25 or 30? What is the Best Angle to Sharpen a Chainsaw?

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Chainsaws are generally considered to be pretty robust.

However, with consistent use, every chainsaw will become blunted somewhat. This can lead to your chainsaw using a significant amount of extra fuel, along with unnecessary wear and tear to your chainsaw.

If you’ve never been shown, knowing how to sharpen a chainsaw isn’t all that obvious.

The trick to a good sharp chain is to make sure you sharpen it at the right angle.

But what is the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw?

What is the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw? - Sharpening your chainsaw chain shouldn't be a hassle!
Demonstrating chainsaw sharpening with a small file

This article will explain the things you need to consider to sharpen your chainsaw most effectively, depending on the model you own.

So, What is the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw?

While the exact angle might vary depending on the chainsaw you use, it is generally between 25 to 30 degrees for the top plate filing angle.

Each type of chain can be slightly different in its recommended sharpening angle. So for this reason, I have included a chart for some of the major chainsaw manufacturers below. However, you should find details of what is the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw in the manual that came with your chainsaw, or as a set of instructions included when you purchased the chain.

There are 4 key angles you need to think about when sharpening your chain, they are:

  • Top plate filing angle
  • Side plate cutting angle
  • File down angle
  • Depth gauge setting

If this seems a little overwhelming, I would highly recommend grabbing one of these kits to achieve the right angle just by following the etched guidelines in the tool:

If you’d like to see a Stihl chainsaw sharpening angle chart just click this link.

Husqvarna chainsaw chain sharpening angles

CHAINFILE DIAMETERDEPTH GAUGE SETTINGFILE DOWN ANGLETOP PLATE FILING ANGLESIDE PLATE CUTTING ANGLE
X-CUT C83/C85/S83G7/32″ 5,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°60°
X-CUT SP33G3/16″ 4,8 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°60°
X-CUT S93G5/32″ 4,0 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°60°
X-CUT SP21G5/32″ 4,0 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°60°
H005/32″ 4,0 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°30°85°
H21, H23, H263/16″ 4,8 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°25°60°
H22, H25, H283/16″ 4,8 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°30°80°
H303/16″ 4,8 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°30°80°
H35, H375/32″ 4,0 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°80°
H384,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm30°75°
H46, H42, H45, H47, H48, H50, H47S, H48S7/32″ 5,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°25°55°
H49, H51, H54, H587/32″ 5,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm35°85°
H56, H57, H56S, H57S7/32″ 5,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°25°60°
H64, H64S7/32″ 5,5 mm0,030″ 0,75 mm10°35°85°
H80, H817/32″ 5,5 mm0,025″ 0,65 mm10°25°60°
H82, H83FLAT0,025″ 0,65 mm15°90°
(https://www.husqvarna.com/au/learn-and-discover/file-and-filing-device-recommendations/, 2022)
What is the Best Angle to Sharpen a Chainsaw?
What is the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw? This old farmer knows!

Oregon Chainsaw Sharpening Angle Chart

FILE DIAMETERDEPTH GAUGE SETTINGFILE DOWN ANGLETOP PLATE FILING ANGLESIDE PLATE CUTTING ANGLE
1/4″25AP5/32″.025″10º30º85º
.325″ Low Profile80TXL5/32″.025″10º25º70º
3/8″ Low Profile90PX, 90SG4.5mm.025″30º75º
91P, 91PX, 91PXL5/32″.025″30º80º
91VXL, M91VXL5/32″.025″30º80º
.325″95VPX3/16″.025″10º30º70º
20, 21, 22BPX, M20, M21, M22BPX3/16″.025″10º30º70º
95TXL3/16″.025″10º30º70º
20, 21, 22LPX, LGX, M20, M21, M22LPX3/16″.025″10º25º60º
3/8″72, 73, 75V7/32″.025″10º25º60º
72, 75CJ, CK, CL*.025″45º45º90º
72APX, 72, 73, 75DPX, M72, M73, M75DPX7/32″.025″10º30º80º
72, 73, 75EXL, EXJ, LGX, JGX, LPX, JPX7/32″.025″10º25º60º
M72, M73, M75LPX7/32″.025″10º25º60º
72, 72, 75RD7/32″.025″10º10º75º
.404″27X, 27AX7/32″.030″10º30º65º
27R, RX, RA7/32″.030″10º10º75º
58CJ, CL, 59CJ, C, CL.025″45º45º85º
58, 59J, L7/32″.025″10º25º60º
68LX, JX7/32″.030″10º25º60º
68CJ, CL*.030″45º45º

Now that you are aware of the angle you need to stick to, it is time to understand when you should sharpen the chainsaw?

When should you sharpen a chainsaw?

There are numerous indications that your chainsaw has become blunt. We will highlight these indications below to know when you need to sharpen the chainsaw.

Excessive dust residue:

You have to observe the pieces of wood which you are cutting. In case there is excessive dust residue coming along with the wood you are cutting, it is a clear-cut indication that the chainsaw teeth are losing their sharpness. The more you procrastinate on sharpening the teeth, the more dust will accompany your cutting wood.

Higher engine pressure:

After noticing the dust, you do not sharpen the chainsaw teeth; the pressure on the engine will increase. If your chainsaw has an indicator for the same, you will notice that easily. If it has different levels of force, you will need to switch to a higher level to cut the tree barks, which you use to cut earlier at the lower level.

If you cannot verify the same through both these features, you have to just hear the engine’s sound. The engine’s sound will be changed when it is under excessive pressure. That will let you know that the chainsaw teeth are losing their sharpness.

Bounces:

When the chainsaw teeth can’t cut through wood, the chainsaw is likely to bounce back.

This is, however, a pretty dangerous situation. If you can’t control the chainsaw in that phase, you might get injured as well. To avoid this, you have to sharpen the teeth of the chainsaw right away when you notice any of the above two problems.

Irregular cuts:

The chainsaw, which doesn’t have sharp teeth, will not be able to provide you with a precise cut. When you observe the pieces of wood which you are cutting, you will know right away when they are cut.

Any of these signs indicate that the chainsaw might be losing sharpness.

Now it is time to look at the benefits of a sharpened chainsaw so that you will know right away why you need to sharpen at the moment you witness any of these signs.

When should you replace the chainsaw chain?

You will know that it is time to replace your chainsaw chain when the longest portion of the cutting tooth is less than 4 millimeters or if you find cracks or chips in the teeth.

Accessories to Help Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain:

Benefits of a sharpened chainsaw:

The benefits of a sharpened chainsaw include:

  1. Proper balance:

When the chainsaw has sharp teeth, it will not bounce back. In that case, the balance will be much better as well. You will be able to inflict precise cuts as well.

  1. Low cutting time:

The amount of time you will require to cut through the branches or barks will be pretty low. This will ensure that you can cut more food at the same time.

  1. Irregular cuts:

One of the main problems with the blunt chainsaw is that you won’t get regular cars. On the flip side, when the chainsaw is sharpened, you won’t have to worry about irregular cuts.

  1. Reduced engine noise:

While chainsaws make a significant amount of noise, it increases, even more, when the chainsaw is blunt. Once you sharpen it, the engine noise will decrease. That is why it will become easier to use the chainsaw for a long time with the help of earmuffs.

These benefits make sharpening the chainsaw a necessity rather than a luxury.

In Summary

So, the best angle to sharpen a chainsaw is usually between 25 to 30 degrees. Now that you are aware of the same, you have to look out for the signs of a blunt chainsaw and opt for resharpening it whenever you notice any of those signs.

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