I recently moved to a new home which had a lot of felled trees which needed to be bucked up into logs. I bought a 14" Husqvarna 967158004 to accomplish this.

The shop I bought it from gave me a lot of maintenance information which was greatly appreciated because I don't have extensive experience with chainsaws. I have checked chain tension before and after every use and kept the chain oil reservoir full.

My concern is that after what couldn't be more than 8 or 9 hours of use, the chain already seems to have trouble cutting ( Engine is good, this is a cutting issue ).

Is this typical wear I should expect?

Do I need to replace the chain or should I sharpen it?

I know it can be resharpened, but is it worth doing so?

  • 1
    Go back to the folks that taught you about maintenance and have them teach you how to sharpen the chain. Keeping it sharp will help extend its life, but that relatively inexpensive chain is an expendable part— don’t hesitate to replace it.
    – Tyson
    Dec 16, 2018 at 0:47

3 Answers 3


Any blade (even a lawnmower) will dull after constant use, but a chainsaw is doing a lot of work, and most of it by the blade.

I would say your blade is indeed dull. The catch on what to do from here is dependent upon how often you intend to use the chainsaw. If this is a one-off project, you're probably better off buying a new chain. If this will be a regular thing, I would buy some tools to sharpen the blade. The cost of a new blade is comparable to what you would spend on sharpening tools.

  • Thanks. I'm fairly through with my other blades. I sharpen all my blades every year and even balance my lawn mower blade. I just didn't expect a chainsaw blade to wear out with so little use. After all this work I'm still only maybe 1/3 finished. If I did go the resharpening route, how many times can I overhaul the chain before I have no choice but to replace the blade?
    – mreff555
    Dec 14, 2018 at 17:02
  • 1
    Depending on the quality, you should get at least 3 or 4 sharpenings. There should be marks on the teeth to let you know when they are worn beyond use
    – Machavity
    Dec 14, 2018 at 17:31
  • I use a file and a guide to touch up my chains when out cutting and then at home have a power sharpener if careful I can touch up chains dozens of times and get at least 1/2 a dozen full resharpenings, I normally carry several chains because trees do pick up rocks and any dirt on the bark can quickly dull the chain. There is also a dremel tool with a guide that can do a quick tune up but although I have used these I end up having to take more off when recutting the chain so they don't last as long. 3 or so strokes with a file will usually bring the edge back with out taking much off.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 14, 2018 at 22:55

Yeah, when I first started using chainsaws, I was naïve to the idea of "sharpening a chain". The very fact that you were able to get 9 hours out of it tells me you were like me. My first chain, the chain cut subtly worse and worse and worse and worse, and I didn't realize it, because like the frog in the cookpot... until I couldn't stand it anymore.

First I paid the local lawnmower shop to sharpen them. Then I discovered my local Stihl dealer would swap me for a new chain for $10. After about 3, he sold me some chain files. Then I found a $6 flat file holder that makes filing much easier. Files are a consumable, and I don't even try to adjust chain height: when the height is low I just go back to the Stihl dealer and get a new chain.

Now, I can't stand how badly my chain cuts after even an hour. I typically give it a quickie sharpen everytime I add chain lube, and it cuts like a lightsaber again.

  • Agree if not throwing big chips it's dull, a quick tune up is what I have used for years. After a few tune ups I put on a fresh sharpened one from my machine, a dull chain is dangerous because folks start pushing then if a kick back things can go bad fast.+
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 14, 2018 at 22:59

I suggest you buy files and do the resharpening manually. It saves some bucks and time. If you don't want to do the labor, there is electric chain sharpener which works pretty good.

I always keep 3 extra chains with me. When one gets dull, I replace it and continue the cutting. At night, when I come back home, I sharpen them all one by one.

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