How to Sharpen Pole Saw Chain – When & What’s Required

How To Sharpen Pole Saw Chain

Pole saw chains are necessary to prune higher branches of trees. These are quite sharp but they become dull after a while. So, you need to sharpen them often.

All types of pole saw chains require almost the same sharpening procedure. However, it is advised to follow the manual that comes with them.

The process of sharpening the pole saw chain is easy yet tricky. But once you learn how to sharpen pole saw chains through practice, you will find it simple.

This article will hopefully give you a wide information about the process.

Why Sharpening Pole Saw Is Necessary

The pole chain saw is an expensive piece of equipment. So the longer it lasts, the better it will be for you. But it tends to get dull after a few uses. So we need to sharpen them because replacing them with new ones is not always possible.

Sharpening frequently also enhances the durability of the chain. Dull chains cause the saw to get stuck in the wood. And it is very dangerous because it can lunge back at the user.

So you need to sharpen them for safety purposes too. And after a few uses sawdust will form on it. It causes the speed of the tool to go lower.

If the chain is dull, it can heat up the chainsaw while using. This can cause fire. And the duller the blade gets, the more oil consumption by pole increases.

When To Sharp

If you need to give more pressure on the tool to cut the branches, it probably needs a sharpening session. Because pole saw chains are so sharp that coarse chips can easily fall away while cutting branches.

You will not be able to cut branches easily when the chain gets dull. This is the sign that the user has to sharpen them.

Also when you look closely at the residue after using them, then you can see that there’s mostly sawdust on the tool. And you need to sharpen them.

If there are signs of other damages that’s caused by debris or rock, the tool probably is of no use. You need to replace it.

Tools Required

The tools you need to sharpen a pole saw chain:

  1. Flat and round files
  2. File guide
  3. Sharpening rod
  4. A grinder (optional)
  5. A table to set the saw on
  6. Gloves
  7. Safety glasses
  8. Manual

You need the files for sharpening the teeth. However, there are many sizes and varieties of files available. So you need to check the manual that comes with your saw to know the cutting diameter.

This is crucial for finding the right file. If you use smaller size files, you can not sharpen the entire tooth.

You need the flat file to fix the depth gauge. A file guide gives a uniform hold of file while sharpening. So the outcome is more efficient and professional.

You should place the saw on a table for convenience. And gloves are a must. Because the saw might seem dull but sharpening them barehanded is dangerous. To prevent spark from going into eyes, safety glasses are used.

Steps Of Sharpening A Pole Saw Chain

  1. Cleaning the chain is the first step of sharpening it. After brushing the dust off, degrease it if it is oily. Dip the chain in the degreaser for some time then rub it off. Then you need to let it dry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Then secure the tool. Set it on a table keeping the edge face upwards. The chain should be set tightly so that it does not slip.
  3. After that, start sharpening the small blades of the chain with the file. The file should be moved horizontally. Strike it in one direction away from your body.
  4. Never file the chain in back-and-forth motion. Because this makes the blades of the chain dull and textured.
  5. The tooth of the chain has angular edges. Sharpening the same angle of each tooth at one time will save you from changing sides frequently.
  6. After sharpening, brush off the dust from the chain.
  7. Oil the joints of the chain. This results in the neat and fast cutting of the branches.

You can also use a grinder rather than files. They are faster and efficient. But they are expensive and trickier to use.

Additional Tips

One important thing to remember is, do not over sharpen the chain. And do not use too much force while filing. That’s because it will cause the heat to go up. Heating up while sharpening is absolutely not desirable.


At what degree angle should I file?

Answer: It depends on your particular blade. Mostly filing at 25°-35° works fine.

Is it better to replace than sharpen the chain?

Answer: Dull chains do not always need to get replaced. You can easily sharpen them. Also sharpening costs less than buying a new one.

What makes pole saw chains get dull fast?

Answer: Not using the right file can cause your chain to go dull faster. Also insufficient oil application can trigger it.

How much does sharpening it cost?

Answer: It costs around 10$-20$ to sharpen per chain.


Replacing the pole saw chain every time it gets dull is not wise. Rather sharpening it is easy and cheap.

If one follows the rules and instructions properly, the process can barely go wrong. But one should always ensure proper safety first.

Hopefully, this article could give you some helpful information on how to sharpen a pole saw chain. If you still have doubts, we suggest you hire professionals.

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