You should always keep the chain on your Poulan chainsaw sharp. Cutting with a dull chain can be dangerous and can cost you extra time and work to push through a cut. When cutting with your Poulan, it should pull the chain straight through on its own, like an electric can opener. If you need to push, or if the cut pulls to the left or right, it's time to sharpen the chain. It's a good habit to sharpen the chain before use, during refueling stops and after each use.
Set the Poulan chainsaw onto a level work surface. Position your body parallel to the guide bar. Set your weaker hand on top of the bar to hold it in place. Slide the chain around the bar, searching for the tooth with the heaviest damage, which will need the largest number of file strokes to sharpen it.
Insert the tip of the correctly sized file into the heel of the heaviest damaged tooth. Set the angle of the file to roughly 60 degrees to the engine. If your chain uses file guides on the top plate, follow that angle.
Hold the file level and steady. Sweep it across the full length of the serrated file edges. Pull it back and use the same angle, depth and force as the first stroke. Keep the file parallel to the bench at all times. Count the number of strokes it takes to get the tooth back to a sharp point.
Rotate the chain up to the next tooth on the same side as the first. Repeat the same sharpening process, using the same angle, depth and force as the first tooth. Try to use roughly the same amount of strokes as on the first. Sharpen all of the teeth going in the same direction.
Turn the saw around 180 degrees and repeat the sharpening process for the other side of the chain. Use the same force, depth and roughly the same number of strokes for every tooth.