8 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners | December 2016

8 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Our selection of chainsaw sharpeners has something for everyone, from the home DIY-er to the professional landscaper. They will keep your gear in tip-top condition so that it will provide you with years of reliable use. We've included bench and wall-mounted options as well as portable ones for use in the field. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best chainsaw sharpener on Amazon.
8
The Granberg G-106B is a bar mount sharpener that sits firmly and attaches easily within seconds. It's a good manual option for those who prefer to feel their blade. Unfortunately, it's only designed to work with round chainsaw files.
  • creates an evenly sharpened blade
  • preserves the lifespan of chains
  • doesn't come with files
Brand Granberg
Model G106-B
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
The Timber Tuff CS-BWM comes with three grinding wheels to sharpen chains from 1/4" to 3/4" and has an easy to adjust sharpening guide to give consistent results every time. With its powerful motor, it can fully sharpen a dull chain in just five minutes.
  • see-through safety shield
  • easily adjusts to most chain pitches
  • thermo-overload protection
Brand Timber Tuff
Model CS-BWM
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
The compact and portable Oregon 30846 runs off any 12V battery, so you can resharpen while on the job, and it includes two sharpening stones to last for a long time. It also has a built-in depth gauge for precision sharpening.
  • quick-adjust sharpening guide
  • gets a nice even grind on the blades
  • doesn't include a carrying case
Brand Oregon
Model 30846
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
5
The Roughneck Logging is designed to be either bench or wall-mounted, and has an industrial-duty 110V, 60Hz motor capable of 3,600 RPMs, making it good for quick grinding. It also has a 15 watt light, so you can always see the blade.
  • large handle for better control
  • has a protective safety shield
  • instructions aren't very detailed
Brand Roughneck Logging
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
The Timberline Sharpener has a unique design that clamps right onto your blade bar and sharpens each tooth as you pull the chain through it using a high-grade tungsten carbide cutter. It's a great portable sharpening solution for those who work in the bush or on a farm.
  • only removes a small amount of metal
  • fixed 30 degree guide angle
  • comes with a carrying case
Brand Timberline
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
The robust Cast Aluminum Tek Motion is durable enough for frequent, high-volume chain sharpening. It has a built-in light to give you good visibility of the chain, and features a tilting vise to accommodate semi-chisel and chisel style cutters.
  • large five-and-a-half inch wheels
  • reinforced hinges
  • easy-to-use controls
Brand Tek Motion
Model pending
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The IS Imports is one of the most affordable electric sharpeners that can still get the job done quickly and effectively. It can adjust to all chain designs and pitches, making it a versatile tool to have, and can be bench or wall mounted.
  • height and scale positioning
  • large side safety guard
  • chain rotation rollers advance links
Brand I_S IMPORT
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
The Oregon 520-120 sharpens 1/4", 3/8" low profile, .325", and .404" pitch chains. It features a self-centering chain vise and customizable vise handle positioning, so you can always sharpen your chain perfectly without any chance of mistakes.
  • top plate and down angle settings
  • comes with three grinding wheels
  • rated for 3400 rpm
Brand Oregon
Model 520-120
Weight 19.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Choosing The Right Chainsaw

When choosing the right chainsaw, first consider the type of cutting to be done, then think about which saw you'll buy. As a general rule of thumb, a chainsaw's blade should be 30% longer than the thickest cut it will make, so if you are felling trees 24 inches in diameter, select a saw that has a guide bar (the main length of the cutting surface, e.g.) that's at least 34 inches in length.

When dealing with trees and lumber (as opposed to demolition work or other applications), chainsaws are used for four primary cuts. The most common is felling, which is the act of cutting down trees. Trimming is the shaping and pruning of a live tree for aesthetics or tree health. Limbing is the process of cutting most or all branches off a tree before or after it is felled. Finally, bucking refers to cutting a log into smaller usable and/or portable sections.

Choosing the right saw for your purposes means considering more than just blade length, it also means considering power source and torque.

The primary differences between electric chainsaws and gasoline powered saws are size and power. Electric chainsaws tend to be smaller than their gas powered counterparts, and usually deliver less torque, meaning the are only suitable for smaller cutting jobs. While electric saws mean the sacrifice of some power and size, they are also usually much lighter weight and more compact than gas powered chainsaws, and that makes them easier to use for smaller or less physically able operators, and it also means easier storage. It's also much easier to maintain a saw that requires no liquid fuel or gas and oil blending, and you're unlikely to run out of electric power.

Ultimately, a gas powered chainsaw is the more versatile, useful tool, and not only thanks to the potential for more power and cutting range: a gas saw doesn't have to be plugged in to work, so you can bring one with you anywhere, from the construction site to the back woods to the back yard.

Chainsaw Sharpening And Maintenance

Almost all gasoline powered chainsaws use a two-cycle internal combustion engine and do not have separate reservoirs for engine oil. That means it is imperative that an operator use the correct blend of gasoline and oil, which in most cases is approximately five ounces of motor oil per one gallon of fuel; check your saw's manual to be sure. Without the correct blend of fuel and oil, a chainsaw's engine will be quickly damaged and worn out.

Before each use of your saw, check its blade tension setting and make sure it is as specified by the manufacturer. Make sure the guide bar and blade are clean and, if need be, oiled. Also ensure the air filter is clean, clear, and in good working order.

To start a chainsaw, lay it flat on the ground and ensure the engine brake is fully engaged (the chain should not be able to budge when the brake is pushed forward into position). Open/engage the choke and prime the engine if a primer is present. Next get a solid grip on the tool, pull the starting handle, and hear the roar as the engine comes to life.

In order to make sure your saw is working up to its full potential, won't endure unnecessary wear and tear, and also is as safe a tool as possible, you need to keep it sharp. Regular chainsaw sharpening extends to life of the tool, saves you time when you use it, and reduces the risks of kickbacks, flying debris, or a saw jammed into a thick piece of lumber. Along with safety goggles, a hard hat, ear protection, and work gloves, a good chainsaw sharpener is an important tool to have on hand.

Choosing A Chainsaw Sharpener

A chainsaw blade consists of cutters, which are the teeth that do the actual cutting of the material, and rakers, which control the depth to which the teeth reach, keeping the cutting process smooth and consistent. The rakers will have to be filed from time to time, but it is the cutters that need regular routine maintenance.

While it's entirely possible to sharpen a chainsaw manually using a round hand file to work on the cutting teeth, the process is laborious and rarely as effective as using a dedicated chainsaw sharpener.

Using an electric bench mounted chainsaw sharpener is the fastest way to get those cutters sharp. Most electric sharpeners look like small rotating saws, but feature grinding discs rather than saw blades. Their disc can be adjusted to achieve the right angle needed for the teeth of a specific chainsaw's chain. Check the ideal angle of your saw's blade before buying a chainsaw sharpener to make sure the two are a match, but almost all decent chainsaw sharpeners will be suitable for most chainsaws.

As an alternative to an electric chainsaw sharpener, you can consider a unit that clips into your chainsaw's guide bar and manually draws the chain through as it sharpens. You provide the power in such units by turning a crank, but unlike the process of using a hand file, the sharpening angle is still strictly maintained by the tool. While less efficient and more physically involved than an electric sharpener, this type of sharpener has the benefit of working anywhere.



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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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