The best chainsaw sharpener can make the tough task of cutting wood go much smoother

Chainsaws are without a doubt a great tool to have around if you are a professional that does tree work or a homeowner that cuts their own wood for firewood. Even thick wood is no match for these gas powered wood eaters if they are sized right for the job. Wood is a lot tougher substance than most people give it credit for though. It can start to dull even the highest quality chainsaw teeth after just a few hours. That is why having the best chainsaw sharpener you can buy with you is so valuable to keep your wood cutting job going smoothly.

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Best Choice
STIHL 2 IN 1 EASY FILE CHAINSAW CHAIN SHARPENER 3/8" P
Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Husqvarna 531300081 3/8-Inch Saw Chain Filing Kit
Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder
Portable Or Benchtop use
Portable
Benchtop
Portable
Benchtop
Key Features
Depth gauge and sharpener combo; Works on all 3/8 inch chains; Can take in the field with you; Great price point
Excellent workshop model sharpener; 4200 rpm grinding speed; Adjusts to accommodate many different chain sizes
Goes anywhere you do; Made by a reputable manufacturer in the industry; Works on a variety of different chainsaw chains
A good addition to any chainsaw owners workbench; Sharpens ¼” & 3/8” chains; Built-in light; Includes three grinding wheels
Star Rating (Out of 5)
4.8
4.4
4.4
4.3
Best Choice
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STIHL 2 IN 1 EASY FILE CHAINSAW CHAIN SHARPENER 3/8" P
Portable Or Benchtop use
Portable
Key Features
Depth gauge and sharpener combo; Works on all 3/8 inch chains; Can take in the field with you; Great price point
Star Rating (Out of 5)
4.8
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Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Portable Or Benchtop use
Benchtop
Key Features
Excellent workshop model sharpener; 4200 rpm grinding speed; Adjusts to accommodate many different chain sizes
Star Rating (Out of 5)
4.4
Picture
Husqvarna 531300081 3/8-Inch Saw Chain Filing Kit
Portable Or Benchtop use
Portable
Key Features
Goes anywhere you do; Made by a reputable manufacturer in the industry; Works on a variety of different chainsaw chains
Star Rating (Out of 5)
4.4
Picture
Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder
Portable Or Benchtop use
Benchtop
Key Features
A good addition to any chainsaw owners workbench; Sharpens ¼” & 3/8” chains; Built-in light; Includes three grinding wheels
Star Rating (Out of 5)
4.3

Last update on 2018-05-24 at 21:28 PST - Details

You can read more in depth reviews below or click on the links to see current pricing.

Why is a sharp chainsaw blade important?

Makes the wood cutting job easier

Let’s face it. Trying to cut wood with a dull chainsaw blade takes more effort than it does if you are using a chainsaw with a nice sharp blade. If you have a sharp chainsaw blade you will be more productive because you won’t be as tired and you can work longer.

Makes your wood cutting go smoother

A chainsaw will cut much faster through a piece of wood if its chain is nice and sharp. That means you will be able to cut wood much more efficiently than if you were using a dull chainsaw blade. Once again this will up your productivity as you work and it will end up saving you time on a wood cutting project too.

It makes using a chainsaw safer

Many people raise an eyebrow at this one. They think how can a sharp chainsaw chain be safer to work with than a dull one. The answer to that is simple. One of the most dangerous things that can happen when using a chainsaw is what is known as ‘kickback’. A sharp chainsaw blade helps to lessen the chances that your chainsaw will kick back at you as you operate it.

Chainsaw sharpener buying guide

There are several different types of chainsaw chain sharpeners available to you in the tool marketplace. Which one you choose will depend on these key characteristics.

Price

There is a large variety in price when it comes to chainsaw sharpeners. You can find a set of hand sharpeners that will cost you under $14 and there are some electric models that will run you several hundred dollars. You will have to consider your financial budget before you start your shopping and set a budget range for your sharpener that you are comfortable with.

Hand versus machine sharpening

When you go to buy a new chainsaw sharpener you will also have to strongly consider how much effort you are willing to put into the chainsaw process. As a general rule hand sharpeners cost less money but they also take a lot of time and effort to complete the sharpening process.

Electric sharpeners do a great job sharpening chainsaw chains and do it very quickly too. They are also the more expensive type of chainsaw sharpeners and they are hard to set up to work in the field too.

Portable versus benchtop

A prime consideration for which chainsaw sharpener you will buy has to be where you will be doing your chainsaw sharpening. An electric model chainsaw sharpener is great if you are doing the sharpening on your workbench at home but may not be so practical to use in the woods.

On the other hand, a sharpening kit that you use by hand is ideal to take into the field with you because it does not require electricity and is highly portable because its small and lightweight.

How to sharpen a chainsaw blade

Sharpening a chainsaw blade either by hand or by using an electric chainsaw sharpener is not easy to master. With a little practice and knowhow you will get good at it over time. So don’t be afraid to attempt to do this yourself. If you use your chainsaw a lot the money you save on not having to pay for this service will easily pay for your chainsaw sharpening equipment and then some.

Here are a couple YouTube videos that are good teaching tools if you never sharpened a chainsaw blade before or they can help you improve your skill at doing this task if you are a veteran chainsaw sharpener.

Here is a helpful YouTube video on how to sharpen a chainsaw by hand using only a file kit: 

This instructional YouTube video will help you to learn how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with and electric model chainsaw sharpener:

There really is no right or wrong way as to how you choose to sharpen your chainsaw chain. The important thing is that you have a sharp chainsaw blade to make your wood cutting task go faster, smoother and safer.

Reviews of the top chainsaw sharpener models

After looking at many different models of chainsaw sharpeners these are the ones we found to be the best working sharpeners.

Here is a model chainsaw sharpener that is both portable and easy to use. It is made by Stihl Corporation which is a company that knows all there is to know about chainsaws. No matter how remote an area you are working in this great little chainsaw sharpener can easily go with you there.

It will do a great job sharpening any 3/8 inch chainsaw blade. It has a built in depth gauge to check the depth of the area you have sharpened on the teeth and it is small enough to easily go into hard to reach places on the chainsaw chain.

Pros

  • Depth gauge and sharpener combo
  • Works on all brands 3/8 inch chainsaw chains
  • Can take it in the field with you
  • Great price point

Cons

  • Takes a lot of effort
  • Only works on 3/8” chainsaw chains

Here is the top benchtop chainsaw sharpener on our review list. It can easily be mounted to any table or bench in your workshop. It is fully adjustable too so it will easily sharpen most of the top brand chainsaw chains. It will save you time and money because you will not have to take your chain to a professional to get it sharpened for you.

It has a very good 4200 rpm grinding speed. That is enough grinding power to sharpen even the dullest chainsaw chain. It also means you can get the job done quickly. It is really easy to set such things as the cutting angle with this machine.

Pros

  • Excellent workshop model sharpener
  • 4200 rpm grinding speed
  • Adjusts to accommodate many different chain sizes
  • Saves time and money

Cons

  • This unit cannot be setup in the field
  • The adjustment dials could be more accurate

Here is a versatile chainsaw sharpening kit that you can take anywhere that you can take your chainsaw. That is a big advantage because a chainsaw chain needs to have its sharpness maintained or it will not work well. This model chainsaw sharpener is made by one of the most reputable manufacturers of chainsaws on the planet.

This kit contains everything you need to sharpen even the dullest of chainsaw teeth. It’s ultra-lightweight and the different file pieces can all fit in the same universal handle that is included. It even includes a handy depth gauge so you can make sure your sharpening is accurate.

Pros

  • Goes anywhere you do
  • Made by a reputable manufacturer in the industry
  • Works on a variety of different chainsaw chains
  • Versatile tools for all your sharpening needs

Cons

  • Takes some time to sharpen a chainsaw chain by hand
  • Photos in the instruction booklet are hard to see

Here is a company that specializes in making chainsaw chains and their supporting accessories. So you know this is going to be a good product. It is a must have item for your workbench if you own a chainsaw and use it often. Simply plug it into any standard outlet and once you get used to it you will be sharpening your chainsaws in less than ½ hour.

This chainsaw sharpener can handle both 1/4” and 3/8” chainsaw chains. It is fully adjustable and can be fastened down to any flat surface. It also includes a grinding wheel wear indicator, a built-in clamping system and three grinding wheels to do the sharpening with.

Pros

  • A good addition to any chainsaw owner’s workbench
  • Sharpens ¼” & 3/8” chains
  • Built-in light
  • Includes three grinding wheels

Cons

  • Not a good model to use in the field
  • Takes a little time to set up

One stands out among the rest

These are all very good chainsaw sharpeners in their own way. We have reviewed some excellent benchtop and portable models. Even though any one of them would make an excellent addition to your tool collection if you own a chainsaw, there is one model in particular that stands out among them. That is the Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener 3/8".

We just like everything about this model chainsaw sharpener. It is highly portable so it can go anywhere you are using your chainsaw. We like the portability as opposed to a benchtop model. This sharpening kit can also sharpen a variety of different size chainsaw chains. Everything you need including the all-important depth gauges come right in this kit too.

This versatile and portable sharpening kit is certainly one that you should at least consider before making a chainsaw sharpening purchase. We like the portability as opposed to that of the benchtop models. It is also much less expensive than any electric chainsaw sharpener you will find. Combine those things with its versatility and you have an outstanding chainsaw sharpener.

Thomas Roberge
 

This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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