Dull blades make for less efficient, more tiring and more dangerous work. It isn’t as difficult as we might think to sharpen your chainsaw and learning how will save you money.

You’ll need a pair of gloves and a filing kit designed for your chainsaw. The stockist can advise but you just need to make sure that the rotary grindstone or chainsaw file matches the tooth of your chain.

Clean the chain thoroughly with white spirit or a degreasing detergent. While doing so take a minute to check for any damaged or overly worn teeth.

Clamp the bar in a vice with the jaws holding the bar in such a way that the chain can move freely. The leading cutter is your starting point and this is the shortest cutter on the chain. If they are all the same length you can start on any one.

The object of the exercise is to file each cutter so that the flat edge on the top of each match in length. Set your file in the notch on the front of the cutter. Hold the file at the same angle that the cutter was ground or filed to begin with. The angle might be 25 or 30 degrees but check the saw’s specifications. Push the file from the short side of the angle toward the long point to leave a smoother cutting surface. Use steady, even strokes with the file – two or three strokes until the face of the cutter is shiny silver.

Keep an eye on the length of each flat top of the cutter and after sharpening a couple of the cutters, release the chain brake and rotate the chain forward to expose more cutters to sharpen. Then reset the brake.

Check the clearance of the rakers which should clear each cutting edge about one tenth of an inch lower than the cutter. Use a depth gauge tool and file to adjust the heights as it protects the adjacent teeth while you file.

Finish off by oiling the chain, check the tension and you’re ready to go.