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What Type Of Chainsaw File Do You Need?

Chainsaw files are very important as they can help prolong the lifespan of your chainsaw chain. Cutting with dull chains leads to a higher fuel consumption as well as excessive wear on the chainsaw so it is important to always use sharp chains. Instead of replacing the chain when it becomes dull and blunt, you can use a file to sharpen the cutting teeth, therefore improving the efficiency of the chainsaw.

However not every chainsaw chain is created equal and choosing the right chainsaw file is paramount, as it needs to match your chain; choosing the wrong file will diminish the cutting performance from the chainsaw chain. To be absolutely sure what type of chainsaw file you need for your chain you should check your manufacturers manual.

File sizes

Simply put, the type of chainsaw file you need directly corresponds with the size of your chain pitch. The larger the pitch will mean the higher the cutting teeth will be. The higher the teeth will therefore mean the larger the file will need to be. If you do not know your chainsaw pitch you can gauge it by measuring the distance between three rivets.

It is important to also understand that you may need different files for different cutting teeth, if they are not the same type. Given that there are different types of chisel when it comes to chainsaw chains, each different type of chisel will require a different type of file.

Once you have identified the pitch for your chainsaw chain you can then work out the size of file you need using this table:

Chain pitch Round file diameter
1/4" 4.0mm
.325 4.8mm
3/8" 5.2mm
.404 5.5mm

File profiles

You should make sure to only use specialist chainsaw sharpening files. Chainsaw files have a different profile (ie. The surface structure) as opposed to standard engineers’ files, which would be very much unsuitable to sharpen chainsaws. If you are in doubt you should consult a professional before starting work as if you use the wrong file you may need to replace the chain.

You should also need both round and flat files to sharpen your chainsaw chains in order to get the best results. Your round file will be needed to sharpen the side and top plates of the cutting teeth. You should then use a flat file to sharpen the depth gauge so that it keeps its shape.