When you invest a lot of money in a quality chainsaw, it is important to ensure it is being maintained in the right way.
With proper maintenance, your chainsaw will deliver better and more efficient performance. And you will see improved longevity. One of the key accessories that helps to improve the performance of a chainsaw is the chainsaw sharpener.
When you use a chainsaw sharpener, you can easily revitalize the dulled links on your chainsaw. It results in a more energy-efficient chainsaw that is also safer to use (Source).
The best chainsaw sharpeners on the market will work with a variety of chainsaws. If you are unsure, it is a good idea to check the specifications of a chainsaw sharpener to ensure it is compatible with your model.
Top Chainsaw Sharpeners
1. Buffalo Tools ECSS – Electric Chain Saw Sharpener
If you are seeking a chainsaw sharpener that is easy to use then you can look no further than the Buffalo Tools ECSS.
It delivers great performance and is effortless to use. All you need to od is clamp the device to some type of workbench or desk and it will do its job.
It does take a bit of time to complete the job, but when you are getting such a great outcome, it is not a major issue. It is fun to sharpen chainsaw blades with this sharpener. It is a great tool for a beginner or intermediate chainsaw user to add to their arsenal.
Another great feature of the model is that it will work with almost any type of chainsaw. The grinding disk has significant rotation at 4200 RPM and it only needs around 85W of power to operate. With the grinding disk measuring at 4.25-inch x 0.125-inch, any blade size should be compatible.
- Easy to clamp onto your workbench for safe and comfortable usage.
- Very efficient sharpener. If you are sharpening a 20-inch chain, the process should be done within five minutes.
- Will work with any type of chain design.
- With a ⅛-inch grinding width, it is not perfect for blades of all sizes. But it will work with those blades – it is just a bit unnatural to use in certain circumstances.
2. Oregon 30846 12-Volt Sharpener – Best Handheld Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Need something affordable that will give you the best of two worlds? The Oregon 30846 is one of the few handheld electric chainsaw sharpeners on the market in an affordable price range.
It will be very easy to use, even for beginners.
You may be wondering how an electric chainsaw sharpener can be handheld. The reason is because this thing operates off its 12 volt battery. If you need to do some quick sharpening while you are out in the field, it will do the job. While it may not be as accurate as a regular handheld sharpener, it is much faster.
The product has two sharpening stones that give it a very good work life. It will easily get through a massive chain without any problems. There is also a depth-gauge in the device that ensures all sharpening is precise.
- Gets an even grind on all blades, even on longer chains.
- Lightweight and easy to carry around.
- Electric capability ensures very quick sharpening in the field.
- Does not come with any type of carrying case.
- Sharpening stones wear out pretty easily. Will need to replace them.
3. STIHL 2 In 1 Easy File Sharpener – Professional Chainsaw Sharpener
Need a quality chainsaw sharpener that you can use out in the field? Sometimes you cannot get back to a workstation quickly enough.
You need to rejuvenate your chainsaw blades during the middle of a workday. The Stihl 2-in-1 easy file sharpener is a life saver in these moments.
Instead of needing to deal with dull blades for more than half the job, you can spend a bit of time working on your chain with this machine and you will be ready to go. It does its work very efficiently. It is intuitive to use and will get you to near-factory quality blades within minutes.
The only con with this sharpener is that you are only going to find it useful if you have 0.325 chains. It will not work very well with other type of chains. You can always try to use it, but we do not recommend that you make this purchase unless your chainsaw has 0.325 blades.
- Gives you completely manual control as you are sharpening the blades to a chainsaw. Great for experts who know what they are doing.
- Portable and lightweight design ensures it is great to have in the field.
- Will get your dull blades that are barely working back up to factory-level quality within a single session of sharpening.
- Will only work with 0.325 sized chains.
- Does takes some time to sharpen as you are working on the blades manually.
4. Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener – Best Handheld Chainsaw Blade Sharpener
Featuring a 7/32-inch carbide cutter, the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener is a fantastic choice for frequent chainsaw users.
It is an investment in your chainsaw. If you are the type of person who uses their chainsaw a lot, and you need a sharpener that will be stable and easy to use, the Timberline is a quality option.
One of the best reasons to use this sharpener is that it is very fast. It is going to give you some incredible results. The manufacturer says that it will take you a few seconds to sharpen each tooth on your chainsaw chain. It is also very precise, delivering uniform results each time it passes through your chain.
Made of machined aluminum, you are not going to need to get this chainsaw sharpener replaced anytime soon. It will last you a very long time. It is also portable enough to take with you in the field, even though it is not as lightweight and thin as some of the handheld models.
- Thanks to its universal 30-degree angle, it should work with almost any type of blade.
- The carbide cutter gives very professional and uniform cutting results.
- Durable thanks to its aluminum construction.
- Rapid sharpening time.
- Still slower than electric options.
5. CO-Z Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Kit – Commercial Chainsaw Sharpener
Thanks to a very robust design, which features cast aluminum, the Tek Motion CO-Z Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Kit is one of the best options for commercial use.
It is very durable and will not give any problems if it is used frequently and in high volume.
It even has a built-in light, which delivers good visibility in darker conditions. Say you are working in a darker part of your shop – you would still be able to see the chain easily while you are sharpening its teeth.
Thanks to a tilting vise, this commercial chainsaw sharpener is capable of working with both semi-chisel and chisel-style cutters. It weighs around 17 pounds, which gives it a substantial feel when it is sitting on top of a table. It is not the type of chainsaw sharpener that you are accidentally going to knock over.
Another benefit is the ease of use. First, you secure the sharpener. Then use the chain cutter to secure the chain onto the ground. Then you press down on the machine’s handle and it will begin grinding. This part of the process can get a bit loud, so you may not want to use this chainsaw sharpener in areas where quiet is expected.
- Boasts large five-and-a-half inch wheels.
- Has reinforced hinges.
- Chain grinding angle is easily adjustable from 0 to 30 degrees. Motor adjusts from 0 to 70 degrees.
- Comes with two grinding wheels.
- Grinding wheel vibrates very loudly.
Things You Should Know Before Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener
Why Sharpen Chainsaw Blades?
When you are cutting wood or some other material with a chainsaw, it is hard work. Even if you have a very capable and expensive chainsaw, it is an intense job that requires precision.
If you start to notice some performance degradation on your chainsaw, it is a sign that your blades are not being maintained in the right way. It may not be such an issue if you use your chainsaw infrequently.
But if you are a regular cutter of wood, you will need to take measures to keep your chainsaw performing at a high level.
Chainsaw Cutting Mechanism
Chainsaw blades have cutters on them. These are the “teeth” that get different surfaces cut in an efficient way. Then you have rakers, which are responsible for the depth reached by the chainsaw teeth.
When both the rakers and the teeth are in good condition, you get a penetrative, smooth and consistent cut.
While you will need to maintain your rakers every few months, it is the teeth of the chainsaw that you must worry about the most. These are easily dulled. And when they are dull, the performance is impacted significantly. If cutting a material with sharp teeth took you ten minutes, you are easily looking at spending 15 or 20 minutes trying to get the material cut with dulled teeth.
Not only is the process more laborious and frustrating with a dull chainsaw, but it is also going to produce an inferior product.
When your chainsaw teeth are dulled, they are going to penetrate much worse than before. That means when you eventually do get a cut, it will not be smooth.
If you have ever seen someone finish cutting wood and you notice many of the pieces look wrecked in the parts where they were cut – it is because the chainsaw is dull.
And the final aspect you must consider is safety. Using a chainsaw with dulled blades is not only time consuming and inferior in outcome, but it is also less safe. Why? Because when you have dulled blades, you are running the risk of increased kickback.
Remember that getting kickback while using a chainsaw is the biggest safety risk. When your blades are in optimum condition, you are far less likely to experience this outcome. Always keep your chainsaw blades sharpened!
Sharpening a Chainsaw
It is always possible to sharpen your chainsaw using something like a round hand file. You can work on the teeth of the chainsaw and they will eventually sharpen.
However, trying to sharpen a chainsaw this way takes a lot of time and energy. And you may not always get the best results. Investing in a quality chainsaw sharpener is a much better idea.
The types of chainsaw sharpeners available on the market make it so easy to keep your chainsaw blades in top condition. The issue is that very few chainsaw sharpeners are a “one size fits all” model.
The best ones will work with a number of different chainsaws, but not all of them. It is important to understand the different types of chainsaw sharpeners and the machines they are compatible with.
Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners
This type of sharpener will attach to a chainsaw bar. A few adjustments are required so that it can properly accommodate the device it is being used on.
These bar-mounted guides are very accurate, but they are a little bit dangerous. It is common for shavings to go off into the air as the blades are being sharpened. Take safety precautions while using this type of sharpener.
These chainsaw sharpeners will need an electric connection to operate. They are a bit more expensive, but they are also the most versatile.
They will work with almost any type of chainsaw and they will complete the sharpening job within five minutes. The only negative with these products is they are more expensive to purchase.
Handheld Round File
One of the most popular chainsaw sharpener models on the market, the handheld round file will easily fit between the blade teeth of chainsaws to sharpen the edges.
They are not hard to use when you are used to it, but you will need to use them cautiously. It is a manual process, which means that you could end up with uneven chainsaw blades if you are not careful.
Portable vs. Benchtop
Consider where you will be sharpening your chainsaw blades.
If you have a workstation at home or at the office where you can sharpen your tools, getting a benchtop sharpener is the way to go.
They are easier to use and have better performance. But if you envision yourself needing to sharpen chainsaw blades in the field, you may want to get a portable sharpener too.
Every chainsaw sharpener has its own characteristics. If you used one handheld round file with your chainsaw, do not assume another will work too. Sharpeners only work with blades of specific sizes and shapes.
Make sure to check the product page, or the company’s website, to ensure complete compatibility with your chainsaw blades.
It is impossible to avoid talking about budget when discussing chainsaw sharpeners. You can buy a set of handheld chainsaw sharpeners that will barely cost you more than $20. Or you could spend hundreds of dollars on electric sharpeners.
It is all about the type of experience you want.
Do you want an inexpensive tool that will get the job done when you need it? Choosing the handheld round file is a solid option. But you must be aware that it is much harder to use such a sharpener.
If you will be using your expensive chainsaw regularly and you want an easy way to sharpen its blades, spend the money on a quality electric sharpener. It will make your life so much easier. You will never have to deal with dull blades again, as you can sharpen yours within minutes.
Our Final Review
What good is spending a lot of money on an expensive chainsaw if you will not take care of it?
Much like any other machine, a chainsaw will degrade in performance and safety if it is not looked after. Aside from other maintenance, buying a chainsaw sharpener will be a huge benefit.
If you use chainsaws regularly and you want to maintain the performance of your machine, buying a quality chainsaw sharpener is the way to go. As our guide suggests, there are quite a few models on the market that will do an impressive job.
If you want the best all-round chainsaw sharpener, regardless of price, the CO-Z Electric Chainsaw Sharpener from Tek Motion is a very good choice.
By testing various products and narrowing our list down to the top five chainsaw sharpeners, we hope to make your buying experience an easier one.
Any of these top five chainsaw sharpeners will serve you very well.