Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews of October 2018

When you need your chainsaw sharpened, you want it to be done right.

While there are more chainsaw sharpening options out there than ever before and quite a few good options among them. 

But You can’t settle for good when you need the best.

Our Top 3 Chainsaw Sharpener Picks

Below are our top 3 picks for the best chainsaw sharpener. We have chosen these models for their durability, ease of use, value, ability to cut different types of chains, and all-around quality. 

Professional Chainsaw Sharpener Oregon 410-120
Best for Your PocketSTIHL 2 in 1 Easy File Sharpener
All-Around Best for Everyday UseTimber Tuff CS-12v

1. Oregon 410-120 Bench/Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

Best Chainsaw Sharpener

Oregon 410-120 is a complete automatic sharpener kit for sharpening chainsaws in the shop comes with grinding wheels and features a work light and other useful features, such as a wear indicator to let you know when to change out your grinding wheels.

Although this model doesn’t come cheap, it’s extremely powerful, fast, and versatile. On top of that, all of its guides and adjustable parts make it easier to use, whether you’re a first-timer or an old timer.

That being said, it does come with some useful features. One of the best things we noticed about this sharpener was its tendency to wear evenly—meaning you won’t have to buy grinding wheels as frequently with this saw sharpener as with some others.


2. Timber Tuff CS-12v Portable Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Portable Electric Sharpener

The Timber-Tuff CS-12v 12 Volt Portable Electric Sharpener might just be one of the best options for a portable sharpener. It combines the power of an electric model with the portability of a mechanical one through one amazing innovation—and takes one of our top spots in the best electric chainsaw sharpener rankings as a result.

What Makes the Timber Tuff CS-12v So Special?

The difference between this saw and other portable but electrically powered chain sharpeners is its ability to power itself from a 12-volt battery. Instead of plugging this unit into a wall, you can clip it onto a battery and go straight to work.

We love this model because it provides the power and ease of use of electric saw chain sharpeners with the portability of Timberline’s bar mounted, manually operated sharpeners. Although carrying a battery around will certainly increase the weight of your load, this saw sharpener is still much more portable than a lot of options out there, and still brings all the power you expect from plug-in models.

For a middle-of-the-road choice between maximum power and maximum portability, this battery-powered sharpener is our go-to choice. You’ll never be stuck in the woods with a dull saw again—and that means that you’re going to stay safer and get more done every time you’re on the job.


3. STIHL 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Sharpener

This handheld file sharpener brings all the benefits of its class, meaning it is extraordinarily lightweight and portable. It’s easy to use, and the files are durable enough to use around 15 times before changing them.

Although these sharpeners files require changing much more often than the grinding wheels on bench and wall mounted sharpeners, they are also a great deal cheaper. It’s also quite easy to carry extra files with you on long or tough jobs.


4. Timber Tuff Best Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

This manual bar mounted chainsaw chain sharpener works very well for its price and can cut a variety of saws. There are several different files available for this model so that you can get the best size for your needs.

That being said, it isn’t the best middle-of-the-road option between portability and power. During our reviewing and testing process, we found one other manual bar mounted saw chain sharpener that performed a bit better. We also found a unique product from Timber Tuff, the brand that makes this unit, that really amazed us in several ways.


5. Timberline Sharpener (with 3/16”, 7/32”, or13/64” Carbide Cutter)

The portable bar-mounted saw sharpeners from popular brand Timberline are some of the best manual bar-mounted sharpeners out there. Like the other bar mounted sharpeners reviewed above, Timberline’s sharpeners work via a hand crank while mounted on the bar of your chainsaw.

Although this type of operation requires much less manual labor than a handheld file saw chain sharpener, the repetitive motion can still be tiring. That being said, it can get you great results—and the Timberline sharpeners allow you to custom-fit the right sharpener to your chainsaw of choice.

These models are not quite as easy to use as bench and wall mounted saw chain sharpeners and grinders—but you can bring them to work with you, while bench mounted models will obviously have to be left in the shop.


6. Husqvarna 653000035 SharpForce Chain Sharpener (3/16”)

This is a great handheld saw chain sharpener that brings plenty of versatility as well as a low weight and small size. 

It brings all the benefits of its class, meaning it is extraordinarily lightweight and portable. It’s easy to use, and the files are durable enough to use around 15 times before changing them.

Although these sharpeners files require changing much more often than the grinding wheels on bench and wall mounted sharpeners, they are also a great deal cheaper. It’s also quite easy to carry extra files with you on long or tough jobs.


7. TriLink Bar Mount Sharpener

While Trilink bar-mount sharpener isn’t the absolute best out there, it’s certainly one of the better budget models available, especially in this class of sharpeners. It mounts directly on the bar of your saw and sharpens without you having to remove the chain.

The cuts this saw sharpener makes are accurate, but this particular model can be a bit more difficult to use and less durable than the higher-end models. We would recommend it if you’re on a tight budget and immediately need a bar mounted saw sharpener, but not if you’re looking for the absolute best.


Things to Consider Before Buying

We are here to help you to choose what sharpener is best for you. The next time you buy this tool, be sure to get the absolute best. Before deciding which is the best chainsaw sharpening tool, you need to ask yourself a few vital questions

  • What are your needs and the type of sharpener you need? 
  • How regularly do you need to sharpen chains?
  • Do you normally use your chainsaw remotely outdoors or in a shop?

Which Type is best for you? 

To help you understand better, we’re going to break them down into 3 basic types. They are:

  1. Bench and Wall Mounted
  2. Bar Mounted
  3. Handheld

While the 3 types are different, they’re not necessarily better or worse than one another—but one of the types is likely to suit your needs better.

The steps to finding the perfect chainsaw chain sharpener for you are simple:

  1. Determine what type of sharpener you need.
  2. Find the best model available of that type.

Bench and Wall Mounted

These sharpeners draw a lot of power, meaning they can get the job done quickly and precisely. However, their large motors and physical design require them to be mounted to the wall or to a workbench, so they’re not portable at all.

This type of sharpener is best for the professional who has a shop, especially if they have several different types of chainsaws.

Pros and Cons of Bench and Wall Mounted Chainsaw Sharpener

PortabilityNot Portable
PowerHighly Powerful
VersatilityVery Versatile w/ Interchangeable Parts
Power SourceElectrical Outlet

Bench and wall mounted sharpener is by far the most powerful and versatile available and require little manual effort to use. However, they are not at all portable, as they require an electric power source for operation.

If you think a bench or wall mounted chainsaw sharpener is right for you, check out our reviews for the Oregon 410-120 and Oregon 511AX further below.

Bar Mounted Chainsaw Sharpeners

While often not as powerful as the bench and wall mounted variety, and not as easily portable as the handheld type, bar mounted sharpeners strike a wonderful balance between power and portability.

This is the newest type of sharpener, and many chainsaw users are attracted to them because of their ease of use and portability.

Pros and Cons of Bar Mounted 

PortabilityFairly Portable – Bulky, but not powered
PowerNot as Powerful
VersatilityFairly Versatile Depending on Cutter Size
Power SourceMechanical Operation

Handheld File

This is arguably the most old-fashioned type. While this type of chainsaw sharpener requires a lot more manual labor than the other two kinds, it has some distinct advantages as well.

First of all, handheld file sharpeners are cheaper. They contain fewer materials and no moving parts or electricity. This leaves more work for you, but it also means you can get a very high-quality product even on a tight budget.

The biggest advantage of this type is their ease of portability. They are extremely small and lightweight, meaning you can carry them with you virtually anywhere and sharpen on the go.

They are perfectly engineered for anyone working long hours remotely or on very large and spread out worksites.

Pros and Cons of Handheld File Sharpener

PortabilityHighly Portable – Pocket-Sized
PowerNot Very Powerful
VersatilitySomewhat Versatile Depending on Model
Power SourceManual Operation

How to Sharpen Your Chainsaw?

Once you’ve choosen the chainsaw sharpener for you, you’ll be ready to put it to work. Though all saw chain sharpeners work differently, there are a few basic guidelines you can follow.

First, determine the gauge (size) of your chainsaw chain. This will let you know which grinding wheel or file size to select. Saws come in many sizes, but some common ones are 3/16”, 5/32”, and 7/32”.

Next, take your time to complete a pre-sharpening routine. Clean your chain thoroughly, and make sure that none of the saw’s teeth are broken, chipped, or overly worn down. If they are, you should replace the chain.

Next, stabilize your saw by putting it on a flat surface or clamping it in a vise. Stability is important to both safety and accuracy!

When you start cutting, you should either locate the shortest tooth on the chain to use as a starting point or, if all teeth are the same length, mark the first tooth you sharpen so you’re sure to file all teeth down to the same length.

Check for “witness markers” or look in the instruction manual that came with your saw to find the proper angle at which to sharpen your chains’ teeth.

When you’re done with the sharpening itself, check the rakers (the curved hook links between the saw’s teeth) to ensure that they are slightly lower than the saw’s teeth. If they’re not, file or grind them down as well.

Be sure to oil your chain and check its tension before cutting again!

Safety Tips for Sharpening Your Saw

Wear protective gloves and eyewear to keep you from injuring yourself with the saw’s teeth or with metal filings. If you’re using a grinder, you’ll want to look out for sparks as well.

If you’re sharpening your chain while it’s still on the saw, be sure your saw is empty of gasoline or that its battery is taken out. Though saws have various safety mechanisms to prevent them from starting, you can never be too careful.

Work slowly—this will both improve your work and keep you safe !!

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