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Chainsaw Sharpeners

Compare and find the right chainsaw sharpener for you

The Best Chainsaw Sharpener For The Money

Oregon 410 Chainsaw Grinder Review

Weight

17 lbs

Mount

Bench or wall mounted

Power

Electric

Warranty

3-year personal use
2-year professional use

Stihl 2 n 1 Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

0.75 lbs

Mount

None

Power

Manual

Warranty

2-year

Backridge Tough Chainsaw Sharpener Kit Review

Weight

1.02 lbs

Mount

None

Power

Manual

Warranty

None

Cataumet Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

2.6 lbs

Mount

None – comes with stump vise

Power

Manual

Warranty

None

Oregon 620 Bench Grinder Review

Weight

21 lbs

Mount

Bench or Wall

Power

Electric with hydraulic assist

Warranty

3-year personal use
2-year professional use

Best Alternate Premium Choice 

Oregon 520 Bench Grinder Review

Weight

19.4 lbs

Mount

Bench or Wall

Power

Electric

Warranty

3-year personal use
2-year professional use

Granberg Bar Mount Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

1.05 lbs

Mount

Blade mounted

Power

Manual

Warranty

Lifetime

Buffalo Tools Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

4.1 lbs

Mount

Bench, wall, or vise

Power

Electric

Warranty

None

Timber Tuff Handheld Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

2.6 lbs

Mount

None

Power

Electric (battery)

Warranty

1-year

TruePower Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Weight

6.5 lbs

Mount

Bench, wall or vise

Power

Electric

Warranty

None

Best Chainsaw Sharpener

Oregon 410-120 120V Bench/Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

Oregon 410 Chainsaw Grinder Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Mount: Bench or Wall
  • Compatibility: 1/4″, 0.325″, 3/8″ low profile, 3/8″ full profile, .404″

What’s Included

  • Grinder
  • Dressing Brick
  • Quick-check Grinding Template
  • Three Grinding Wheels

Oregon manufacturers many of the best chainsaw sharpener products currently on the market, so it’s no surprise that their flagship electric chainsaw sharpener makes the top of this list. The 410-120 isn’t the best product in their lineup, but it does offer the best balance of price and utility.

As an electric chain sharpener, this works with almost any chain and comes with three different grinding wheels for added durability. The electric chain system runs at 3150 RPM from a 120V power supply, and you can mount it on either a bench or the wall.

In short, this is the product in our buying guide that everyone else has to beat. Make sure you know why you’re buying anything else.

Pros

  • A top product from a top manufacturer
  • Compatible with most chain sizes and styles
  • Noticeably more useful than the best manual chainsaw sharpener
  • Provides faster, more accurate sharpening

Cons

  • Limited angle precision
  • Not as good as Oregon’s premium sharpeners

Best Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

Stihl 2 N 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener 1/4″

Stihl 2 n 1 Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 11.9 oz
  • Mount: None
  • Compatibility: Varies; single chain size only

What’s Included

  • Filing holder/guide
  • Two round files
  • One flat file

Stihl’s line of manual sharpeners is available in many different sizes. While they take a little practice to get used to, these Stihl 2 in 1 manual files are incredibly reliable and effective for sharpening most blades. Notably, they also work anywhere without power, and that’s important if you want to use your chainsaw off the grid for extended periods.

The Stihl 2 in 1 is a great product overall, but it’s hampered by how each file only works for one size of chainsaw blade. That means you need to buy many Stihl 2 in 1 files if you need to sharpen chainsaw blades of different sizes, and at that point, it’s often cheaper to get our best overall choice instead.

Also, carrying around three different files (or more) can make it hard to keep track of which file is which size. That can slow you down.

Pros

  • Easy-carry design
  • More affordable than most electric sharpeners
  • Includes several filing options

Cons

  • Only suitable for one chain size
  • More expensive than most other manual files

Best Budget Chainsaw Sharpener

Backridge Tough Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

Backridge Tough Chainsaw Sharpener Kit Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 1.02 lbs.
  • Mount: None
  • Compatibility: 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″ files; works with most chainsaw blades

What’s Included

  • Three files of different sizes
  • A filing guide
  • A flat file
  • A depth gauge
  • A 4 inch wooden file handle
  • A carrying case

Backridge Tough’s portable chainsaw sharpening kit doesn’t provide the same accuracy as a motorized Oregon sharpener, but it’s incredibly budget-friendly and comes with an impressively high level of versatility despite its drawbacks.

Notably, this kit includes a 4 inch handle alongside several different files, allowing it to be more compact whenever you don’t need to use it. The sharpening options are also impressively varied, with three different round files making it easy to get the job done.

Ultimately, this kit is better than trying to get 1 easy file, especially if you’re not sure what size of chain you’ll need a sharpener for. The depth gauge provides added help. Sadly, it doesn’t have tools like a self centering chain vise, but it doesn’t need a power source other than your muscles, either.

Pros

  • Compatible with several chainsaw blade sizes
  • Highly competitive, budget-friendly pricing
  • Comes with a filing guide
  • It has a built in depth gauge

Cons

  • It doesn’t perform as well as a mid-range or premium sharpening option
  • A little harder to use than some competing products

Best Chainsaw Sharpener for Field Backup

Cataumet Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

Cataumet Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 2.59 lbs.
  • Mount: None (comes with a stump vise)
  • Compatibility: 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″ files

What’s Included

  • Three round files
  • Three double handle file guides
  • A 6″ flat file
  • A depth gauge
  • A felling wedge
  • A stump vice
  • A chainsaw wrench/screwdriver
  • A field bag

Cataumet is another little-known company, but their chainsaw filing bag offers impressive value for new owners. This kid includes three round files, a flat file, and numerous extra tools, all packed inside a large bag. The bag itself has extra space for other chainsaw accessories like gloves and earmuffs.

This chainsaw sharpener isn’t quite as good as something like an electric bar mounted system, but it’s great for learning how to sharpen chainsaw blades manually. With its competitive pricing, we also like this as a backup sharpener in case you can’t use your regular chain sharpener.

Pros

  • Includes more tools than most manual kits
  • It comes with a storage bag that has lots of extra room
  • Metal holder helps prevent files from bending
  • Accepts replacement files

Cons

  • Some parts have lower quality
  • The felling wedge is an unnecessary add-on

Best Premium Chainsaw Sharpener

Oregon 620-120 Professional 120V Bench Grinder

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 21 lbs.
  • Mount: Bench or Wall
  • Compatibility: Universal up to .404″ chains

What’s Included

  • Grinder
  • Dressing brick and profile guide
  • Two grinding wheels
  • Flat profile disc

Oregon’s 620-120 is the big cousin of our top overall choice, and the quality doesn’t disappoint. This chainsaw sharpener is for high-volume situations and uses a hydraulic assist system for hands-free, automatic clamping.

While this is a superior product, it does have two notable drawbacks. First, it’s much heavier than most electric sharpener options. At 21 pounds, it’s too heavy to carry everywhere you go. Second, it’s significantly more expensive than competitors. It’s not worth the cost unless you need to sharpen frequently.

That said, if you’re working in any professional shop environment, this may well be the best chain sharpener you’ll find. Its 1 easy file system gives it the ability to file chainsaw blades of many sizes. The Oregon 520 120 (below) is similar to this product, but a little more affordable.

Pros

  • Easily one of the best sharpeners on the market
  • Has a hydraulic assist system
  • Uses an automatic self-centering chain vise
  • Universal compatibility with standard chainsaw sizes

Cons

  • More expensive than most other grinders
  • Too heavy to move around easily

Best Alternate Premium Chainsaw Sharpener

Oregon 520-120 120V Bench Grinder

Oregon 520 Bench Grinder Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 19.4 lbs
  • Mount: Bench or Wall
  • Compatibility: Universal up to .404″ chains

What’s Included

  • Grinder
  • 2 grinding wheels
  • Depth gauge
  • Dressing brick
  • Quick template
  • Instruction manual

The Oregon 520 120 is a mid-point between the premium 620 and the regular 410 (our best overall choice). We see this as a backup choice for the 620. If you’re getting a premium grinder at all, you may as well get the best your money can buy, and that’s why it’s hard to recommend this despite its overall quality.

Even so, this grinder helps you get a sharp and accurate cut every time, and it works better than a 4 inch or 8 inch manual file. It’s also superior to other sharpening choices like a 2 in 1 easy system. That said, be sure you read through the table of contents in the instruction manual before you start using it.

Pros

  • Good balance between price and quality
  • Noticeably more affordable than the 620
  • Universal sharpener

Cons

  • Hard to recommend over the 620
  • More than most people need

Best Bar Mount Chainsaw Sharpener

Granberg 106b Bar Mount Chainsaw Sharpener

Granberg Bar Mounted Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 1.05 lbs.
  • Mount: Blade-mounted
  • Compatibility: Universal (depends on file)

What’s Included

  • Bar-mount chain saw sharpener (Note that this product does not include the files)

This guide system uses cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel to hold files in place while you move the chain through for its sharpening. This type of sharpener isn’t as good as a motorized version, but it’s stable and easy to use in most environments.

This model holds files of most sizes, including 8-inch options. While it’s not a 2 in 1 easy file system, it makes sharpening considerably easier and beats out competitors like the Timber Tuff CS.

Pros

  • Mounts to almost any saw
  • Supports files up to 8-inch designs
  • It doesn’t need a 12-volt power supply

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with files
  • Arguably harder to use than a regular metal file

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Buffalo Tools Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 4.11 lbs.
  • Mount: Bench, wall, or vise
  • Compatibility: Mostly universal

What’s Included

  • Grinder
  • 1 grinding wheel

The Buffalo Tools ECSS is a motorized sharpener that works with almost any chain you feed into it. This makes it an excellent choice if you want to use an electric sharpening system but aren’t sure what chain sizes you’ll be dealing with.

This product isn’t nearly as good at sharpening as our top overall choice, but its highly competitive pricing makes it easy to carry around as a primary option that you can support with a manual sharpener.

Pros

  • Adjusts to most chain designs
  • It runs at 4200 RPM
  • Mountable almost anywhere

Cons

  • Not as good or as durable as an Oregon
  • Only a little better than most budget tools
  • Not easily portable

Timber Tuff Tools Handheld Rechargeable Chainsaw Sharpener

Timber Tuff Handheld Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 2.6 lbs.
  • Mount: None
  • Compatibility: Mostly universal

What’s Included

  • Handheld rechargeable chainsaw sharpener
  • Charger base
  • AC/DC adapter
  • 3 grinding stones

Now here’s a rare option. The Timber Tuff CS is a handheld electric sharpener system. That gives it significantly greater versatility than most tools you can use for sharpening a chain and helps it stand out among all the chainsaw sharpener options on this list.

This unit charges over about three hours and has ten variable speeds with three grinding wheels. That makes it an impressively flexible chainsaw sharpener despite its unassuming appearance.

This sharpener is a good choice if you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to take breaks while working and using a manual file would be inconvenient. It’s not the best sharpener on this list, but it is unique enough to deserve mention as a backup choice.

Pros

  • Rare non-manual handheld sharpener
  • An impressive variety of grinding options
  • Charges reasonably quickly
  • Easy to use in areas where other sharpeners are impractical

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Wholly reliant on batteries

TruePower 01-0854 Electric Chainsaw Blade Sharpener

TruePower Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Review

Summary & Features

Specs

  • Weight: 6.49 lbs.
  • Mount: Bench, wall, or vise
  • Compatibility: Universal

What’s Included

  • Grinder
  • A grinding wheel

TruePower’s 01-0854 is a mid-range choice for a chainsaw sharpener. It’s not quite up to the quality standards of premium options, but it’s noticeably better than its lower-priced competitors.

This chainsaw sharpener spins at up to 4200 RPM with no load, which gives it the speed to work on almost any chain you’re sharpening. However, while this isn’t a bad product, its limited functions compared to an Oregon makes it harder to justify recommending. Consider this tool only if a better chainsaw sharpener is unavailable.

Pros

  • Solid mid-range choice
  • It has a large safety guard
  • Offers chain rotation rollers for faster setups

Cons

  • Some cheap components
  • Harder to use than most competitors

Uses Of Chainsaw Sharpeners

The main use of a chainsaw sharpener is in the name. Sharper chainsaws are fundamentally better because they cut things faster and easier than dull counterparts. At a certain point, chainsaws can grow too dull to function properly, at which point they become dangerous to use. With all that in mind, the best chainsaw sharpener choices have several other uses to consider.

First, a good chainsaw sharpener will prolong the longevity of your chain. Over time, this means a chainsaw sharpener can save you a lot of money that you’d otherwise have to spend on a new chainsaw chain.

Aside from that, options like electric chainsaw sharpeners can reduce your chances of injury. A damaged chainsaw chain is more likely to snap, and a chainsaw chain is more likely to get damaged if it’s dull and you have to push it to force it through. In short, there are many reasons to keep your chainsaw chain easy to use.

Things To Consider About Chainsaw Sharpeners

Here are some things to consider about chainsaw sharpeners before you go buy them for your chainsaw chain.

Type

The two primary options are a manual chainsaw sharpener and an electric chainsaw sharpener. Electric options are generally faster than manual options, which is useful if you’re on the job and want to minimize downtime. However, a manual chainsaw sharpener is usually more affordable.

You’ll need to get a power source if you want to use an electric chainsaw sharpener. This could be a battery pack, a generator, or a house plugin, depending on the model you get. Most electric chainsaw sharpeners do best with a portable power source, and those are more useful if you want to take your electric chainsaw sharpener off the grid.

Compatibility

Small differences in blade size can affect whether the best chainsaw sharpener works on a particular chainsaw chain. Units with high compatibility are fundamentally better. Unusual chainsaw blades may need specialized sharpeners, so you won’t have as many choices there. The good news is that sharpeners for special chains are typically easy to use.

Other Features

Options like a built in light, a depth gauge, a grinding wheel, or a low profile can all help decide if a sharpener is one of the top overall options. These aren’t as important as the ability to sharpen the chain, but anything that makes things easier is a nice perk to have.

Top Brands Of Chainsaw Sharpeners

Several brands stick out from the others when we’re looking for the best chainsaw sharpening tools.

Oregon

No, not the state. The Oregon Saw Chain Manufacturing Corporation is one of the best brands in the world. In fact, many chainsaw creators use Oregon parts instead of manufacturing their own. That alone makes them a top contender.

While originally a separate company, Oregon exists today as part of Blount International, a manufacturing and marketing company that focuses on forestry, farm, garden, agriculture, and similar areas. Blount also owns brands like Carlton and KOX.

In many ways, Oregon is the go-to when you need a chainsaw sharpener. Their products are expensive but also extremely high-quality, and it’s hard to go wrong with their lineup of sharpener options.

Buffalo Tools

Buffalo Tools (also called Huang Buffalo Co., Ltd) manufactures professional-level tools for various home, garden, and wilderness needs. Their product line ranges from safety goggles to power tools, as well as assorted OEM parts.

While they’re not quite as good as Oregon, Buffalo Tools makes such a wide variety of products that you can generally find compatible tools if you need to buy different things. Options like the Buffalo Tools ECSS are particularly good when you need a sharpener.

Stihl

Stihl produces a variety of home and outdoor tools, including construction tools, battery tools, and chainsaws. Like most better manufacturers, they focus on creating easy to use products that have different power source options and help provide users with the ideal overall experience.

We don’t fundamentally dislike Stihl as a chainsaw company. They have many well-made products, and that’s what matters most when you want to buy a chain saw. However, they’re not quite as good as Oregon, and those differences matter when you’re buying a sharpener for professional needs.

Chainsaw Sharpener Pricing Tiers

Pricing tiers are what you make of them, but there are a couple of broad tiers you can expect to see if you’re going shopping.

Under $25: Budget Sharpeners

Budget sharpeners are the cheapest options on the market. Most of them are simple plastic pieces that either let you spin the blade through them or give you the tools to sharpen chainsaw blades manually. We don’t particularly recommend manual sharpeners.

While these are affordable, they don’t work as well as the chainsaw chain sharpeners in other tiers. Even the best manual chainsaw sharpener in this range can only do so much, so we recommend avoiding this category unless you can’t afford anything better.

$25-$100: Mid-Range Sharpeners

These are the sharpener models that most people look at. Mid-range chainsaw chain sharpeners include more electric options than the budget tier. You can also find your choice of power source for electric chainsaw sharpeners, as well as better tools for a manual chainsaw sharpener.

If you’re lucky, you’ll also find tools like a built in light, a bar mounted support, or spare wheels for keeping the chain sharp. Some sharpener options in this range also have a depth gauge.

You won’t find one of the top overall options in this price range, but mid-range sharpeners suffice for most people. Just make sure you get the right size for your chain. It doesn’t matter how good the chainsaw sharpener is if your chain doesn’t fit.

Above $100: Premium Sharpeners

Premium sharpeners are, unsurprisingly, the top choices. These options may have a better grinding wheel, a superior chain sharpener, or even unique ways to sharpen your chain. It’s not surprising to see a manual sharpener that comes with three spare parts, or tools for different chain sizes.

Premium sharpeners tend to be heavier, too. You might find tools that feature cast aluminum and zinc, or those that are aluminum and zinc plated over a steel body. Ultimately, these are the ideal choices when you need to sharpen your chainsaw to get the job done.

However, as premium products, their pricing can make them harder to justify. Mid-range sharpeners usually work fine, and in the end, that’s what matters when you want to sharpen a chainsaw.

Key Features Of Chainsaw Sharpeners

Chainsaw sharpeners feature many types of features. Here are the most prominent ones.

Mounting Options

The main types of mounting options are:

  • Wall-Mounted: Wall-mounted sharpeners fit on wall brackets, which makes it possible to adjust their working height. This is extremely useful if different people need to use it to sharpen a chainsaw. Wall-mounted sharpening tools can also clear up space in your work area, which is valuable in its own right.
  • Bench-Mounted: Bench-mounted sharpeners fit on existing tool benches of specific sizes, which gives you a large base to work with. These may have power sources like a 12 volt battery, and many of the best electric sharpeners fit into this category.
  • Vise-Mounted: Vise-mounted chainsaw sharpeners are rarer, but fit within the vises of other tools. These can provide added flexibility if you need to sharpen your chainsaw at a job site. They may also provide more flexibility for your saw chain.

Pitch Support

The pitch is the distance between each chain link. Manufacturers usually measure this in inches, but on rare occasions, you may see products that use metric instead. Do not try to mix measurement systems.

High-quality sharpeners allow you to file chainsaw links with many different pitches. Lower-quality systems may only support one or two chain sizes, which is highly inconvenient and makes it hard to rate them as the best manual sharpening or best electric sharpening options.

Digital Controls

Some modern sharpeners help you file chainsaw links with digital support. This can include selecting cutting angles, modifying the pitch, and generally getting help for faster and more accurate cuts. Digital controls are useful when done well, but complex systems will drain a 12 volt battery faster.

Tips For Using Chainsaw Sharpeners

Here are some other things to keep in mind when you’re using chainsaw sharpeners.

First, practice makes perfect. Whether you’re using wheels or individual files as your sharpener, only practice will help you sharpen the chain correctly. This means that you should practice with your sharpener instead of learning to sharpen your chain during the middle of a job. Chainsaw sharpening isn’t hard, so it doesn’t take too long to learn.

Second, using an electric sharpener is more dangerous. It doesn’t matter if you’re powering it with a 12 volt battery or a full plug; every time you use an electric system, it wants to go faster. Manual files are slower, but they’re also simple to use and good for sharpening things safely.

Third, you may want to get different grinding options. Different tools allow sharpening in different ways. This is why tools that offer several grinding options are useful, though they’re somewhat rare on sharpening systems.

Criteria For Evaluating The Best Chainsaw Sharpener

We evaluate many factors when considering which products to recommend. Here are the key criteria we use.

Brand Reputation

Reputable brands like Oregon and Stihl get more points than smaller or little-known brands. This doesn’t mean that a newer company is bad, but established companies typically have better customer service, more reliable production values, and more experience out in the field.

User Reviews

As much as we’d like to test every chain for years, that’s not practical. For one thing, that means you’d have to wait years to learn if a new product is any good! Instead, we consider user reviews and look for a good balance of overall rating and the number of reviews.

If 95% of buyers love a product, we know that it’s reliable. If only a few people review a product, that’s not as trustworthy.

Price/Quality Ratio

The price/quality ratio evaluates how good a chain saw sharpener is compared to the price a company asks for it. We’ve seen overpriced, budget-quality products on the market, as well as some surprisingly high-quality wheels priced at highly competitive points.

If the ratio is too out-of-line, we won’t recommend a product. That’s usually a sign that something is too expensive for what it does, or suspiciously cheap.

FAQ

Do you still have questions? If so, we may be able to address them with these FAQs.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Chain Saw Blade?

How often you should sharpen your chain saw blade depends on the chain itself. Some chainsaws go naturally dull faster than others, and the materials you’re cutting also affect the speed of dulling.

The ideal approach is to make sure you sharpen your chain every 2-3 times you refuel the chainsaw. This is often enough to keep your chain sharp and reduces the chance that something will snap.

Do I Need Protective Gear When Sharpening My Chainsaw?

Yes. You should always wear protective gear when you use your chainsaw, and that includes when you’re performing chainsaw sharpening. It doesn’t matter what chain size you’re using, whether you’re using an electric chain sharpening system, or even whether you’re using one of the manual types of chainsaw sharpeners.

What Direction Should I Use My Chainsaw Sharpener In?

Always cut from the inside towards the outside. Most chain saw chains have cutters that go left and right, so you may need to skip every other cutting tooth and to half of them, then reverse the chain and do the other half.

Most electric chainsaw sharpener systems have a component to move the chain through.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right chainsaw sharpener ensures that you can sharpen chains quickly and easily in your work environment. That ultimately leads to cleaner cuts and can help prevent broken chains.

We like the Oregon 410-120 as the top overall choice, with the Stihl 2 in 1 manual chainsaw sharpeners as the top option if you want to avoid motors. The Oregon 620-120 is the top premium choice, but it’s only necessary for high-volume, professional environments.

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