What You Will Get Here
- Why Do You Need a Chainsaw Sharpener and How Does It Work?
- How Did We Pick These Products?
- Things to Consider when Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Manual Choice: Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener
- Electric Choice: Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- Bar-Mount Choice: Oregon 541662 PowerSharp
- Budget Choice: Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit
- Beginner’s Choice: Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener
- Advanced Choice: Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder
- A List of 4 Other Products We Reviewed
- Safety Tips
- When and how often to sharpen?
Why Do You Need a Chainsaw Sharpener and How Does It Work?
If you are looking at these reviews for the best chainsaw sharpener then the chances are that you already own a chainsaw, correct? And you all know the importance of having one that is sharp enough, especially if you are using it a lot to cut down big trees or when you work with lumber. So, to keep your chainsaw working at its best, you have found yourself reading reviews for the top-rated chainsaw sharpeners out there today.
You need to get your purchase right. Not only because you don’t want to go over-budget if you cannot afford to, but also because the tool that you need to sharpen your chainsaw might not be the best one for me to sharpen mine. Let’s have a look at why chainsaw sharpeners are an essential piece of kit in anyone’s workspace.
If you’re working with your chainsaw, you will want your work to be quick and accurate every time. If you fail to sharpen the chain on your chainsaw then this simply won’t happen. Your work will take longer and will look much shoddier. The blade will buck and burn through the wood that you’re cutting. Not only is it a slow cutting process but it is actually dangerous too. The last thing you want is a messy accident. However, don’t make the mistake of just throwing the chain away to replace it. To save money in the long term, you want to be able to maintain the chain for as long as possible. This is why we are recommending the 10 top chainsaw sharpeners for you today, depending on your own individual needs.
How Did We Pick These Products?
You may be wondering how we have made our decisions on the best chainsaw sharpeners. It certainly was not an easy task! First of all, our web team spent over 20 hours researching all of the available products online. After this, we decided to choose 19 chainsaw sharpeners to try out for ourselves based on the products we found online that we thought would fit our different criteria and had the best user reviews.
With these 19 chainsaw sharpeners, our team of testers (from amateurs to professionals) took them through their paces. We then collated all of their feedback and combined with user ratings, experiences, their features, and cost, among other things, and selected our top ten best chainsaw sharpeners accordingly. We hope that you will love the products that we have selected for you and can find the best one to suit your needs.
Things to Consider when Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener
It would be silly to launch into our top ten list without letting you know what it is that you should be looking for in a chainsaw sharpener in the first place. So, we are going to have a look at the different types of sharpeners available, their compatibility with different chainsaws, their different cutter types, the quality and build, speed, file size and gauge. Lastly, cost is an important factor for many of us too.
1. Type of Sharpener
There are three types of chainsaw sharpener: handheld manual files, a bar-mounted sharpener, and an electric sharpener. Handheld files require much more manual work than the other two, but as a result, are cheaper to buy. They have the disadvantage, though, of not filing every tooth of the chain to exactly the same degree and sharpness. A bar-mounted sharpener fits over the bar of the chainsaw and files around a third of the chainsaw chain at once. It means that the sharpness is more even across the whole chain and it does not take as long as a manual file. An electric sharpener requires the least amount of hard work. If you get an adjustable one, it fits nearly all chains. The sharpening of the chain is as even as possible. However, these sharpeners are therefore understandably more expensive than the manual or bar ones.
Chainsaw chains are not one and the same. They come in many sizes and are made out of different products and materials. Therefore, not all sharpeners fit every chainsaw. It is of utmost importance that you are certain that the type of chain sharpener that you buy will be compatible with your chain saw, bot in size and material. Electric sharpeners are often adjustable and come with an array of different chains. Manual ones tend to be a bit more specific. You should check the pitch on the label on the chainsaw bar and make sure that the one you choose will be compatible.
3. Cutter Type
An important factor to consider in your purchase of a chainsaw is the type of cutter. This is the bit of the chain which makes the cutting action. Chainsaws come in different types: round, semi-chisel, and chisel teeth. The shape of the teeth determines what sort of sharpener you need to use.
- Round Cutter
A round cutter is the simplest to sharpen and the most flexible in terms of what it can cut too. The round teeth can withstand dust much better than chisel teeth and can be sharpened easily with manual files.
- Semi-chisel cutter
This cutter is a halfway-house between round and chisel teeth. It is a little more aggressive compared with a round cutter but is not quite up to the strength and power of the chisel cutters. The semi-chisel cutter can be filed with a manual sharpener like with a round cutter. It will tolerate dirt and dust better too, as well as staying sharper for longer.
- Chisel cutter
The chisel cutter is the daddy of chainsaws and is very aggressive. As such, an inexperienced chainsaw user should not use one. They are more often used industrially, and the chains need a certain type of sharpener. The teeth are much more susceptible to dust and dirt and therefore the chain needs constant maintenance and frequent sharpening.
4. Quality and Build
You need a chainsaw sharpener that will have a long life as well as being one that is easy to use. Chainsaw sharpeners could be a big toolbox investment, so you want to get it right. The most durable of chainsaw sharpeners are mostly made from machined metal. Given that sharpening means metal-on-metal, materials that are less solid can be easily worn down. You should also look for a sharpener that is not difficult to use and has a safety mechanism built-in, which is particularly important if you will use your sharpener frequently. If you choose a sharpener that has a manufacturer’s warranty this will give you reassurance too.
5. Chainsaw File Size
You must consider the file size of the chainsaw sharpener that you are looking to buy. Usually, the file size is labeled in inches or millimeters and it is part of what determines whether the sharpener will be compatible with your chainsaw. There are many different file sizes of chainsaws but the most frequently-found ones are:
- 5mm (0.404 inches)
- 2mm (3/8 inch)
- 8mm (0.325 inch)
- 4mm (1/4 inch)
The size in millimeters is related to the diameter of the round file, with the inches representing the chain pitch’s size. Some types of sharpener can be altered to make them compatible with all of the sizes above, but some can only be used with one size or pitch. There are some specialty sharpeners that are only able to be used with a single size and these are intended for personal use only. Commercial or industrial users who work with many different chainsaws would find better use from a sharpener that is adjustable so that it can work with all of the chainsaws they may need to use.
6. Chainsaw Gauge
The gauge of a chainsaw is also important when buying your sharpener. The gauge checks the length of the cutter. There are four types of chainsaw gauge:
- 0.063 inch
- 0.058 inch
- 0.050 inch
- 0.43 inch
It is not recommended to sharpen below a depth of 0.025 inches. But the gauge’s depth is crucial as it determines how much the chainsaw cuts. You should not file along the length of the gauge as its lifespan is then shortened. When filing the gauge, you need to sharpen it all equally or the chain will cut roughly due to vibrations.
The speed of the chainsaw sharpener is only relevant to electrically powered sharpeners as with manual ones the speed is down to the user! Sharpener speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and some chainsaw sharpeners have speeds of up to 4200 RPM.
If you’re a heavy chainsaw user or your chainsaw is likely to fill with dirt or dust, you are going to invest in a sharpener that is easy to use and quick too as you will be using it often. However, if you will only be sharpening your saw once a month or less, you may want to spend less and get a manual one too.
Our Top 10 Product List
Our Top 10 Product List contains different chainsaw sharpeners for your needs. Whether you need a manual chainsaw sharpener or want an electric multi-file-size, we have a choice that will suit all needs and budgets. First up, it’s our manual choice.