by Michael Boyer
Last Updated January 10, 2019
While it may seem to be so, not all chainsaw sharpeners are created equally. There are a number of different things you must consider before making a final purchase. Reviewing these points will ensure that you choose the best sharpener for you. They include the sharpener’s power, construction, chain compatibility, and price.
If you’re going to own a chainsaw, you’re going to want a chainsaw sharpener. The two items go hand in hand. Using a dull chain on your chainsaw will not only lessen its effectiveness, but it will also put more stress on the chainsaw’s motor and shorten its lifespan.
While you could theoretically buy a new chain every time yours goes dull, you would be wasting quite a bit of money. Chainsaw sharpeners can be a little expensive, but will easily pay for themselves in the long run. They’re available at all price points, so all you have to do is buy one that can accommodate your chainsaw use, and reap the benefits.
Chainsaw sharpeners are necessary if you’re looking to keep your chainsaw sharp and running smoothly. Don’t waste time sharpening your chain manually, and don’t spend inordinate amounts of money on new chains. Let a specialized chainsaw sharpener do all the work for you.
Safety Precautions to Take When Using a Chainsaw Sharpener
If used incorrectly, chainsaw sharpeners can be dangerous tools. In order to remain as safe as possible while using one, there are a number of precautions you must take. First, ensure that your sharpener is positioned on a steady and stable surface. This will prevent it from slipping and moving around while in use.
Proper clothing and attire are also necessary. Chainsaw sharpening will usually result in metal splintering that can hurt your hands, arms, and eyes. Wear gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles to ensure that microscopic metal pieces can’t do any damage.
To ensure that the sharpener functions to the best of its abilities, use both of your hands while operating. Being careless and using only one hand can result in some serious injury. This task requires your full, undivided attention.
Part of owning a chainsaw is keeping it effective and maintained. To do this, it is absolutely necessary to periodically sharpen its chain. While you can do this in a number of ways, the best way to do this is by using a specialized chainsaw sharpener.
Chainsaw sharpeners come in all different types, from hydraulic sharpeners to electric sharpeners and more. Regardless of your budget, you should be able to find a terrific chainsaw sharpener for your purposes. Invest in a chainsaw sharpener and keep your saw running smoothly.
Do you only use your chainsaw periodically? If so, you don’t need a high-grade chainsaw sharpener.
You can easily get by with something on the cheaper side. A great budget chainsaw sharpener is this one from Buffalo Tools.
After a thorough review, we’ve decided that it’s the best cheap chainsaw sharpener on the market today.
Capable of being mounted to walls, benches, and vices for excellent stability, it remains rock solid during use. This keeps it as safe as possible at all times. You don’t have to worry about it slipping up and causing hazardous situations.
Its motor possesses 85 watts; not an extraordinary amount of power, but enough for light use. With a rotations per minute count of 4,200, it actually does its job fairly quickly.
Because it’s an electric tool, it must be plugged into a 120-volt electrical outlet during all points of use.
Equipped with a 4 ½-inch x ⅛ of an inch grinder wheel, it possesses an arbor of ⅞ inches. It’s designed to accommodate a vast majority of popular chain sizes.
Because it is adjustable, it can work its way into the seams of most chains. If you’ve got a question about the compatibility of your specific chainsaw’s chain, it would be best for you to call the company.
All in all, this chainsaw sharpener from Buffalo Tools is a very solid budget sharpener. It’s designed to handle light use from those who don’t use their chainsaws all that frequently.
As a tool to have on hand for occasional sharpening, it’s superb.
If you’re looking for the absolute best chainsaw sharpener, you might consider purchasing this one from Oregon. The 511AX is on the expensive side, but offers durability, power, and overall functionality that make it well worth the price.
An adjustable sharpener, it’s capable of sharpening chains of ¼ inches, 0.325 inches, ⅜ inches, ½ inches, and ¾ inches.
Its grinder comes equipped with three different grinding blades with thicknesses of ¼ inches, ⅛ inches, and 3/16 inches. This allows it to accommodate chains of all different sizes.
This tool is powered by a 3-amp motor which supplies a very respectable 285 watts of power. At its peak, its grinding wheel will move at 3,400 rotations per minute, more than enough to sharpen chains in a timely and efficient manner.
It’s designed to be mounted exclusively to work benches and will remain stable and safe during all points of operation. It’s not very portable, but for most purposes that won’t cause any problems.
Made out of heavy-duty steel, this sharpener is designed to withstand loads of wear and tear.
This alone makes it worth the price. It is strong and solid which will lend it years and years of use.
Overall, this chainsaw sharpener from Oregon is the premier chainsaw sharpener on the market today. Not only is it powerful, but durable and versatile as well.
Capable of sharpening the majority of chains, it will not let you down.
Perhaps you’re looking for a high-end chainsaw sharpener but don’t have a huge amount of money to throw at it. If so, you might be interested in the Oregon 410-120.
Though it offers above average durability, power, and functionality, it’s available at a very reasonable price.
Made out of heavy-duty steel, this sharpener is designed to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. Its solid and sturdy construction will afford it years of use regardless of how frequently you use it.
Capable of adjusting to a variety of different heights, it can sharpen chains of ¼ inches, ⅜ inches, 0.325 inches, ⅜ inches, and 0.404 inches. It comes with three different sized grinding blades: ⅛ inches, 3/16 inches, and ¼ inches.
It also comes equipped with several unique features. These include a wheel wear gauge, a grinding template, a built-in light, and a dressing brick.
This sharpener is designed to mount to either a workbench or a wall. When mounted securely to either one of these, it will remain sturdy and stable, reducing the chances of injury and allowing it to work at full capacity.
It’s stocked with a 1.2-amp motor that supplies 140 watts of power.
At its peak, its blades can move at a speed of 3,500 rotations per minute. This is pretty powerful for a tool at its price point.
All in all, this chainsaw sharpener from Oregon is a terrific product that’s not quite the top sharpener on the market, but pretty close.
If you’re looking for something high-end but don’t have a great deal of money to spend, it is a great option for you.
If you’re looking for a solid chainsaw sharpener for under $100 , your best choice is this one from CO-Z. While it’s not a high-end sharpener, it still provides a decent amount of power, durability, and functionality, and all at a very affordable price.
Made out of heavy-duty cast aluminum, it’s designed to withstand the common wear and tear of sharpening a chain. It’s not quite as sturdy or solid as high-end models, but will still suffice for at least a few years of use.
It should, however, be noted that it’s prone to vibration, more so than other sharpeners.
It possesses a motor which supplies up to 230 watts of power. This is very powerful, especially for a sharpener at this price point.
At its peak, its grinding wheel can rotate at speeds of up to 3,000 rotations per minute; a very respectable number when compared to other sharpeners.
It can accommodate chains of many different sizes, including ¼ inches, ⅜ inches, 0.325 inches, ⅜ inches, and 0.404 inches.
To do this, it comes with two different sized blades of ⅛ inches and 3/16 inches. Sporting a tilting vice, it can also accommodate chisel and semi-chisel type chains.
All in all, this CO-Z sharpener is a solid product for under $150.00. It cannot be compared to high-end models, but still does its job fairly reliably.
It’s a good sharpener to have on hand if you use your chainsaw weekly.
Perhaps you’re setting your budget at a maximum of $100? If so, you might consider this chainsaw sharpener system from OrangeA.
While it’s certainly not at the level of high-end sharpeners, it still reviews fairly well, sporting decent power, durability, and functionality.
Constructed out of cast aluminum, this sharpener is designed to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear.
While it’s not the most durable sharpener on the market, it should still get around 5 years of use. It isn’t as solid as some sharpeners, but it still mounts fairly well to tables and workbenches.
Making use of 110 volts of electricity, it outputs up to 230 watts of power. This is a very respectable amount of power, especially for a chainsaw sharpener at its price.
At its peak, its wheel can move at above average speeds of 3,000 rotations per minute.
Included with this sharpener are two grinding wheels sized at ⅛ inches and 3/16 inches, which are capable of sharpening chains with pitches from ¼ inches to ⅜ inches.
This makes it a fairly versatile sharpener overall.
All in all, this chainsaw sharpener from OrangeA is a very solid product.
While it’s not on the level as Oregon sharpeners, it’s still a reliable tool to have around. If you’re looking for something to periodically sharpen your saw chains, this will get the job done.
Frequently asked questions
Chain manufacturers recommend different sharpening angles for different brand chains. Jono & Johno recommends a 25 degree sharpening angle for their Hurricane Chain and 30 degree angle for Carlton chain. For all other brands please consult your chain manufacturer to establish the appropriate angle for your chain.
Absolutely. If there is variability in the angles your cutting teeth are sharpened at then you may find your chain starts to produce uneven cuts, pulling your chainsaw bar to one side.