Many people opt to buy a new chain for the chainsaw and get done with it. It seems the most practical way to do but not the most efficient. A chain may hardly cost 20 bucks or more, but they don’t last much longer. You’ll eventually find yourself in the hardware shop buying one. Buying a new chain every time is like buying a new pencil because it went dull and you don’t want to sharpen it.
The best way to avoid these useless shopping endeavors is to buy a chain sharpener. They do cost significantly more than a chain but are a type of investment if that makes you feel good. You won’t be left hanging because the chain went dull, and you have run out of spares. Especially when you are out at work, and there isn’t anywhere you can get a new one.
Chainsaw sharpeners are a life-saver and a convenient tool to have. They come in all shapes and sizes, and today we will be discussing them thoroughly in our list of Top 10 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners In 2021.
|Oregon 410-120||Specialty: Best Overall|
Weight: 17 Pounds
|Oregon 25894||Specialty: Best Budget|
Weight: 4.8 Ounces
|Pferd 17301||Specialty: Editor’s Choice|
|Oregon Sure Sharp||Specialty: Works With A Car Battery|
Weight: 11.2 Ounces
|Oregon 620-120||Specialty: High Powered And Hydraulic Assist|
Weight: 21 Pounds
|Oregon 520-120||Specialty: Most Versatile|
Weight: 19.5 Pounds
|Granberg Bar-Mount||Specialty: Jack Of All|
Weight: 1.05 Pounds
|Oregon Chain Sharpening Kit||Specialty: Most Handy|
Weight: 3.92 Pounds
|Electric Grinder Chain Sharpener||Specialty: Most Adjustable|
Weight: 5.7 Pounds
- Best Chainsaw Sharpeners 2021
- 1. Oregon 410-120 – Best Overall
- 2. Oregon 25894 – Best Budget
- 3. Pferd 17301 – Editor’s Choice
- 4. Oregon Sure Sharp – Works With A Car Battery
- 5. Oregon 620-120 – High Powered And Hydraulic Assist
- 6. Oregon 520-120 – Most versatile
- 7. Granberg Bar – Mount-Jack of All
- 8. Oregon Chain Sharpening Kit – Most Handy
- 9. SuperHandy Chain Sharpener – Portable And Battery Operated
- 10. Electric Grinder Chain Sharpener – Most Adjustable
- Buyer’s Guide – Best Chainsaw Sharpeners
- How To Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Chainsaw Sharpeners 2021
1. Oregon 410-120 – Best Overall
Be it winter, summer, fall, or spring, wood is required like any other. And so does the chain sharpeners. Why? Because due to heavy load, chains get dull pretty quickly no matter how good they are. Instead of continually buying new chains, just buy a sharpener. And what’s better than a branded one like Oregon 410-120. We have analyzed this sharpener and listed it as Best Overall.
From price to performance, this product has produced a fantastic result every time. This sharpener is also very safe to use due to the one-way motor rotation. Plus, it can be mounted on both walls and tables, adjusting to your needs and convenience. There is a built-in light that allows you a better view of what you are doing and lets you stay precise despite the high speed of 3500 RPM.
The same goes for the cost. Although a bit heavy on your pocket, but will stay with you for long enough to pay you back.
- Can be used occasionally
- Doesn’t need much space
- Can sharpen various types of chain
- Simple adjustments
- The grinding wheel might arrive damaged.
2. Oregon 25894 – Best Budget
We were wondering what it would be like to have a chain sharpener cheaper than the chain itself. And if you were too, then here it is. Oregon 25894. This is one of the more affordable chain sharpeners that can deliver what it claimed.
It has the Best Budget offer and can be carried around in your pocket or your backpack. The housing has necessary tools like a round file, file guide, and one wooden handle to hold the file. The kit is very light in weight, which further adds to the ease of carrying it around. But please keep in mind that no matter what, the quality is no way less than those high-end products; neither is some shoddy rip-off to rob you of your money.
- Easy to carry
- Light in both weight and on your pocket
- Easy to use
- Durable and long-lasting product
- The file might bend in the long run.
Very few products can stay unsophisticated but remain in demand. Pferd 17301 is one such proh3 duct. From the outside, there is nothing remarkable about it. To some, it might even look like a toy and nothing more than that.
It is so easy to use that even a total noob can work with it and still ace at it. It can adjust the depth gauge and sharpen the teeth both at the same time. It can also sharpen both sides of the teeth without any kind of conversion. All you have to do is turn the sharpener to the other side and VOILA! Done.
Other than that, its design allows the user to handle both simple and complex jobs with ease without any hassle. And as any veteran woodcutter knows, a chain sharpening shop charges around eight dollars, which means a few sharpenings from this tool will pay for itself.
- Light in weight
- Low price
- Easy to use for anyone
- Results just the way you want it
- Around ten minutes of work and you’re done.
- You have to buy different Pferd for specific sizes.
Imagine being deep in a forest and sitting in a truck. In front of you is the log you just sliced with the chainsaw lying completely useless, courtesy of a blunt chain. You are already behind schedule, and a manual sharpener will not help with time. It’s at that moment you’ll bless us for recommending you Oregon Sure Sharp.
This chain sharpener is a small tool that you can carry around with you. What’s unique about this sharpener is that you can plug it in your car through either the power outlet or directly through the battery. No matter where you are, as long as you have a battery or your car around your workplace, this little machine can do it quickly for you.
It is available in the market at a very affordable price and provides a satisfactory result every single time.
- Its small body allows you to carry it around easily
- Cuts swiftly in a short time
- Packs an astonishing 24000 RPM
- Can work at a lot of angles
- Cannot support heavy work
The more robust and massive the machine, the harder to keep it in place when operating. Oregon 620-120 is a High Powered And Hydraulic Assist that holds on the base. It’s sits firmly and keeps it steady for the job you are using it for and does it automatically, saving a lot of time. This feature is not found in many chain sharpeners, if at all. So, it will be the right choice if you need a long time assistant for chain sharpening.
There is also a .4 HP motor that spins at around 3400 RPMs and in one way that keeps all the sparks away from the user. The self-adjusting pivot lets you work on a lot of different angles. You can also mount it on a tripod stand, but you have to buy it separately.
- High accuracy
- Hydraulic assist helps you save time
- Has capacity for nearly all of the chain types
- Has a powerful motor
- Very heavy
- Costs a fair bit
Oregon 520-120 is one of the Most Versatile chainsaw chain sharpeners. It can, as claimed by the company, work on any chain without a hitch. No matter what size, it can settle onto many angles that are usually considered impossible for many sharpeners. All thanks to the many other components that can adjust as required.
It also lets you take your precision up a notch through a light that shows you that the regular room illumination can’t. Next is the handle positioning. You can customize the handle to your liking and convenience. The chain vice, on the other hand, adjusts as well as symmetrically to your needs.
All in all, it’s a go-to tool for all the professionals in the field of woodcutting and can withstand a high usage without a single snag.
- Built-in light helps in achieving better results
- Has tons of customization features
- Can work at more or less at any angle
- Comes with a few accessories to help out in sharpening
- Understanding the instruction manual is an uphill task.
Designed about thirty-five years ago, this product is still a hot commodity in the market. It’s a manual chain sharpener that can sharpen any chain at any angle, thus earning the title Jack Of All. Granberg Bar Mount doesn’t require the user to remove the chain from the saw and can work just fine at any angle.
It’s one of the simpler sharpeners but is still good enough to make our list with ease. The reason is that its size is very small and is light in weight. Secondly, the added features allow the user to modify the tooth length and file height.
And, what’s great is that it doesn’t take rocket science to use it.
- Cheap in price
- Can file and sharpen any chain
- Easy to set up
- Best bang for the buck
- Might lack a little in precision
It’s always a treat for the eye of anyone who owns a chainsaw. The sheer amount of tools in the compact and robust box of Oregon Chain Sharpening Kit always brings joy to the owner. There is everything a chainsaw chain needs to get sharpened, be it round files, flat file, file guide, depth gauge tool, and handles.
It’s not just a chain sharpener, it also helps in wood cutting to a certain extent. It is the Most Handy product in our list and its components prove just that. The parts in this box also help in maintaining your chainsaw through and through.
The 16 parts are safely kept inside the premium box that also lets you access your tools easily and keeps them from getting lost.
- Durable box keeps tools safe
- Several tools for different purposes for an extremely low price
- Light in weight and easy to carry around
- Easy to use tools
- In case the case breaks, carrying the stuff around will be difficult
Despite the list being dominated by Oregon, there are still those who can hold their ground. One of them is SuperHandy Chain Sharpener. Despite its small size, it can still sharpen with a mind-boggling 6500 RPMs. It’s Portable due to its small size.
This sharpener is tough as nails and can be used professionally with a heavy workload. Moreover, it doesn’t need any power outlet to operate. It uses a battery as the power source which makes it super convenient when the power is out or somewhere you can’t get any whatsoever. Plus, there is a handy guide clamp lever that helps you keep the chain in place to keep the precision consistent.
And just to add the icing on the cake, this sharpener can be mounted anywhere to maximize your ease of use.
- Light in weight
- Easy to carry
- Battery operated
- Can be mounted on wall and other places
- Has a light to help in dark places or where the available light is not of much help
- You’ll need to recharge after a couple of uses
Sometimes, no matter how good things are, if you can’t use them the way you want to, then it’s pointless to have it. Expensive or not, doesn’t matter. Being the Most Adjustable of all is the edge that helped Electric Grinder Chain Sharpener make this list. This sharpener can be mounted on both the wall and bench like some others but there is also a vice that can be used as well if needed.
Furthermore, it’s chain vice can adjust to all of the chain designs and it’s chain rotation rollers have advanced links for avoiding the cumbersome process of setting it up.
The grinder has large safety side guards that keep you safe from any stray spark due to high-speed grinding due to 4200 RPMs.
This sharpener has it all that a premium sharpener can offer.
- 80 watts power motor
- Can be mounted on a wall, bench, and a vice
- Highly adjustable
- Can work on almost any chain design
- Not ideal for commercial use
Buyer’s Guide – Best Chainsaw Sharpeners
It doesn’t matter to which extent you use your chainsaw. The chain will get dull eventually. So, instead of going around buying new chains or getting them sharpened, the best course of action is to buy a reliable and long-lasting sharpener.
If you have spent a good amount of time with a chainsaw, then you’ll know what type you are using. There are a few types that are used on different occasions for different purposes and for different types of chains. So read carefully and let us know what we missed.
1. Types of Chainsaw Sharpener
You should be aware of what you need first of all and why. Once you get past that, it will be very easy to get what you want for yourself. There are a few types in the market with the manual/handheld being the prime choice for most. Then there is the electric, battery-operated although very rare and at last, comes bar-mounted ones.
- Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners: These are the most common and widely used among those who are occasional users like, wood cutting enthusiasts, novices, or those who use a chainsaw when occasionally required. It’s a file that has a handle and comes in different sizes. It takes a lot of work, energy, and time to get the work done with it though.
But do keep in mind that, if you are not careful enough you might even ruin the edge or sharpen the blade with the wrong size file rendering the whole chain useless. So just to be sure, get some pointers from the internet to guide you through that.
- Battery-operated Chainsaw Sharpeners: There aren’t many of these in the market and are very hard to find if you want to get one. The best part of a battery-powered sharpener is that it provides both nimbleness and speed along with a good precision that many lack. And you can carry it around Just like manual sharpeners.
With all said and done, the problem arises with the number of times you can use it once it’s fully charged. Probably not more than 3 to 4 times. So make sure you carry its charger with yourself in case the battery runs out of power and you happen to find a socket to recharge it.
- Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners: These sharpeners are mostly used by professionals and those who have a constant workload on their backs. The chainsaw chain sharpening market is mostly dominated by this type of sharpeners. It’s known for its speed, precision, and efficiency that other types mostly lack. They have high RPMs that help in completing the task more easily and quickly. There are very few drawbacks to having an electric type sharpener. Most common being them rendered useless when the power is out or some important part gets damaged. Second is the price. Many people can’t afford the bigger brands and have to settle for the lesser ones.
- Mounted Sharpeners: They are similar in many ways with the electric types except these rely on a steady and strong surface or anything that they are being mounted on. They are both electric-powered and manual and mostly do casual work. Many of them require the chain removed from the saw to sharpen it which some people find troublesome but mostly stop complaining after seeing the result.
2. Frequency Of Use
This is one of the bigger factors that you have to give a serious thought. The professional should always opt for an electric chain sharpener if they want the sharpeners to keep up with their work and stay worthy of their time. But if you can’t afford those, then a mounted sharpener will do as well. And as far as hobbyists and others are concerned, a manual would be ideal.
It is important to calculate your budget before you go out shopping whatever it is. Even more so, when you are shopping for something expensive because you don’t want yourself embarrassed in front of everyone because of a few bills. And if you want to calculate it correctly, you have to think about the specs and quality that you want in a sharpener and choose accordingly.
4. Chain Pitch/Size
There are tens if not hundreds of sizes of chains and not all of them can be sharpened by a single sharpener. You have to think over the size of your chainsaw chain and buy those sharpeners that have that size in their range to sharpen. Remember, electric chainsaw chain sharpeners have the best adjustability and can sharpen virtually any size of chains. They might be expensive but you can take it as an investment.
There are times that you have to work away from your workshop and the headache of blunt chains always follows. You can’t carry those big sharpeners that require a stable workbench to work on. Even if you do, the problem of electricity pops up. Keeping these problems in mind, buy a handheld sharpener if you work outdoors most of the time or buy those that are battery-powered. Other than that, we mentioned a sharpener that can run from your car battery which happened to be extremely light in weight and small in size.
Chainsaw sharpeners are not made from some divine metal that doesn’t wear out after a tough work. They’ll wear out eventually and you’ll have to buy a new one. Although it will suck if it wears out quicker than expected. So make sure that it is made out of tough material and can take a lifetime of beating and grinding because that’s what is expected of it from its customers. Few sharpeners have a certain time window for warranty so look out for them and try to buy those. A chainsaw sharpener should be a one-time purchase for any typical woodcutter, so you should make it count.
7. Ease Of Use
Due to being a highly demanded product, there are quite a few brands and products to sharpen your chainsaw chain. But not all of them are made for those who just started their life with woodcutting. There are a lot of complaints received about how difficult it is to use a certain sharpener or how exasperating it is to set it up and get it running. So, if you are a professional then there is nothing much to worry about, but we cannot say the same for newbies.
How To Sharpen Your Chainsaw Chain
Usually, there is an instruction manual that comes with every product that clarifies most of the doubts and guides you on how to use it correctly. But in case there wasn’t any or you lost it somehow then just check out our guide.
Although it’s not as complicated as one might think, there is a certain level of danger involved if not assembled and used properly.
So here follows:
- Firstly, if it is a manual sharpener, check the size of the chain. The size is normally stated on the packaging or on the chain itself, so you can check there. If it is an electric sharpener, there will be a clamp that will hold the chain tightly while you grind it with the grinding wheel and adjust the angle and depth. The most common size is 5/32, 3/16, or 7/32 so make sure you have a stock of these file sizes.
- Most of the common mistakes that are made while sharpening the chain are due to the irregular pattern. This mainly happens with a hand file when the user’s arm gets tired after constantly using it. Remember, you have to keep the applied force constant and the movements even. Otherwise, the chain can get stuck at a wrong angle inside, which can even cause it to break. To avoid that, you can sharpen it on intervals to rest your hand. And, stroke it outwards and keep the angle at 30-35 max.
- To avoid re-sharpening the same link twice, mark the link you start with something. This is an important point that you might think is unnecessary. But an oversharpened chain link won’t help when you are cutting hard and tough logs.
- There might still be some uneven shaves after you are done with the chain, so start again after you have washed it thoroughly. Remember to blow away the metal filings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to wear safety equipment while sharpening the chain?
It is the most recommended course of action that you must carry out. It can get very dangerous if stray sparks fly into your eyes or metal filings impales your face. It doesn’t matter if you want to sharpen just one link or the entire chain, it’s a must to wear the safety gear whenever you do it.
Why should I use a chainsaw sharpener?
There is nothing much into it more than that it saves you a ton of money that you would have spent on new chains or getting the dull ones sharpened. Also, the ability to get the chain sharpened urgently when you are out of options is also a plus point. It always pays back pretty quickly no matter how expensive it is if you are a frequent user. If you are not, then there is no reason to buy a costly one.
How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?
There is not any fixed rule for such action that needs to be followed. You can sharpen your chainsaw chain when you feel like the chain is not performing as it should. Or depending on the intensity of work, you can have a go when you see the smoothness dropping.
Should I replace my chains after long use?
It mostly depends on the user on how he uses it and how the chain has been maintained. If your “long” means a year or so, then absolutely. However, it can last for more than that if it’s taken care of. But an exact time period is hard to guess because it also majorly depends on how often it is used.
But there will be a time when you will have no other choice but to throw it away because as you may know, a small amount of metal gets scrapped out every time it gets worked on by the sharpener. You can also seek the guidance of someone with rich experience in this stuff.
How do I know when to sharpen my chain?
The most obvious indicator is the waste residual after you cut a log. If the remains are in wood chips form, the blade is sharp enough and you can carry on. On the other hand, if you are getting sawdust, then you might need to give it a look and get it worked on.
And, just to be sure, keep an eye on the chain for any abnormalities or any scars that might prove dangerous.
Is it easy to sharpen the chainsaw chain?
It mostly depends on the tool that you are familiar with the most. There are people who are used to the old school ways and like to go with a hand file. While there are those that would rather spend more money on an electric sharpener and save time their. It’s all about personal preferences and ease. But if you want our advice, we will surely recommend the electric ones.
What angle should we use when sharpening the Chain?
There are three different angles on each cutter or blade as we know them. The top angle is the most easiest to work on and needs sharpening at about 30 degrees. Second is the slant that goes under the top plate and needs sharpening at 60 degrees. And the last angle is a curve on the plate at the side of the cutter. You will need to sharpen it at 85 degrees.
What you have to remember is that every manufacturer has their own measuring units and sizes just like shoe companies and may vary from each other slightly.
Of all the power tools out there, a chainsaw is on the list of those under high maintenance. And the ways to do it is as you’ve guessed, to buy a sharpener. There is a huge market for these machines and you’ll find a lot of those that are not mentioned in our list.
Reason is as simple as it gets. These are the best that we could find for you according to the demands and ratings. We also tried to cram in as much information and guidance as we could in this article so as to help you out. If in case we missed something, stated some wrong facts and figures or if you have any suggestions, please consider dropping your thoughts in the comment box.
Then until next time, take care. Adios.