For group hikes where we plan on having a fire, I carry a hand chain saw for dead wood. We've used ours for a while now and it is definitely getting dull. How do you sharpen this?

The hand saw

  • 2
    I'd say the same way as normal chainsaw. Maybe you should better ask at HomeImprovement.SE
    – Tomas
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 19:51
  • have no idea how to sharpen a normal chainsaw (or if the chain is the same) Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


It sharpens just like a regular chainsaw, which is well documented, with one important difference. Since it cuts in both directions, the filing must be done to account for that.


For tools, you'll need a small vice to hold the chain steady while you sharpen it, and a round file. Ultimate Survival Tech (EXTREME PRODUCT NAME) recommends a 1/8" round file for their saws:



  • @phidauez -- I edited the answer to also add a good video. The one problem I see with both your video and mine is that the sharpening depends on the chain being on a chainsaw bar to hold the chain steady and prevent twist. Since it's not practical or advisable to just vise the chain itself, it's not clear to me how this can be done with a free chain. Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 17:45
  • Thanks for the video addition. You can grip the chain directly in a vise, just don't crank it down too hard. I know that is a bit vague, but when you've got it gripped, you can tell when you are about to crush something. Use rubber vice pads if you are uncertain. The sharpening will go a bit slower because you won't be able to hold it as tightly as a chainsaw bar (and hence, you'll need to take lighter passes with the file), but it will still work.
    – phidauex
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 19:50

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