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A chainsaw sharpener is a tool that helps keep the cutting teeth of a chain saw, or a chain, in top condition. It’s a motorized device with an abrasive wheel that spins as you move the chain through it. This removes just enough material from each tooth to create a new cutting edge. The procedure, on the whole, takes only a few seconds for each tooth.

The use of chainsaws has increased dramatically in recent decades, but it’s still safe to say that there are far more home users than commercial ones. Because of this, the majority of chainsaw sharpeners used today are designed for hobbyists and weekend warriors rather than professional loggers and arborists.

Buying a chainsaw sharpener is an essential step to getting the best out of your chainsaw. Not only is it vital that your chainsaw is sharp enough to achieve the best cut, but did you also know that a dull chainsaw blade is extremely dangerous? In this article, we will highlight the factors you need to consider in order to pick the best chainsaw sharpeners for your needs.

Our Recommended Chainsaw Sharpeners:

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Oregon 520-120 Bench Mount Chain Grinder

Oregon 520-120 Bench Mount Chain Grinder

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Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

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Granberg Grind-N-Joint 12V Hand Held Chain Grinder

Granberg Grind-N-Joint 12V Hand Held Chain Grinder

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LEGENDARY-YES Electric Grinder

LEGENDARY-YES Electric Grinder

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Timber Tuff CS-BWM Benchtop / Wall Mount

Timber Tuff CS-BWM Benchtop / Wall Mount

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85W Mini Bench Mount Electric Chainsaw Grinder Sharpener

85W Mini Bench Mount Electric Chainsaw Grinder Sharpener

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Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener

Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener

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Oregon 575214 Sure Sharp 12V Handheld Sharpener

Oregon 575214 Sure Sharp 12V Handheld Sharpener

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Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

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Check Price on Amazon

Last update on 17th March 2023 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

As with any tool, there are different kinds of chainsaw sharpeners to help suit the job you need to do. Here’s an overview of some of the options available today.

Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

Electric Powered chainsaw sharpeners are small benchtop units that typically align and guide the edge of your chain against an abrasive grinding wheel. They’re often combined with a built-in sharpening stone or flat file. These units are easy to use and great for sharpening your chains at home.

These sharpeners are a boon to home users since they can be used safely indoors, but these units do have some limitations–they’re typically slower than other types of sharpeners due to their small size, and because electric power is limited by line cord length. Unless you use an extension cord, you’ll probably need to plug the sharpener into an outlet located near your workstation.

Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

Hand-Powered chainsaw sharpeners are manual versions that offer portability and speed unmatched by electric units. These small, hand-held sharpening tools are easy to use on the spot. All you have to do is lightly hold it against your saw’s cutting teeth and pull the chain through it several times.

These sharpeners work well for sharpening your chains when you’re in the field, but they do have some drawbacks. They tend to be somewhat limited in the type and size of chains that they can accommodate, and some users find them difficult to use due to their small size.

Dremel Attachment

You can also buy a Dremel chainsaw sharpener that attaches to the rotary tool. This type of sharpener is portable, easy to use, and works well for touch-ups on the go. It’s great if you’re not looking for anything heavy-duty since it can’t handle large-scale sharpening jobs like other units.

The downside to this type of sharpener is that it isn’t as versatile as manual models, nor does it offer the same level of control as motorized units do. In addition, it can be a little tricky if you aren’t used to using rotary tools.

Advantages of using Chainsaw Sharpener

  • Increased safety. A blade that’s in good working condition is typically safer because it requires less force and pressure from the user to cut through objects. This reduces the risk of injury while operating a saw.
  • Improved performance. When you use a sharpened chain, it penetrates the material you’re cutting more deeply and in less time. This is essential when felling trees or limbing branches.
  • Lower fuel consumption. Less pressure means that your saw won’t have to work as hard, which reduces how much fuel you use during each session.
  • Possible increased lifespan. An edge that’s in good condition won’t dull as quickly, which means you can use your saw for longer periods before replacement is necessary.

When sharpening your chain, take appropriate precautions.

If you’re going to use a sharpener, here are some precautions that you should always take:

  1. Always wear appropriate safety equipment. This includes gloves and eye protection at the very least. If your unit is electrically powered, make sure it’s unplugged before you begin sharpening your chain. And if your chainsaw has kickback, never wear loose clothing that could get caught up in the blade.
  2. Make sure your sharpener is appropriate for the job you’re doing. Some units are better suited to specific tasks than others, so choose accordingly. If you’re using a handheld sharpener, use it consistently–if you let your chains go too long between sharpenings, you won’t be able to get the same quality of results.
  3. Don’t skip the filing stage. If you’re using a manual sharpener, make sure you do plenty of filing before moving on to the next phase of sharpening your chain. This is especially important if your chains are dull or damaged–it ensures that each tooth has a sharp, triangular shape that’s able to bite into the material you’re cutting.
  4. Use lubricant when sharpening your chain. Most manufacturers recommend using a bar oil or special chainsaw-sharpening lube when using a sharpener on your blade. This helps reduce wear on the teeth of your saw and extends its life.
  5. Go slow. Sharpening your chain is done in several steps, so take your time when you’re working. This will ensure that the job is done properly, which means you’ll have a better-performing saw next time you use it.

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Chainsaw Sharpeners?

Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

Chainsaw sharpeners come in several different styles and types. The type you choose will depend on where and how often you’ll be using it, as well as your skill level and the size of the chains on your saw.

Manuals are smaller, lightweight, and take up less space than electric sharpeners do. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to transport from place to place if necessary. Electric chainsaw sharpeners require electricity and include a motor that does the sharpening for you. They’re typically more heavy-duty and can handle larger jobs than manual models, although they’re bulkier and more difficult to move around.

Mounting Options

If you have a chainsaw with a bar-mounted guide, you can use either type of sharpener. However, if your chain doesn’t have a guide already attached and you need to purchase one separately, make sure any manual or the electric unit you get can be mounted to the saw in question.


Electric sharpeners are more powerful than manual models. If you have multiple chains that need sharpening, you should look for a model with variable speeds so you’ll be able to get the job done quickly without overheating your device.

If the pitch of your chain is different from that of your sharpener’s grinding wheels, for instance, this will affect how effective the tool is during use. Check the specifications before making a purchase.

Similarly, some manufacturers don’t recommend their products for use with specific chainsaws. If you’re not sure whether your saw is compatible, check the manufacturer’s recommendations and reviews before you buy anything.

Some electric models have variable speeds so you can increase or decrease how quickly they work depending on the size of the job you’re doing. If the unit only has one speed, be sure to check its maximum RPM rating so you know what kind of blades it can handle.

The number of teeth on your saw’s blade is another important factor. Most electric sharpeners work with chains that contain between 20 and 60 teeth, while some manual models can handle up to 120. If you have a larger chain, consider purchasing a larger sharpener.

Height and Angle Adjustments

Height and angle adjustments are designed to make it easier for you to get the results you want. This is particularly important if your chain is worn or damaged–you’ll have a better chance of getting the results you want without over-sharpening or accidentally filing away more metal than you need to.

Features and Ease of use

The vise on a chainsaw sharpener typically holds the chain at a 45-degree angle for safe operation. Some models come with an adjustable vise to ensure that your saw’s bar fits fairly easily, without too much awkward movement. If you have a number of saws to sharpen on a regular basis, having an adjustable vise is a good idea.

A chainsaw sharpener with a sturdy handle and comfortable grip will be easier to work with for longer periods of time. A nonslip finish can also help you maintain your hold on the tool so it doesn’t slip out of your hands while it’s in use. Some models include rubberized components that absorb vibrations and reduce noise, making them easier on your hands and arms.

Some chainsaw sharpeners include built-in lights that make it easier to get accurate measurements. Some manufacturers recommend using a vise with this type of tool, while others say you can use it without one.

Digital readouts provide a more accurate picture of your saw’s overall sharpness, and they’re easier to use than a vise or guide that requires you to follow a certain measurement. This kind of tool also enables you to save settings for later use so you don’t have to adjust the system every time you want to work on a different chain.

Electric models typically include features like safety guards and nonslip covers to ensure that people won’t be injured while they’re working on their saws. These features are especially important if you have children or pets in the home, so check to see whether any of the sharpeners you’re considering purchasing include them.


A well-made chainsaw sharpener will be sturdy and dependable. The housing should be made from a heavy-duty, high-strength metal alloy that won’t corrode or warp even if it’s used regularly.

The grinding wheels should also have a long lifespan—look for ones made from diamond crystals or tungsten carbide rather than steel, which are more likely to break or wear down.

Finally, be sure that any chainsaw sharpener you purchase has a warranty of at least one year, if not more. This will give you peace of mind in case your tool breaks down or malfunctions after a few uses.


How Often Should I Sharpen My Chainsaw?

The frequency of sharpening your chain depends on several factors, including how often you use your saw and the material you’re cutting. If you only use your chainsaw once or twice per year, for example, it’s advisable to sharpen it before each use. If you cut through hard materials like metal on a regular basis, sharpening your chain monthly will help keep it in good condition.

What Is the Best Angle to Sharpen an Electric Chainsaw?

To ensure that you get the right amount of sharpening angle, position the tip of the grinding wheel at a 45-degree angle with respect to the top of the bar. If you’re not sure how many angles to use, a digital readout can help you get a more precise reading.

How Do You Sharpen a Chainsaw?

You can sharpen a chainsaw using two different methods: manual and electric. For manual sharpening, you’ll need a special bar and chain vise as well as the appropriate grinding wheel for your particular model of saw.

Once you have the vise and grinding wheel in place, rotate your saw’s engine until it’s turned off and let it cool down completely before proceeding. Make sure you’re wearing protective equipment like work gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes from the debris that falls off the grinding wheel.

If you have an electric chainsaw sharpener, attach your saw’s bar to the tool before plugging it into an outlet. Once you’ve pressed down on the start button or pulled a release lever, let the tool work its magic as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.

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