If you have a chainsaw in your shed or are planning to buy a good-quality chainsaw, then we highly recommend that you get a chainsaw sharpener too.
These maintain the razor-sharp edge every chainsaw should have, keeping it as sharp as the day you bought it, ensuring you get a great cut every time, and preventing serious safety issues.
Here are our reviews of the best chainsaw sharpeners of 2021, as well as plenty of tips and advice on how to use these tools.
Best Chainsaw Sharpeners for 2021
Benefits of a Chainsaw Sharpener
Asking yourself why you should invest in a chainsaw sharpener? Here are a few of the benefits:
- Lower maintenance and replacement costs – As your chain loses its sharpness, it must work harder to cut through wood, causing strain.
That means the chain, motor or engine, and other key parts wear out much more quickly than they would if the chain is kept sharp.
Chainsaws are expensive tools and are needed for heavy-duty work, so it’s worth it to make it last as long as possible.
- Lower fuel consumption – When the engine or motor has to work harder, fuel efficiency is reduced. It will draw more electricity or gas to get the work done.
- Safety – A dull chain can slip, jam, or come loose more easily than a sharp one, especially if you are using it on hard or seasoned wood.
This means that there’s a much higher risk of injury or property damage.
How Does a Chainsaw Sharpening Tool Work?
First, you fit the chain of your chainsaw into a horizontal guide located at the base of the sharpener. The sharpener will use a grinding stone that looks like a toothless circular saw blade to file the chain, guiding the full chain through the system in just a few minutes.
You can get a manual chainsaw sharpener where you operate the system, or a convenient automatic chainsaw sharpener that will run the chain for you.
Here is a review on the best chainsaw chains on the market.
Do Chainsaw Sharpeners Work?
A good quality chainsaw sharpening tool will work very well and last a long time. The best chainsaw sharpeners are easy to use, sharpening the chain cleanly and quickly.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a durable and effective sharpener!
What are the Different Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners?
Chainsaw sharpeners can be manual or electric:
- Manual – These work well and are cost-effective, but they do require you to operate the sharpener. They are also a bit less powerful than electric sharpeners, so you can’t grind as deep with each stroke.
However, they are very useful for regular maintenance - if you don’t let the chain get too blunt between sharpening.
- Electric – These are much more powerful and require little time or effort to get your chain as sharp as new. They are more expensive than manual sharpeners and because they are so powerful, you need to be careful not to over-file your chain.
What to Consider When Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener Tool
- Manual or hydraulic – A hydraulic assist feature will lock the chain in place when the grinding head makes contact, making the sharpening process faster and more even.
Other sharpeners have a catch that you tighten yourself to hold the chain in place.
- Power – The more powerful your chainsaw sharpener, the faster the grinding stone will sharpen the chain and the more power you can apply to the chain. A good chainsaw sharpener will offer around 3400 RPM.
- Mechanical or automatic – When using a mechanical chainsaw sharpener, you need to unlock the chain and feed the links in for sharpening.
An automatic chainsaw sharpener will feed the links itself, so all you have to do is set the chain in the tool.
- Pitch compatibility – The right sharpener will work with your chain type, and good quality chainsaw sharpeners have an adjustable head to accommodate several varieties of chain.
If you aren’t sure what chain you have, the pitch should be noted on the saw arm of your chainsaw.
- Mounting – Your chainsaw sharpener should be easily accessible, either on your wall if you have a smaller work area, or on a bench if you have more space.
- Accessories – A lot of chainsaw sharpeners come with additional accessories, including LED lighting, grinding wheels, dressing stones, and wheel gauge.
How Many Times Can You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?
Generally, you can sharpen a chainsaw chain 10 times before it needs replacing.
Reasons a Chainsaw Gets Dull
It’s normal for a chain to get dull with use, especially if you are cutting through tough, demanding materials. If you are working with a good quality tool and it seems to be getting dull very quickly, this may be due to putting a too steep angle on the cutters, cutting through dirty wood, positioning the rakers too far down, or letting the tip of the saw meet the ground.
You can find out more about the different cutting techniques in this video.
10 Best Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews
Looking for the best chainsaw sharpener? Here are our reviews.
Our Chainsaw Sharpener Top Picks
Our Top Pick Chainsaw Sharpener
For our team, the Oregon Chainsaw Chain Sharpening Kit is the best chainsaw sharpener for 2021! While it is a manual option, it’s well-made, easy to use, and the kit comes with everything you’ll ever need to sharpen a chain – at a great price too!
The heavy-duty case makes it easy to transport, store and use in the field, and it works with almost any type of chain.
Best Value Chainsaw Sharpener
The exceptionally well-priced Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit is our choice for best value. The kit comes with all the basic tools you’ll need to sharpen standard chains, and the roll-up pouch stores everything safely and conveniently, making it ideal for workshops and field work. It’s well-made, easy to use, and lightweight.
Premium Choice Chainsaw Sharpener
If performance is everything, then we recommend the exceptional Oregon 620-120 Professional Chainsaw Sharpener! This electric chainsaw sharpener is designed to deliver professional performance, making it ideal for high-volume sharpening and commercial use.
Powerful, well-made, and designed by a leading chainsaw manufacturer, it comes with automatic vice clamping, hydraulic assistance, and LED lighting.
Sharpen Up with the Best Chainsaw Sharpeners of 2021
For anyone who regularly uses a chainsaw, a chainsaw sharpener is a must-have piece of kit. It will help your chains last longer, maximize the lifespan of your saw, and make work safer and faster.
Be sure to see our review on the best professional chainsaws for 2021.
If you need convenience and performance, an electric model will serve you well, while a manual kit is affordable, lightweight, and can go with you wherever the work takes you.
We hope our reviews helped you find the best chainsaw sharpener for your workshop!