How Many Times Can You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain in 2024?

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

how many times to sharpen a chainsaw chainTo know how many times you can sharpen your chainsaw chain, the average life span of a chainsaw chain must be known. Therefore, you should first know about the things that damage it and use it accordingly.

Generally, you can sharpen a chainsaw chain for 10 times or more than that, and again totally depends upon two things. How much the chain is damaged after each sharpening is related to the right method of sharpening a chainsaw chain.

So, you must know about the mistakes in sharpening the chainsaw chain and try to avoid them as much as you can.

Following are some factors that affect the sharpening of a chainsaw chain:

Factors Affecting Sharpening of Chainsaw Chain in 2024

Type of Material Being Cut:

If the material is hard then you might need to sharpen the chainsaw chain after each use. In this way, definitely, the life span of your chainsaw chain will be reduced. It includes metals, iron, stone, and other hard objects.

If you use the chainsaw chain on softwood then it would not require to be sharpened soon. However, for hardwood and other objects then it will require to be sharpened more often. Thus, one of the factors is the kind of matter you are cutting.

Mistakes in Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain:

The second factor is if you are making mistakes in sharpening the chainsaw chain. In this case, you would bring more damage to the chainsaw chain, and consequently, the average life span will be reduced.

For instance, if you are sharpening a chainsaw chain and you are not aware of the right way of doing so then you might damage it. It means that the amount of loss of metal might exceed what is expected.

Like it is believed that 10% of the metal would be removed in each sharpening turn and therefore you can sharpen a firewood chainsaw chain up to 10 times. But what if you are causing 30% or even more damage each time. Then, you can only sharpen it 3 to 4 times and then your chainsaw will be worn out.

There are certain tricks for sharpening a chainsaw chain that you should know. For that, you would be having Chainsaw chain kit and proper guidelines about sharpening. The right way of sharpening a chainsaw chain is of keen importance or else you would not utilize the chain fully. For this, you should know about the right way of sharpening and do it accordingly.

Inappropriate Storage:

Often the time comes when you are busy with other things and are usually away from cutting and using your chainsaw chain. In that case, you leave your chainsaw chain in a storeroom, and worst if it is a rainy or moist season.

What happens is that your chainsaw chain gets rusted and you need to sharpen it which you otherwise might not need to. This is the extra sharpening that you have to do just because it rusts and you remove a lot of metal to clean rust.

This way you actually lost two more chances of sharpening and reusing it. To avoid this, store the chainsaw chain in a dry and clean place so that you can get more benefit from it.

The Right Time of Sharpening:

Another factor that affects the sharpening and the life span of a chainsaw chain is the right time. You should know when it is time to sharpen the chainsaw chain to get the maximum use of it.

For instance, if you sharpen it with a chainsaw sharpener when it does not need to be sharpened then you are merely removing the metal and reducing its life. Therefore, if you do so, then you may reduce its life span by 50%.

Time to think seriously about your hands’ safety by checking out Top 7 Chainsaw Gloves!

When to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?

Now you are thinking what is the right time of sharpening a chainsaw? Or how you would get to know about it. So, let me tell you the signs that you can visibly see or feel and it will mark the right time.

1. Sawdust:

One indication for sharpening the chainsaw chain is when it creates sawdust rather than large chunks. You should be careful while working with a chainsaw chain and must pay attention to these indications.

2. Difficulty in cutting:

Sometimes do you feel that you are forcing more pressure to cut with a chainsaw chain than usual? If yes, then that’s the sign and you must pay attention to it. Just like you feel that your knives are not working efficiently and you are exerting more pressure and then you sharpen it. Similar is the case with chainsaw chains, do focus on these things.

3. Smoke:

Another thing happens that is smoke. When you are cutting and you feel that it is producing a lot of smoke and you are wondering if you have lubricated it properly then why? So, the answer is here, sharpen your chainsaw chain right away, it’s the time.

4. Dull or Uneven Cuts:

You are not having a good day and just working with things in a bad mood. Then, you realize that even the cuts are dull and it makes you more furious. Do not worry, it is not your fault, just go and sharpen the chainsaw chain and enjoy perfect cuts.

Here’s how the official Stihl GB channel figures out when to sharpen a chainsaw chain:


1. Why does my chainsaw chain dull so quickly?

Your chainsaw chain gets dull quickly because you might be making mistakes while sharpening it. The other reason could be that you are using the chain on hard metals. Both of these things result in damaging the chainsaw chain and consequently, it will dull quicker than you might be expecting.

2. How often should you change the chain on a chainsaw?

You should handle the chainsaw chain with care and in an appropriate way because replacing or changing the chain depends on how you handle it. It includes the type of material you are cutting and how you are doing it.

So, If you are handling it properly then definitely it would long last otherwise you need to keep changing it in short intervals.

3. Is it better to sharpen or replace the chainsaw chain?

It is always considered the best option to reuse things as long as you can. Then, ultimately the option of sharpening and reusing it is a good one. However, when you feel like the sharpening is not working and the performance of the chain is not good then you should go for a replacement.

4. How many times can you file a chainsaw chain?

There is no fixed number for how many times you can file the chainsaw chain. It varies depending upon the way you are sharpening and the metal that you are cutting with the chain. If you are removing a small amount of metal in sharpening then you may file it more than 10 times or else the normal range is 10 times. However, in case of poor sharpening skills, you might not make it to even 10 times and the time for replacement comes.

Final Thoughts:

It was all about how many times you can sharpen your chainsaw chain before going for a replacement. For, that I shared some factors with you that damage the chainsaw chain and you need to replace it shortly. I hope these tricks will help you in getting the best from your chainsaw chain and you will use it fully.

Richard McMann
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