What’s the use of a chainsaw if it isn’t sharp enough to do its primary purpose? People need it for efficient pruning, cutting, and harvesting of wood. If the teeth of the mechanical saw cannot even cut through the weakest trees, it’s a sign that you need to improve the maintenance procedure.
Once the chain loses its sharpness, the bar assembly can immediately overheat and severely damage the saw. Worse, this will gradually reduce the lifespan of your mechanical saw.
Chainsaw owners know that owning such a tool can be quite costly — but it’s also a worthwhile investment if the quality is upheld for a long time. Thus, it only makes sense to pick the best chainsaw sharpener.
Maybe you need a general purpose cutting machine, and in that case, take time to read our guide about the best table saw. This guide might help you.
Top 5 Chainsaw Sharpeners For 2019
Identifying the best chainsaw sharpener took a lot of time and a lot of woodcutting, but it was definitely a worthwhile venture. From the portability and durability to the sharpening performance, we’ve rounded up the most impressive sharpeners available in the market.
Of course, you’re assured of a variety of choices to suit your preferences with the tools we picked.
|Katzco 8-Piece Sharpener||0.5 pounds||n/a|
|Buffalo Tools ECSS||7 pounds||4,200|
|Oregon 410-120 Chain Grinder (Editor's Pick For Electric!)||17 pounds||3,500|
|XtremepowerUS 85W Mini Electric||5 pounds||4,200|
|Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener (Editor's Pick For Portable!)||1.1 pounds||n/a|
All of these are remarkable in their own way. If you’re eager to know more about the best chainsaw sharpener, check out the succeeding individual reviews.
Katzco 8-Piece Sharpener – Simplicity and Quality
Starting our list is this neat file chainsaw sharpener file kit from Katzco, which is the renowned kitchenware manufacturer Kayco USA. Veering away from the obvious push to more automated processes, Katzco decided that simplicity can still go a long way in this day and age.
This sharpener file kit might not boast of the most advanced features, but it succeeds in overall reliability. With that out of the way, let’s examine how exactly the Katzco 8-Piece Chainsaw Sharpener manages to satisfy the requirements of many chainsaw owners.
One of the most significant selling points of the Katzco chainsaw sharpener is its portability. You simply cannot complain regarding the convenience provided by this product. Every chainsaw file you need is contained in a neon orange pouch. Take note that the color of the kit was intentional.
Thanks to its visual flair, you won’t have to spend an unnecessary amount of time locating your chainsaw sharpener. Every piece has its own section inside the kit, and you won’t risk getting minor injuries since the pouch is relatively tough.
In particular, this product contains three round fine tooth files in three different sizes, one 3/8-inch stain and finish handle, one filing guide, one depth gauge tool, one 6-inch flat fine tool file, and the pouch itself.
Furthermore, the three files are respectively measured as 5/32 inches, 3/6 inches, and 7/32 inches.
If you’re wondering about the quality, you do not have to worry. We used these tools for a long time, and we had to applaud Katzco for providing just enough durability with the affordable price the company gave.
Of course, don’t set your expectations too high. The tools are not made of precision-cut diamonds. Thus, you still have to be careful when you use this chainsaw sharpener. The handle is beautiful with its hardwood stain and finish. The grip is fantastic, but here’s a word of caution: Don’t attach the handle hastily and with extra pressure since you could accidentally bend the files slightly.
If you are constantly moving around and you do not like your chainsaw sharpener to be a burden, this could very well be your best choice.
Yes, these small tools do look unremarkable if you compare them to the larger and heavier chainsaw sharpener variants.
However, the Katzco 8-Piece Sharpener does exactly what it needs to do.
If there’s one thing that we didn’t like that much, it was that the guide might not be as comprehensive as others would expect.
Yes, it pretty much covered all the basics of sharpening chainsaws, but it would have been great if there was a clear guide identifying the proper filing depths. Thankfully, you won’t have to spend a long time reading the guide since most of the tools have self-explanatory functions in the first place.
Now, sharpening the chainsaws surprisingly didn’t take long. The earliest we could do was 10 minutes, and that is already a remarkable duration for a basic kit.
Each chain took about three minutes to file on average. Even if your chain is already old and hasn’t been sharpened in a long time, using the Katzco 8-Piece Sharpener will do just the trick.
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What We Liked
- ?Incredibly light and portable
- ?Sharpens efficiently
- ?Durable and bright kit
- Handle provides excellent grip
What We Didn’t Like
- ?Guide not comprehensive enough
- Files are prone to slight bending
Buffalo Tools ECSS – Optimum Electric Performance
Next up, we tested a heavier and rather intimidating chainsaw sharpener. Starting with this one, don’t be surprised with chainsaw sharpener reviews focusing on the electric type. Instead of going the manual route, Buffalo Tools concentrated on manufacturing an electric type that promises to sharpen your chainsaw as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Boasting premium materials and a mountable feature, the Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener rightfully piqued the interest of many chainsaw owners. Will this seven-pound chainsaw sharpener deliver on its promises? We were eager to find out.
This chainsaw sharpener was designed for people who wanted a tool that can be mounted on a bench or a wall.
Clearly, Buffalo Tools listened to the suggestions and preferences of chainsaw owners with this product. This sharpener allows several options in how individuals wanted to utilize the sharpener. Take note that you have to find the best place to attach this sharpener permanently.
Additionally, this is an electric chainsaw sharpener, so you have to plug this in every time you need to do some sharpening. This chainsaw sharpener from Buffalo Tools works at a frequency of 60 hertz and needs to be plugged into a power outlet. Specifically, we highly recommend you utilize the standard 120-volt outlet.
Now, we found no issues with setting this up. Yes, this is not your ordinary, portable sharpener, but it’s not a highly complex machine either.
Buffalo Tools has short and simple instructions that will ease you into the process.
In about ten minutes or less, you’ll already distinguish the stops for the chain links and the grinding wheel depth while also adjusting the settings for both the chain grip and the cutting angle. Understandably, the stops weren’t durable and they need to be handled with care.
Still, that’s something chainsaw owners have gotten used to and this is not an isolated case. What’s assuring is that if you are only sharpening one chainsaw, you don’t have to touch the fragile stops again once they’ve been set up. In case the stops do get broken, you should definitely replace them with steel variants.
Other than the stops, this chainsaw sharpener excelled in terms of durability.
In order to provide an adequate sharpening performance, stability should be prioritized. This is the same reason why we love having depth gauge tools to keep everything consistent. After all, no one wants to keep filing the chains and find out that they are imbalanced.
Secondly, we liked how the ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener conformed to common chain designs without any difficulty. We did have problems adjusting it with some less popular chain types, but this tool worked out perfectly for the most part. The sharpening process was seriously fast.
With a basic sharpener, the process can take you at least half an hour. With this one, you’re done in more or less five minutes. Just don’t forget to apply to the correct setting and appropriately set the stop for the link. You won’t have any complaints with the grinding wheel – the wheel spins with such precision and speed that the teeth look as good as new.
If you’re looking for professional chainsaw sharpener equipment that can be mounted on a wall or a bench and does the job fast, this should be your pick.
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What We Liked
- ?Mostly durable build
- ?Can be mounted on a bench or wall
- ?Effortlessly adjusts to most chain designs
- Sharpens quickly and precisely
What We Didn’t Like
- ?Stops require extra care in handling
- Instructions can be a bit confusing for beginners
Oregon 410-120 Chain Grinder – Brimming with Features
The Oregon Saw Chain Manufacturing Corporation has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to chainsaws for 70 years – and they’ve clearly made a point with the Oregon 410-120 Chain Grinder.
It’s at least 10 pounds heavier than the sharpener manufactured by Buffalo Tools, but it’s not difficult to see that the added weight allowed for the inclusion of several features. There were some of us who initially thought that these features were more gimmicky than useful, but they were proven wrong in no time.
First of all, the Oregon 410-120 Chain Grinder has a modernistic look with its metallic shine and red shade. This looked tough, but is it really that durable? In short, yes. If we’re talking about durability alone, this could definitely be the best chainsaw sharpener.
All of the Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener parts were tightly placed and there was no fear of breaking or bending any of the sections. You can confidently mount this on your workbench or any wall and be assured that it won’t start to show signs of being unstable.
In fact, Oregon made it sure that you were informed of any signs of damage. The 410-120 Chain Grinder has a built-in wheel wear indicator so you’ll know when it’s time to fix or replace the grinding wheel.
Among all of the products we deemed worthy of being the best chainsaw sharpener, this one arguably had a steeper learning curve.
We don’t mean this will take months or even weeks to master, but the plethora of settings here does look intimidating. Then again, these features allow you to have the perfect adjustments for precise chainsaw sharpening. We conducted a lot of trials before things worked out the way we wanted, but all the bouts of confusion and sudden insight were worth it.
Quick tip: Have an expert or at least someone familiar with the process to speed up the assembly process. The Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener manual alone can be tough to follow. In addition, be patient with the tutorial videos available online. Once you get the hang of things, you won’t ever have any difficulties using most of the other chainsaw sharpeners.
One of the best things about the Oregon 410-120 Chain Grinder is that it has not one, but three grinding wheels. Thus, you won’t have to worry about finding the right wheel for sharpening your chains. Once you use the correct wheel, sharpening should be both fast and effective.
Oregon even added a dressing brick so you can always correct the shape of all the three grinding wheels. Another benefit of using this mounted professional chainsaw sharpener is that the whole grinding process is far from noisy since the process is performed as smoothly as possible.
If that wasn’t enough, this chainsaw sharpener contains its own light so you can clearly see which sections of the chain require more grinding and polishing.
Overall, this Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener has a superior, 3500 RPM sharpening performance that’s complemented by its tough build.
Indeed, this chainsaw sharpener is harder to perfectly assemble than others, but the variety of settings is what will allow owners to sharpen their chains without a hitch.
What We Liked
- ?Durable build
- ?Smooth, effective, and quiet sharpening process
- ?Built-in light and wheel wear indicator
- Three grinding chains included
What We Didn’t Like
- Initially difficult to assemble
XtremepowerUS 85W Mini Electric – Compact Build with Speedy Performance
How can a bench-mounted chainsaw sharpener stay light while also optimizing the grinding performance? Well, XtremepowerUS seems to have found the perfect solution with the 85W Mini Electric Chainsaw Sharpener.
On the other hand, this chain grinder from XtremepowerUS drops in at just five pounds. With such a surprisingly lightweight, can this sharpener compete with the other mountable variants?
Instead of a metallic aesthetic with dark red portions, this electric grinder combines classic black with light red circles. Overall, the design evokes minimalism and rightfully fits the lightweight characteristic of the XtremepowerUS 85W Mini Electric. Sadly, the simplicity is also apparent with the lack of nuts and bolts for mounting the chainsaw sharpener.
With that in mind, we highly recommend you get the two-inch bolts. Of course, the bolts should be longer than that if you decide to have a thicker workbench as the mount.
Once you have these nuts and bolts, assembling the electric sharpener should take less than ten minutes since it is compact and light on features.
On average, sharpening a chain with the XtremePowerUS 85W Mini Electric took no longer than five minutes. It has a motor power of 85 watts, which is not as high some of us wanted, but it does its job well enough.
However, what’s really impressive about this chainsaw grinder from XtremePowerUS is its fantastic 4,200 RPM. The fact that a five-pound, mountable sharpener can have that speed is unbelievable.
Of course, precision is also guaranteed with a brake handle to keep the chain in place during the grinding process. With adjustable vice angles that can be moved 35 degrees to the left or the right and even a nifty pivoting head, aligning the chains was a breeze.
Thanks to its compact build and 4,200 RPM sharpening speed, the XtremePowerUS 85W Mini Electric is truly a remarkable product.
What We Liked
- ?Compact and lightweight build
- ?Excellent 4,200 RPM for quick sharpening
- ?Pivot head and adjustable vice angles for aligning chains
- Brake handle for extra stability
What We Didn’t Like
- Nuts and bolts for mounting not included
Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener – Impressive Portability and Durability
The final product we reviewed was the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener with 3/16-inch Carbide Cutter. Instead of providing you files for sharpening, this one has a Timberline carbide cutter.
As many steel cutters know, a carbide tip is durable and sharp enough to cut copper, steel, and even aluminum. Timberline took note of this and applied the same concept to build a portable chainsaw sharpener that only weighs 1.1 pounds. This is the chainsaw sharpener Timberline knew would our interest.
Sporting orange and black colors, the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener looks as compact as a digital camera – you can even keep it in your pocket. Still, portability does not mean it’s fragile as this chain grinder is made of premium, machined aluminum.
This material is what keeps this Timberline sharpener light while also being extremely durable and resistant to corrosion. The fact that this isn’t an electric type means there are no motors to be worried about during hectic travels. This means there are also no electric parts to be confused about while setting things up.
Likewise, the absence of a grinding wheel removes the threat of tempering due to excessive heat. The Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener parts are kept to a minimum.
We also like the quality of the carry case – it’s durable and even has a belt loop and shoulder strap.
Along with the sharpener itself, it was clear to us that Timberline wanted this to be as portable as possible without going back to filing kits. In place of files, a single carbide cutter is included in this product. You can use other variants of carbide cutters with this chainsaw sharpener, but you have to buy them separately.
Thankfully, we believe that the included cutter is sufficient for the most common chain types.
Ideally, the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener should have been able to deal with each tooth in mere seconds. However, we found out that this was not always the case. The significant factor here is the quality of the chains in the first place.
We do not recommend using this constantly to grind chains that you’ve manually filed many times before. When we used the carbide cutter on our old and worn chains, its sharpness was inevitably affected.
In comparison, using the cutter on a new chain was remarkable. Not only does the carbide cutter retain its sharpness but the chain was sharper than when it came out of the factory. The difference is most likely caused by the fact that newer chains already have a uniform size and angle, so sharpening them won’t be such a waste of time.
Timberline indicated that the carbide cutter should last for at least forty instances of sharpening, but this will only probably be proven true for new chains.
The Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener price might surprise you, but it’s a great investment. This is not exactly the best chainsaw sharpener for old and worn-down teeth, but it’s the most viable option if you’re always on the move and your chains are relatively new.
What We Liked
- ?Made of aluminum for a tough yet light build
- ?Durable carry case for improved portability
- ?Carbide cutter easily sharpens new teeth
- More efficient than filing
What We Didn’t Like
- Not suitable for sharpening old chains
Choosing The Right Chainsaw Sharpener For You
Before we end our best chainsaw sharpener reviews with the top picks, let’s expound on the concept of chainsaw sharpeners in order to provide a better understanding of why they are carefully picked by chainsaw owners in the first place. Specifically, let’s explore the various types and factors that will help you in picking the right sharpener.
Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners
In general, there are four types of sharpeners. Take note that you can always have more than one type since all of them serve different functions.
Files are the most basic and portable tools for sharpening chainsaws. With their ease of use, it’s no wonder they are still a popular choice for many people.
These metallic tools have three forms: flat, rounded, and triangle. Usually, they are 12 inches in length but differ when it comes to the diameter to adapt to the various chain types.
Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners
Generally, manual sharpeners are simply files that are supported by a framework. Made either of metal or plastic, this framework helps keep the chainsaw sharpener file in place at the right angle during the sharpening process.
Thus, this type of sharpener allows more stability and precision than files alone while also being portable.
Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners
As you might have already guessed due to the difference in size these sharpeners come in various sizes. The general rule is that the bigger the size, the more chain types it can sharpen.
Likewise, a relatively heavy electric chainsaw sharpener should pack useful features and a formidable motor power. Thankfully, even mini-electric sharpeners can still have amazing grinding speeds of up to 4,200 RPM.
Accordingly, electric sharpeners can usually be mounted on workbenches and walls while also having built-in features like lights, wheel wear indicators, adjustable vice angles, and safety stops.
Obviously, electric sharpeners are not as portable as the first two kinds, but they do a far better job in sharpening different chains in the long run. Of course, this reliability and durability typically found in electric chainsaw sharpeners mean that they are quite costly.
Battery-Powered Chainsaw Sharpeners
Lastly, we have these sharpeners that are technically still reliant on electricity but are relatively more portable than the previous type. Indeed, you can use the car battery to power this kind of sharpener, but they also lack the impressive motor power of electric sharpeners.
If you require something that is more powerful than files and manual sharpeners but you’re not always at home, this is what you need.
Common Factors in Choosing a Chainsaw Sharpener
Now that you’ve learned the different types of chainsaw sharpeners, it’s time to know the essential factors you need to consider in picking the best product for your chainsaw.
Some sharpeners, especially the electric types, can be costly. However, the price can still be worth it if the chainsaw sharpener is durable enough to withstand regular use over a long period of time.
In order to assure the durability of a sharpener, you have to seek advice and comments from other chainsaw owners and you need to test the product yourself. Of course, you can also improve the lifespan of your sharpener if you read the instructions and use it carefully.
As mentioned before, your lifestyle determines the kind of sharpeners you would need the most. Files and manual chainsaw sharpeners are the best for people who constantly travel.
The most powerful sharpener these people will use on the road will be the battery-powered ones. Of course, you’re better off with the electric sharpener if you use your chainsaws regularly and your lifestyle does not require you to move away from your work location or your home frequently.
If you are new to the world of chainsaw sharpening, the instructions alone should quickly guide you through the process. You do not need to get chainsaw sharpeners for sale if they are loaded with features and settings you do not need.
For occasional users, files and manual sharpeners are usually enough to maintain their chainsaws. On the other hand, you should expect to learn more terms, settings, and features if you want more power, stability, and speed in your chainsaw sharpener.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a better understanding of the differences in chainsaw sharpeners and the primary factors that users should consider.
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Picking the best chainsaw sharpener required a lot of thinking and consideration. In the end, we believe that two of them deserve the highest recognition. For casual users and people who are looking for portable sharpeners, we believe that the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener with 3/6-inch Carbide Cutter works best.
It does take time in sharpening old chains, but it’s fast when it comes to newly acquired chains – and the results always outdo even factory outputs. Furthermore, both the portable sharpener with the cutter and the carry case are outstandingly durable.
As for the best electric chainsaw sharpener for regular and heavy users, there is undoubtedly no better choice than the Oregon 410-120 Bench/Wall-Mounted Chain Grinder.
It’s not the easiest chainsaw sharpener to assemble, but its performance is unlike any other. It sharpens the chains quickly, quietly, and precisely using one of the three included grinding wheels. Furthermore, this product is incredibly durable and even has a built-in light and wheel wear indicator to help you maintain its quality comfortably.
If you’re looking for a fantastic investment on chainsaw sharpeners, get the Oregon 410-120 Bench/Wall-Mounted Chain Grinder.
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Dean is a freelance copy-editor from Utah, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. His garden is a place to relax after a stressful day of work, have a beer and play in the pool with his girls.