What Size File for 3 8 Chainsaw Chain: Ultimate Guide



What Size File for 3 8 Chainsaw Chain

For a 3/8″ pitch chainsaw chain, use a file size of 7/32 inches (5.5 mm) to ensure accurate sharpening and optimal cutting performance.

Maximize your chainsaw’s performance with the correct file size for your 3/8 chainsaw chain. Learn all you need to know with our informative guide.

The Importance of Choosing the Right File Size

Sharpening a chainsaw is an essential maintenance task that ensures your tool is safe and operates at peak performance. Choosing the right file size for your chainsaw’s chain is critical because an improperly sharpened chain can lead to inefficient cutting and potential safety hazards.

Understanding Chain Sizes and Types

Before diving into file sizes, it’s important to understand that chainsaw chains come in various sizes. The 3/8 inch pitch chain is one of the most common sizes used for both professional and consumer chainsaws. The ‘pitch’ of the chain refers to the distance between three consecutive rivets divided by two, which in the case of a 3/8 chain, is three eighths of an inch.

For a 3/8 inch pitch chainsaw chain, the recommended file size depends on the type of chain you have. Typically, there are two types of 3/8 chains: standard and low-profile. Here’s a quick reference table to help you select the correct file size for your chain:

Chain TypeFile Diameter
3/8 Standard7/32 inch (5.5 mm)
3/8 Low-Profile5/32 inch (4.0 mm)

It is essential to use the appropriate file diameter to maintain the correct cutting edge angle and depth gauge setting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sharpening Your 3/8 Chainsaw Chain

  1. Secure the Chainsaw: Make sure the chainsaw is stabilized and the chain is tensioned correctly.
  2. Choose the Correct File: Select the right size round file for your chain type (see the table above).
  3. File at the Right Angle: Hold the file at the correct angle, typically around 30 degrees to the bar, and use even pressure.
  4. Use Consistent Strokes: Push the file across the cutter; do not drag it back. Maintain the same number of strokes per tooth to ensure uniform sharpness.
  5. Check the Depth Gauges: Between sharpening the cutters, use a flat file and depth gauge guide to lower the depth gauges if they become too high.

Repeat these steps for each tooth on the chainsaw chain until all are uniformly sharpened.

Tips for Maintaining Your Chainsaw Chain

  • Regular Maintenance: Sharpen your chain regularly to maintain optimal cutting performance.
  • Clean the Chain: Keep the chain clean from oil and sawdust buildup.
  • Proper Storage: Store your chainsaw in a dry, secure place to prevent rust and damage.
  • Chain Inspection: Check for damaged or worn links and replace the chain if necessary

Know more: Chainsaw Sparks When Cutting


Selecting the right size file for sharpening your 3/8 chainsaw chain is essential for safety and performance. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and take your time to ensure a well-maintained tool. Properly sharpened chains cut more effectively, last longer, and reduce the risk of accidents. Next time your chainsaw chain needs sharpening, refer to this guide, and make sure you’re equipped with the correct file size.

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