Sharpening the blades of your chainsaw improves efficiency of the tool. More importantly, though, it decreases the risks of getting injured. Dull chains consume a lot of your energy, and as a result, they cause fatigue, impaired judgment and frustrations. Such effects may lead to loss of focus, and hence, infliction of injuries.
So before you cut down your tree, sharpen the blades of your chainsaw first for an easier time. However, the blades do not need sharpening all the time; only when there are clear signs. The following points explain more on when to sharpen your chainsaw.
1. When You Push the Saw to Make it Cut
If your saw is properly sharpened, you are not supposed to apply heavy pressure on the tool saw so that it can cut. The chain should self-feed; it should pull itself down through the cut. But if it needs your help to do so, it is a clear indication that the blades require some sharpening.
2. When Your Saw Expels Dusty Discharge
When cutting wood with a sharpened chainsaw, it is supposed to discharge nice, square wood chips. A dull one expels wood dust instead, which hints that it is time to sharpen the blades.
3. When The Chain Displays a Shiny Appearance
The cutter tooth of a chain – which bears a shape that resembles number 7 - has two surfaces: top and side plates. When the chrome plating wears away, it exposes the steel underneath, giving the cutting edge a shiny look. This is a sign that you need to restore the cutting edge, which you should do by filing the steel away until you observe a thin overhang of chrome again.
4. When Smoke Emanates From the Cut
A dull chain will cause an emission of smoke from the cut, which may be due to the intense friction between wood and saw. Check if the tension of the chain is well set and if it has enough lubrication. If the answer is yes, you need to sharpen your saw.
5. When the Saw Fails to Cut Straight
You may find yourself doubting your cutting skills when you fail to make straight cuts using a chainsaw. The problem may not be you, but the dull cutters of your tool. If the cuts wander in one direction, it hints that the chain has dull cutters on one side.
When you are dealing with power tools such as chainsaws, you should always protect yourself. Wear leather gloves to guard your hands against the sharp cutting edges, including when you sharpen them.