Chainsaws can be some of the most intimidating pieces of equipment which a homeowner can purchase. Most of these machines come ready to use right out of the box. However, the dread usually comes when it’s time to do any sort of maintenance on the machine.
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I’m here to tell you that it is not as difficult as you may think. The recent development of the amazing 2 in 1 Stihl chainsaw sharpener makes keeping your chainsaw sharp incredibly easy.
In a rush? Here are our top picks!
Do electric chainsaws need sharpening?
Yes, electric chainsaws are very similar to gas powered chainsaws and therefore need to be sharpened regularly. The chain has teeth on it just like a gas powered chainsaw does. However, there are some distinct differences which actually make sharpening an electric chainsaw much easier. One of those differences is the weight of the chainsaw.
Can you sharpen an electric chainsaw?
Yes, electric chainsaws can be sharpened with the same tools you would use to sharpen a gas powered chainsaw. The most important features on a chainsaw which will help in getting a clean and sharp chain are the chain brake and the tension screw. Be sure to consult your chainsaw’s manual to determine what size of sharpener you need.
Keeping your chain tight while sharpening will ensure the cutting tooth stays vertical while sharpening. If the tooth starts to wiggle or lean to the side, as you run the sharpening file through it, then the tension is set too low. You’ll also notice if the tension is set too high because you will not be able to move the chain to get to the next tooth.
The chain brake is also very essential because it prevents the chain from moving back and forth. This allows you to sharpen multiple teeth on the chainsaw before you need to disengage the brake and move the chain.
Below is a photo of the easiest setup using the Stihl 2 in 1 chainsaw sharpener and the stump vice.
How do you sharpen an electric chainsaw?
To sharpen an electric chainsaw requires you to use a sharpening file and running it at a specific angle to the tooth. You will also need to file down the depth gauge as you remove more material from the cutting tooth.
There are many tools available to make sharpening your chainsaw very easy but there is one tool which I’ve found to be far superior to all others. Check out our post on the “Best chainsaw sharpeners.”
Our favorite chainsaw sharpener is the 2 in 1 Stihl chainsaw sharpener. It is 2 in 1 because it files both the cutting tooth and the depth gauge at the same time to the correct height and depth. It also has guide rails which help you maintain the correct angle to the chainsaw.
The best benefit however is that the chain can stay right on the chainsaw. Unlike other chainsaw sharpeners which require you to remove the chain from the chainsaw, the 2 in 1 Stihl chainsaw sharpener uses the chainsaw to keep the chain steady. It is hard to appreciate this if you’ve never sharpened a chainsaw yourself but you will soon find out this is by far the easiest tool to sharpen a chainsaw with.
The major drawback is the price but the added convenience and accuracy is totally worth the money.
What size file do I need to sharpen my chainsaw?
Be sure to choose the correct sharpening size. The Stihl 2 in 1 sharpener is available in 3/8 inch and .325 inch, and they are not interchangeable. You’ll need to consult your owner’s manual to find out the size. This style of sharpener is also available in a 5/32 inch size. This is more suited for smaller cutting blades such as with the Earthwise 4 in 1 chainsaw and hedge trimmer.
There is one more very important tool which you’ll need to efficiently sharpen your chainsaw. You’ll need to keep the chainsaw steady and you can do this with a stump vice. You simply find a stump of a large heavy log to drive the teeth into the log, preferably with a 3lb hammer. Then, you insert the bar of your chainsaw into the vice and tighten the set screw until the chainsaw is securely fastened.
Be sure to keep some space below so the chainsaw teeth can easily move as you pull the chain to sharpen the next set of teeth. On that note, you should also consider a good pair of working gloves since those chainsaw teeth will become razor sharp. Try these Ranchworx gloves by Ironclad, they are my favorite for chainsaw work.
How do you maintain an electric chainsaw?
There are only a few things which you need to maintain an electric chainsaw:
- Add bar and chain oil
- Tighten the chainsaw blade
- Sharpen your chainsaw blades
- Keep your chainsaw clean
You can check out our post on “Do electric chainsaws need oil?” to get all the information on what type of oil electric chainsaws need.
To clean your electric chainsaw, you may need to remove a few screws from the side panel to get it free. A nylon brush works great to remove all the gunk and debris which piles up inside the covers.
- Set includes: Large brush and small brush with wiper blade
- Large brush is great for grout, shower door tracks, stove tops and more
- Small brush is perfect for fixtures and other tight spaces
Angel is a Cuban immigrant who grew up with backyard chickens and a yard-loving abuela. He is our “gear guy” who can never have too many pairs of gloves or weed whacker attachments.