If you own a landscaping business or like to trim your own trees, you probably have a chainsaw and chainsaw sharpener in your garden shed.
These tools help to keep that razor sharp edge needed to cut through wood cleanly and easily, prolonging the lifespan of your chainsaw and making it safer to use.
If you’re in the market for one of these tools, take a look at our reviews of the best chainsaw sharpeners on the market in 2021 to find the best product for your budget.
Why Use a Chainsaw Sharpener?
There are plenty of good reasons to invest in a chainsaw blade sharpener:
- Reduced wear – A dull chainsaw will wear out much faster than one that’s kept sharp, because the motor has to work much harder to cut through wood.
Regularly sharpening your chainsaw will help this expensive tool last longer with less maintenance.
- Reduced fuel consumption – Because the motor of a chainsaw has to work much harder when the chain is blunt, you’ll use much more fuel (whether it’s petrol or electricity) to get the job done.
- Increased safety – A blunt chain is more likely to cause an injury or property damage, and can slip out of control or break when it encounters very dense materials.
Do Chainsaw Sharpeners Really Work?
Chainsaw sharpeners work very well – but only if you buy a good quality product. They are quick and easy to use, saving you the expense of having to buy a new chain when your chainsaw gets dull, and ensuring you get a clean cut every time.
How do Chainsaw Sharpeners Work?
The chain of your chainsaw will fit into a horizontal guide on the base of the sharpener. Using a disk-shaped grinding stone (this looks like a circular saw blade with no teeth) on an adjustable head, the chain is guided through the system and filed down at the correct angle.
You will have to set the correct angles of the grinding head for your specific chain. The process of sharpening the chain takes just a few minutes.
Different Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners
There are two types of chainsaw sharpener, each with their pros and cons:
Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners
Manual chainsaw sharpeners work well and are affordably priced, but they are less powerful. This means that you can’t take off as much with each stroke, so it’s a bit more challenging to get the chain nice and sharp and make it last as long as possible.
Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners
Electric chainsaw sharpeners work very well and are very powerful, restoring your chain to as-new condition with very little effort. However, they are usually more expensive and you do have to be careful not to overdo your sharpening, as you can end up filing the cutters too low.
What to Look for in a Chainsaw Sharpener
- Mounting – Chainsaw sharpeners can be mounted to a wall for easy access, which is a great option if you don’t have much space in your workshop. Bench-mounted sharpeners are workable if you have a more spacious setup.
- Manual or hydraulic assist – Some of the more advanced sharpeners have a hydraulic assist feature that locks the chain in place to prevent it from moving when the grinding head makes contact.
It’s not an essential feature but it’s nice to have if you want the process to be faster. Those without it will have a manual assist feature where you tighten a knob to hold the chain in place.
- Speed – The more powerful the motor, the higher the rotations per minute (RPM) of the grinding stone. A higher RPM means the job will be completed faster, but it also means the tool is more aggressive, so it’s easier to over-file your chain.
A good benchmark is to aim for a sharpener offering around 3400 RPM.
- Pitch compatibility – Pitch refers to the distance between the cutting links on your chainsaw chain. Your sharpener will have to be able to work with the type of chain you have, and most have settings to accommodate different chain pitches.
You can usually find your chain’s pitch on the saw arm of the tool.
- Automation – Fully mechanical chainsaw sharpeners require you to unlock and feed each chain link after filing, which can be a bit of an annoying process.
Today, you can find sharpeners that fully automate this process – all you have to do is set the adjustments for your chain and let it work.
- Accessories – Today, many chainsaw sharpeners come with additional accessories that can be useful depending on how you use your chainsaw.
This includes built-in lighting, additional grinding wheels, dressing stones and wheel gauges.
Why Does My Chainsaw Get Dull So Quickly?
If you have a good quality machine with a good quality cutting chain and are finding that it’s getting dull quickly, this may be due to cutting technique (putting too steep and angle on the cutters), placing you rakers too far down, touching the ground with the tip of the saw, or cutting very tough or dirty wood.
How Many Times Can You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?
Generally, you can sharpen a chainsaw chain 10 times before it needs replacing.
10 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners for 2021
Want the best chainsaw sharpener for your money? Take a look at our reviews.
This battery-powered electric chainsaw sharpener is able to sharpen standard chains quickly without over-filing them. It can be fixed to a workbench or to the wall, and it has an integrated light for easy illumination.
It is powered by 2x9V lithium-ion batteries, and features a depth stop (to prevent over-filing), precision angle-adjuster to ensure the best results, and weighs just 2.2kgs.
For an electric chainsaw sharpener, it is well-priced and offers good value.
Another good option is this bench mount electric chainsaw sharpener. It offers exceptionally precise filing and has a 250mm maximum cutting length as well as 35-degree working angles and adjustable filing depth.
It has an ergonomically-designed handle and a useful protective cover. It cannot be mounted to a wall, so you’ll need the bench space for this tool.
If you are looking for a well-made, durable but affordable manual chainsaw sharpener, it’s worth looking at this one. Made in California, it’s a bit more expensive than your average tool, but it does perform well.
It mounts any saw with any file size, is made of cast aluminium and zinc-plated steel for durability, and sharpens chains quickly and easily.
It weighs 476 grams so it is easy to transport and use in remote locations, and you can set file height and tooth length as well as the correct sharpening angle with ease.
This 2-in-1 file and sharpener is fully portable and allows you to sharpen chain teeth and flats at the same time without the need for a depth gauge or filling guide.
It is quick and accurate to use, and the build quality is very good. It’s lightweight and easy to carry although it is crafted from steel, weighing just 363 grams. It’s also very affordably priced!
Another good manual option that is very affordably priced is this 2-in-1 sharpener from Pedkit. It can sharpen any chain very quickly and efficiently in just one step.
You can operate it safely directly on the chainsaw, and it’s easy to carry at just under 137 grams. The sharpener is made of high-quality bearing steel, so it’s built to last.
This is an electric chainsaw sharpener for the pros, whether you’re running a commercial landscaping business or use your chainsaws on a regular basis.
It features SURELOCK automation for high-quality grinds and has a powerful 3,000RPM motor. It has built-in lighting, a solid alloy design, and comes with an additional 3 sharpening blades.
It weighs 8kgs and can be mounted to a workbench.
If you are looking for a highly portable electric chainsaw sharpener, this is a great option. It has a powerful motor that runs at around 22-24,000 RPM.
It has an adjustable sharpening angle for 20, 25 and 30 degrees and comes with 3 grinding stones. It stays cool while grinding and has a high-impact shield for protection.
It takes about 5 minutes to sharpen a 50cm chain, and you don’t have to remove the chain to use it. The only downsides are that the grinding stones tend to wear fairly quickly and the speed of the motor is not variable, so you cannot slow it down for a slower cutting speed.
With a powerful commercial-grade motor, this electric chainsaw sharpener is ideal for anyone who needs to use a chainsaw on a regular basis.
It’s bench mounted with a rigid CAD-designed body and the motor supplies a constant 7000 RPM without getting hot, so you never burn or soften your chain.
With precise grinding every time and the ability to sharpen all chain types and sizes with ease, this is a powerful and durable sharpener that weighs just 1.95kgs.
A handy and fully portable tool, this manual sharpener is easy to carry to any job, no matter how remote. It’s simple to use, made from high quality materials and built to last.
It’s comparatively lightweight at 600 grams, can sharpen all standard chains, and is simple to install.
Although this product is sold without the battery or charger, it is worth considering due to its price and the quality of the sharpener. Its features include grinding depth adjustment, a manual locking knob and a thick aluminium oxide grinding wheel.
It can be attached to any bench or work table easily, and weighs 2.25kgs. With a powerful 65.5W motor, you get up to 6,500 RPM, making any sharpening job quick and easy.
It’s compatible with other Sun Joe tools and can be used cordless or corded as needed, with the 24V battery lasting 40 minutes while running.
Our Top Pick - Best Chainsaw Sharpener of 2021
Our pick as the best chainsaw sharpener is the Einhell Cordless Chainsaw Sharpener simply because it ticks all the boxes. It’s not too expensive, it’s compact, powerful, and it’s built to last.
Although you have to buy the battery and charger separately, the features make it more than worth it, from the ability to wall-mount or bench mount the tool and illuminate your task area with built-in lighting to the option of using it as a corded or cordless unit.
At 2.2kgs, it’s not too heavy to transport easily, and it works quickly and effectively while actively preserving your chain from over-filing.
Get Ready to Get Sharp with the Best Chainsaw Sharpeners of 2021
If you regularly use a chainsaw, a chainsaw sharpener is an essential tool to have. Not only does it make your chains last longer, but it also lengthens the lifespan of your saw and allows you to work quickly, effectively and safely.
Whether you want the power and convenience of an electric model or the portability of a manual model, you’ll find the right chainsaw model for you in our reviews!