A well-maintained chainsaw allows you to operate for extended periods, effectively eliminating any unnecessary strain on yourself and your chainsaw. The saw will efficiently cut through the wood because it is has a well-maintained chain.
However, no matter if you are a professional woodworker or cutting wood for your home fire, the chain will become dull and blunt after a time. A dull chain leads to more effort and more time for the cutting teeth to do their job.
Picking the right chainsaw file size can be challenging as there are many different sized chainsaw blade teeth and angles (pitch). In our guide, you can learn more about using a quick Oregon chainsaw file size chart to determine the file size you need. With this, you can also find a chainsaw depth gauge chart to help should you not know the chain size.
By the end, you’ll know how to use the file size chart to get the right file, and at no extra cost, you have the steps for chain sharpening. (Read Where Are Husqvarna Made)
What Size Chainsaw File Do I Need?
Before checking for the chainsaw files size, it is best to understand a little more about the chainsaw chains. With this, you will know how to get the best sharpness and the right chainsaw file.
What is Chainsaw File Determinant?
A single file can sharpen a particular chain. You can find the directions for choosing the proper file and gauge in the manual that came with your chainsaw. If you don’t have your manual, you need our chainsaw file size chart. To better grasp why each chainsaw has a unique file, you must first comprehend the chainsaw’s cutting component.
The cutter is the part of the chain that does the cutting. You must replace the cutter once it has been worn down to a specified depth, and until you reach the marks, you can sharpen your chains. Chipper, chisel, and semi-chisel are the three primary types of cutter teeth, and in addition, you can find right-hand and left-hand cutters on a chain. These work together, so your saw cuts through wood evenly.
Chainsaw Tooth Types
Round Tooth or Chipper Tooth
This chipper cutter is the simplest file of the three and is also the most adaptable. It is more resistant to dust and filth than the chisel cutter. You can use a file and guide to file it. The chipper cutter has a curved end view is a good option if you require a chin that cuts smoothly.
Semi-Chisel (Square Tooth, Round Grind)
The semi-chisel is a less aggressive version of the chisel. To file it, you’ll need a round file with a guide. It keeps sharper for longer and is more resistant to dirt and dust than the other two cutters. (Find the Best Chainsaw Brands)
Chisel (Square Tooth, Square Grind)
The chisel cutter is an aggressive cutter that expert woodworkers should only use. Commercial timber harvesting is possible with the chisel cutter. It features a squared-off end. The file you need has to fit the cutting edge’s square shape to file it. Therefore, the file cannot be used as a guide for sharpening the chisel cutter. If the chisel is round-ground, you can use a round file to file it. However, the chisel cutter tool dulls quicker when used in a dusty or unclean environment.
Types of Chainsaw Files
Chainsaw files come in various shapes, each serving a distinct purpose. The task at hand will determine the chainsaw file you select.
Chainsaw files come in a variety of types.
These robust, flexible saws are great for finishing, sharpening, and shaping. Use these to de-rust broader things like chainsaw handles. This is because brass saws are robust and flexible enough to reach into the narrow areas on your chainsaw’s teeth without wearing down as quickly as carbon steel saws.
The only disadvantage of a brass saw is that it will scratch your chain more than a metal file. To avoid this, use a leather or cloth strip to wipe the chainsaw file and another cloth to cover the chain. This stops particles from scratching the metal.
These heavy steel files are oil-coated to prevent rust. They work great for smoothing out chainsaw teeth and reshaping them. Steel files can also be used to maintain the quality of your tools by removing burrs and chips. They keep tools sharp and ready to use. Steel files can also be used to clean rust or oil from other surfaces in your garage, such as your chainsaw’s engine or any spanners you use on it. (Find the Best Chainsaw Chain Sharpener)
These fine coated files are great for metal polishing. In addition, these files remove material quickly, allowing you to work through your chainsaw’s teeth faster than a regular file. Diamond files may help remove rust off chains, but be careful not to harm the metal because diamonds are ten times harder than steel.
These are the ideal files for shaping chainsaw teeth because they remove material quickly and produce a flawless finish. Carbide files also require little pressure to use, making them ideal for working on your chainsaw’s teeth. Carbide files are as hard as diamond files but are much tougher and last longer. Carbide files are pretty pricey compared to other chainsaw files and should only shape chainsaw teeth, not to clear rust or oil from the saw.
What Size File Does A 3/8 Chainsaw Chain Take?
Here’s how to determine the file size for a chainsaw chain. To find the right file size for your chainsaw, look at the number stamped on the side of the chain’s cutter. After that, you compare that figure to the file size indicated on the Stihl chainsaw file size chart.
Alternatively, you can determine the chain’s pitch. Again, inches are used to measure the pitch. To begin, measure the distance in millimeters between three rivets. Divide the distance between the center of the first rivet and the center of the third rivet by two. To convert to inches, multiply the result by 0.039. The chart can then be used to find the correct file.
This is the length between tooth rivets divided by 2.
Chainsaw Chain Pitch
Once you’ve determined the cutter’s pitch, utilize the file chart to find the appropriate file. It’s vital to remember that even if two chain cutters have the same pitch, they may require different files if they’re not of the same type. For example, the square cutting edge of a chisel cutter necessitates using a flat-file depending on the cutting edge.
A round file is required if the cutter is a chipper. Only use round files to sharpen the top-plate and side-plate of the cutter while filing it. To keep the depth gauge’s shape, only a flat file should be used while filing it.
Different Chainsaw Files and Gauges
There aren’t too many options when looking for what file size I need for my chainsaw, yet they make a difference.
Chainsaw File Size
The three most common file types are 4mm, 4.8mm, and 5.5mm. Depending on the cutter you’re sharpening; these can be flat files or round. You’ll use a circular file if you have a chain with a chipper cutter. You’ll obtain a 5.5 mm round file if the cutter’s pitch is 5.5mm. You’ll need a flat-file if the chain has a chisel cutter. For example, you’ll use a 5.5 mm flat file if the chisel cutter’s pitch is 5.5mm, and so on.
Flat File and Gauge
Before filing, you use the gauges to check the cutter length top plate angle and set the correct depth gauge. They come in four different sizes. 0.43 inches, 0.050 inches, 0.058 inches, and 0.063 inches. You are not advised to file the depth gauges to a depth lower than 0.025 inches. This is because the depth gauge on the cutter determines the chain’s depth of cut.
The most common gauge is 0.050 inches. Filing them lower than that will reduce the chain’s service life. However, you should equally file the depth gauges throughout the gauge. The chain will vibrate and cut harshly or crookedly if you don’t do so.
The chainsaw’s guide bar usually displays the gauge measurement. It is recommended to use the displayed number rather than manually measuring the gauge size. If you can’t find the marking, use calipers to measure the gauge.
What Size Is A 4.5 mm Chainsaw File?
Get the right round file for the chain you’re honing. But how do you know? You’ll need the Id number or the pitch of the chain being sharpened. The file chart below can help you determine file size. (Learn How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw Near A House)
So, for the chain with Id 72, a 7/32” round file would be required.
|Chain Type||File Size||File Size|
|20, 21, 22, 95||4.8||3/16|
|16, 18, 26, 27, 72, 73, 75||5.5||7/32|
As you can see, the file chart shows the various chain types and sizes. The file size must match the depth gauge code number or the chain pitch, which is thought to be between three rivets, for accurate results and maximum sharpness.
|Chain Pitch||File Size||File Size|
|3/8"||5.5||5/32 or 7/32|
Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for a chain, as they may call for a different tool size than those listed above.
What Kind Of File Do You Use To Sharpen A Chainsaw?
Here you can see what you need and how to sharpen your chainsaw chain cutting teeth.
Chainsaw File Kit
You’ll need to get a chainsaw file kit if you don’t already have the right gear. Some of the necessary tools have already been mentioned, and these include:
When sharpening the cutting edges of the cutters with a round file. The diameter of the cutter must match this, and the most common diameters for home saws are 5/32″, 3/16″, and 7/32″.
A file guide ensures consistency when filing each cutter by keeping the round file at the same depth. A flat file and gauge are required to reset the length of the depth gauges. You may not need a chainsaw filing vise if you have a workbench and vise, although they are handy when sharpening in the field. (Read Metric SAE Chart)
Simply pound it into a log, and you’ve got a ready-made vise to hold your guide bar.
How to Sharpen Chainsaw
Here are some pointers on how to sharpen your chain effectively.
- When performing this task, always use gloves.
- To stop the chain from moving, make sure the brake is engaged.
- In a vise, gently clamp the guide bar.
- Place the file guide between the chain’s rivets, ensuring that the arrows on the guide point towards the chain’s front.
- To file the cutter, use steady, even strokes.
- Release the brake and pull the chain along after sharpening a couple of cutters. Then, after resetting the brake, sharpen some more cutters.
- Turn the saw around once all the cutters have been sharpened on one side of the chain. You can then sharpen each individual cutter on the opposite side cutters on the chain.
- After you’ve sharpened the cutters, you may go on to the depth gauges. These are the metal parts in the shape of shark fins. Adjust the gauge height on the chain with the depth gauge tool and file.