The 8 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners

Updated February 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

8 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When it's time to maintain your equipment, having a chainsaw sharpener will help you get the job done quicker and more effectively, ensuring your machine provides you with years of reliable use. Our selection has something for everyone, from the home DIY-er to the professional landscaper, and includes 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. Granberg G-106B

The Granberg G-106B is a bar mount sharpener that sits firmly and attaches easily to most size chains within seconds. It's a good manual option for those who prefer to feel their blade, though keep in mind it does not include the files needed for its operation.
  • creates an evenly sharpened blade
  • packs neatly into a bag
  • handle could be bigger
Brand Granberg
Model G106-B
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Timber Tuff CS-BWM

The Timber Tuff CS-BWM comes with three grinding wheels to sharpen chains from 1/4" to 3/4", and has an easy to read adjustment guide that achieves fairly consistent results. With its powerful motor, it can bring a dull machine back to tip-top shape in just five minutes.
  • see-through safety shield
  • accommodates most chain pitches
  • some pieces feel cheaply cast
Brand Timber Tuff
Model CS-BWM
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Oregon 30846 Sure Sharp

The compact and portable Oregon 30846 Sure Sharp runs off any 12 volt battery, so you can maintain your equipment while on the job, and it includes two sharpening stones that greatly extend its work life. 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 30846A
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File

If you don't mind putting in the effort of maintaining your machine without the assistance of an electric unit, the Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File is for you. It takes up virtually no space, has comfortable handles, and is one of the most affordable solutions out there.
  • three different sizes
  • takes longer than other models
  • will likely require a vice
Brand Stihl
Model 56057504304
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Buffalo Tools ECSS

The best-selling Buffalo Tools ECSS is designed to be either bench, wall, or vice-mounted, and has an industrial-duty 85 watt, 60 Hz motor capable of clocking an impressive 4,200 RPM, making it good for quick grinding. It also adjusts to most popular chain types.
  • easy to put together
  • good choice for homeowners
  • requires taking the chain off
Brand Buffalo Tools
Model ECSS
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Tek Motion Electric

The robust cast aluminum design of the Tek Motion Electric makes it durable enough for frequent, high-volume use. 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
  • grinding wheel can vibrate loudly
Brand CO-Z
Model pending
Weight 17.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Timberline Sharpener

The ergonomic and portable Timberline Sharpener clamps right onto your blade bar and, using a high-grade tungsten carbide cutter, sharpens each tooth as you pull the chain through it. It's the ideal maintenance tool 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 Chainsaw Sha
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

1. Oregon 520-120

The Oregon 520-120 works on chains with a whole range of pitches, including 1/4", 3/8", 0.325", and 0.404". It features a self-centering vise and customizable handle positioning, so you can always get the perfect edge on your machine without any chance of mistakes.
  • top plate and down angle settings
  • three grinding wheels
  • maximum speed of 3400 rpm
Brand Oregon
Model 520-120
Weight 19.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

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 February 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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