Best Chainsaw Sharpener

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Tools work best and are safest to use when they are sharp, and chainsaws are no exception. Instead of replacing the chains when they’re blunt, a simple sharpening can do wonders to restore the efficiency of your chainsaw. It only takes a few minutes before you’re ready to get back to work and will save you time and money that you might have otherwise spent searching for new chains.

Whether you prefer an electric sharpener or the old-school way of doing it manually, you’ll find the best options for your needs right here.

Best Chainsaw Sharpener
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1 Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Sharpener
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Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Sharpener

It also cannot be used to maintain the rakers as you need a flat-edged grinding wheel. You’ll need to buy a separate depth gauge and flat file.
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As with the other electric bench mounted chainsaw sharpeners, there is a bit of time needed to set up before you can start sharpening. Once set up, the angle is always consistent, which makes for a well-functioning chain.

This machine is a lot lighter than the Oregon 410-120 grinder and the Oregon 510-120 grinder, making it ideal for smaller workshops or if you need to be able to store it elsewhere between uses.

Unlike the Oregon electric chainsaw sharpeners, this sharpener does not have a variety of grinding wheels. Instead of changing wheels for different pitches, you need to play with the sharpening angles when working on various chains. This is more confusing than using other chainsaw sharpeners but can be learned with some practice.

Pros

  • Short time to sharpen the chain
  • Works on all chain pitches
  • Lightweight compared to other electric mounted grinders/sharpeners

Cons

  • Does not maintain rakers
  • Steep learning curve
2 Oregon 520-120 Bench Mounted Grinder
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Oregon 520-120 Bench Mounted Grinder

One drawback of this model is that the left and right sharpening angles are not even, which can stop your chainsaw from cutting well, making it seem blunt or making the cut crooked.
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The consistency of sharpening angles is the main drawcard of all electric bench mounted chainsaw sharpeners. So much so that you’ll want to sharpen your chains frequently to make your chainsaw a cut above the rest in terms of efficiency. This model has a stronger motor than the Oregon 410-120 grinder, allowing you to use it more often without wearing out your machine.

Like the Oregon 410-120, there is a bit of a learning curve to set up and operate your machine. If you are a beginner, it might be easier to go for a manual sharpening method like the Stihl 2-in-1 Easy File or a Backridge File Kit.

Pros

  • Stronger motor for more frequent use
  • Easy to set up
  • Fast and accurate sharpening
  • Raker grinder included

Cons

  • Slight learning curve
  • Uneven right and left sharpening angles
3 Katzco Chainsaw File Kit
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Katzco Chainsaw File Kit

The angle gauge is of poor quality and the grips break occasionally. Also, as with the Backridge file kit, it can be difficult to keep a consistent angle when sharpening, potentially compromising the sharpness and cutting efficacy of your saw.
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This file kit works the same way as the Backridge File Kit. It also includes three sizes of round files and an angle gauge for sharpening the teeth and a flat file and depth gauge for maintaining the rakers.

The kit comes with a handy pouch to store the files and gauges for easy transportation to your work location. The variety of files means you can sharpen any chainsaw if you know which file to use; no need to spend lots of money buying multiple sharpeners or grinding wheels.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Can be used on all chain pitches
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Angle guide is poor quality
  • Difficult to maintain a consistent angle when sharpening
4 Backridge Tough Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit
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Backridge Tough Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

As with other manual and handheld sharpeners, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent angle when sharpening, even when using an angle gauge. Inconsistent angles can compromise the sharpness of your chainsaw and you might need to get it professionally sharpened occasionally. A bar mount sharpener avoids this issue while giving you all the benefits and versatility of a file kit.
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File kits like this one are the original way chainsaws were sharpened when they were first invented. They are simple and easy to use once you get used to the sharpening motion and can be used on any pitch and type of chain. Files are inexpensive and easy to replace once they have worn out, leaving you more money for other tools and accessories.

This kit includes three sizes of round files and an angle gauge for sharpening the teeth, as well as a flat file and depth gauge for maintaining the rakers.

While you do need to know which size round file to use for your chainsaw’s pitch, that is as simple as reading a chart. Once you know which file you need, you can sharpen any chainsaw without needing to buy any other files or sharpeners. It does take a bit longer than using an electric bench sharpener like the Oregon 410-120 Grinder, but the time difference is only a few minutes.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Can be used on all chain pitches
  • Good budget option

Cons

  • Difficult to maintain a consistent angle when sharpening
5 Oregon 410-120 Bench/Wall Mounted Grinder
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Oregon 410-120 Bench/Wall Mounted Grinder

If you use your chainsaw seasonally or mainly for household projects, this chainsaw sharpener is great and will fit into your workshop without taking up too much space. However, if you are a professional and/or use your chainsaw frequently (and therefore need to sharpen frequently too), the Oregon 510-120 model will better suit your needs. This model tends to have loose ball bearings in the chain guide, which fall out easily and need to be put back. This requires a little technical knowledge of your machine to ensure it works properly.
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This chainsaw sharpener includes three grinding wheels in various sizes to accommodate all chain pitches. There is some assembly required before you can start using this machine, and if you have never used an electric mounted chainsaw sharpener before, this can be quite confusing and time-consuming.

Once they are set up, electric mounted sharpeners consistently sharpen each tooth to the same angle, allowing the chainsaw to cut more efficiently. This is because you simply set the angle once and use that for each tooth. Inconsistent angles can make your chainsaw seem blunt as the teeth are working in opposition to each other.

Pros

  • Best mounting versatility
  • Sharpens all pitches
  • Includes three grinding stones
  • Consistently accurate angles

Cons

  • Ball bearings in the chain guide tend to fall out
  • Slight learning curve

Best Chainsaw Sharpener 2021 Year

Buyer's Guide, Comparison and Advices

What to Know Before Sharpening Your Chainsaw

Electric versus manual is a common debate in the tool world. No matter whether you’re a hand- or power tool woodworker, the main thing we are concerned here with is how well the chainsaw sharpener works (we are all just here to sharpen our chainsaws after all), and how to use it safely.

Cutthroat Competition: Electric vs. Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

The electric versus manual tool debate has been going on since electric tools were developed and will probably continue for many decades to come as each method has its pros and cons. For the most part, it boils down to your personal preference.

Electric Wall/Bench-Mounted Chainsaw Sharpeners

As they are fixed to a bench or wall, these electric chainsaw sharpeners are very steady and, therefore, very accurately and consistently sharpen your chainsaw teeth to the correct angle. This is important because uneven teeth don’t cut smoothly, straining the motor of your chainsaw and raising the risk of kickback.

Although they do have a bit of a learning curve, once they are set up you don’t need to put in much effort to quickly sharpen and get back to using your chainsaw. On the other hand, you need to remove the chain from the chainsaw to sharpen it, which is not necessary with manual methods, so the time taken to sharpen your chainsaw ends up roughly the same.

Electric Handheld Chainsaw Sharpeners

While you still get a fast sharpening for your chain blades, the portable nature of these chainsaw sharpeners can compromise the accuracy of the sharpening angle. They’re more difficult to control and it’s hard to maintain a consistent angle. With this in mind, electric handheld chainsaw sharpeners are better for more experienced users and/or those who are confident in their fine-motor skills. If you are a beginner, a manual chainsaw sharpener like the Stihl 2-in-1 Easy File or the Backridge File Kit might be a better option.

Two cons of electric chainsaw sharpeners and/or grinders are the risk of over-sharpening the teeth, wearing them down quickly, and over-heating the teeth, making them brittle and more prone to being damaged. However, as the chain generally needs to be replaced after being sharpened 2-4 times, this isn’t a big deal for most people.

Manual Files

Although they take a bit of practice, manual chainsaw sharpeners are easy to use and don’t have much of a learning curve, making them great for beginners, especially if you don’t want to make a big financial investment. They are also ideal for work in remote locations as they fit easily into your back pocket and don’t need electricity or a battery to operate. There’s also no risk of over-sharpening as there is with electrical chainsaw sharpeners.

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