Best Chainsaw Sharpeners

UPDATED October 2019



A good chainsaw sharpener will prevent accidents and keep you steady on your feet.

BEST CHAINSAW
SHARPENER 2019

BOTTOM LINE

With this file set, you can keep everything you need to sharpen your chain nearby. Many shoppers like that the pouch has a roll-up design that reduces the amount of space the set takes up in their pockets and boxes.

PROS

Included inside this roll-up pouch are multiple tools that you can use for sharpening and maintaining your chainsaw and saws. You get both a round file and premium file with a flat edge for working on smaller teeth.

CONS

The quality of this set isn’t quite up to par, which led to some customers complaining about the files bending or breaking. Some reviews claimed that not all of the files worked with their chains.

BOTTOM LINE

Designed for use anywhere, this chainsaw sharpener mounts easily onto most surfaces and has a portable design that lets you take it to job sites. You can pull the chain straight through and sharpen it faster with minimal work on your part.

PROS

As a bar-mounted option, this sharpener is perfect for mounting on a surface in your garage or workshop to give you added stability as you sharpen. You can adjust the angle and length based on how you want to sharpen your chains.

CONS

Many customers found that this sharpener had a steep learning curve and that it took some time for them to feel confident using it. Some also claimed that it didn’t work as well as a standard file does.

BOTTOM LINE

The best electric sharpener is this one, which features a motor with an RPM rating of more than 4,000 revolutions per minute. You can work quickly and still stay safe because of the built-in safety guide.

PROS

Thanks to a safety guide, this model keeps your hands away from both the motor and your chain. It comes with rollers that let you quickly rotate the chain to work on multiple teeth in a short period of time.

CONS

The lack of included instructions makes this model hard to use. While it gets generally positive reviews, some customers did think it used some cheap parts.

BOTTOM LINE

No matter what type of chain or blade you need to sharpen, you can use this set and get some great results. The kit comes with multiple files and sharpening tools and a guide for fast setup.

PROS

This kit comes with all the tools and files that you need for sharpening tools at home or on the job. You can select the right tool for any job and keep all the parts safely stored in the kit.

CONS

Working with manual tools like this set takes longer. A small number of customers complained about the quality of the tools and the materials used.

BOTTOM LINE

As the most compact sharpening tool on the market, this little key ring device is perfect for using while away from home. It comes with other tools too, including a bottle opener and a sharp edge for opening boxes and packages.

PROS

This tool gives you a convenient way to open boxes, sharpen blades and saws and even open bottles. The small size lets you keep the tool right on your key ring and take it with you everywhere.

CONS

The small size of this sharpener makes it hard for some to use. Some of the reviews we came across stated that a few of the included tools didn’t work as well as others.

Shopping Guide for the Best Chainsaw Sharpener

A chainsaw can be one of your best friends or one of your worst enemies. When you have the best chainsaw sharpener handy, you’ll keep that chain as sharp as possible. This helps you cut through old tree limbs and anything else you might have around your home. Choosing from the best chainsaw sharpener 2018 products is tough, which is why we did it for you. Our shopping guide goes over the top chainsaw sharpener 2018 models and designs to help you find one that will work for your needs.

Using a chainsaw with a rusty or dull chain is potentially dangerous. Not only can you harm yourself, but you can harm anyone else nearby when you use that power tool. Working with an old chain that is too dull can make a simple project take much longer too. As you read through our shopping guide for chainsaw sharpeners, you’ll find more than just a few products that you can buy. You’ll also find the benefits of using a sharpener and how much you should pay for one. We also included some tips on using a sharpener for your chainsaw and the top features of the best products.

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Shopping Guide for the Best Chainsaw Sharpener

Selection Criteria​

The next time that a storm downs some tree limbs in your yard, you should take a few minutes and inspect your chain before firing up your saw. As the teeth wear down, you must sharpen each one. Depending on the type of saw you have and how you use it, you may find that you need to sharpen all teeth or just a few of those teeth. Having the right tool for that job will make the task of sharpening your chainsaw much easier. That is why we created a list of the best sharpeners on the market and some tips on using each one.

Before working on this list, we first identified the different types of sharpeners. You can learn more about those types below and see the pros and cons of each type too. We then found at least one sharpener in each category listing. Our list started out with a number of different tools, but we looked at reviews to weed out those that don’t work well. We then ranked those tools based on both customer reviews and our own experiences. Our shopping guide provides you with the top chainsaw sharpeners and information on using one.

Best Chain Sharpener Selection Criteria
While sharpening your chain is something that you should do on a regular basis, you may find that you don’t like taking the time to do this each time you use your saw. When you have this Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener by your side, you can more quickly and efficiently sharpen any chain. As a bar-mounted model, it fits anywhere around your shop or garage. You can use the included clamps to quickly mount it on a table or bar. Once you place the chain inside, you can pull it straight through to sharpen each individual tooth. One nice feature of this model is that it removes only a small fraction of each tooth. This provides the sharp edge that you need but extends the life of your chain, which can save you money in the long run. It also has carbide guides built onto the ends that help you line up your chain and remove the perfect amount each time. Though you can adjust the angle and make other changes to the device, you can also purchase separate guides that will work with it. With this chainsaw sharpener, you can spend less time sharpening and more time working.

What is a Chainsaw Sharpener?

A chainsaw sharpener, also called a chainsaw chain sharpener or a chain sharpener, is essentially a tool that you can use to keep the teeth on your chain sharp. If you ever used a chainsaw with a dull chain before, you know how difficult using that tool can be. Not only do you have less control than you should, but you may find that you need to work extra hard to cut through something as simple as a thin piece of plywood. Those teeth must work together to cut through the material in front of them. With the right saw and a sharp blade, you can tackle both wood and metal as well as other materials.

Some people think that they need a bigger or more powerful chainsaw because the ones they used in the past don’t cut very well. Simply sharpening the teeth can make the saw more efficient. Sharpeners come in different types that will determine how you use one. Some allow you to run the chain through a machine that does all the cutting for you, while others require more work on your part. You can check out all the different types of chainsaw sharpeners a little further down.

What is a Chainsaw Sharpener

Common Uses of Chainsaws

  • Cutting wood for bonfires and fireplaces
  • Removing downed trees after a storm
  • Working on home improvement projects
  • Cutting down and removing dead or dying trees
While bar-mounted options are good for some, others prefer tools that work even faster, which is why they opt for electric sharpeners. We recommend the sharpener from TruePower because it works so efficiently and quickly. Though it does not come with any instructions, you can check out the box and view videos online to see how to use it. This model comes with a long power cord that lets you plug in the machine in your workshop and use it on any counter or table. One feature we really like is the built-in safety guard. Other electric models lack this feature. As you use one, you risk your hands or fingers catching on the chain or inside the machine itself. The safety guard on this model keeps all your digits away from the chain as it moves through the machine and its motor. That motor uses 8.5 amps and produces more than 4,000 revolutions per minute. You’ll also like the rotation rollers that help you quickly insert your chain and move it through the sharpener. This lets you sharpen multiple teeth in less time. It comes with a grinding wheel too that works on other types of chains and blades.

How Does a Chainsaw Sharpener Work?

Though there are three different types of chainsaw sharpeners on the market, each one works in a similar way. The concept involves the use of some type of metal to sharpen the teeth on the chain. When using a manual or hand-held sharpener, you’ll run a file across the tooth until you reach the sharpness that you desire. If you use an electric model, you can adjust the settings and let the metal inside do the sharpening for you. There are also mounted options that hold the chain steady as you drag it through a series of files.

All of the different types of chainsaw sharpeners use the same type of metal files or similar files. Some have a rounded design, but other files have a flat design. You can choose the right one based on how you want to file the teeth and how sharp you want those teeth to feel when you finish. Though some prefer the convenient filing and sharpening that electric models offer, others like using manual design because they feel like they have more control. We recommend learning more about each type before deciding which sharpener you should buy.

How Does a Chainsaw Sharpener Work

Warning!

When using manual files, focus on just one tooth at a time. If you attempt to sharpen multiple teeth, you risk scraping the file across your fingers or knuckles.

If you want more control over your work and/or prefer working on a specific tooth at a time, a sharpening kit might be a better choice for you. This kit from Drixet comes with tools that you can use at home, in your yard, while working in your garage and even while you’re on the job. It comes with both a racer file and three round files that let you file down dull teeth to give those areas the sharp edges that you need. You also get a filing guide that makes it easier to see what you need to do and how you can use the tools when you’re away from home. Also included is a depth guide that you can use to check the height of each tooth and ensure that the teeth are even. If you use a chainsaw with uneven teeth, you’ll leave behind jagged borders. You also risk the chain coming off your saw. Drixet even includes a handle that works with all the included files. Once you insert the tool into the handle, you’ll have something to hold on to as you work. All the included parts fit right inside a small plastic pouch.
Detailed Product Review Drixit Chainsaw Sharpener Filing Kit

Benefits of Using a Chainsaw Sharpener

Before you buy a brand new chain or completely replace your old chainsaw, take a look at some of the benefits of sharpening the chain that you already own.

  • Save money: The biggest benefit of buying and using a sharpener is that it saves you some money. Sharpeners are available for around $10 to more than $100 and will fit any budget you have in mind. Using a sharpener is a cheaper alternative to buying a new chain or saw.
  • Cut more efficiently: Using a dull or worn chain can leave you spending hours to cut down a small tree. With a sharpener, you can sharpen the teeth on that chain and cut much faster.
  • Reduce risk of injury: Sharpening your chainsaw chain can also reduce your risk of suffering a personal injury. A dull chain can actually bounce off a tree that you want to cut, which can cause the saw to move wildly. You may have a hard time getting control and either fall down or cut yourself.
  • Extend the chain’s life: You can also extend the life of your chain with a sharpener. Sharpening the teeth lets you get more use out of the chain and can keep the motor on your saw from wearing out or overheating.
One of the most convenient file sets we found is this set from Katzco. Unlike other sets that come in a hard plastic kit, this set comes with a softer pouch. The pouch rolls up to reduce its footprint, making it easy to carry it in your pocket or toolkit. When you need to sharpen your chains, simply unroll the pouch to find the right tool for the job. This pouch also has a small strap that you can wrap around the back and tie shut to keep the tools from spilling out. No matter what type of filing or sharpening you want to do, this kit comes with all the necessary tools. You’ll get both flat and rounded files that let you work on more than one tooth or just a single tooth at a time. The included hardwood handle works with those files. You can easily insert one inside the handle before getting to work. This set comes with three files as well as a filing guide and a depth gauge. You can use that gauge to cut down to a specific height and use the guide to get some help with your filing and sharpening.
Detailed Product Review Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

Types of Sharpeners

Manual Sharpeners
As the name implies, a manual sharpener is one that you will use manually and with your own hands. These tools also go by the name of hand-held sharpeners. We included two sets of files on our list of the top chain sharpener 2018 products because of the high reviews that those sets received. You can use both rounded and flat files on your chain’s teeth. Most sets also come with a gauge that helps you remove the same amount of metal from each tooth, but you’ll also get detailed instructions that show you how to use each file. Manual sharpeners may come in a hard plastic case or a softer roll-up pouch.

Pros:

  • The convenient size of a filing kit allows you to take that kit with you when working around your home or outside.
  • You get different sizes and types of files that will work on different types of teeth and chains.
  • Many sets come with a handle made from wood or plastic that you can insert your file inside before working on your chain.
  • You have much more control with hand-held files and can make adjustments on the fly.

Cons:

  • Some sets may come with files that are too large or too small for your needs.
  • Many users have a hard time making all the teeth on their chains the same height or level.
  • It’s often hard to get the precision that you need with a hand-held tool.

Electric Sharpeners
Many DIY enthusiasts prefer electric sharpeners to manual models because they want to sharpen their chains faster. These machines usually feature multiple files inside. You can adjust the settings and tell the machine how much metal you want to remove from each tooth or use other factors when sharpening the chain. Using one of these sharpeners is easy too because you can just place the chain inside and run it through the machine. Some of the models we found will work on blades too. You’ll find a guard and other safety features that keep your hands away from the motor and other features.

Pros:

  • Electric models let you do all the sharpening that you need faster and with less labor on your part.
  • You can set up all the features on the sharpener and work through the teeth faster.
  • Manufacturers make electric models that at different price points to fit any budget.

Cons:

  • Electric models are the most expensive chain sharpeners on the market.
  • You must wear safety gear to protect your eyes and skin when using one of these models.

Bar-Mounted Sharpeners
A convenient way to sharpen your chains without spending a lot of money is with one of the bar-mounted models. The name comes from the fact that you can mount the device on any surface, but most users mount theirs on either a workbench or a table. You’ll find clamps that let you mount the product onto that surface to keep it from moving. Located on the front is a small opening that lets you insert your chain. You’ll pull quickly to move the chain through the sharpener inside. Many bar-mounted models let you adjust the angle and the depth of your cuts too.

Pros:

  • You can sharpen all teeth at the same time to make each one level with the next.
  • Bar-mounted models will work with most types of chainsaw chains.
  • You can use the clamps to set up the tool on any surface when working away from your home.
  • A bar-mounted sharpener allows you to sharpen all teeth quickly.

Cons:

  • Setting up a bar-mounted sharpener can take time that you don’t have.
  • Some metal shavings can come off as you sharpen your chains and strike you or anyone nearby.
Types of Sharpeners
Keychain sharpeners like this one let you carry the tools that you need everywhere you go. A small metal ring located on the end lets you hook this tool to your own keychain to carry it with your house or car keys. You can also use that ring to hook the tool to your bag or belt loop. Though it uses a cheap plastic housing, it features metal rings that keep that housing from snapping apart when you use the tool on tougher jobs. This micro tool has a built-in sharpener that will work on most blades and chains. You simply place the metal inside the sharpener and give it a hard pull to move the chain through. This sharpener works best on smaller and lighter chains though. You can also use that sharpener as a cutter, which makes it easy to remove packaging from a new tool and to open boxes that came in the mail. It also features other tools that you can use in the field too. You get a miniature screwdriver for repairing your eyeglasses and handling other small chores and an opener that works on most bottles.
Detailed Product Review Columbia River Knife Tool Key Chain Sharpener

How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener

Using a chainsaw sharpener isn’t as hard as you might think. As you read how each one works, you’ll quickly understand what you need to do to use one. We divided this section into two separate areas. The first section goes over how you can use a manual sharpener. You’ll also find out how to use an electric model in the second section. Make sure that you check out our safety tips section to learn how to stay safe when sharpening chainsaw chains.

How to Use Manual Sharpeners

  • Choose the right file: Choosing between a round and a flat file is the first thing you should do. You’ll also want to slide the end of the file into the handle and press down to ensure that the file doesn’t come out as you use it.
  • Arrange the chain: Lay the chain out on a flat surface so that you can see each tooth on the chain. This lets you measure each change against the other as you file.
  • Use a 45-degree angle: Hold the edge of the file against the tooth at a 45-degree angle. Using a small amount of pressure, carefully rub the file against the tooth. You can touch it with your hand or finger to see if it’s as sharp as you want.
  • Move down the chain: Slowly work your way down the chain, sharpening each tooth with the file. You’ll want to keep an eye on the teeth to ensure that each one has the same shape and size.

How to Use Electric Sharpeners

  • Change the settings: Before you run your chain through one of these devices, adjust the settings. Make sure that you set the depth to the exact measurement that you need.
  • Use the rollers: Electric sharpeners have rollers that allow you to set the chain inside. As you use the machine, the rollers will move each tooth across the sharpener. This also keeps the chain from tangling.
  • Clamp the vice: One benefit of using an electric model is that you get access to a vise that clamps down on your chain. You’ll want to adjust the vice to work with the size and type of vice that you have.
  • Move the grinder: Sharpening your chain is as easy as moving the grinder. You can press this wheel or stone down right on top of your chain to cut and sharpen each tooth. The chain will move along the roller to let you sharpen and cut each tooth to the same specifications.
How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener

Warning!

  • Choose the right spot or position for the sharpener
  • Use the knobs and other features to adjust the depth and sharpness of your cuts
  • Insert just one tooth of your chain at a time

Tips for Using an Electric Sharpener

  • Check with the chain manufacturer: Always check the instructions that came with a new chainsaw or a replacement blade to see how the company recommends sharpening the blade. You may find that the manufacturer recommends one method over another.
  • Choose a sharpening stone: One benefit of using an electric model is that you can pick the type and size of sharpening stone that works best with your chain type. Though 3/16-inch is the most popular size stone, you may want one that is more narrow or one that is slightly wider.
  • Adjust the angle: Adjusting the angle of the sharpener lets you get the sharp and pointy teeth that you need for cutting through large trees. You can adjust the angle down to 0-degrees or up to a maximum of 80-degrees. Some models have a maximum angle adjustment of just 60-degrees.
  • Repeat on the opposite side: When using an electric sharpener, you’ll run the entire length of chain through the machine to sharpen the teeth on one side. You will then turn the chain over and move it through the machine a second time on the opposite side. Make sure that you adjust the degree to the opposite setting when working on the other side.
Tips for Using an Electric Sharpener

Safety Tips for Users

We want you to stay safe when using any type of sharpener, which is why we created a list of tips that you can use when working on your chains.

  • Put down a towel: When working with files and other manual devices, put a towel down on a flat surface like a table. You can then put your chain directly on top. The towel provides some traction to keep the chain from slipping and sliding as you work.
  • Choose the right surface: If you opt for an electric or a bar-mounted model, make sure that you choose the right surface for that tool. Only use an electric model on a flat surface that does not move or wobble. With a bar-mounted model, attach it to a workbench or a permanent counter that won’t shift.
  • Wear safety gear: Always wear safety gear when sharpening a chain, including goggles over your eyes and gloves on your hands. The friction of metal against metal will produce some sparks that can embed in your skin or land in your eyes. You should cover any exposed areas of your skin as you sharpen your chain too.
  • Clean up immediately: As soon as you finish sharpening your chain, use a brush to remove any metal debris from your work area. You can then use a brush to sweep up any debris on the ground. This reduces the risk that you might injure yourself on those metal shavings later.
Safety Tips for Users

What To Do If You Get Metal in Your Eyes?

No matter how careful you are when sharpening a chain, a piece of metal can still come off and land in your eye. There are some simple things that you can do at home to get that metal out.

  • Flush the eye with a little cold water: If you have a smaller piece of metal near the center of your eye, you can use water to flush it out.
  • Use a cotton swab: For larger pieces of debris that you or someone else can see, you can try using a cotton swab soaked in clean water. When you touch the swab against your eye, the debris may come loose and cling to it.
  • Contact your doctor: If you cannot remove the debris yourself, contact your doctor or visit the emergency room. Get help as soon as possible to avoid the metal shaving scratching your cornea or causing other damage to your eye.

Signs You Should Sharpen Your Chain

Those who use chainsaws more often feel more familiar with those tools and will know right away if the chain needs sharpening. If you have less experience, you might confuse a dull blade with a more serious problem like an issue with your motor. You can look at some basic signs that you have a dull blade that needs sharpening before buying a new saw or blade.

  • You need to use more force: Chainsaws are powerful tools that can do all the cutting for you. If you find yourself pushing down on the saw or using more force to make it cut, this is a sign of a dull chain.
  • The saw smokes: A saw that is in good condition shouldn’t smoke as you use it. Even a small amount of smoke coming from the saw is a sign of a poor chain.
  • No more even cuts: When using a chainsaw, you can put the chain down flush with an object and make a straight and even cut right through it. A dull chain will cause the saw to shake and lead to uneven cuts.
  • Constant pulling: When you turn on your chainsaw, keep a grip on the handle as you slowly lower it down. If you find that the saw keeps pulling in one direction, you need to sharpen your blade.
Signs You Should Sharpen Your Chain

Other Signs to Watch for

  • The saw stops moving through the wood
  • It produces a fine powder or sawdust as you cut
  • You cannot keep the saw in one position when cutting
  • The saw moves so much that you cannot control it

Tips for Safely Using a Chainsaw

  • Maintain your footing: Always use caution when cutting logs and other objects in your yard, especially if you have a sloped or hilly yard. Wearing boots or shoes that provide traction will keep you from falling down.
  • Practice first: Before you run off to tackle an overgrown tree in your yard, practice on a smaller object. This is especially important when using a new chainsaw. You should make sure that you feel comfortable and that you can handle the saw.
  • Wear the right gear: Wearing goggles and other protective gear is just as important when cutting as it is when sharpening. You may want to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt with a helmet too.
  • Have help nearby: Cutting on your own is potentially dangerous because you might slip and drop the saw on your body. Never do any cutting around your home unless you have someone standing by who can provide help when needed.
  • Be aware of kickbacks: Chainsaws often produce a kickback when first turned on that can knock you off your feet or change your grip on the tool. Kickbacks can also occur as the saw cuts through larger pieces of wood.
Tips for Safely Using a Chainsaw

Tips for Protecting Your Ears

  • Wear earmuffs: Earmuffs that completely cover your ears are a good choice when working outside with a chainsaw. The muffs muffle any of the sounds produced by the saw and keep you safe from debris that flies off as you cut.
  • Choose a helmet: Wearing a helmet can provide you with more protection than earmuffs would, and you’ll also find that the helmet protects your head from any debris. As most helmets do little to protect your ears, you’ll also want to wear earplugs.

How to Keep Chains Sharp

  • Inspect the chain regularly: No matter how often you use your chainsaw, you should inspect the teeth carefully each time that you use it. You can run your hand along the teeth to see if any feel dull to the touch, but you’ll also want to look for signs of dull teeth.
  • Use the starting point: Whenever you use your chainsaw, always place the starting point directly on the object that you want to cut. This point can vary depending on the type of saw and chain that you have. Starting in the wrong spot will cause the chain to wear down faster.
  • Look with your eyes and listen with your ears: Trying to force your saw to cut through something too hard or tough will wear down the teeth and make the motor overheat. As you cut, listen for any unusual sounds and watch for smoke coming from the motor.
  • Take your time: Though you might feel tempted to rush your way through a cutting job, always take your time. Working too fast can damage the motor or cause the chain to slip off. It can also damage the teeth on that chain.
How to Keep Chains Sharp

Who Could Benefit from a Chainsaw Sharpener?

  • DIY enthusiasts: If you love doing work around your home, you might benefit from a chainsaw chain sharpener. Having a chainsaw lets you take care of any emergency that might pop like a tree branch that a storm knocked through your window or a diseased tree that you want to cut down.
  • Professionals: Professionals, including construction workers and landscapers, use chainsaw sharpeners on a regular basis. They know that having a sharp chain will help them cut through obstacles faster and get work done faster for their clients too.
  • Those who want to save money: Anyone who wants to save money can also benefit from a sharpener for their chainsaws. Unless you had someone come out and remove a tree before, you might have no idea how much it costs. A landscaper can charge you hundreds of dollars, and many companies charge even more during the busy season when they have more customers. Having a chainsaw sharpener lets you do some of the work yourself and save some cash.
Who Could Benefit from a Chainsaw Sharpener

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tree?

The cost of removing a tree from your home can range from $100 to more than $500. Professionals base the cost on factors such as:

  • The size of the tree
  • Its location in your yard
  • Whether they need to navigate around any obstacles

Best Chainsaw Sharpener Buying Guide – Top Features and Things to Consider

Though we highly recommend each of the top five best chainsaw sharpener 2018 products, we know that you may want to do a little research on your own and check out models from other manufacturers. You might have a chainsaw from a manufacturer like Stihl and decide that you want to use a sharpener from the same company. That is why our shopping guide also includes this detailed buying guide. We already looked at things like the different types of sharpeners and tips on using those models, but we also wanted to give you a list of all the features you should look for and the things you should consider before you buy.

Power and Speed
One important feature worth considering, especially when looking at electric models, is the power of the sharpener. RPM stands for revolutions per minute and gives you an idea of how quickly the motor will run. When looking at a product description, you’ll want to see an RPM rating of at least 4,000 or higher. Some manufacturers will also provide you with information about the overall speed and tell you how quickly you can use their machines to sharpen your chain teeth. The faster you can sharpen each individual tooth on your chain, the faster you can get to work outside and take care of any problems around your home.

User Experience
The amount of experience you have will also play a key role in the type of sharpener that you buy. Older DIY enthusiasts and woodworkers often prefer the kits that come with multiple files. They like knowing that they can work on each individual tooth on a chain and that they can take their time. Those with less experience will often find these sets hard to use. You may have issues getting all the teeth to the same height and sharpness. Electric models and bar-mounted models are more popular among those with less experience because they can follow the included instructions and sharpen an entire chain in an hour or less.

Overall Construction
Regardless of what model or type interests you, you should always look at the overall construction and pay special attention to what customers said about that construction. Many of the reviews we found on file sets pointed out that the included tools weren’t very strong. Some customers even complained that the tools bent or broke the first time that they used them. Construction is equally important in regards to electric models. If the rollers sometimes get stuck or the vice doesn’t have a very tight grip, you may have a hard time getting your chain as sharp as you need it.

Power Supply
As you look at the different chainsaw chain sharpeners on the market, you might think that it comes down to those that require a power outlet and those that use no power. You’ll also find a small number of sharpeners that work with batteries too. These tools offer a convenient way for users to sharpen their chains when they’re not near a power supply and when they don’t want to use their own hands. We did not include any of these models on our list because the reviews on them are mixed at best. Many shoppers found that they could sharpen their chains faster by hand.

Chain Type
Near the top of this page are several charts that show you the different types of teeth that modern chainsaws use and the different types of chains that you can use with those saws. Before you spend your money on any of the products on our list or any other sharpener that you want to buy, you must make sure that it is compatible with your chain. If the device is not compatible with that chain, you may find that it actually wears down the teeth or that it breaks off some of those teeth. You can contact the manufacturer of your chain and ask for help.

Durability
If you work with your hands and/or use power tools on a daily basis, you might notice that manufacturers changed their construction processes over the years. Even tools that once used premium parts and solid metal or wood components now feature some plastic pieces. That’s why it’s so important that you consider durability when choosing a sharpener. When writing our reviews on our top products, we created a cons list for each one that includes some of the complaints that customers had. You can use that information for yourself to determine whether a sharpener is durable enough for your use.

Portability
Despite what you might think, not everyone who uses a chainsaw uses it in the same location every day. Professionals need to take their saws to job sites and to the homes of their clients. Even if you just use a chainsaw a few times a year around your yard, you may want to look at the portability of different sharpeners to find one that you can take with you. Manual and hand-held sets are perfect for using outside when you notice that your chain looks a little dull. With the keychain model we found, you can even carry the tool with you on a daily basis. Electric models are less portable and will require an outlet.

Usage
You should give some thought to how and where you will use that sharpener too. If you keep your chainsaw stored in your garage, feel free to invest in an electric model. You can keep it plugged in and ready to sharpen your chain whenever you notice any dull teeth. Many people prefer bar-mounted sharpeners because they can use one indoors or outside. You can set one up in your garden shed to sharpen your chain before working in your garden. Hand-held products are best for those who don’t mind putting in a little manual labor and those who spend a lot of time working in areas without a power supply.

Safety Features
Before you put down your credit card and place an order, take some time to check out all the available safety features. Even if you have years of experience working with chainsaws and sharpening the blades and chains that power tools use, you will still want to ensure that the tools have some features that will keep you safe. The depth gauges that come with hand-held tools are one example of a safety feature. This gauge lets you cut and sharpen to the depth and precision that you need. Electric models often come with a safety guard too. While you can still make all the adjustments that you need, you won’t worry about cutting or hurting your hands.

Included Parts
Looking at what comes in the box and whether you get more than just the sharpener can help you see exactly what you get for your money. With electric sharpeners, you’ll typically get the machine itself and some instructions, though some of the reviews we saw complained that the products lacked any instructions. These products may come with some removable parts that let you make repairs or clean out the machine too. Hand-held sharpeners generally come with the most parts and accessories. You usually get all of the following:

  • Both round and flat files
  • A pouch or carrying case
  • Some type of handle that works with all included files

Ease of Use
One of the features that shoppers claim is most important to them is ease of use. Using a chainsaw to cut down a tree takes a lot of work and concentration on your part. You may want to focus more on your cutting and less on your sharpening, which might lead you to an electric model. Electric models usually have a steep learning curve though, and you may not get the detailed instructions that you need. Using a hand-held set requires more concentration and can take weeks of use before you feel comfortable working with those tools.

Model Type
You can look at dozens of features and multiple products without still knowing what you want and need. What it all boils down to is the model type that you like best. Some models are just better for certain users than others are. If you want a tool that you can grab and take with you for sharpening your blade anywhere you work, you’ll prefer a set of hand-held tools. Those who want an easy and convenient way to sharpen their chains will prefer an electric model. Bar-mounted chain sharpeners offer the best of both worlds. You can take the sharpener with you and get similar results as you would with an electric sharpener.

Best Chainsaw Sharpener Buying Guide – Top Features and Things to Consider

Chainsaw Sharpener Average Prices

The price that you’ll pay for a good chainsaw sharpener depends on the type that you think is right for your workshop. Among the most expensive are the bar-mounted models. These sharpeners let you place the device in a safe location, make any changes that you want and pull the chain straight through to give it a sharper edge. To get a bar-mounted model, you’ll pay around $100 to $150. The Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener that made our list retails for $140. Electric models can also cut down on your sharpening time. Many customers prefer these models because they cost so little. You can get a solid sharpener for well under $100. The TruePower sharpener on our list retails for just $50 and will fit into almost any budget. Some amateur and professional handymen prefer manual tools like file kits because they can get better control and focus on one individual tooth at a time. These sets are much cheaper than other types of sharpeners. You can get a good set for between $10 and $20. We also recommend taking a look at the keychain sharpeners that fit on your key ring. These tools retail for less than $10 and will go anywhere you do.
Chainsaw Sharpener Average Prices

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The most basic of problems that you’ll have when using a dull blade is that it just doesn’t cut. This can leave you spending more time to cut through a simple piece of wood that it would take to cut that wood with a handsaw. You also risk losing control of the saw and doing damage to nearby areas or hurting yourself.

A: Though some claim that you should sharpen your blade each time that you finish a big job, you can keep track of the amount of work that you do instead. Each time that you use your saw for at least five hours, you should sharpen the chain.

 

A: In addition to knowing the signs that your chain needs sharpening, you can also look at the teeth on that chain. When you first use a chain, you’ll notice precise edges on each tooth that feels sharp to the touch. Dull teeth will look less sharp and may have uneven edges.

A: You should replace your chain when you can no longer sharpen the teeth. Experts also recommend replacing rusty blades or those with missing teeth.

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