A dull chainsaw blade can be both frustrating and dangerous to operate, so investing in a reliable, high quality, electric chainsaw sharpener to complement your tool is critical. If you’ve been looking for a sharpener that is convenient to use and also durable, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options available.
We’ve done the hard work of researching and testing for you, and we put together this list of reviews and a buyer’s guide to help you choose the best electric chainsaw for your needs. Let’s get started!
Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners – Our Top Picks
1. Oregon 520-120 Bench Mounted Saw Chain Grinder – Best Overall
The 520-120 sharpener from Oregon is a remarkably powerful machine with durability and consistency that can keep your chainsaw blades sharp for years to come. It can grind nearly any blade you have in your chainsaw collection ranging from ¼” to .404” blade pitches, so it’s perfect if you use multiple saws or replace your current chainsaw.
The blade clamp automatically centers your chain, so you won’t have to spend the extra time making sure your blade is positioned correctly.
One of our favorite features is the adjustable handle. We know that may sound like a strange feature to love, but it makes operation smooth and safe.
It is on the pricier side of sharpeners, and it will need to be mounted to a workbench to use. Still, we think the durability and versatility make this the best chainsaw blade sharpener available.
2. Oregon 410-120 Bench Mounted Saw Chain Grinder – Best Value
Oregon takes the spot on our list for best value as well, which should go to show how much faith we have in their sharpeners.
The 410-120 model is significantly more affordable than our top pick, but it’s also not as powerful at a little less than half the amps. This grinder is ideal for lighter use, but it will likely still last you for quite some time.
This grinder can sharpen the same impressive range of blades from ¼” to .404”, but the handle can’t be adjusted for the ideal amount of comfort.
It will need to be mounted too, but it has the convenient option of getting mounted on the wall. We would recommend opting for a workbench, only because we felt a bit safer using it in that position.
3. Blue Max 20310 12V Electric Chainsaw Sharpener – Best Portable Sharpener
This electric chainsaw sharpener from Blue Max is ideal for use on job sites where you may not have access to a bench grinder or electricity. It’s fully portable, and the clamps on the power cord allow you to use it with a 12V battery.
Of course, a 12V battery won’t provide as much power as a wall outlet, so you will sacrifice power and capability for convenience. However, it’s strong enough to get the job done, and it can save you time and frustration by offering a quick and easy option for sharpening your saw.
It can sharpen blades with a pitch between ¼” and .404”, but it won’t auto-center your blade, so you’ll have to position it yourself. The grinding stones will also need to be replaced more often than on the previous options, given how small they are.
4. Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener – Most Budget-Friendly
The ECSS sharpener from Buffalo Tools is a highly affordable bench-mounted blade grinder. It’s much less powerful than the Oregon 410-120 with only 85 watts, but it’s suitable for infrequent personal use.
Given its lack of power, we’d recommend this to you if you have a chainsaw that you use just a few times each year.
It can handle multiple blade pitches, so it’s a good budget option even if you have numerous saws.
It does feel less durable than the Oregon models, but the lightweight design makes it easier to relocate within your shop.
As you can probably tell, choosing the best electric chainsaw sharpener isn’t as simple as finding the most affordable one. Make sure you keep the below factors in mind if you continue looking for other models.
The power output of any grinder you choose is critical and is often the most important thing to consider. If you use chainsaws frequently for personal or professional use, you’ll want to get a grinder that will stand up to regular use.
Some chainsaw sharpeners will outlast multiple chainsaws, while others may need to be replaced due to frequent operation. However, if you don’t use your saws regularly, you can safely opt for a less powerful model that will cost less and still deliver the grinding you need.
While you’re considering your power needs, you should also think about the grinder’s portability. Many grinders are wall- or bench-mounted, while some can be taken to a worksite and powered by a battery.
Portable chainsaw sharpeners are certainly more convenient and usually cheaper, but they are far less powerful and won’t last as long as mountable grinders.
You will also want to think about the blade angles that a grinder can sharpen. The options we’ve picked above can grind a wide range of blades, but some sharpeners have fewer options and may not work on your chainsaw.
Lastly, you should consider how straightforward your sharpener is to use. Of course, battery-powered sharpeners are convenient for their portability, but they often don’t have auto-centering blade clamps and require more finesse and concentration to use.
A bench grinder may seem inconvenient because it can’t be taken to where you’ll be using your chainsaw, but they are generally more straightforward to operate safely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Chainsaw Sharpeners Really Work?
Yes, chainsaw sharpeners do really work, and make the task of sharpening a chainsaw much easier. Before the invention of chainsaw sharpeners, you would need to individually sharpen each tooth by hand.
Now you can use an electric grinder to quickly get your chainsaw back in pristine shape. There are also non-electric options, which require a little more effort to sharpen a chainsaw.
Chainsaw sharpeners tend to include a clamp that holds onto the end of the chainsaw bar, where the chain runs around the machine. You need to start the chainsaw so that the teeth can be sharpened as they pass across the grindstone.
Grinding the teeth of your chainsaw against a sharpener usually won’t take longer than 10 minutes for an electric model. It will take slightly longer with a manual alternative, and you might not get such a good sharpening due to you having to provide the force.
However, no matter what type of chainsaw sharpener you opt for, it should work well provided that it is of high enough quality.
What Angle Do I Set My Electric Chainsaw Sharpener?
To achieve the best results, you need to sharpen your chainsaw at the right angle. The exact right angle will depend on the chainsaw that you have, as well as the wood that you’re planning on cutting with it.
Generally speaking, the correct angle to set your electric chainsaw sharpener to will be between 25 and 35 degrees.
The harder the wood you’re planning to saw with your machine, the higher the angle the sharpener should be set to. Common types of hardwood are oak, cherry, walnut, maple, and mahogany.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on sawing softer woods, your electric sharpener should be more towards the lower angle of 25 degrees.
No matter the angle that you’re sharpening your electric chainsaw at, it is important to keep the angle the same throughout the entire job. This can be difficult to do without an external tool helping you, such as a sharpening grid or a filing gauge.
A sharpening grid is a metal tool that is locked to a certain angle so that you can keep an eye on whether your sharpener is at a too high or too low angle while it works.
A filing gauge is similar to a sharpening grid and you can set it to different angles depending on your needs. This means that you can use this tool for multiple different purposes, not just sharpening your chainsaw.
For best results with these two tools, stop the sharpener after every few teeth to ensure that it is still set at the correct angle. This will help leave you with a consistently sharp chainsaw perfect for the wood you’re planning to use it on.
Which Direction Do You Sharpen A Chainsaw?
If you are sharpening a chainsaw manually, you should always sharpen a chainsaw in the direction that the file only grips in the forwards stroke. You can lift it slightly when pulling it back so that you don’t go in the wrong direction.
A chainsaw will have two sets of cutters on the chain – both going in opposite directions.
For this reason, you’ll need to sharpen it in both directions to ensure that the chainsaw is completely sharpened by the end of the task.
To make this easier, mark the first tooth that you’re going to be sharpening with a permanent marker. File this tooth up to 10 times, then move to the next tooth.
However, the next tooth you’ll be sharpening won’t be the one next to the first – it’ll be the one afterwards.
So, sharpen every second tooth until you reach the original one that you started with. Once you have finished the first set, turn the chainsaw around and start filing the teeth that you missed out.
If you don’t want to mark your chainsaw, most models will have one tooth that is slightly different from the rest as a way of the manufacturer telling you which to start sharpening from.
This can sometimes be helpful, but most of the time the manufacturer’s marker is too difficult to spot.
However, if you really don’t want to mark your machine, make sure to look out for this while filing.
Once you have finished these teeth, you will be left with a completely sharpened chainsaw ready for tackling whatever project you are working on next.
How Many Times Can A Chainsaw Chain Be Sharpened?
If you find your chainsaw dulling quickly, don’t panic. You don’t have to purchase a new one right away. In fact, you can sharpen your chainsaw up to 10 times before the chain will be completely worn out.
Some models will even withstand 15 sharpening sessions, so you’re really getting the most from your money.
It’s worth noting that a high-quality sharpener is imperative to the lifespan of your chainsaw. Sharpening it at the wrong angle or in the wrong direction can result in an uneven cut, reducing the quality of your work.
So, make sure that you choose a high-quality chainsaw sharpener and know exactly how to use it before taking it to your machine.
As you can probably see by now, choosing the best electric chainsaw sharpener isn’t as easy as you may have thought. There are several factors that should go into your decision, and the wealth of options available can make the choice challenging, to say the least.
Our overall favorite for its durability and ease of use is the Oregon 520-120 Bench Mounted Chainsaw Grinder. It’s suitable for continuous use, will likely last you for years to come, and is comfortable and convenient to use.