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Having the best chainsaw sharpener will keep our chainsaw cutting wood like butter.

Have you sharpened your chainsaw lately? Whether you’re an old pro or someone who’s just started using chainsaws more often, learning how to sharpen your own chainsaw blade is a great way to save money and extend the life of your chains.

Having a sharpened chain on your chainsaw is essential not only for the quality of your woodcutting but also your safety. That’s why you need to find the best chainsaw sharpener for your needs to maintain your chainsaw and keep it cutting like new for years to come.

best-chainsaw-sharpener-reviews


Best Chainsaw Sharpeners 2017

To find the best chainsaw sharpener for your needs, you’ll need to learn about what some of the best chainsaw sharpeners options have to offer, including what types of chains they work for, whether they’re electric or manual, what extra features they have and how well they’ll fit into your personal preference and budget.


NameImageTypePriceOur Rating

Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder - Our Top Pick
Electric$$$$
See It
98
Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener with Carbide Cutter
Electric$$$
See It
95
Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Electric$$
See It
97
Timber Tuff CS-12V Portable Electric Chain Saw Chain Sharpener
Electric$$
See It
94
Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder
Electric$$$$
See It
95
Oregon 12-Volt Sure Sharp Chain Saw Sharpener
Electric$$$$
See It
94

Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Sharpener - Best Manual Sharpener
Manual$$$
See It
98
Timber Tuff CS-08PFK Saw Chain Sharpening Kit
Manual$$
See It
96
Husqvarna Chain Saw Blade File Kit
Manual$
See It
92
Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener
Manual$$
See It
82
Oregon Chain Saw File
Manual$
See It
87

Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews


Are you in search of the best electric chainsaw sharpener that you can rely on for successfully sharpening your chainsaw without hassle? Some of the best electric chainsaw sharpener options are easy to use and carry around while others have lots of added features and can be mounted on a wall or bench. By checking out reviews for the best electric chainsaw sharpeners, you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs.

Further down the list, you’ll also find reviews for the best manual chainsaw sharpener options if you’re looking for something cheaper and more lightweight.


Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder – Best Chainsaw Sharpener 2017

Are you looking for a professional chainsaw sharpener? The Oregon 410-120 is a high-quality chainsaw sharpener built for by professionals for moderate to frequent chainsaw users. This Oregon chainsaw sharpener has everything you could want in a high-end chainsaw sharpener; it’s mountable to both walls and benches, it has settings for both top plate and down angle positions and it’s able to sharpen a wide range of pitch chain types, including:

  • 1.4 inch
  • 3/8 inch (low profile)
  • 2/8 inch (full profile)
  • 0.404 inch

The Oregon 410-120 mounted chainsaw grinder comes with three grinding wheels so you can use it for just about any chainsaw type you’d like to sharpen. The sharpener also includes a dressing brick (for keeping the wheel in the correct shape) and a quick check grinding template (to tell if you’re using the right wheel) so you can correctly and efficiently sharpen your chain without error. This sharpener has 120-AC volt power, a 3,500 rated RPM and 0.4 horsepower.

As with many large grinder-type sharpeners, the assembly can be somewhat complicated and time-consuming; always make sure you’ve received all the listed parts and don’t hesitate to do some research and learn from others who’ve used the product already.

PROS

  • Able to sharpen several pitch chains
  • Fast and efficient
  • Comes with everything you need for long-term use
  • Several features, including a built-in light and a wheel wear indicator

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Complicated assembly
  • Non-portable
Who Should Buy It

If you frequently use a chainsaw year round and you’re looking for a reliable sharpener that’s efficient to use and capable of sharpening different chain types, the Oregon 410-120 is a great quality option. Consider this sharpener if you’re looking for a chainsaw mounted grinder with everything you need and more.

Check Out The Oregon 410-120 Sharpener


Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener with Carbide Cutter Review

The Timberline chainsaw sharpener is a compact, durable sharpener made for fast and easy use. This sharpener has several versions with different cutter sizes depending on your needs, including options for:

  • 3/16″ carbide cutter for .325″ pitch chains
  • A 3/16″ carbide cutter for .325″ pitch chains
  • A 13/64 carbide cutter for 3/8″ pitch Stihl chains
  • A 5/32″ carbide cutter for 3/8″ P or Picco, low profile, micro pitch chains
  • A 7/32″ carbide cutter for 3/8″ and .404″ pitch chain
  • A 1/8″ carbide cutter for 1/4″ pitch chains

This Timberline chainsaw chain sharpener is made in the USA in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It’s produced with top quality materials including machined aluminum, giving it a tough construction and long-lasting durability.

This sharpener is designed to be easy to use for anyone, from household users to professionals. It’s made to make sharpening chainsaw chains extremely precise and accurate by sharpening the entire blade evenly and only removing a small amount of material from the teeth to extend the chainsaw blade’s life.

The type of sharpener “style” of the Timberline can be referred to as a “jig” or “guide”. This is because the Timberline attaches to the chainsaw and helps guide you along the blade so the sharpening is consistent.

Unfortunately, this sharpener is so consistent that one very degraded tooth may need to be skipped; it would be better to sharpen everything else rather than have to adjust the entire guide. Check out this video to see the Timberline in action:

PROS

  • Compact and portable
  • Very durable and built to last
  • Lots of chain size options available
  • Easy and accurate

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Lacks extra features
  • Different pitch chain sizes must be bought separately
  • Doesn’t come with depth gauge
Who Should Buy It

This is a great buy for anyone who uses their chainsaw frequently or occasionally but doesn’t like the hassle or time of hand sharpening. Even though you’ll have to buy a Timberline for your specific chain length as well as a separate depth gauge, you can use the Timberline for fast and consistent sharpening with minimal effort, potentially saving you money in the long run compared with hiring someone to sharpen for you. While assembly can be somewhat complicated, this is a good sharpener for beginners who would like to start transitioning into sharpening their own chainsaw and learning the basics without committing to buying a larger, more complex sharpener.

Check Out The Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener


Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

The Buffalo Tools ECSS electric chainsaw sharpener is a very affordable yet powerful and efficient electric sharpener that will get the job done without breaking your bank. While it’s not the cheapest on the list, it’s a great buy considering it has several features and it’s adjustable to many of the most popular chain designs for modern chainsaws. The Buffalo Tools ECSS has a 4-1/4 inch by 1/8 inch grinding wheel with a 7/8 inch arbor and a spinning frequency of 4200 RPM. The whole machine can run from a standard 120-volt wall outlet, making it a great addition to your garage or shop at home.

This sharpener can be mounted on a work bench, wall or secured with a vice so you can keep as safe as possible while sharpening your chainsaw chains. This machine isn’t the toughest or most durable compared to its competitors, so it may not be ideal for professionals or people who need to sharpen chainsaw chains on a regular basis.

PROS

  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Very easy to use once set up
  • Fitting for many popular chain designs
  • Mountable to bench, wall or vice

CONS

  • Non-portable
  • No depth gauge file
  • Not the highest quality (lots of plastic parts)
  • No light
Who Should Buy It

If you’re searching for a very affordable electric chainsaw sharpener that performs well for casual or occasional chainsaw sharpening jobs, the Buffalo Tools ECSS is a good option. While it lacks the many features and toughness of some of its competitors, it’s an efficient sharpener for the price if you take care to avoid putting it through too much wear and tear.

YOUR TEXT


timber-tuff-electric-chainsaw-sharpener-review

Timber Tuff CS-12V Portable Electric Chain Saw Chain Sharpener

The Timber Tuff chainsaw sharpener is a small yet powerful electric chainsaw sharpener that you can take with you anywhere you need to go. The Timber Tuff CS-12V isn’t like other electric chainsaw sharpeners; it’s completely portable and runs on 12-volt batteries. It also runs on a high speed “no-load” motor at 200001000r with a high-efficiency point of 16000500r/min.

Everything about the Timber Tuff CS-12V is designed to make things easier on the user. On the front of this tool is an angle guide for 20 degrees, 25 degrees, and 30 degrees. You can also charge it with your vehicle. This is a great little tool for beginners or people who want something that’s easy to use when they don’t have time to hire someone else to sharpen their chain or they’re just not ready to make a bigger purchase on a more heavy-duty sharpener.

PROS

  • Features 3-way angle degree guide
  • Very portable and easily charged
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Longevity may be shorter compared with competitors
  • Not meant for heavy use
  • Low-quality bits, may be difficult to replace
Who Should Buy It

The Timber Tuff electric chainsaw sharpener is a great choice if you’re looking for something cheap, portable and easy to charge while on the go. It’s also very lightweight, making it a good sharpener to keep in your vehicle, but it’s only ideal for users who infrequently sharpen their chainsaws and only want something simple and easy to use as an alternative to manual sharpening.

Check Out The Timber Tuff Portable Chain Saw Sharpener


Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder

The Oregon 520-120 bench saw chain grinder is heavy-duty commercial chainsaw sharpener designed for people who need a reliable way to sharpen their chainsaws on a regular basis. This Oregon electric chainsaw sharpener is one of the highest-tier chainsaw grinder options out there; it also comes in at one of the highest price points. This bench grinder can sharpen the following chain types:

  • 1/4 inch
  • 3/8 inch (low profile)
  • 0.325 inch
  • 3/8 inch (full profile)
  • .404 inch

As with the previous Oregon grinder on this list, the Oregon 520-120 has a built-in light and three grinding wheels as well as a dressing brick and grinding template so you can use it for different chain types as needed. This machine is very adjustable and stable; it features a self-centering chain vise and you can also customize the handle positioning of the vise depending on your preference. This sharpener has 120-AC volt power, a 3,400 rated RPM and 0.4 horsepower.

PROS

  • Able to sharpen several pitch chains
  • Heavy duty for long-term use
  • Contains a self-centering and customizable vice setup

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Non-portable
  • Complicated assembly/confusing instructions
Who Should Buy It

The Oregon 520-120 is a good option for the frequent chainsaw user or hardcore enthusiast who wants a chainsaw sharpener rich in features. If you’re willing to get past the challenging set-up and potentially confusing instructions, it’s a powerful machine from a renowned sharpener brand. This grinder is probably “overkill” for casual chainsaw users unless you’re seeking something versatile and efficient (and you don’t mind paying extra).

Check Out The Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder


Oregon 12-Volt Sure Sharp Chain Saw Sharpener

The Oregon 12-Volt Sure Sharp chainsaw sharpener is a very portable and easy-to-operate sharpener that you can take with you wherever you go. Similar to the previous Timber Tuff portable electric sharpener discussed on this list, this Oregon chainsaw sharpener runs off of a 12-volt battery and can be charged from your car or tractor while out in the wilderness or job site. Included with the tool is a 72-inch clamp power cord so you can attach it to a 12-volt battery whenever you need to.

This chainsaw sharpener includes a sharpening guide with three angles as well as two sharpening stones (more can be bought separately). This little sharpener is made to help the user sharpen a chain in a uniform fashion in a timely manner without much effort.

PROS

  • Small and portable – can fit in your vehicle or large pocket
  • Easily chargeable
  • Includes sharpening guide, two sharpening stones and built-in depth gauge

CONS

  • Not built for heavy use
  • No textured grip
  • Poor instructions
Who Should Buy It

If you’re an Oregon fan but don’t want to put a lot of money into buying a large grinder-style electric chainsaw sharpener, this little portable electric 12-volt chainsaw sharpener is a great alternative that’s very convenient. If you’re relying on this as your long-term sharpener, you’ll need to take good care of it and be prepared to purchase more bits as needed. If you’re looking to buy brand new, you may find that the price is somewhat higher than other portable sharpeners.

Check Out The Oregon Sure Sharp

Dremel Chainsaw Sharpener Attachment KitBest Dremel Chainsaw Sharpener

If you’re looking for the best Dremel chainsaw sharpener that’s also extremely affordable, look no further than the Dremel chainsaw sharpener attachment kit. This portable electric sharpener kit is designed to be used for a wide variety of gardening tools, including chainsaws and lawnmowers. It features a handy guide to help you restore sharp edges on whatever tool you’re working on. If you have a rotary tool, you can screw the Dremel A679-02 onto the tool where the housing cap would normally be. Dremel offers a wide range of other attachments that this sharpener may be compatible with, including cordless options.

Altogether, the kit includes:

  • An attachment for lawn mower sharpening
  • An attachment for chainsaw sharpening
  • A gauge
  • Spacers
  • Instruction manual
  • Wrench
  • Four sharpening stones

If you’re looking to save time, this Dremel chainsaw sharpener will likely get the job done quickly once you get the hang of how it works. Although it comes with guides for sharpening chainsaw chains, the overall quality isn’t the highest and frequent chainsaw users may require something larger and more specific for long-term chainsaw sharpening.

PROS

  • Small and portable
  • Attachable
  • Easy to use
  • Very low cost

CONS

  • Not designed specifically for chainsaws
  • Not ideal for heavy use
Who Should Buy It

This is a handy little tool for the casual user or gardener who doesn’t plan on using it to sharpen chainsaw blades on a regular basis. It’s very lightweight and easy to attach to a rotary; consider this electric chainsaw sharpener if you want something fairly simple and straightforward with a few extra features.

Check Out The Dremel Chainsaw Sharpener


Manual Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews


Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Sharpener

STIHL frequently produces high-quality products related to chainsaws and power tools; this 2 in 1 file chainsaw sharpener is no exception. If you’re looking for the best manual chainsaw sharpener available, this is a very affordable and high-quality option from a very reputable brand.

This kit includes:

  • Two round files
  • One flat file
  • File holder and guide
  • Instruction manual

In addition to its multi-purpose features, the Stihl 2 in 1 chainsaw sharpener file comes with simple, straight-forward instructions that are written directly on the tool. Check out this video to see the Stihl 1 in 1 Easy File in action:

PROS

  • Very high quality
  • Works as a sharpener as well as a depth gauge file
  • Great for beginners

CONS

  • Can be expensive/hard to find
  • Instructions may be unclear
  • No pouch included
Who Should Buy It

If you don’t mind paying a little extra for a manual chainsaw file, the Stihl 2 in 1 is a very high-quality, durable and versatile tool that should get the job done and help extend the life of your chain. This is one of the best chainsaw sharpener options you can find that features both quality, efficiency and versatility. Overall, the kit comes with everything you need for manually maintaining your chainsaw.

Check Out The Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Sharpener


Timber Tuff CS-08PFK Saw Chain Sharpening Kit

The Timber Tuff CS-08PFK saw chain sharpening kit comes with plenty of features to help you sharpen your chainsaw chains quickly, whether you’re out in the field, at a job site or in your own backyard. The kit includes:

  • 1 round file for 5/32″
  • 1 round file for 3/16″
  • 1 round file for 7/32″
  • 1 racer file
  • 1 depth gauge
  • 1 handle
  • 1 filing field
  • Travel case

This kit is designed for convenience and organization; the whole kit measures 11.75 by 7.5 by 1.25 inches and everything stays secure while sitting in the pouch, so you can keep it in your bag or vehicle and access it whenever you need it.

PROS

  • Very portable; comes with a pouch
  • Lots of tools included (8 PC)
  • Three different round files
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Materials are lower quality
  • May not be ideal for long-term use
Who Should Buy It

The Timber Tuff sharpening file kit is a good buy if you’re looking for a small package that has all the basics for what you need to sharpen 5/32″, 3/16″ or 7/32″ chains. It comes in at a low price point and doesn’t have the overall quality seen in some of its competitors; however, it’s a well-rounded kit that should work for the occasional chainsaw user looking for something that comes in an organized case. This is also a great kit for beginners looking to get most of what they need in one package.

Check Out The Timber Tuff Chain Sharpening Kit


Husqvarna Chain Saw Blade File Kit

The Husqvarna chainsaw sharpener file kit comes from one of the most renowned outdoor equipment brands. This kit is also one of the cheapest you can find without majorly sacrificing quality. This manual sharpener works for models 340, 345, 346XP, 350, 351 and 353. The kit includes:

  • 1 file handle
  • 1 combination filing gauge
  • 2 round files
  • 1 flat file

It also includes a unique combination filing gauge that can be used in conjunction with other round or flat files. The purpose of this piece is to help ensure you’re filing at the correct angle and increasing the accuracy of the filing process.

PROS

  • Very low cost
  • Includes file for sharpening as well as depth gauges
  • Includes unique combination filing gauge to make filing easier

CONS

  • Poor instructions; may require lots of practice
  • No pouch included
  • Only 2 round files
Who Should Buy It

If you enjoy purchasing products from Husqvarna and you’re looking for a fairly solid chainsaw sharpening kit with all the basics, the Husqvarna chainsaw sharpening kit is a great buy at a very affordable price. Consider this very affordable Husqvarna chain sharpener if you’re looking for something simple and convenient for taking with you out in the field or job site without weighing you down.

Check Out The Husqvarna Chain Saw Blade File Kit


Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener

The Granberg Bar Mount chainsaw sharpener is a unique and innovative manual chainsaw sharpener made in California, USA. This mountable chainsaw sharpener can be attached right onto a chainsaw, so there’s no need to remove the chain. It also works for all types of chainsaws and file sizes, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will work for your specific tool. However, it’s not the most precise chainsaw sharpener and you may have to deal with inconsistent results.

PROS

  • Strong materials; made in USA
  • Mountable to a saw
  • Works for any saw and all file sizes

CONS

  • No files included
  • Somewhat expensive for a manual sharpener
  • Lacks precision
Who Should Buy It

If you’re searching for a manual jig-style chainsaw sharpener that you can easily mount straight onto your chainsaw, the Granberg Bar Mount chainsaw sharpener is a convenient option. The Granberg Bar Mount is best for someone not looking for a precise sharpening job, but rather something that’s mountable and manual.

Check Out The Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener


Oregon Chain Saw File

The Oregon chainsaw file comes in a wide range of sizes and price points, making them an ideal choice for someone looking for a very specific type of manual chainsaw file from Oregon. Oregon chainsaw files come with a uniform tang length, meaning that the files don’t have any sharp edges or burrs, which makes for a smoother, higher-quality sharpening job.

Manual chainsaw files from Oregon are built to stay sharp for a long time. Oregon manual files are also very consistently constructed so that, when you use them to sharpen, you can file material quickly and efficiently for excellent sharpness.

PROS

  • Lots of chain size options available
  • Can be very low cost or bought in bulk
  • Smooth and uniform

CONS

  • Limited extra features
  • Different sizes must be bought separately
  • Not lifetime files – they will eventually need to be replaced
Who Should Buy It

If you already own other chainsaw sharpening tools or you’re just looking for specific manual chainsaw files, consider purchasing a set of files from Oregon. If you sharpen a lot of tools as an occasional or professional chainsaw user and you prefer to hand-sharpen your chain, you’ll likely find what you need with Oregon’s range of different sized chainsaw files.

Check Out The Oregon Chain Saw File


Chainsaw Sharpener Buyer’s Guide


How Does a Chainsaw Sharpener Work?

The way a chainsaw sharpener works depends on the type, style and brand of a given chainsaw sharpener. Some styles work by feeding chains through a mounted grinder-style sharpener (the chains will have to be taken off of the saw). Others may be portable or electrical and work by moving the chain through a guide or jig (the chains can stay on the saw). Many are also completely manual, relying on the skill and precision of the user.

How can you tell if it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw? You can usually tell when you’re having a harder time cutting through wood and exerting more energy than normal. While cutting wood, you’ll be pushing out hot sawdust rather than chips. Your chainsaw may vibrate or you may notice a burning smell.

A chainsaw sharpener will shave off some of the metal on the teeth of a chainsaw chain, making it sharper. To properly sharpen your chainsaw, you’re also going to need a guide to make sure you’re sharpening at the right angle (angles are different depending on chainsaw type) as well as a depth gauge file if the depth gauges appear to be too high (if they are, they could cause your chainsaw to have trouble cutting wood even if the teeth are already sharp).

Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

A chainsaw sharpener comes in two types: electric or manual. Chainsaw sharpeners also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small handheld sharpeners to large, mountable grinders.

Grinder or bench sharpener: A large, electric chainsaw grinder that requires a bench or wall to be mounted to. While not portable, mounted grinders generally come with lots of features and the ability to sharpen chains very quickly and consistently. With grinders or bench sharpeners, you’ll need to take the chain off of your chainsaw.

Jig or guide sharpener: Jigs are chainsaw sharpeners that you can attach or mount onto your chainsaw and they can be either electric or manual. They’re generally more portable than grinders and are designed to make the sharpening process more convenient and consistent for the user.

Handheld sharpener: There are both manual and electric options for handheld sharpeners, with manual chainsaw files being the most common. These are chainsaw sharpeners that you can take with you on the work site, keep in a bag or store in your vehicle. While hand-filing your chainsaw can be challenging, some people prefer this method as it gives them more control throughout the process.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

There are several ways to sharpen a chainsaw and many arguments exist about what the “best” method actually is. Some people prefer to sharpen manually while others would rather use an electric sharpener with a guide for more precision (and to save time).

  1. Make sure you wear gloves when handling power tools as the teeth on the chainsaw chain can still do some damage even if the machine is off. Depending on what kind of sharpening method you’re using, you’ll either need to remove the chain from your chainsaw completely or secure your chainsaw using a gripper or vice (if you’re securing your saw, you’ll need to make sure the chain is tightened so it won’t move around when you sharpen). This is meant to completely stabilize the tool so you can move the chain easily and safely.
  2. Once the chain is secured, you may need to mark the tooth you’re starting from. In most cases, you should start from the tooth that’s the shortest or most damaged; this will ensure the entire sharpening process is consistent as possible.
  3. You’ll need to make sure you’re cutting at the appropriate angle. Chainsaw sharpening angles will be dependent on a what type of chains you have and many people like to use a chainsaw file guide to ensure a particular chainsaw is maintained the way it needs to be. Electric sharpening machines will generally have wheels that you use to adjust to the correct angle.
  4. File your chain according to the instructions for the sharpener you’re using. If you’re sharpening with a manual file by hand, you’re going to need to be very careful and consistent with your filing strokes. Repeat for both sides of the chain (you’ll need to turn it over at some point).
  5. File the depth gauges as needed.

Here is a video that shows how to manually sharpen a chainsaw with a file:

Here is a video that shows how to sharpen a chainsaw with an electric chainsaw sharpener:

Other Chainsaw Sharpening Tools

Depth Gauge

The chainsaw depth gauge is one of the most important additional features to understand when it comes to sharpening your chainsaw and ensuring it cuts wood like butter, the way it should. While you may not need to lower the depth gauge every single time you sharpen, keeping the depth gauges lowered by filing them down with a depth gauge tool is essential for proper wood cutting. If the depth gauge sticks out too far in relation to the tooth of the chain, the chainsaw will have a much harder time cutting through wood, thus increasing the risk of dangerous kickback.

File Guide

A chainsaw file guide is a useful tool for helping you to sharpen your chainsaw chain at the exact right angles. For someone who may be inexperienced or just doesn’t have the time, using a file guide is a very efficient way to help you determine the proper direction of the filing stroke that you need to follow. File guides will have visual aides or pictograms that show you exactly which way you should be filing.

Chainsaw Chain Breaker

A chainsaw chain breaker is a tool used to break tough chainsaw chains using a long lever with a handle. A chainsaw chain breaker is usually accompanied by a chainsaw chain spinner, which is used to join or attach chain links back together.

A chainsaw chain breaker/spinner is useful for removing and reinstalling new chains when your old ones have become extremely worn. You can only sharpen a chainsaw so many times before the teeth become too short to cut wood successfully; that’s why a chainsaw chain breaker is often necessary to put a new chain on your chainsaw.

Chain Saw Scrench

A chain saw scrench is a tool that combines the features of a socket wrench and a screw driver. A scrench is used to make adjustments to a chainsaw chain, whether that’s tightening the bar nuts, removing a spark plug or changing the degree of tension.

A chain that’s too tight or too loose can be extremely dangerous and a scrench can be used to quickly and easily adjust the chain. If you’re working somewhere remote or far away from your shop, having a multi-tool such as a scrench is a great way to condense the load of equipment you have to carry with you.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Chainsaw Sharpener

Types

The type you need will completely depend on your budget, personal preference, how often you use your chainsaw and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into the sharpening process. If you’re a professional or someone who uses a chainsaw on a regular basis, it would be worthwhile to invest in a mountable electric chainsaw sharpener or a very durable, portable chainsaw file.

Inexpensive file kits and compact, portable chainsaw sharpeners are great options for beginners or the average user if you’re just starting to sharpen your own chainsaws or you only need to sharpen a couple of times a season.

Ease of Use

Whether you’re a beginner sharpening your first chainsaw or a seasoned chainsaw user, the process of sharpening should be as fast and easy as possible. No matter what type of sharpener you’re using, chances are that you’re going to need to practice a few times and get used to the sharpener so you can reduce sharpening time to only a couple of minutes. If you’re looking for a chainsaw sharpener that’s very easy to use, an electric chainsaw sharpener with a built-in file guide is your best bet.

Unfortunately, even many of the best electric chainsaw sharpeners also come with complicated or unclear instructions, so it may be beneficial for you to take advantage of additional resources to help you learn. For example, you could try asking a more experienced chainsaw user for advice or watch a video guide on Youtube (you may even be able to find a video specific to the exact sharpener you’re using).

Performance

The best chainsaw sharpener will be able to evenly sharpen the blades of the entire chainsaw chain in a uniform fashion. It should also only take a minimal amount of material off of the chain, but not so little that the teeth don’t sharpen.

For electric sharpeners, you’ll want to find something with high RPMs and efficient cooling capabilities to avoid overheating. For manual sharpeners, look for uniform steel files (note that skill level and careful handiwork will largely come into play for manual chainsaw sharpener performance).

Size & Portability

Chainsaw sharpeners come in a range of shapes and sizes, from small pocket tools to large bench stations. If you need something lightweight and portable, look at handheld, manual sharpeners that come in a small pouch (or will be able to fit into a pouch without much effort).

There are also a couple of portable electric versions as well, such as the Timber Tuff portable electric chainsaw sharpener or the Oregon 12-volt sharpener. If you have a shop and want something bigger, a reliable mountable sharpener such as the Oregon 410-120 is a great choice.

Price Range

Electric chainsaw sharpeners generally range from $30 to over $100, while manual chainsaw sharpeners are usually between $10 and $30. If you’d like to save in the long-run, look for an electric sharpener or manual filing kit that includes all the necessary parts or parts that are easily replaceable.

Avoid sharpeners with lots of plastic pieces and low-quality bits. The best chainsaw sharpeners will pay for themselves within a couple uses when compared to the costs of replacing the chains or hiring someone else to sharpen them.

Wrap Up

A chainsaw sharpener is an essential tool for anyone who uses a chainsaw and wants to save money and time by sharpening their chainsaw themselves. Going with one of the best chainsaw sharpeners on the market will save you headaches, time and money in the long run.

A manual hand filing chainsaw sharpener is a useful tool if you’re willing to hone your sharpening skills with a steady hand and an eye for detail. If you’re in need of something lightweight and easy to use, a portable electric chainsaw sharpener might be the way to go. A grinder or bench sharpener is a bigger investment, but well worth it if you’re in need of a powerful automatic chainsaw sharpener that you can rely on to sharpen your tools for years to come.

As a quick review, when shopping for the best chainsaw sharpener, you should be looking for:

  • A type and model (electric or manual, grinder or portable, etc.) that works for your needs and budget
  • A strong, well-built sharpener with a good warranty from a reputable brand, such as Oregon, Timberline or Stihl
  • A consistent and smooth sharpener that produces an even grind on the blades without shaving off too much material
  • A sharpener with added features or additional tools (such as a depth gauge, a chainsaw sharpening guide tool and sharpening stones) to make your sharpening experience quicker and easier

Our top picks? 

Powerful and feature-rich: If you’re willing to pay extra for a powerful mountable chainsaw sharpener, consider the Oregon 410-120 bench or wall mounted saw chain grinder. This machine has all the features you need to sharpen common pitch chain types; it also has a built-in light and can be plugged into a 120-AC outlet.

Efficient and precise: Would you like a semi-portable electric chainsaw sharpener that doesn’t require you to remove the chains from your saw? The Timberline chainsaw sharpener with carbide cutter is a great choice that’s also fairly accurate and easy to use.

High-quality and versatile: The Stihl 2 in 1 easy file chainsaw sharpener is one of the best chainsaw sharpeners if you’re looking for a manual file tool that you can use to sharpen the chain as well as shave down the depth gauges. This little tool comes from the reputable Stihl but also works with other types of saws provided the chain sizes are compatible.

Cheap and portable: Would you like to get the most out of your money with a reliable manual file but don’t want to spend very much? The Timber Tuff CS-08PFK saw chain sharpening kit is a very affordable option that comes with a set of chainsaw sharpening tools complete with a convenient folding pouch.

Interested in more of the best survival gear? You can also read our guides on the best chainsaw chaps, the best survival shovels, and the best survival axes.