Sharpening Systems For Chainsaws

Chainsaw Sharpening System Options

Although there are some automatic sharpening systems built into a number of chainsaws such as the OREGON CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw,the vast majority of chainsaw owners will not own such a chainsaw.

So the question of how to keep the chainsaw chain sharp becomes an important one.

One can obviously take into your local dealer but that is probably not ideal for many from a time and cost perspective. Having said that, if you have 10 thumbs and are hopeless at DIY or have zero interest in the slightly technical aspects of owning a chainsaw then perhaps that is the best option 🙂

For the DIY buffs, there are a range of chainsaw chain sharpening options ranging from purpose built machines to old fashioned files.

The prices range from under $20 for an 8 piece chainsaw sharpener file kit to several hundred dollars for a bench or wall mounted chainsaw chain grinder.

The most popular machines will sharpen a range of chains from various sizes and makes of chainsaw. The more mundane hand sharpeners on the other hand can be used on other tools that need sharpening and so may be more versatile.

It also depends on where and how often you need to sharpen the chain. If you need to do the job out in the field then a bench mounted machine may be too much hassle to organize and a small battery operated sharpener may do the job for you.

Lets take a brief look at some of the more popular options available on Amazon as an indicator of what many people are buying.

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

This 120v powered sharpener plugs into any wall socket and can be mounted on the wall or a bench
chainsaw sharpenersor even secured in a vice. It only weighs 4.1 lbs and is pretty compact at 13.5 x 9.5 x 6.2 inches making it fairly portable provided you can plug it into a power source.

It is designed to sharpen chains up to a 3/8th inch pitch and has 2 different size grinding wheels.

Opinion on it’s performance are divided and probably have a lot to do with the skill, knowledge and experience with other methods of sharpening a chainsaw chain.

NB You do have to remove the chain from the chainsaw before you sharpen it!

8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit By Katzco

chainsaw sharpeners
So this is the most basic manual option – but there is a lot to be said for that if you are a roll your sleeves up, practical kind of person 🙂

The “8 piece”is slightly misleading in that there are only 3 actual files – a 5/32, 3/16, & 7/32 Inch File and the rest of the package is made up of Wood Handle, Depth Gauge, Filing Guide, & Tool Pouch.

Not everyone was thrilled with the quality of the instructions that come with the kit so a bit of basic knowledge about how to manually sharpen a saw chain would be helpful.

At just about the cheapest option out there, it’s well worth a look if you are not set on a more automated type of solution.

Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder

chainsaw sharpeners
This more upmarket chain sharpener is also powered by 120v electricity from a normal power point and is designed to Sharpen 1/4″, 3/8″ low profile, and 0.325″, full profile 3/8″, and .404″ pitch chains.
It has a few nice to haves like a built in light, wheel wear indicator etc.
The major drawback amazingly seems to be the set up instructions which leave a lot to be desired – they apparently fail to tell you that you must loosen the vice and re-mount it 90 from the shipping position.
An unfortunate and unnecessary oversight by Oregon that has left a bit of a sour taste for many purchasers and which will hopefully be remedied ASAP.

In Summary

There are obviously a whole lot more options out there, but these chainsaw chain sharpening options should give you a good idea of which type of chainsaw chain sharpener will best suit your needs and capabilities! 🙂

See more chainsaw information here