How To Use a Chain Saw Depth Gauge ? Step by Step Explained

How To Use a Chain Saw Depth Gauge: It is pretty convenient to use a chainsaw to saw through a big tree trunk or trim a few branches. You may even find use for it in a DIY project you undertake. To use a chainsaw effectively, it is important to keep your instrument sharp.

We’ve covered how to sharpen a chainsaw in a previous post on this blog, so be sure to check it out if you want an in-depth elaboration on the topic.

But as one reader pointed out to us, we didn’t talk about using Depth Gauges, which is a pretty nifty chainsaw chain sharpener tool. So here you go. Here is all you need to know about Sharpening a chainsaw using a depth gauge.

What is a Depth Gauge?

How To Use a Chain Saw Depth Gauge

A gauge is an instrument used to measure a particular dimension, more often smaller ones than big. A depth gauge measures depth of the valleys in your chainsaw’s chain, between two cutting teeth.

By measuring, you conversely get an idea of how high one cutting tooth is with respect to the rest of the chain. It is pretty accurate too.

The Basics of using a Depth Gauge

How To Use a Chain Saw Depth Gauge

There are quite a few types of depth gauges in the market. The simplest is the simple rectangular groove with a hole on the side that is a certain height.

You need only place it over the chain between two level points (usually the grooved teeth) and then file away, till your file begins to eat at the tool as well.

Also read: 10 Best Chainsaws To Buy In 2022: Buying Guide and Reviews

More complex ones can be found as well. There is the type with grooves cut into a piece of angle bar and holes on either side.

They too indicate height from the base and may be calibrated with their thickness or the tool’s design.

Why Sharpen with a Depth Gauge?

why sharpen with depth gauge

When you run a Chainsaw, the friction grinds the chain together. However, with time, things can become uneven. As the teeth on the chain grow duller, it becomes necessary to revitalise the chainsaw by sharpening it up.

Conventional methods on taking the file in the proper direction a certain number of times for each teeth work great. However, you may end up with uneven teeth, since you can never be sure you grinded them exactly the same.

Depth gauges help in this very department. They are more precise in indicating how much you need to grind each tooth.

How To Use a Chain Saw Depth Gauge to Sharpen a Chainsaw?

how too use depth gauge

You will know when your chainsaw has become dull. It usually becomes harder to operate, might give poorer final results or work slower than it used to. If you discover your chainsaw has become duller, it is time to sharpen it.

The traditional way to sharpen it is to use a file on the clamped blade, filing each tooth in the proper direction so it becomes sharp and even. You need only consider the cutting end and make sure the edge is sharp. You can see it work as the old, oxidised material gives way to shinier metal from underneath.

Using a Depth Gauge is easier and more accurate, though.

Here is what you need to do.

  1. Using a bench holder or a similar contraption, hold your chainsaw in place. Make sure that the blade doesn’t move about when pressure is applied to it.
  2. Make sure the chain is tight on the blade. It if it loose it might slip and cause you to file improperly. You might even ruin a tooth or two.
  3. Make sure you have a proper file. Get your depth gauge. Decide what depth you want to file your chain to. The lowest amount of filing that works for the most number of teeth works best for your chainsaw.
  4. Arrange the gauge over the teeth one by one and file them. Make sure to file the tooth that faces you by pulling the file towards you, and vice versa.
  5. For each tooth, stop at the point where the the file begins to consume the gauge’s top layer.This is the point where you can be assured that the gauge and the tooth are on the same level.

Isn’t that neat? No matter which design you buy from the market, every depth gauge can be used to sharpen a chainsaw in the same way. I hope by now your chainsaw would have become sharp enough to cut and fell down a tree.

Here’s a video too…

That’s it for this blog entry. I’m thankful to the reader who mentioned about the tool. If you have an idea about something you want us to write of in this blog, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.


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