Even the high-end chainsaws require maintenance sooner or later. Otherwise, they become unsafe and hard to use. However, no one wants to sharpen the multiple chainsaw cutters with a file because this process is really time-consuming and tedious. Many hardware stores provide sharpening services as well, but they are rather costly. Hence, choosing and buying the best chainsaw sharpener may be a good alternative.
At first sight, many devices seem to be too similar or, on the contrary, too different that complicates the choice for an inexperienced user. That’s why I’ve gathered a wide range of products having various designs but the same quality. The post highlights their features, including pros and cons to present an honest look at their value. One can find here both manual and electric sharpeners that will become a good addition to your kit. I hope my comparison will help you decide if they are worth money.
Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews
Stihl 325 — Best rated chainsaw sharpener
The metal Stihl chainsaw sharpener suits a .325-inch pitch, operating at 25–30 or 90 degrees from the bar. The “arrow” symbol is printed on one of the sides showing which direction the file should be moved in. The sides of the device are made at 30 degrees.
When I picked up the item, it seemed to be relatively heavy. In other words, this is not just a cheap piece of plastic — it should serve you for years. It also features an easy files replacement: you should just open up one side by pressing a button.
This product may become the best chainsaw sharpener due to its solid construction that includes 3 files. Two of them are round, and the other one is square to work at precise angles. The item is equipped with 4 square rails, having two of them on each side. They are made to ride on the two teeth (front and back), as the operator is cutting them. Don’t forget about keeping the depth of files at the right height during the operation.
On putting the 325 on the scales, I’ve got the same weight as the manual specifies, namely 12.3 ounces. The claimed dimensions of 8.43 x 1.96 x 0.91 inches are correct. The instruction, coming with this model, is extremely clear: containing no words at all, it is made as a pictogram. It means no matter what language the users speak, they will figure out all the details easily.
- The unit can become the best chainsaw sharpener, as the tool cuts like a brand-new product after proper maintenance.
- The 325 leaves no damage on the cutters and doesn’t deform the chain hooks.
- No additional items are included in the pack (I’d like to see spare files, for example).
- The handle might be larger for more convenience.
Video Stihl 325
Oregon 410-120 — Best electric chainsaw sharpener
The Oregon 410-120 is a professional and versatile assembly for both regular and high-volume use that helps maintain the equipment of numerous manufacturers. It works on 0.250-inch, 0.375-inch low profile, 0.325-inch, full profile 0.375-inch, and .404-inch pitch chains.
Featuring an impressive build quality, the device measures 15.25 x 11.8 x 8.6 inches and weighs 17 pounds. Its top and the black-colored part are made of cast metal. All the handles look durable, being made of hard plastic. The design of this electric chain saw sharpener is well-thought-out and pretty simple. It allows the operator to regulate the head angle and shift the chain backward or forward.
The degree scale with legible marks helps set the required angle easily. Just loosen the clamp on the rear part of the grinder’s head bracket and set the head into the appropriate position. Besides, there’s no problem with setting the right angle thanks to a detailed guide included in the pack.
This model makes any job safer. It has a built-in light on board to work in poor lighting conditions effectively. Its safety shield protects the user against the finest particles of the grinding wheel that usually come away during the operation. The one-way motor stops torque transmission if the unit starts working in reverse. The dedicated indicator to notify about the need for wheel replacement is included. In this case, consider using only the 7/8-inch arbor wheels with round-shaped openings for screws.
- There are 3 spare wheels in the pack.
- The grinder can be installed on the working bench or wall.
- The unit can be integrated with the full-sized wheels, but the 0.4-horsepower motor with 3150 RPM lacks power for them.
- The manual isn’t clear enough to allow setting up the tool effortlessly.
Video Oregon 410-120
The entry-level Buffalo tools ECSS electric chainsaw sharpener is easy to mount and access. It can be installed on a wall, bench, or vise. The device can be integrated with 4.25 x 0.125-inch grinding wheels with a 0.875-inch arbor. The unit features an electric motor that works quietly and smoothly, generating no measurable vibrations. The Buffalo works pretty fast, requiring nearly 5–10 minutes to cope with the job. The motor produces 85W of power, running at the speed of 4,200 RPM. The chains gauge should be in the range of 0.05–0.08 inches.
It’s easy to start working with this electric chainsaw sharpener since it comes entirely assembled. The only operator’s task is to regulate the angle. There is a dedicated adjustment screw to set up the right angle for sharpening. Another adjustment screw is on top for loosening or tightening the angle based on the desired head’s position. The dedicated fin serves to reposition the chain to access its other cutters. A small screen, made of transparent plastic, protects the user from sparks. The entire construction is lightweight (4.11 pounds), having 13.5 x 9.5 x 6.25 inches in size.
- It fits the common chain modifications.
- The metal parts (even though there are a few of them in this model) are rust-resistant.
- It comes only with one wheel in the pack.
- I’d like to see steel stops instead of plastic ones.
Video Buffalo Tools ECSS
Katzco KCO — Best chainsaw sharpener file set kit
The device is among the most remarkable chainsaw sharpening kits, featuring 8 pieces for many applications. The set includes 3 round files (3/16, 5/32, and 7/32), a 7.75-inch file holder, a 6-inch square one for filing and cutting, and a 4-inch hardwood handle. The latter is compatible with the pieces from the kit and other manufacturers’ files. However, I should note that its use requires some effort while filing. There is also a 7-inch depth gauge in this pack. It helps set the right rake tooth height regarding the cutting tooth height.
The kit can be considered to include the best chainsaw files since all the pieces have excellent quality. They maintain the blades well, keeping them operating with maximum performance. The guideline helps in setting the right angle.
This item can be applied to any chainsaws, cutting their teeth at a 90 or 45-degree angle. All the files are easy to attach and remove. The set is packed in a red soft case with compartments for every piece. This roll-up solution makes the kit portable and convenient to carry around. The entire pack has 3 x 1 x 2 inches in size, weighing 8 ounces.
- The unit produces no heat, keeping the cutters cool while sharpening.
- It works fast, taking nearly half a minute for every cutter.
- The instructions contain terminology that may be hard to understand.
- Some files get loose and slide out from the handle.
The metal Stihl 2-in-1 chainsaw sharpener is produced for a full house chain, also working with the skip one. You can use the device out-of-the-box with no need for file assembling. The package includes a couple of 0.156-inch files to work on the STIHL 0.375-inch PICCO chains and other brands’ 0.375-inch low-profile ones. The pack has replaceable round (1) and square (2) files, located between 4 rails. The tool has arrows to indicate the way to hold and move it. Consider flipping the unit over before filing another half of a chain.
The 3/8 P performs 2 functions: it resharpens the cutters and files down the depth gauge. Bear in mind that the 3/8 chainsaw chain sharpening angle should be at 30 degrees with a depth gauge of 0.20 inches. The gadget maintains a consistent angle and sharpens down the gauge simultaneously. However, it requires a clean bar to ensure the expected outcome. Otherwise, the teeth will remain blunt. The tool weighs 14 ounces and measures 16.54 x 1.97 x 1.18 inches.
- The entire filing takes no more than 20 minutes, requiring from 3 to 5 strokes per tooth.
- The 3/8 P doesn’t bind in the tooth.
- The tool is easy to use even for beginners.
- The angle doesn’t completely correspond to the cutter’s line.
- The handles don’t allow using the unit’s full length.
- It’s challenging to get the file for the rakers when replacing it.
The Oregon chainsaw sharpener is a relatively small roll-up pack with 7 hand tools that comes in a fabric cover. It provides users with a 6-inch square file, 0.156-inch, 0.187-inch, and 0.218-inch round ones, and a versatile handle. Those who consider buying the packs with chainsaw sharpening guides may appreciate its convenient metal guide to check the raker height. The dedicated lines on it allow aligning it accurately. It was a nice surprise to see that the depth gauge tool for the consistent setups is also included. The handle allows removing and inserting any files in a second and holds them well. As for the round file, it looks like it’s made of soft metal. I guess I will have to replace it soon.
The chainsaw sharpener kit matches full-comp and semi-skip chains with a 0.375-inch low profile, .325-inch and .404-inch pitches with any cutter sequence. The 617067 is relatively fast, making approximately 40 cuts per hour. It weighs 12.3 ounces and has 2 x 10.8 x 2 inches in size.
- The raker gauge operates flawlessly.
- It seems the manufacturers used high-quality steel to make a square file. So, I believe it should serve for a long time.
- The kit is useless for square ground cutters.
- Defining the directions is challenging.
Oregon 575214 — Best 12v chainsaw sharpener
In my chainsaw sharpeners review, I cannot miss a portable electric Oregon 575214 with 0.156, 0.187, and 0.218-inch grindstones. A collet, working as a wrench and a screwdriver at a time, is also in the pack to tighten or loosen the stones. The guide for angle regulation has 25, 30, and 35-degree markings and is easy to understand. The item fits plenty of chains up to .404-inch pitch. It is noteworthy for its 55-Watt powerful motor, capable of 25,000 RPM.
The model can be plugged into a car outlet. Moreover, it features clamps to get power from the car’s battery, if necessary. That’s why the 575214 can be considered the best chainsaw sharpener for occasional maintenance during cutting somewhere in the field. Of course, regular work requires a stationary bench or wall-mounted equipment.
The compact items’ dimensions are 5.6 x 10.2 x 2.5 inches and it weighs just 1 pound.
- The item features a relatively long cord of 29 inches.
- Extra grinding stones are included in the package.
- There is no option to set the depth gauge. For this purpose, the user has to buy the square file and drop-center depth gauge tools separately.
- The wrench screwdriver’s end is too thick to fit the guide screw.
Video Oregon 575214
Granberg G106B — Best bar mount chainsaw sharpener
The Granberg G106B stands out from many bar-mount chain saw sharpeners accessible on the market today. This durable assembly is designed of zinc-plated steel and cast aluminum, featuring a long-life performance for tens of years and good rust-resistance. There are no flimsy elements in this model at all. The equipment weighs 1.05 pounds, having the dimensions of 12.5 x 7 x 1.5 inches.
Besides, the unit demonstrates a consistent performance, working on the chain at a precise angle from 0 to 40 degrees without any shifts. The G106B processes both sides of the chain. For this purpose, it’s enough to loosen a pair of wing nuts and spin them to 10 and 25 degrees on the dial’s other side.
The Granberg chainsaw sharpener is delivered completely assembled and is easy to use. It suits the bars of any length and all types of chains. It has a screw to regulate the file’s height. There is no need to change the tool’s placement for shifting a chain from one tooth to another. Still, the operators have to take the G106B from the saw’s bar and shift the chain manually. I should say that this process is rather time-consuming. So, I’d recommend using a vise to speed things up a little.
- It surprisingly not only sharpens the chain but also lowers depth gauges, equipped with the black round head with the spring for this purpose.
- This assembly gets all the teeth to the same length.
- Spare files are not included in the pack and sold separately.
- The steel handle has no covering. It is slippery and doesn’t provide a good grip.
Video Granberg G106B
This heavy-duty bench-mounted assembly is made with the claim on the best chainsaw sharpener. It has an enhanced chain vise that is crucial for those requiring plenty of sharpening to be done. The tool features a wide scope of applications, being suitable for all saw chains up to a 0.404 inches pitch. It operates smoothly, having an elongated design and sliding back and forth. The lights are on board to help work in the darkness.
The unit is fitted with a direct drive one-way 0.4-horsepower and 4.3-amp motor. It has 300 watts of power that is enough to provide fast grinding.
This unit comes with all the necessary components (i.e., 4 and 5-mm hex wrenches) to assemble and set the sharpener. It’s equipped with grinding wheels that have a thickness of 0.125, 0.187, and 0.25 inches. Besides, they are sold separately. The entire construction looks robust with a cast-aluminum chassis and a large motor fan with T-shaped fins. The latter is important to provide efficient cooling. The adjustable head also plays a role in improving the convenience of use, leaving more space for filing depth gauges. Besides, the manufacturers made a dedicated tripod stand to support the tool. However, it is sold separately. The unit itself measures 15.4 x 11.85 x 10.3 inches and weighs 19.36 pounds.
- All the parts are well secured, which excludes the vibrations during the operation.
- The wheel rotates away from the user to reduce the amount of shrapnel during the grinding process.
- The mounting hardware is not supplied.
- It would be great if this product is compatible with wheels larger than 5.75-inch in diameter.
Video Oregon 520-120
When is it Time to Sharp the Chainsaw?
In the last paragraph of my chainsaw sharpener review, I’d like to point out the proper moment to maintain the chain. First, it’s crucial to know that the more powerful the saw is, the more frequent sharpening it needs. Of course, it’s necessary to take care of the chain with every filling of the tank with gas, no matter how much the saw was in use. However, it comes with the preventive measures that require just a couple of strokes per tooth to bring the chain back.
Extra work is needed during the operation to keep the teeth as sharp as possible all the time. So, never wait until the chain becomes completely blunt. Once the saw makes uneven cuts and pushes the wood away rather than cutting it smoothly, it’s time for sharpening. It’s quite dangerous to continue the work if much pressure is needed to make the saw go through the wood. Besides, dull chains output fine wood dust, while sharp teeth produce thin shavings. The smoke can also appear, even when the saw is oiled properly.