Best Chainsaw Sharpener – Reviews And Buying Guide 2018

You don’t want to purchase the first chainsaw sharpener you find; you must get the right fit. That’s why it’s imperative that you read through the chainsaw sharpener reviews in order to find the one that has the features you need. Otherwise, you might end up with a poor quality build instead of the best chainsaw sharpener.

Chainsaw maintenance requires several aspects from filling the oil to keeping it sharp. There’s no other way to keep the chainsaw sharp but to use the best chainsaw sharpener. To find a high-quality chainsaw sharpener, you need to know what you’re looking for first. That’s why we’ve compiled our top choices for you to consider.

Don’t cut with a dull chainsaw any longer! Complete your work with more efficiency when you purchase the best chainsaw sharpener.


Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Katzco

Handheld Sharpener

Timberline

Bar-Mounted Sharpener

Buffalo Tools

Electric Sharpener


Best Handheld Chainsaw Sharpener

If you enjoy putting some elbow grease into your work and want to tackle doing the job yourself, then a handheld chainsaw sharpener might be the best option for you. For the most part, they are normally inexpensive and simple enough for a beginner to use.

 

1. Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener

Fine-tooth chainsaw files that allows for comfortable grip when using and will keep the chain sharp to allow for faster, safer work.

This complete eight-piece set might be the best chainsaw sharpener in the manual form. There’s not much that can be said about it other than it has everything you need to cover most of the common blade and chain sizes, so there should be no issue with compatibility.

The construction is high-quality so you get the results you want. Probably the best part about this option is that the price is so low. It’s the cheapest of everything we’re looking at in these reviews, so perfect for those on a budget. If you don’t need a sharpener often and don’t want to break the bank, this is the best choice.

The provided pouch rolls up and allows you take the tools with you on the go. They are also comfortable to grip which will enable you to complete sharpening faster and safer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another kit with so many accessories constructed of high-quality materials such as this.

Obviously, there isn’t any warranty information on this sharpener, but for the price, it’s hard to complain.

What Customers Say:

With the majority of reviewers giving this kit five-stars, it easy to see that this sharpener is a winner. Read what this customer said, “They sharpened the blades beautifully, in less time than I thought it would take. It is so easy; I even touched them up after an hour of cutting. If you are paying somebody to sharpen your blades, do yourself a favor and buy this set. You will save money and have the satisfaction of maintaining your equipment yourself.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 2 inches
  • Product Weight: 8 ounces
  • Comes with: six-inch flat fine tooth file, filing guide, tool pouch, depth-gauge tool and three rounded fine tooth files in sizes 5/32”, 3/16”, and 7/32”
PROS:
  • Comes with a portable pouch
  • Used with most common sizes
  • High-quality construction
  • Low cost
  • Comfortable to hold

CONS:
  • Instructions are confusing
  • No warranty information


 

2. Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener

STIHL 2 IN 1

Product Weight: 12.3 ounces

This manual sharpening tool is pricier than the last model but comes from a reputable brand. It does appear to be just a barebones model, so it’s hard to justify the price, other than customers find it to be an exceptionally effective sharpener. That’s why we’ve included it on the best chainsaw sharpener reviews list.

Without any prior knowledge, anyone could operate this tool. It is a sharpener and depth gauge all in one easy to hold device. That makes it a simple solution, especially if you need highly accurate sharpening while on the go.

You can use this with a mount to make things a little easier or some people just use a vise. Just keep in mind that this particular sharpener only works with 0.325 chains, but the company makes others of varying sizes. There also is no warranty information on this model.

What Customers Say:

The nice thing about this design is that anyone could do it. Check out what this beginner had to say, “The first time I sharpened the chain it took 30 minutes, but each subsequent time, I got faster and after a half dozen or so sharpenings, I’m down to about 5 minutes.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 2 x 0.9 inches
  • Product Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Comes with: just the easy file sharpener
PROS:
  • Easy to use, even for a beginner
  • Doesn’t require the use of any fancy equipment
  • Portable
  • Great customer reviews
  • Comfortable to hold

CONS:
  • High cost for a manual sharpener
  • Only works with 0.325 chains


Best Bar-Mounted Chainsaw Sharpener

If you want a perfect mixture between the manual versions and electric, then the bar-mounted option is the way to go. These are more effective than a handheld but normally less expensive than electric. Here are our two top choices for the best chainsaw sharpener that is bar mounted.

 

1. Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener

Timberline

Precise Every Tooth Sharpened to the same Length and Angle

Before we even get started about why this was chosen for the best chainsaw sharpener, we feel the need to warn you that it’s expensive. We find it to be more costly than some of the electric models, but we had to include it because it’s an excellent tool.

Not only is it quick and precise, but it’s simple to use. Where some electric models are hard for novices to operate, this unit is easily operated by anyone. In just a short amount of time, you’ll have professional results without paying someone to do the job for you.

Let’s talk about some of the benefits to this over an electric tool. Obviously, it’s handy not to need electricity in order to run it. In addition, you don’t need to remove your chain when using a bar as you do with an electric sharpener. This model simply attaches to the bar while the saw’s chain is still attached.

This device attaches quickly to any bar and gives users the ability to sharpen each tooth at the same angle and length. It’s constructed from quality aluminum to create a durable option that fits right into your pocket.

Check out a video review of this sharpener:

What Customers Say:

Most of the customers remarked at how easy it was to use this sharpener. Here’s what one person had to say, “I couldn’t believe the difference after using the Timberline. Those teeth are perfectly ground, and razor sharp. Took me maybe 20 minutes to sharpen an 18″ chain, but I was going really slow, making sure everything was lining up and doing what it’s supposed to. I have no doubt that the next time won’t take more than 10-15 minutes, tops. The product is easy to use, does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and appears to be very well built. If you frequently use a chainsaw and want to keep your chain razor sharp, I strongly recommend this product.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 8 inches
  • Product Weight: 2 pounds
  • Comes with: sharpener with 3/6” sharpener
PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Attaches to the bar easily
  • High-quality construction

CONS:
  • Pricey
  • Not as powerful as an electric sharpener


 

2. Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener

Granberg G-106B

Made of cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel

The interesting thing about the Granberg Bar-Mount is that it’s only the mount itself and doesn’t have the sharpener. That means you need to fit a file on the bar in order to sharpen your chain. While this might seem like a hassle at first, it is still regarded as the best chainsaw sharpener for numerous reasons.

Consider that this bar mount works with any chainsaw, all you need to do is supply the sharpener. The price is also quite reasonable and will save you money depending on what you spend on a sharpener. Since it’s compatible with your chainsaw, you can rely on the fact that it will provide a firm and solid foundation while sharpening.

The entire mount is made from metal, so it’s going to be long-lasting and durable. It’s also known to make extremely accurate micro adjustments on its depth gauge. This allows you to sharpen any chainsaw blade with ease.

It is made in the United States which is another perk for many people. With the lightweight design, you can also take this anywhere with you for quick sharpening.

Check out this guy’s first time using this sharpener:

What Customers Say:

More than half of the customers have given this sharpener a five-star review. Here’s what one person had to say, “This has been my go-to sharpener for several years now. It is very easy to use, accurate, and provides sharper than new chains when properly used.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 7 x 1.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Comes with: mount for sharpener
PROS:
  • Compatible with all chainsaws
  • Low cost
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality metal construction

CONS:
  • You must supply the blade
  • Might take a few minutes to figure out


Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

If you spend a lot of time using your chainsaw, then it makes sense for you to choose the best chainsaw sharpener that’s powered by electric. They get the job done faster and give you more accurate results than the other options. With that in mind, they do come with a higher price tag.

 

1. Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Buffalo Tools

4200 RPM grinding speed, 60 Hz, 85-watt, plugs into a standard 120-volt wall outlet

Our top pick for the best chainsaw sharpener is this option from Buffalo Tools. If there was a way to make a package that was budget-friendly yet still effective, then this sharpener got it right. It fits the majority of blade sizes right from the box which is a huge plus.

You can also mount this to a wall, vise or bench for maximum versatility. This allows you to create a stable environment to house the unit which keeps you protected from harm. Since it’s easy to use, the chances are that you’ll find yourself sharpening the saw often.

The motor runs at 85 watts which isn’t a powerhouse by any means, but good enough for most homeowners. It also features a 4,200 RPM count so the jobs get done quickly.

At less than six pounds, it’s also one of the lightest electric chainsaw sharpeners on the market. That makes it easy to take with you to other job sites for convenience. Most beginners have no trouble using this machine and find it to be less complicated than some more sophisticated options.

If you need to sharpen your saw occasionally for home or mild professional jobs, save yourself some money and go with this option.

Check out this video review for more information:

What Customers Say:

Many people couldn’t believe the quality for the price. Check out what this user said, “My appraisal is that this is a fine machine for the average homeowner. If it lasts for four sharpenings, you will be ahead. But I expect that with care, the machine will last much longer than that.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Power: 85 Watts
  • RPM: 4200
PROS:
  • Low price
  • Compatible with most blade sizes
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Can be mounted anywhere

CONS:
  • Not as sturdy as more expensive options
  • 1/8” grinding width isn’t regarded as the most versatile sharpening size


 

2. Timber Tuff CS-12V 12-Volt Portable Electric Chain Saw Chain Sharpener

Timber Tuff

High speed motor no-load speed: 12v/200001000r;P1,17W

When you need an affordable, portable option, this Timber Tuff is the best chainsaw sharpener you could buy. It weighs less than a pound, so you can’t expect it to compete with other options, but it’s great for taking with you. It’s operated by a 12V battery so you can power it up anywhere.

Use this sharpener with your 20, 25 or 30-degree blade angles without any adjustments. There’s no reason to purchase separate angle guides. Plus, did you notice the price? It’s even cheaper than some manual tools.

The grinding stones work well and rotate at 20,000 RPM. This allows you to achieve a smooth sharpness in just a short time. It’s the ideal solution for anyone that requires a fast sharpening while on the go.

​The downside to this model is that it doesn’t feature an angle adjustment. That means you must be careful when you sharpen. You need to have a skilled hand in order to obtain a uniform blade length while using this sharpener.

Surprisingly, this unit does come with a one-year warranty even though it is dirt cheap. With that peace of mind, what could go wrong?

If you want to see the tool in action, watch this video review:

What Customers Say:

Even though this is a smaller unit, people seem genuinely happy with the performance. Read what this user wrote, “It takes about five minutes to sharpen a 20″ chain. You do not have to remove the chain from the saw. I sharpened the first chain and it ripped through a tree like a hot knife through butter.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Power: 12V
  • RPM: 2000
PROS:
  • Low price
  • Portable
  • No adjustments to make
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Powerful enough for most tasks

CONS:
  • Hard to get a uniform finish with this model
  • Need to have a skilled hand to do the job right.


 

3. Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

Oregon 410-120

Built-in light and one-way motor rotation for safe operation.

If you need the best chainsaw sharpener, but don’t want to spend a fortune to get it, this Oregon model might be right for you. It is on the higher side of sharpeners we’ve reviewed, but still affordable enough for the common user.

The reason the price jumps up on this model is that it’s constructed of heavy-duty steel. That means this machine can withstand a good amount of wear and tear before you need a new one. The sturdy, solid construction offers years of heavy use.

This grinder adjusts to varying heights and sharpens chains of multiple sizes. There are also three varying sized grinding blades to make the job easier. What makes this sharpener unique is the additional features it offers. It comes with a grinding template, dressing brick, built-in light and wheel wear gauge.

You can mount it on a wall or workbench with ease. Keep in mind that it does weigh 17 pounds, but that’s what makes it so sturdy and dependable. With a machine like this, there is less likelihood of injury while sharpening your blades.

The 1.2-amp motor pumps out 140 watts of power. When it’s at its optimal speed, it will produce 3,500 RPM. You aren’t going to find too much better than that!

This machine is high-end and geared toward someone that needs to sharpen their chainsaws on a regular basis. If you have a little money to invest, you won’t regret this purchase one bit.

Check out this sharpener on this video:

What Customers Say:

This higher-end chainsaw sharpener sure does impress the customers. Read what this person wrote in regards to what happened after they sharpened the chain, “I put the chain back on the saw and headed for timber. I started the saw, made sure the bar oiler was working properly and set in to cutting. Wow! Impressive! The chain cut through the wood just like a new one. I highly recommend this unit, especially to any newbies looking to save some money and time by doing their own sharpening.”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Product Weight: 17 pounds
  • Power: 140 Watts
  • RPM: 3,500
PROS:
  • Quality construction
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to mount
  • Comes with grinding template, dressing brick, built-in light and wheel wear gauge
  • Durable

CONS:
  • Weighs more than most
  • Instructions are difficult to understand


 

4. OrangeA Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

OrangeA

Made of sturdy cast aluminum with reinforced hinges that improve strength and performance.

If you have a maximum budget of $100, but still want the best chainsaw sharpener, this is a great option for you. It might not be the top of the line, but it still features plenty of functionality, durability and power.

It’s constructed of cast aluminum for a long-lasting life. You can expect this to get plenty of years of use even with some abuse. The sharpener is also fairly easy to mount on workbenches or tables.

It outputs 230 watts of power which is quite respectable, especially for the price. At its top performance, you can expect to see speeds of 3,000 RPM. The sharpener also comes with two grinding wheels sized 3/16” and 1/8”. That means you are able to sharpen chains that have pitches ranging from 1/4” to 3/8”.

This unit also features a chain grinder and work light that has safety guards. This provides you with additional protection and improves your accuracy. In addition, there’s also a tilting vise that accommodates both the semi-chisel or chisel-style cutters.

Clearly, this isn’t going to be as high of a performer as the Oregon model reviewed above, but it is well worth the money you’ll spend. It’s reliable, sharpens the chains well and gets the job done.

What Customers Say:

The investment of this chainsaw sharpener seems to pay for itself quickly with how much the customers are using it. Read this rave review, “Fantastic sharpener, already paid for its self by sharpening nine chainsaw blades. Accurate sharpener!”

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 17.1 pounds
  • Power: 230 Watts
  • RPM: 3,000
PROS:
  • Budget option
  • Sturdy
  • Constructed of high-quality materials
  • Powerful
  • Includes a work light

CONS:
  • Weighs more than most
  • It is prone to some vibration


Why You Need a Chainsaw Sharpener

The chainsaw is a useful and powerful too, but there’s also a lot of wear and tear you need to consider. The blades tend to go dull quickly, which leads to several concerns.

First, having a dull blade leads to an incompetent chainsaw. It won’t cut the way it once did and you risk binding the blade which might lead to a kickback.

Secondly, having a sharp blade ensures that your cuts are faster which makes you more productive. The quicker the speed, the less you have to work. If you are using a battery-operated chainsaw, it also means you get more runtime; whereas, with a gas chainsaw, you’ll end up using less fuel.

Another reason to sharpen the blade is that you’ll increase its life. As the blade dulls, your cuts are made slower. This means you are doing more cutting in order to accomplish the same job which puts additional wear on your blade. It also causes more wear on the motor of your chainsaw.

Keeping your blade sharpened is just as important as maintaining the proper amount of oil in your machine.

Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

There are three types of chainsaw sharpeners:

  • Handheld Files
  • Electric Sharpeners
  • Bar-mounted Sharpeners

Handheld Files

It’s clear to tell by its name that this is going to be your basic sharpener. It’s the easiest to figure out because you simply use it by hand and manually sharpen each tooth of the blade individually. There’s no reason to really consider this option unless it’s something you enjoy doing.

There are numerous issues when it comes to a handheld file. First, blades each require its own size file. There are some on the market that come with various file sizes, but you must make sure they’ll fit your chainsaw.

Another concern is achieving a uniform sharpness across your blades. This is often difficult to obtain and causes many people stress that isn’t needed. With that said, a handheld file is the cheapest way to get a chainsaw sharpener.

Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

If your goal is to get a fast and easy sharpening job done to your unit, then the best chainsaw sharpener for you is the electric option. These innovative machines fit any size chain and don’t require adjustments to get the right fit.

All you need to do is put your chain inside the device, make adjustments if needed and start your sharpening. While there is a small amount of manual labor involved, this is the easiest option by far.

The obvious downside is that electronic devices cost more than other types of sharpeners.

Bar-Mounted Sharpeners

This is the middle ground between a handheld and electric sharpener. They’re more functional than the handheld counterparts, but not as effective as an electric choice. You simply put the device onto the bar of your chain and run the blade over it to sharpen the teeth.

You’ll end up with a more uniform finish than using a handheld file, plus they aren’t as expensive as the electric options. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to make adjustments so the sharpener can accommodate your chainsaw’s size. It’s also dangerous to use because file shavings might fly off using this method. If you must sharpen with a bar-mounted option, be sure to wear your eye protection glasses.

Consider These Things When Purchasing the Best Chainsaw Sharpener

Not every chainsaw is created the same way. There are many factors involved in choosing the best chainsaw sharpener. Here are the points to consider before making that next purchase.

Power

As a general rule, the more power a sharpener has, the better it sharpens. They all come with varying sized motors, most of them ranging from 75 to 300 watts. Another thing to watch for is the rotations per minute. The higher the RPM is, the faster it will sharpen. Obviously, you’ll pay more for the best chainsaw sharpener with high power and high RPMs.

Durability

Just like with any product you purchase, you need to evaluate the construction. The best chainsaw sharpener is made from heavy-duty metals that withstand abuse. Other varieties are made from plastic that might be flimsy and could break. If you can, invest the extra money to get a higher-quality option so it doesn’t break after a couple of uses.

Compatibility

Not every chainsaw is capable of handling all chain sizes. Most chainsaws come with chain sizes ranging from 0.325 inches to 0.404 inches. The majority of quality sharpeners can handle these sizes, but you must be sure before making your purchase

Price

What you pay for is what you get and that couldn’t be truer than when searching for the best chainsaw sharpener. While you need to stick to a budget that works for you, you also need to consider the cost of buying a cheap model. If it breaks, you’ll have to purchase another one, which means you didn’t save money.

If you only need to sharpen your chainsaw occasionally, you might be able to get away with the cheaper variety. On the other hand, if you use your chainsaw regularly, then do yourself a favor and invest in the right sharpener.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

It’s obviously important that your chainsaw be sharp, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Many people don’t fully understand how to make that happen – so we’ve put together a quick guide on sharpening a chainsaw for you.

  1. Pick the right file type. Most people choose the electric version because it delivers a professional result in a short time span.
  2. Make sure that your file matches the blade you are sharpening.
  3. Start with the link, which is an area that doesn’t have teeth. It’s normally the beginning of your chain. If you are unable to find this, make sure you mark where you start.
  4. Make even and firm motions. Align your file to the same angle as the blade. Then, apply even pressure throughout. You want it to be firm so it produces a uniform and professional result for the entire length of the chain.
  5. Rinse your chain and repeat if necessary.

It’s important that you sharpen your chain on a regular basis. Some people prefer to do it every time they complete a heavy-duty project.

Safety Precautions When Using a Chainsaw Sharpener

If you misuse the chainsaw sharpener, there could be serious consequences. These are dangerous tools, so you must take steps to protect yourself.

  1. Make sure that your sharpener is placed on a stable and steady surface. You don’t want it to move or slip during operation.
  2. Wear the proper attire while sharpening. There are often metal splinters involved which could damage your eyes, arms and hands. Wear long sleeves, safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from the metal pieces.
  3. Always use both of your hands while operating the best chainsaw sharpener. It only takes a second of being careless to cause major injury. Do yourself a favor and pay close attention to everything that is happening during the task.

Final Thoughts

If you plan to own a chainsaw, then you must maintain it. This requires that you take the time to sharpen the chain on a regular basis. There are many ways to accomplish this, but the best chainsaw sharpener gets the job done quickly.

As we’ve shown you, there are numerous methods for accomplishing this. You can go the handheld route if you need to save money, but it’s recommended you invest in an electric sharpener. No matter what your budget is, take steps to ensure that your chainsaw continues to run smoothly. It will make your jobs go faster, improve the life of your tool and save you from disastrous consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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