Having a dull chainsaw that causes burning and buckling is really annoying. Not only does it consume too much time, but it can also cause you to be unproductive. Like other tools people use for cutting, a chainsaw should be regularly sharpened. This is to avoid wear and to increase the cutting performance of your chainsaw.
Aside from this, it is also proven that sharpening means less fuel consumption and exhaust emissions for gas chainsaws. And since you are cutting smoother and faster, there will be fewer vibrations. You will be more comfortable while working with less physical strain. Therefore, sharpening a chainsaw also reduces the risk of accidents.
In order to reap all the benefits of sharpening faster, you should re-sharpen your tool early. This way, there will be fewer materials that need to be removed from the chain. Furthermore, the time that you have to spend sharpening will be shortened. This is what regular maintenance should look like.
Finding a chainsaw sharpener is not the problem. Choosing the best chainsaw sharpener from a multitude of brands is. So if you came here because you want to find out how to pick the right one, you are on the right page. This article will guide you through the understanding of chainsaw sharpeners, their main function, as well as different types. This way, you will be able to decide which among the top five recommended brands below will work for you.
Different Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners and their Pros and Cons
When it comes to damaged or dull chainsaws, the most cost-effective solution is to buy your own chainsaw sharpener. Having this tool ready at your workstation is a great way to save money and time. When you need to use your chainsaw to cut wood, you only need to go over the cutters a few times for less than an hour. After sharpening, you can use the chainsaw right away. No need to visit a professional who will sharpen it for you.
Today, manufacturers have created different types of chainsaw sharpeners. And the top three common types are handheld round file, bar mounted sharpener, and electric saw chain grinder. For you to understand their differences and pick the style you prefer, this article also includes their advantages and disadvantages.
Handheld round file
A handheld round file is the first type of chainsaw sharpener and it has been on the market for a very long time. Wondering why many people still prefer this? Perhaps the main reason is because it is easy to use. Another reason would be the price. When you use a handheld round file, you only have to run over the tip of each tooth or cutter. All the sharpening process is done manually, which is really time-consuming.
- The most affordable type among the three
- Simple and easy to use
- Ideal for occasional chainsaw users
- Mastering the degree of control and keeping the cutting angle the same takes time
- Manual work means it is more time consuming to use
- Not ideal for commercial use
Bar Mounted Sharpener
As the name suggests, this type of sharpener is mounted on a stable bench or a table. It has a guide that is secured to the bar of the chainsaw for better accuracy. The machine has knobs for depth and the filing angle that you need to set according to the requirement of your chainsaw. Like with other types of chainsaw sharpeners, wearing protective gloves and eye gear is necessary to ensure safety. For this particular type, be wary for the file shavings flying off the blade.
- More precise and accurate than a handheld round file
- Quicker and more efficient, great for both occasional and commercial use
- Able to sharpen chains at the same angle and length
- The chain has to be removed to be sharpened
- A sturdy bench or table is required
Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
This type of chainsaw sharpener is popular among professional woodworkers. It is also ideal for commercial use because it is the fastest and most efficient among the three. In using an electric chainsaw sharpener, the chainsaw is usually clamped between a guide bar that secures it in place. The guide is also responsible for consistent sharpening angles of each of the cutter or tooth.
This type has become popular for many professionals because it is the fastest and most precise of the three. The chain of your saw is clamped between a guide bar to secure it in place and to ensure a correct sharpening angle. When you start sharpening, the wheel turns at a consistent speed to accurately sharpen the chain with equal angles and length.
- Fast and efficient
- Able to finish many chainsaws for commercial use
- Accurately sharpens chains with correct depth and angle
- More expensive than a handheld round file and bar mounted sharpener
- Assembly can be a little confusing
Important Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Chainsaw Sharpener
Other than the types, there are factors that you should consider when selecting the best chainsaw sharpener. These factors require you to read the manual that comes with your tool where you will find the recommended chainsaw specifications. Below are the top three factors.
The angle of the chains should be uniform in order to cut through the wood fast and clean. This prevents kickback and protects your chainsaw from potential damage. The sharpening angle consists of different factors which are the chain pitch, gauge, length, and teeth design. The manufacturers of both chainsaws and chainsaw sharpeners should indicate the specification of their tools and which they are compatible with. That is why you should check your manual first. If you do not have a manual, you should call the manufacturer.
The round files vary in diameter to fit a specific size of the hook or arch of the chainsaw. You cannot just guess the size of your file because it may not sharpen your chain at all. For 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch pitches, the file size is usually 5/32 or 4mm. On the other hand, a pitch of 0.325 is for 3/16 inch while a pitch of 0.404 is for 7/32 inch.
Most people think that the best chainsaw sharpeners come complete with the necessary accessories. And that is true. When choosing a chainsaw sharpener of whatever type, always prefer the brand that provides spare wheels, depth gauge tools, and more. This is cheaper than buying all of them one by one.
Top 5 Recommended Chainsaw Sharpeners
The following products are five of the best chainsaw sharpeners people recommend. The list consists of different types so that you will be familiar with the other features of an electric chainsaw sharpener, a kit, and a handheld chainsaw sharpener. Read the short reviews and see if one of them will work for your chainsaw and will fit your preference.
|Granberg Grind-N-Joint 12 Volt Hand Held Chain Grinder||$$||4.2/5|
|Husqvarna 653000035 SharpForce Chain Sharpener 3/16″||$$||4.9/5|
|Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder||$$$||4.3/5|
|STIHL 5605 750 4328 Saw Chain Filing Guide With Handle||$||4.5/5|
|Oregon 5/32-Inch Chain Saw Sharpening Kit 38276||$||4.2/5|
|8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit||$||4.3/5|
|Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener||$$||4.4/5|
|Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener||$$||4.2/5|
|XtremepowerUS 85W Mini Electric Chainsaw Grinder Sharpener||$$||4.3/5|
|Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener with 3/16″ Carbide Cutter||$$$||4.5/5|
Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder
First on the list is the Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder, which comes from one of the leading brands in lawn and gardening tools. This electric chainsaw grinder or sharpener is compatible with most chains. If you have 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch low profile, 0.325 inch, full profile 3/8 inch, and .404 inch pitch chain, then this is the right sharpener for you.
You can choose to mount it on a bench or on a wall depending on your preference. Aside from this, the manufacturer also boasts that this device can sharpen each dull tooth equally and to the same angle. Equally sharpened teeth promise excellent performance and cuts.
This product does not lack a feature that you won’t appreciate. One of which is the wheel indicator that helps you know when it is time to replace the grinding wheel. Meanwhile, the first three grinding wheels are included in your package so that you do not have to worry about finding a grinding wheel that is compatible with the machine.
Another thing that you will also like is the built-in light. This light helps you position the chain accurately and safely finish your entire work. Lastly, the package comes complete with a dressing brick, and a quick check grinding template.
- Complete with accessories
- Have a couple of features that are good for beginners and experienced woodcutter
- Compatible with a wide range of chainsaws
- Complicated instructional manual with hard to follow steps
- Some parts do not fit properly
- Not suitable for commercial use
STIHL 5605 007 1028 Filing Kit
If you are not sure about buying an electric saw chain grinder, you might want to try a chain filing kit instead. One of the best kits you will find on the market today is from another international brand, STIHL. The STIHL 5605 007 1028 Filing Kit is created to bring back the quality performance of .325 inch and 3/16 inch saws. This is because it is complete with every accessory you need for sharpening them. For an inexpensive price you will get a filing guide, round file with handle, depth gauge tool, a flat file with handle, and a tool pouch.
All these tools are necessary for you to sharpen each tooth of the chain accurately and safely. Using these will allow you to have a chain with equally sharpened teeth of the same depth, length, and angles. Therefore, your cut will be cleaner and more precise. Though it will take time for you to master the uses of the whole kit, rest assured that your work is easier as time goes by.
In other words, whether you are a beginner or someone who is already experienced in handling chainsaws, this is still a great choice. The manufacturer ships in the U.S. and in selected international companies. Not only is this product inexpensive, it is also functional for most people.
- An excellent saw chain filing kit for .325 inch and 3/16 iInch saws
- Complete with every accessory and tool you need for filing and sharpening
- Comes complete with accessories necessary for a safe and accurate sharpening
- Takes time to master the precision to make equally sharpened teeth at the same length and angle
- Issues with file holder having some minor surface oxidation
Granberg Grind-N-Joint Hand Held Chain Grinder
If you cannot decide between an electric saw chain grinder and a regular chainsaw sharpener, Granberg offers a tool that is a hybrid of the two. This is considered as one of the best chainsaw sharpeners on the market because of its user-friendliness and affordability. The product is inexpensive with a wide range of features every owner of a dull chainsaw will like.
This tool is portable for it is a 12-volt hand held chain grinder. Meaning, it is powered by a battery so that you do not have to struggle to maintain the right amount of pressure while sharpening each chain tooth. You may use both car or truck batteries for this product.
Meanwhile, it is quick and efficient to use with 22,000 rpm of sharpening power. Furthermore, this amazing device also offers three sharpening angles which are 25 degrees, 30 degrees, and 35 degrees. It is also complete with lowering depth gauge, adjustable height plate, and an adjustable stone guide for better accuracy.
Since it is a handheld, you can expect that the device is lightweight so you can effortlessly lift it up. Aside from these, the product is also made of high-impact plastic to withstand the pressure. Lastly, the whole package comes with 7/32 inch grinding stones and instructional manual. On the other hand, buyers should take note that this grinder requires sharpening stones with threaded shafts.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Comes complete with a range of useful accessories and built-in features
- Price is affordable
- Issues with some parts of the device missing
- Plastic construction is not that durable
Oregon Chain Saw Sharpening Kit 38276
Another chainsaw sharpening kit that will catch your attention is the Oregon Chain Saw Sharpening Kit 38276. This product is recommended by many buyers because it is durable and easy to use. Beginners and experienced woodcutters or workers are sure to find this kit handy and highly functional. The product might be a basic kit for chainsaws with a ¼ inch pitch and low-profile 3/8 inch pitch but it sure promises an impressive performance. The tool includes one assembled file frame and two wooden file handles so that you will be more stable while working.
Aside from this, these features also promote better accuracy. For this kit, you will have two options for sharpening the teeth of your chain. One is to use a round file and the other one is to use a flat file. This allows you to know which of the two is better in sharpening your chainsaw. Meanwhile, the chainsaw file has a diameter of 5/32 inches. Add to these, there is also a .025 inch drop center depth gauge tool. Coming from a well-known brand, complete with necessary accessories at a low price, who wouldn’t love having this inexpensive chainsaw sharpening kit?
- Offers two ways of sharpening your chains
- More affordable than the other chainsaw sharpening kit
- Durable and easy to use
- More time consuming compared to using an electric chain grinder
- Does not comes with an instructional manual
Husqvarna 653000035 SharpForce Chain Sharpener
Out of all the five products listed here, this is probably the simplest tool you will see. That is because it does not come with any accessories. But why do people consider it as the best chainsaw sharpener? The answer lies in the functionality and affordability of the product. The tool is straightforward and easy to use. In other words, all that it promises in the product description is true and not exaggerated. It is a 3/16 chainsaw file that works for 14 inch bars and many other types of chainsaws.
Aside from the size listed, 7/32 inch and 5/32 inch versions are also available for purchase. If you want, you can even buy all three at a discounted prize on Amazon. The Husqvarna 653000035 SharpForce Chain Sharpener might not be as popular as the other brands on this list, but it definitely has what it takes to compete with them. For one, the product is capable of filing both cutter and depth gauges one at a time. It also has a single handle feature, offering you stability while working. This also means that you can be more accurate in sharpening the teeth of the chain with the same angle and length.
- A simple yet highly functional chainsaw sharpener
- An inexpensive way to bring back the sharpness of your chainsaw
- Can file both cutter and depth gauge one at a time
- A bit more expensive than a regular chainsaw sharpener kit
- Does not come with an instructional manual
In this list, you are provided all the best chainsaw sharpeners from different brands with different functions and features. All of them have more than a 4/5 star satisfaction rating on Amazon as well as on other review sites. That is why it is safe to say that all of them are good. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of chainsaw sharpeners is a good way to know which one will work for your chainsaw.
To do this, it is important to know the type of chainsaw you own, its requirements, and other features. This way, you will be able to pick the best chainsaw sharpener that you will be able to use to regularly maintain your chainsaw.