The secret is to use good quality files. Buy stihl files they are made inb Switzerland and cut like butter! do not buy Oregon files from homedepot or lowes! They WILL dull after half a sharpening. You can use the same file 10 times if you use stihl files. Note that if you hit the ground or rock it will dull the file quicker. but seriously stay away from oregon's junk files.. You dont need a filing guide or some fancy pants stuff. Watch some youtube videos and once you get a file in your hand and make that first swip you`ll see how peaceful and zen shaprening oyur opwn chains is.