How To Sharpen Chainsaw With Grinder

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Are you a chainsaw user looking to sharpen your chainsaw with a grinder, but don’t know how to? If yes, then this is just the right place for you to be.

Sharpening chainsaw with grinder is quite easy once you know the right steps. The appropriate method to sharpen a chainsaw with a grinder involves getting to know your chainsaw, taking the safety measures, dressing the grinder wheel, cleaning the chain tooth, inspecting the chain, placing it on the sliding track, setting the angle, adjusting for depth, locking the chain, and grinding the chain. Sharpening a chainsaw with a grinder could be overwhelming if you don’t know the right angles. An electric grinder can make the entire sharpening process much more efficient and easier. 

In this article, you will get to learn all about sharpening the chainsaw, how to sharpen chainsaw with grinder, the benefits of sharpening with a grinder, the risk factor when sharpening with a grinder, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Sharpening the Chainsaw with a Grinder

A chainsaw is generally owned by homeowners and professionals who need to be involved in woodworking projects. These folks know how frustrating it can be to work with dull chainsaws. To sharpen the chainsaw, you need to use a file or a chainsaw grinder. Sharpening the chainsaw with a grinder can be quite overwhelming for some users if they don’t know the right angles and the right way of using these sharpening tools.

Electric grinders have made the entire sharpening process a whole lot easier and much more efficient. You should look to go through different chainsaw grinders and pick out the best one that suits you the best. 

How To Sharpen Chainsaw with Grinder

Here are the steps involved with sharpening a chainsaw using a grinder. Without further ado, let’s begin with the instructions – 

1. Get to know your equipment properly

First, you will need to learn about the different components of a chainsaw and grinder properly. Focus on the specifications like size, angles, type of chains, and the basic way of operating the machines. Read the owner’s manual carefully and understand the instructions before you start sharpening the chainsaw.

2. Take proper safety measures

Even though a chainsaw can be a lifesaver when it comes to cutting wood, it can also be pretty dangerous if not used properly. Safety should come first when you’re using a grinder to sharpen your chainsaw. Wear necessary protective equipment during assembly and operation. Further, you must cover your face with a helmet and safety glasses, as sparks may fly while grinding. Further, it is advised that you should also wear gloves, a jacket, and chaps for protecting your clothes.

3. Dress your grinder wheel

Over time, wheels can become abrasive if used regularly. The metal wheel requires regular dressing. It is standard practice to use a hard stone against the running wheel for sharpening the grinding wheel. So, you should dress the wheel each time before you start the grinder for better performance.

4. Clean the chain tooth

Now, you need to detach the chain from the firewood chainsaw and then prepare it for grinding. It often includes cleaning dirt and any other type of grease residing inside the chain. All sorts of equipment and cleaning chemicals are available in the market, but it is recommended you should look for an all-purpose cleaner and degreaser. Moreover, try to dry the chains completely before you start sharpening them.

5. Inspect the chain

Next, you should have a thorough look at the top-rated chain for identifying any damage to the chain. There might be loose rivets, broken cutters, or cracked drive links. Now, you need to get them out and replace the components that are needed. After that, mark the damaged ones, as you will start with this one.

6. Place the chain on the sliding track

Now, the chain must be placed on the sliding track under the wheel of the grinder. Remember, the sliding track will be helpful in moving the chain smoothly while you are grinding.

7. Set the angle

Chainsaws come with different size blades and each blade requires a different angle as outlined in the owner’s manual. There are three angles that need to be set in the grinder for sharpening the chainsaw – top angle, tilt angle, and side angle.

The top angle is essential for setting the grinder head to adjust the wheel. After that, there will be the side plate cutting angle that should be specified as per the chain you are using. Moreover, you need to adjust the tooth tilt angle, which is also the vertical angle on the chain. Make sure that the grinding wheel is matched with the teeth and cutter of the chainsaw chain.

8. Adjust for depth

Like angles, you will have to fit the depth too. It will depend on how deep you’re looking to grind the chain. Most grinders come with two depth options only. You’ll be able to adjust the depth by gradually twisting the threaded adjuster.

9. Lock the chain

The chain should be locked on the track after you adjust the angle and depth. Locking the chain on the track will help in holding the chain tightly in a comfortable position.

10. Mark the starting point

You should label the tooth from the starting position with permanent ink. This will help you in distinguishing the sharpened teeth. Further, it will also prevent you from sharpening the same tooth multiple times.

The mark will likely get erased as you continue to use the chainsaw. Moreover, a chainsaw can be built with a starting point indicator, but it will eventually fade with time. You must check the edges of your chainsaw, and you may find some spaces or marks with different colors.

11. Grind the chain

Now, you need to start the grinder for sharpening the chainsaw. You should pull the chain continuously for grinding all the teeth of the chain that is placed on the track. Begin with the most damaged tooth and then move your way forward.

How to use a Pro Chainsaw Sharpener Grinder

12. Polish the chain

You can use cushion wheels layered with abrasives for getting rid of any unwanted metal splits and smoothen the cutters. This is what is known as polishing.

It can also be used for removing a damaged tooth that cannot actually be repaired. On the other hand, you can also use a wire wheel mounted on the grinder for removing paint, rust, or dirt from the chainsaw.

Place the chainsaw on the wire wheel while holding it firm as the wheel is rotating under all the unwanted traces get cleared. You shouldn’t apply extra pressure against the surface of the wire wheel so that you can avoid the dispersion of steel wires. Knowing when and how to sharpen the chain will be a great way to save your time and money.

What Angle Should You Grind Your Chainsaw Chain?

A common question that you might have is what angle should you grind at. As a general rule, most standard chains come sharpened at around 25 or 35 degrees if you’re crosscutting wood. If you are ripping with the gain, it will be best to use 10 degrees. If you are cutting with a grain, you must use a 10-degree angle.

Grinding of chainsaw chains generally involves shaping the cutters to enable them to chop effectively. Therefore, you will need to regularly adjust the depth gauge levels. 

These curvy extensions of metal come grounded beside every tooth. Essentially, it will control the chops realized on wood when you are sawing. After a few sharpenings, the level of the cutter decreases considerably. You will have to adjust depth gauges for balancing the level. Without this tactical sharpening, chains might not work as expected.

Benefits of Sharpening the Chain with a Grinder

Grinders are ergonomically designed for covering small spaces, and they can easily be moved from one place to the other. A grinder is a wonderful tool to have as it’ll be easy to use as a sharpening tool. You should not be worried about parts as it comes as a complete machine. There are different sizes of grinders that suit any of the chainsaws. Therefore, you could search for a compatible grinder based on the type of chainsaw you are using.

For best results, you will want to sharpen the chainsaw chain on a low-speed grinder at 1,750 RPM. It will be easier to sharpen evenly at low speeds. 

sharpening chainsaw chain using a grinder

Grinders are comparatively less expensive, but they perform a wonderful job when it comes to the sharpening of the chainsaw chains. The prices will differ depending on the type and quality of the grinder.

To sharpen the chainsaw, you will require a strong grinder that will perform an amazing job with minimal failure. You should go for a grinder that is consistent and powerful enough that it can survive when sharpening metals.

The Risk Factor Involved with Sharpening with a Grinder

Make sure that you are protecting yourself before you start sharpening your chainsaw chain with a grinder. The most common protective equipment for grinding will be helmets, goggles, masks, gloves, ear protection, and leather jacket.

You need to make sure that the sparks produced during sharpening don’t end up impairing your eyes. It’ll also be important to note that sparks could also ignite and result in a fire at your workplace.

As a result, you need to be careful so that you can prevent fire breakouts. Generally, a moment of divided attention could greatly harm you as an operator.

When you are operating a handheld grinder, you should avoid putting it down when the disk is still rotating. Make sure that the grinder is completely off before you place it on any surface. 

Significantly, you shouldn’t use mounting flanges when the surfaces that cling to the grinding wheel are corroded, warped, or full of dirt.

Power grinders can be quite hazardous if safety measures are not adhered to. The grinders could disperse wreckage when sharpening materials, so it’ll be important to protect your eyes. 

Further, do not forget to wear your gloves, as the metal debris could injure your body. You might also find it relevant to wear a dust mask and eye protection.

How to Optimize the Performance of Your Chainsaw

The speed at which the disc is rotating will be an important factor to optimize the performance of your chainsaw. You’ll be able to adjust the speed of the grinder easily such that it suits the sharpening requirement. In most cases, it is recommended that you should start with the minimum speed. You will be able to adjust the speed once you’re certain that the grinder is sharpening properly.

Moreover, you should make sure that the wheel is moving to avoid any overheating. Stay attentive so that you can identify any issues during sharpening. If the grinder is malfunctioning, you should reduce the speed to avoid further damage to the chainsaw.

It can be quite tricky to control the sharpening on chainsaw teeth if when is rotating at a high speed. Reducing the speed will allow you to find out what is affecting the grinder and finish the sharpening effectively.

A faulty grinder might produce loud noises and excessive vibration that might consume much of the energy when handling it. Reducing the speed can minimize this issue. 

Your grinder will come with a side handlebar. For optimal safety and efficient operation, you should make sure that you are handling it properly. Use the handlers for setting up maximum control when sharpening.

Moreover, make sure that the wheel or disc guard is protected properly when you’re operating the chainsaw. Notably, the ground will be transparent so you’ll still have to watch how the chainsaw cutter is progressing. For your safety, you shouldn’t leave the guard uncovered.

How Many Times Should You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

Why a chainsaw gets dull is a question that almost every chainsaw user has. It seems that after a couple of uses, your chainsaw starts becoming dull. There are many reasons why your chainsaw gets dull so fast.

First, you might be using the wrong size of the file for the chain. You need to check the user manual to ensure that you are using the right-sized file.

Moreover, you might be applying way too much pressure when using the chainsaw. You shouldn’t apply more pressure than needed. This can cause the cutting edges to become too thin and end up getting dull faster than normal.

Ultimately, you will have to sharpen your chainsaw. But how many times can you actually sharpen a chainsaw chain? This is a general estimate, as the quality of your chainsaw chain will be of utmost importance. Popular brands like Stihl make high-quality chainsaws that last longer and don’t get dull as quickly.

In most cases, you will be able to sharpen a chainsaw chain around 10 times before you have to replace it with a new chain. What generally happens is that the chain gets worn down and can no longer be sharpened. 

In this case, it’ll be sharp in one part and dull on the other, which makes cutting wood a major hassle. If you’re experiencing uneven wear and tear, you should take the chain to a professional who is grinding it uniformly.

What Kind of Grinder Should You Buy for Sharpening the Chain?

If you are looking to buy an electric grinder, you should look for one that is specifically built for sharpening chainsaw chains. These devices will make your life easier as they’re automated to do the grinding for you. For instance, you should check out wonderful options like Oregon 410-120 Bench or the Wall-Mounted Saw Chain Grinder.

A grinder will make sharpening your chainsaw chain quite easy. The grinding bench will feature a dressing brick as well as three grinding wheels to sharpen chains with these dimensions – 1/4”, 3/8” low profile, 0.325”, 3/8” full profile, and 0.404”.

Before you purchase a grinder, you need to check the dimensions and thickness of the chainsaw chain. Further, you should ensure that the grinder has the right-sized grinding wheels.


How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a grinder?

A chainsaw blade is a guide bar that is surrounded by a chain that’s used for cutting wood. You need to place the chain on a siding track, put the chain at an angle, and start sharpening the blade. If you follow the right guidelines, you’ll be able to sharpen the chainsaw with a grinder with ease.

How to sharpen a chain with a bench grinder?

Bench grinders are set up on a wall or a table, and they are quite easy to use compared to hand-held grinders. You’ll be able to set them up as per your height and comfortable sitting position. It makes use of the same basic principle for operating as an ordinary grinder.

Is it possible to sharpen a chainsaw with an angle grinder?

An angle grinder can be used effectively for sharpening. Many professionals utilize an angle grinder as a chainsaw grinder. However, you may have to consider equipping it with an abrasive grinding disc and using the right angles.

Can I sharpen a chainsaw with an electric grinder?

An electric grinder is more efficient compared to a filer, but it is slightly difficult to use. Be prepared and wear protective clothing when using a grinder.

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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.