How to Use the Stihl Depth Gauge Tool

Written by truell bliss
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How to Use the Stihl Depth Gauge Tool
Maintain chainsaw depth gauges for optimum use. (cutting with chainsaw image by KtD from

A chainsaw has a metal point positioned in front of individual teeth on the chain. Each point, known as a depth gauge, determines the amount of "bite" an individual cutting tooth removes as it passes around a section of wood. Depth gauges need adjusting whenever you sharpen your chainsaw. A depth gauge tool resembles a slotted, U-shaped aluminium channel, approximately four inches long. Chainsaw operators use a Stihl depth gauge tool, also known as a filing guide, for making accurate and consistent depth gauge settings.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Chainsaw

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  1. 1

    Position the chainsaw on a sturdy work surface with an adequate source of light. Orient the saw so that the tip of the chainsaw bar points toward your left or right.

  2. 2

    Lay the depth gauge tool along the top of the chain. Check to see if a depth gauge point appears above the level of the depth gauge tool.

  3. 3

    Make the point level with the surface of the tool using a flat file. Check each depth gauge on the chain and file each one as needed.

  4. 4

    Smooth each leading edge of the depth gauges with the file and round the corners back to their original form.

Tips and warnings

  • Use your Stihl depth gauge tool to check depth gauges for correct height each time you sharpen the cutters.
  • Chainsaw cutters need sharpening after each use.
  • A chainsaw with depth gauges set too low may cause personal injury from chainsaw "kickback."

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