Anyone who works with a chainsaw at work or around the house can benefit from using a chainsaw sharpener. These devices ensure that the saw is in top working condition. Saws that haven’t been sharpened have a higher chance of kickback, consume more fuel and place a large amount of stress on the chainsaw itself, which may result in more frequent maintenance.
Finding the best chainsaw sharpener isn’t always easy, however. That’s because there are both manual handheld saw files and electric models as well, and each of them has their own pros and cons. With that in mind, I’ve presented what I feel are the ten best chainsaw sharpener products available and have listed them in ascending order from the number ten spot to number one.
10. Bench Mount Electric Grinder
This electric sharpening device mounts to either a work bench, table or vise and allows the user to get a precise angle adjustment to ensure that their chainsaw is sharpened as easily and thoroughly as possible. It has scale and height positioning, and thanks to its vise adjust to different types of chains and chain pitches. It has a 120-Volt 85-watt motor that produces a grinding speed of 4,200 RPM. This unit has a 7/8th-inch arbor and has a 1-inch by 4.25-inch by 1/8th-inch grinding wheel that can be used to sharpen the chain and keep it running well.
9. Goplus Portable Electric Grinder
Designed to quickly sharpen chains but to do it in a safe way, this sharpener has many of the features that chainsaw enthusiasts look for in one of this device. It’s an electric grinder that can be attached to a vise, bench or wall and has a table angle of 35-degrees both to the left and the right. It features a 10mm arbor and a wheel which measures 3.9-inches in diameter and is 1/8th-inch thick. And with a 220-watt motor that drives the grinding wheel at 7,500 RPM, this unit has the power needed to quickly and efficiently sharpen chainsaw chains.
8. Xtremepower US Mini-Electric Sharpener With Brake
With an 85-watt motor and a maximum speed of 4,200 RPM, this bench mounted sharpener has the features that professionals need to keep their saws in good working order but is also easy enough to use by just about anyone. It can be used to keep several chains in good working condition and is sturdy enough to be used on a daily basis. This tool can hold the chain using a brake handle, has a capacity of .80-inch to .50-inch and has a table angle that can go 35-degrees right or left. Overall, it’s a tool that will make it easier for anyone to maintain their chains.
7. Timber Tuff Portable CS-12V
Anyone who doesn’t want to be tied down to a bench grinder in order to sharpen their blades, and wants a portable chain sharpener that they can take with them out in the woods. It has alligator clips that allow it to be hooked to a car battery or a tractor battery and its no-load high-speed motor provides plenty of power for keeping chains sharp. It has an anti-impact cover that allows it to stay cool while in use and has a spindle lock so changing grinding stones is easy to accomplish. With three grinding stone sizes: 3/16-inch, 5/32-inch, and 7/32-inch, this model can sharpen just about any chain.
6. Buffalo Tool ECSS
This professional quality sharpener can be easily mounted to just about any vise or bench and can be adjusted to accommodate any of the more popular chain models currently available. It has an 85-Watt motor, plugs into a standard 120-Volt wall outlet and produces a grinding speed of 4,200 RPM. This model has a 7/8-inch arbor and uses a 4.25-inch by a 1/8-inch grinding wheel. It’s a good tool for anyone who wants to keep their blades from becoming dull and is easy-to-use. Overall, it’s a tool that helps users keep their chains in tip-top shape.
5. Drixet Sharpening & Filing Kit
This chain filing and sharpening kit is designed to keep the user’s chainsaw in top condition. It comes with three different round file sizes which include a 5/32-inch, a 3/16-inch and a 7/32-inch and it also comes with a 6-inch flat file. This kit also comes with a 3/8-inch hardwood handle and a durable 10.5-inch by 7-inch pouch. Another tool that comes with this set is a 7-3/4-inch file holder that’s marked with the sharpening angles on the back of it so that users can adjust the angle of their filing to get the best results. It’s a set that can be used by just about anyone to get professional results.
4. Unidrift 9-Piece File Kit
This 9-piece field kit has a number of tools which help the user to sharpen their chainsaw blades the way they want to sharpen them. It comes with a file holder/guide, a 6-inch flat file, three round files (3-16-inch, 7/32-inch, and 5/32-inch), a depth gauge tool, a wood handle, a plastic handle and a roll-up carrying case to hold it all in. This portable kit can be taken just about anywhere, from the backyard to the deep woods, and contains tools that are made from high-quality materials. Which makes it ideal for anyone looking for a low-tech but extremely effective sharpening solution.
3. STIHL 2-In-1 Easy File 3/8-Inch Sharpener
While this sharpener is made from STIHL and is designed to sharpen this company’s PICCO chains, it can be used with just about any brand of chainsaw provided that it is used on 3/8-inch low profile chains. This 2-in-1 system comes with two different round files, a flat file, a filing guide and a file holder. All of this allows the user to expertly sharpen their chainsaw blades for professional results. It’s can be used by both amateurs and professionals alike and is durable enough to last for many years of sharpening. All in all, this tool is an ideal solution for anyone looking to take care of their chainsaw blades.
2. Timberline Portable Sharpener (For 3/8-Inch & .404-Inch Chains)
This semi-automatic sharpener is a tool that it halfway between manual files and electric sharpeners. The user clamps it on the blade and uses the crank handle to pull the chain through the unit. As the chain is pulled through, this device uses a high-quality 7/32-inch tungsten carbide cutter to sharpen each individual tool at the correct angle. And since it removes only small amounts of material with each sharpening, this tool sharpens while preserving the life of the chain. It’s made of high-grade aluminum, which makes it durable, and is portable enough to take anywhere.
1. Timberline Portable Sharpener (For .325-Inch Chains)
This innovative sharpener is easy-to-use for both professionals and amateurs alike and can sharpen each tooth in a chain in mere seconds. While the chain remains on the saw, this tool clamps on and lets the user pull through each tooth as it is sharpened. This unit features a tungsten carbide cutter that’s hand turned and has carbide guide that is positioned at a universal angle of 30-degrees. If the user’s saw requires a different angle, however, they can buy 25-degree and 35-degree guides separately as well. This portable unit is easy to take anywhere and is extremely durable.
A Guide To Using A Chainsaw Sharpener
Trying to cut wood with a dull chainsaw is not only impractical but is also downright dangerous. A dull chain can skip or kickback from the surface of the tree and that can result in some very serious injuries. That’s why everyone should take the time to inspect their chainsaw’s chain regularly and use a chainsaw sharpener to keep in in good operational condition.
To help our readers use their new chainsaw sharpener to keep their chainsaw in good shape, we’ve decided to write this guide that will help them figure out not only when the chain needs to be sharpened, but also how to sharpen it as well. And along the way, we might even throw in a few additional tips that are helpful to our readers who might not be all that experienced with these tools. Having said that, let’s get right down to business and get this article started.
Determining If A Chain Needs Sharpening
To start this article off, we’d like to talk about the importance of regularly checking your chainsaw to keep it in good running condition. And that includes checking the chain on the saw. It’s our advice to our readers that everyone who operates a chainsaw takes the time to not only check the tool thoroughly before using it but also check it once they’ve finished with it for the day. They should check the chain for any damage and if they find any, they should replace the blade immediately. The chainsaw operator should also make sure that the chain isn’t dull. One way to do that is through manual inspection of the chain, but there are also other methods for determining a chain is dull. For example, if the chainsaw has to be coaxed into cutting through the wood, then it’s probably dull. It’s probably also dull if it produces more wood dust than chips when cutting down a tree. In either of those cases, it’s important to immediately sharpen the chain for best results.
Sharpening A Chainsaw
Once you’ve determined that it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw, it’s time to get down to it and get it done. Although all of the best chainsaw sharpeners are operated a little bit differently from one another, we do feel that we can give a general overview of how chainsaw sharpening should be done. Just be sure to follow the directions on the particular chainsaw sharpener that you’re using, so that you do it correctly.
Step One: Gather Your Equipment
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is gather all of the safety equipment that you’re going to need. This includes a pair of gloves and safety goggles, too. Yes, although many people skip using safety goggles when they sharpen their chainsaw chain, we feel that it’s a good idea to wear them to prevent any unforeseen accidents. During this step, it’s also a good idea to read through not only the instruction manual for your chainsaw sharpener but also for your chainsaw as well. Make sure that you follow all of the safety recommendations provided by both those manuals for the best results.
Step Two: Get The Chainsaw Set-Up
Now it’s time to get to work. Make sure that you have a table that provides a stable work area, and it is free of debris. Place the chainsaw on the table, engage the chain brake, and then clamp the chain bar in place. Now take your guide and place it between the rivets on the chainsaw’s chain. While you’re doing this step, make sure that the arrows on the guide are pointing forward toward the nose of the chainsaw blade. When this has been done, then you’re ready to begin sharpening the chain.
Step Three: Begin Sharpening The Chain
Make sure that you follow the top plate of the cutter’s angle to keep from going too far to one side and then use even strokes with the sharpener’s file to sharpen the chain. It should only take about 2 to 4 strokes before the surface of the cutter is shiny and sharp. When that’s done, work down to the next set of cutters and do a few more. After a few cutters have been sharpened, you’ll then need to release the chain brake so that the chain can be rotated forward. This will allow you to reach the rest of the cutters to sharpen. Before sharpening these newly exposed cutters, be sure to set the brake again before beginning again. When one side of the chain is done, the chain can then be flipped so that the other side can be done. Finally, use the depth gauge tool and file to adjust the height of the chain’s depth gauges. Congratulations, you have just sharpened your first chainsaw chain.