Hand filing chainsaws is a perishable skill. If you don’t practice you’ll lose it.
Today it clicked. I no longer need, or want, a file guide.
My chain needed a major sharpening. The cutters were different lengths and the top plate angles were way off. I also hit a piece of metal embedded in the wood.
I use a welding magnet with lines to reference the top plate angle.
Keep the top of the file 20-30% above the cutters. That’s a good starting point.
Keep the file parallel to the top of the teeth. Look for a clean straight line where the file touches the top of the tooth. If you don’t see a clean straight line keep filing until you do.
Adjust the height of the file by applying pressure toward the tooth and up, toward the tooth and back or toward the tooth and down. Apply MOST pressure straight back toward the tooth.
Safety first! Wear thick gloves when hand filing chainsaws!
Check every tooth with the depth gauge tool and file as necessary.
I checked the depth gauges with a depth gauge tool and knocked them all down one stroke. Sometimes I get impatient.
Take two rounding strokes over the front of the depth gauges after setting their height. Rounding the front of the depth gauges gives a smooth cut.
Consistency is the key when hand filing chainsaws. Make the process as repeatable as possible.
Hand Filing Chainsaws
A brief video showing the results.