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Maintaining a chainsaw prolongs its life by ensuring that it works at its optimum level and is safe to use. Blunt chains can catch and kick back, causing serious injury. So it's a good idea to sharpen the blades every time you refill the tank with fuel. We'll show you how to file the blades safely. 

Tools and materials


1File from the inside to outside

Before you start, always remember to have the chainsaw's power cord disconnected or the fuel switch off when you are sharpening. Use a clamp to hold the chainsaw in position while you work. To sharpen, file from the inside of the tooth to the outside. The motion you should use is by starting flat and gradually lifting the blade up to get the edge. Three passes of the file will be enough for each tooth. Make sure you don't create a hook by twisting as you file. You'll be able to sharpen every second tooth on your first pass.

2Roll the chain to continue sharpening

Now roll the chain on the chainsaw so you can bring the underside teeth around to the top to continue sharpening. Continue sharpening every second tooth, using the same inside outside motion from step 1.

3Turn the chainsaw around and sharpen alternate teeth

The next thing to do is turn the chainsaw around and sharpen every alternate tooth from the other side of the chainsaw. Roll the chain again and this will ensure you have sharpened every tooth.

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.