The Husqvarna chainsaw file kit is an inexpensive tool that works great for putting a sharp edge back on a dull chain.
For years I've used an electric bench grinder to sharpen my chainsaw chain. Although a bench grinder works great for putting a factory edge back on a chain, it requires the removal of the chain from the saw which is time consuming.
Plus, when you're out in the woods and your chain becomes dull, you need a hand tool that you can use to quickly put a new edge back on your chain.
Even with years of practice, it's hard to sharpen a chain by hand without some type of guide or gauge. Since there's a couple of different angles on a chain, a guide makes the process a lot easier.
The roller guide kit by Husqvarna takes all of the guess work out of sharpening a chain and it works amazing!
Just make sure you purchase the model that will fit your specific chain. Since I was sharpening the chain on my Husqvarna 345, I used the one pictured above.
The kit comes with the roller guide, 2 round files for sharpening the chain, a handle and flat file for filing down the depth gauges also commonly referred too as a raker.
There's a depth gauge tool built into the roller guide but I don't really like it. It's somewhat hard to use and the depth gauge tool made by Husqvarna works a lot better than the one built into the roller guide.
The depth guide pictured above just lays flat on your chain and you use a flat file to file down any metal on the depth gauge (raker) that sticks out.
There's two parts to the gauge.......hardwood and softwood. Just use the option that best suits which type of firewood you'll be cutting.
The Husqvarna chainsaw file kit works great, however, the small instructions on the back are basically worthless.
Unless you have a step-by-step guide similar to this one, they're extremely confusing. So, to make things easy just follow these steps....
The roller guide has two arrows as shown below. The two arrows should point towards the tip of the chainsaw bar. There's also two different slots on the guide that adjust the proper angle depending on which side of the chain you're sharpening.
The guide should fit flush on the chain with only one tooth centered in the guide as shown below. The metal tab that indicates hard and soft is the depth gauge. Just rotate it out of the way.
Here's a closer view. Note how the guide is aligned on the chain.
Next, simply push the round file across the front cutting edge of the tooth. When properly aligned, you basically just push it straight across the center of both rollers on the gauge.
Here's another view of the gauge. Just sharpen every tooth on the chain that has the same cutting direction....which is every other tooth since they alternate back and forth.
When using the guide, I've found it's easiest to hold the guide with one hand and use your other hand to work the file.
Remember, the file is designed to be pushed across the guide. You don't want to use a back and forth "cutting" motion. The files are designed to be pushed, not pulled.
When you have all of the teeth sharpened on one side, flip your saw around and orientate the gauge to the teeth on the other side.
Here's a closer view of the guide after the saw has been flipped around.
Use about 3-4 strokes on every tooth of the chain. You should feel the file bite into the metal giving you a good cutting stroke.
After a while, your file will become clogged with metal shavings. Just knock the file against your work bench and they will fall out.
After you get familiar with the guide, it only takes about 10 minutes to completely sharpen a chain.
The guide also has a couple holes in each side of it. You can push the round file through the holes to keep the kit all together so you don't loose the guide.
The Husqvarna chainsaw file kit works great! It costs under $20 and after you get the hang of it, you can quickly sharpen a dull chain to an almost like new condition.
Just remember to orientate the guide to the proper angle and use a steady pushing motion with the round file.
After a while, the round file will become worn out, so if you don't feel like you're getting a good bite on the chain, it may be time to replace the file. The kit comes with two round files so you'll get a lot of use out of the kit before you have to buy another file.