening stone spinning at the right speed, you need to give your tooth a couple of light passes. It won’t be necessary that you use a lot of force or pressure. You could end up damaging your chainsaw blade if you’re trying to grind away too much metal. Using a Dremel tool for sharpening the chainsaw blade will work best with the tool in the middle of the bar.

Step 10: Work methodically for sharpening the blade

You must work your way around the chainsaw blade methodically. Pull the chainsaw blade carefully and then position each tooth in the center of the bar for sharpening it. It’ll help if you’re using a marker to identify the tooth where you started, to prevent over-grinding.

Step 11: Repeat on the other side

Now, you must turn the chainsaw and put the motor on the other side, repeating steps 7-10 to sharpen the teeth on the other side of the chainsaw. As you’re sharpening the chain teeth, you should take a moment for inspecting the rest of the chainsaw blade for any damage or excessive wear.

person using a dremel sharpener to sharpen the chainsaw chain

Step 12: Clean any debris from the chain groove

One of the most important steps when sharpening the chainsaw will be to ensure that the chain groove is clean and free of any debris. Any dirt or grime could interfere with the sharpening process and could cause the chainsaw chain to become dull again quickly.

To clean the chain groove, you should remove the bar from the chainsaw. Once it is off, you should use a wire brush for cleaning out the dirt and debris. Make sure that you’re paying special attention to the area around the tooth on the chainsaw chain.

Step 13: Apply lubricant to the chain groove

Applying a lubricant to the chain groove will be an important step when you’re trying to keep your chainsaw sharp. It will help keep the chain running smoothly, while also preventing it from becoming dull quickly. There are different types of lubricants that you can use, but WD-40 will be a popular choice as it is affordable and easy to find. 

To apply WD-40 to the chain groove, you should first remove the bar from the chainsaw. After that, use a wire brush for cleaning out all the dirt and debris from the groove. Once it is clean, you should apply a thin coating of WD-40 to the inside of the groove. Make sure that you are avoiding getting any of the teeth of the chain, as this can interfere with its performance.

Step 14: Mount the chainsaw bar back onto the chainsaw

Once you have finished sharpening the chainsaw, it’ll be time to put the chainsaw bar back onto the chainsaw. Here are the tips on how you can do that – 

  • Make sure that the chainsaw is unplugged and cool to the touch
  • Align the chainsaw bar such that all the teeth are facing in the same direction as they were before removing them
  • Push the chainsaw bar firmly onto the chainsaw until it snaps back into place 

Step 15: Securely tighten the screws and bolts

Once the chainsaw bar is securely in place, you will have to tighten all the screws and bolts. Make sure that you’re using a torque wrench to make sure that they are tightened evenly.

Step 16: Check for proper tension

To check the tension of chainsaw the chainsaw chain, you will have to remove the bar from the saw. Once it is off, you should use the torque wrench for ensuring that all the screws and bolts are evenly tightened. Make sure that you refer to the chainsaw owner’s manual to get the correct specifications.

Step 17: Start your chainsaw and test its sharpness

Once you have finished sharpening your chainsaw and put the bar back on the chainsaw, it’ll be time to start it and test it. Here are the tips that you will need to follow –

  • Align the bar such that the teeth are all facing the same direction as they were before you started removing them 
  • Push the bar onto the chainsaw until it snaps back into place 
  • Tighten the screws and bolts securely 
  • Check for proper tension on your chainsaw 
  • Start your chainsaw and test it
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain - Using Dremel Sharpening Kit - Chain Saw Blade Sharpening


Can I use a Dremel for sharpening the chain?

Using a Dremel to sharpen the chainsaw will be an incredibly easy way of sharpening the chainsaw. The Dremel Sharpening Kit comes with a guide to help you keep the Dremel level and at a proper angle when sharpening.

Why does my chainsaw blade get dull quickly?

With a single contact with the ground when running, a chainsaw could become dull quickly. This happens because the ground contains sand and dust, which is abrasive and contains many tiny rocks. To avoid this from happening, you need to avoid cutting wood placed on the ground.

Will be it worth it to sharpen a chainsaw blade?

If the chainsaw chain becomes dull after a long lifespan, it’ll struggle to cut through the wood with the same efficiency that it once had. This is why, if possible, you should look to keep the chain sharp, as this will be a better course of an option than buying a replacement altogether.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.