How To Choose A Manual Or Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners?

11 Best Manual And Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners: Buying Guide

If you are currently searching for perfect electric chainsaw sharpeners or any other type of sharpeners, this review will be really helpful. It acquires the answer to the question how you can find your ideal chainsaw sharpener which meets your needs and financial abilities. With this guide based on reviews of many users it will be easy for you to find a perfect tool.

We have decided to cover several existing options so you could choose something which you will use with pleasure. The guide includes portable models as well as those which are usually mounted on a bench, wall or vise.

Some models are universal and work on various types of chain sizes, while others are suitable for one exact set of chain parameters. It means that if you use not only one chainsaw or plan to change your chainsaw or chain in some time, it’s better for you to choose the tool which is suitable for various types of chains. But if you don’t use your instrument very often and stick to one size of it, you can use a simple sharpening tool which is implemented on one size of chains.

We also have to mention that the following list is developed according to our research and reviews of users. This means that it is not necessary to have a sharpener mentioned in the article and you can buy the tool which you like. We just hope that you will get to know what you should pay attention to while planning to buy a sharpener. All of the mentioned tools will work effectively with your saw chain so you could enjoy the following wood cutting.

Quick Look At Best Chainsaw Sharpeners

First of all, let’s have a glance at our top models of chainsaw sharpeners and see what features they obtain. Below you will find their full descriptions, but here you can rapidly investigate and contrast them.

chainsaw Stihl

This model happens to be an electric one which can be installed on a bench. According to its users reviews, it is named the best universal sharpener. In addition to this, it’s suitable for several chainsaw chain types. Although Oregon provides a lot of tools, this product is widely spread in many countries. Besided, the company is famous for its high quality customer service.

This sharpener is rather similar to the tool mentioned  above. One of the differences is that it can be installed on a wall. This instrument can be implemented on 3/8 low profile, 0.325 and other pitch chains.

If you are ready to spend a rather big sum of money on a saw chain sharpener, you can choose this model which is very efficient and operates on almost all types of chains. Three grinding wheels of this instrument make it highly effective.

It’s also an electric sharpener that can be mounted on a bench or a wall, but it happens to have the smallest cost among all the Oregon sharpeners. This product is easy to use, so it’s one of the best choices for beginners.

Like the previous ones, this model is electric and can be installed on a bench. It is suitable for several sizes of chains and is considered to represent the best entry-level instrument.

This model is portable and convenient in use. In addition to this, the Oregon product operates on a 12-volt battery. It’s actually ideal for any saw chain pitch you obtain.

Such a sharpener is also transportable and working on a standard battery. Actually, this brand is rather popular among chainsaw sharpeners users.

This is one of compact plug models operating on all saw chain pitches which acquires a reasonably small price.

The model is said to be the best manual tool for sharpening. It works with any saw chain pitch and is supplied with a calibrated swivel guide.

This is a small high quality chainsaw sharpener suitable only for 0.325 pitch chainsaw chains.

This model is also small and is designed only for 3/16 pitch chainsaw chains. But, which is also right for the previous model, it can be used not only for sharpening the chainsaws of the same brand.

The Mechanism Of A Sharpener Operating

chainsaw sharpener

First of all, we believe that it’s important to know how chainsaw sharpeners operate. If you are already acquainted with the process, you can just skip this section. If you are not totally sure in your abilities or you are a beginner, try to read this part carefully.

If you regularly implement your chainsaw, the teeth on its chain can be slightly damaged, or their edges turn chipped and smooth. Thus the chain of the chainsaw loses its performing qualities and, in addition to this, can pose a threat to your safety.

A chainsaw sharpener is developed to grind down the teeth of the chain so as to make the edge of the cutters sharp again. With sharp edges you will make sure that you will operate with your chainsaw much more quickly and the work will have a higher level of quality. Besides, a sharp saw chain guarantees that you will receive even cuts while wood cutting as well as you will be much safer than if your chain is dull.

Of course, if you choose a high quality chainsaw sharpener, it will keep your chainsaw sharp as well as prolong its life.

In addition to this, it will be helpful for your budget since you won’t need to buy a new chain every time the previous one gets spoiled because your chainsaw sharpener will help you with that, no matter if it’s electric, manual or portable.

In other words, for those who often implement their chainsaws, a chainsaw sharpener is a highly essential purchase.

Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

electric chainsaw

Existing chainsaw sharpeners are presented in the market in several various models. When you choose a suitable type of sharpener, you should carefully think about the needed speed, price and the level of your involvement into the process of sharpening. If you would like a simple tool with an affordable price and you don’t need sharpening every time you use the saw, you should look for a manual instrument.

But if you are an active chainsaw user and you even have not only one chainsaw, you should consider buying an electric grinder which can be mounted on a bench or a wall.

In fact, you can find any chainsaw sharpener you will enjoy working with since there is a big list of available options, but there are two main groups of chainsaw sharpeners you have to know about. They are the following:

  1. Electric chainsaw sharpeners
  2. Manual chainsaw sharpeners

1. Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

chainsaw sharpener

This type of sharpeners work only on a power source which makes them operate. They can also be different: some models run on standard batteries, while others get powered through a plug going into a typical wall outlet. There are also models of electric chainsaw sharpeners which can be implemented using a vehicle’s battery, so they are amazingly convenient if you need to work in the field.

It doesn’t matter which exactly type you will choose since all of them perform their functions well.

Electric chainsaw sharpeners are also divided into two groups:

  • Electric bench sharpeners

This kind is considered to be the best one you can receive.They are constructed to be attached to tables, walls or benches in the place where you use them. They remind of a metal grinder or vise because of their appearance and work.

They are thought to be the best since they work really accurately and give you an opportunity to make your chainsaw chain sharp keeping in without movement.

In order to implement such a sharpener, you use the clamp to hold the chain, then you choose the angle of the grinder, turn on the machine and let it work on the chain cutters. You should repeat the procedure unless all the cutters become sharp.

  • Electric handheld sharpeners

This kind of a sharpener is transportable and obtains a disc which spins and sharpens the cutters of the chain. They usually acquire a guide helping to hold the needed angle.

Of course, this sharpener has a lower speed than the bench one. However, since you don’t need to take the chain off the chainsaw to make it sharp, the use of a handheld sharpener can save you time. But you can also put the chain into a vise to sharpen it.

2. Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

chainsaw sharpener

Asyou can see from the name, a manual chainsaw sharpener is powered by body and hand movements and doesn’t obtain any electrical elements. Sometimes these tools are also called chainsaw files.

Such instruments work with one chain tooth at a time, so you move it from one tooth to another until all the work is done.

As you can see from the description of the procedure, it takes more time to sharpen the chain with a manual sharpener, but, in fact, it is very precise and more affordable.

It is also convenient when you are worried about over-sharpening your chainsaw chain since you regulate everything by your hands. And it is perfect for beginners so they can teach how to sharpen the cutters of the chain and not to damage them.

Its portability makes it useful when it comes to working somewhere in the forest or in the field. You will be able to sharpen your chain if you need without using electricity or batteries.

Actually, this sharpener may be bought as an extra one even if you already obtain an electric chainsaw sharpener.

All in all, a manual sharpener is a useful tool when you need to sharpen your chain anywhere outside your house quickly and continue working.

Best Chainsaw Sharpeners Guide


We have already named the best electric and manual chainsaw sharpeners. Below you will see a deeper description of each and every one, so you will be able to decide which tool exactly you are going to buy. We are ready to state that if you buy one of the mentioned tools, you will easily make your chain sharp and enjoy operating with your chainsaw even more.

Oregon 520-120 Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

electric chainsaw sharpener

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We are willing to name this sharpener the best chainsaw sharpener one in the market. It is suitable for a huge variety of chains such as 1/4 inch, 3/8 low profile as well as full profile, 0.325 or 0.404 pitch chains, so if you buy this sharpener, you won’t need to change it even if you operate with another chainsaw in some time.

This sharpener can be attached to a bench. It is supplied with a self-centering chain vise, but you can also choose the needed handle position.

Although the sharpener doesn’t have a big weight, it is constructed in a way to be able to sharpen in big volumes.

To sum up, if you use your chainsaw regularly and need a tool to make the chainsaw sharp, you should definitely consider buying this instrument.

Oregon 410-120 Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

electric chainsaw sharpener Oregon

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If you don’t intensively use your chainsaw but you would like to sharpen your chain yourself, this sharpener is the second best chainsaw chain sharpener choice.

This tool can be placed onto a bench or a wall and has less power than the previous one. Nevertheless, this instrument is supplied with three effective grinding wheels. And it is also suitable for sharpening 1/4, 3/8 low profile, 0.325 as well as 0.404 pitch chains.

Oregon 120V Hydraulic Assisted Bench Grinder

This tool could have been named the best bench tool in our list if its price isn’t so high. Besides, it doesn’t obtain a proper manual.

However, this model is highly efficient. This bench grinder can be easily mounted to your bench because of hydraulic assist power use, so you don’t need to implement your hand power. It is supplied with three grinding wheels and can work with almost any type of chains. A special dressing brick makes it easy to use the grinder since it allows to get rid of debris on the wheel.

electric chainsaw sharpener Oregon


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This electric sharpener is highly efficient, but it’s not very suitable for begginners. They can find any other model in our list of the best options, which is not so powerful and hard-working.

Oregon 310-120 Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

electric chainsaw sharpener Oregon

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If you are not very qualified in sharpening your chainsaw chains and, in addition to this, are looking for a moderate price tool, you should consider buying this particular instrument. It is one of the simplest Oregon sharpeners but is effective enough and can be easily implemented in your household.

It is rather small and can be attached to a table or a bench. It also can be used for the same chains as the previous sharpener.

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

electric chainsaw sharpener

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This tool is also affordable and convenient if you are a beginner in chain sharpening. It is usually placed onto a wall, a bench or a vise and is suitable for many widely spread chain sizes. It is supplied with a 4 1/4 x 1/8-inch grinding wheel.

This instrument doesn’t have any marvellous features, but it is a good option when you have never done sharpening before and would like to get more sharpening experience.

Oregon 30846 Best Portable Chainsaw Sharpener

chainsaw sharpener

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When you need a transportable chainsaw sharpener which you can bring to any place you need, this one will be the first best chainsaw chain sharpener option to choose.

It is easily used and is supplied with a cord attached to a 12-volt battery powering the tool. It is constructed with three sharpening stones of various sizes.

It also acquires a special sharpening guide and a depth gauge which will help you to make sure that all the cutters are equal.

Granberg Grind-N-Joint Handheld Portable Chainsaw Sharpener

electric chainsaw sharpener

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If we think about buying a handheld sharpener, this option should also be considered as one of the best chainsaw chain portable sharpeners. As the previously mentioned tool, it operates through connection to a 12-volt battery making the tool run.

This chainsaw sharpener is really comfortable in use since you don’t have to take the chain off the chainsaw in order to get it sharpened. It saves a lot of your time so you can continue working as rapidly as possible.

The sharpener can also be adjusted to three different angles.

Another important feature is that this sharpener works really fast, so you can easily sharpen your chainsaw chain in a couple of minutes.

Maida Handheld Chainsaw Sharpener

This electric handheld chainsaw sharpener is also a wonderful option for those who wish to sharpen their chain in any place.

With this tool you can also perform its function without removing the chain from the chainsaw, and the operating speed of this sharpener is even bigger than the speed of the previously mentioned handheld tool. Actually, the grinding speed of this tool can be up to 30,000rpm.

electric chainsaw sharpener

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The sharpener is supplied with three grinding bits which are suitable for sharpening ⅜, 0.325 and 0.404 inch chains.

This tool obtains an angle plate which allows you to set the accurate alignment. The grinding speed is also varied so you can make sure that you don’t damage the cutters in the process of sharpening.

Granberg Bar-Mount (G-106B) Best Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

When you are looking for a good manual chain sharpener, this model is thought to be the best chainsaw chain portable one.

It is highly useful since it’s suitable for any chain, any saw and any file size.

electric chainsaw sharpener


The chainsaw sharpener is constructed of zinc-plated steel and cast aluminum, so it’s rather endurable.

Actually, it’s one of the best manual sharpeners available in the market. It was developed more than thirty years ago, so during this period the sharpener has become the ideal example of endurability and high quality work.

The sharpener is supplied with a calibrated swivel guide and other features which guarantee the right angle, the needed file height and tooth length.

Stihl 2-in-1 Best Chainsaw File 0.325″

electric chainsaw sharpener

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As it is seen from the name, this manual tool is suitable for 0.325 chains. It can be implemented on any chainsaw chain of this exact size.

This model is perfect if you want a transportable tool which can be rapidly used on the chainsaw.

Husqvarna (653000035) Chainsaw File 3/16″

chainsaw Husqvarna

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If the chain on your chainsaw is 3/16-inch, this manual sharpener will be really helpful.

The chainsaw can be of any existing brand, this sharpener will help you to do sharpening very quickly.

The tool is rather small and lightweight so you can take it with you to any place you need it.

What Else You Should Know About Sharpeners

The Process Of Sharpening

It’s not enough to choose the best chainsaw sharpener to make everything flowless. When you work with your chainsaw, particularly while sharpening, you should be very careful and apply some caution measures. It is really important to do the following things:

  • Don’t forget to wear specially designed chainsaw gloves;
  • Safety glasses are also advised;
  • Before starting the sharpening process you should be sure that the chain brake is engaged;
  • It will be helpful if you apply a clamp for stabilizing the nose bar. If the sharpener is supplied with this element, it allows you to use two hands for sharpening the cutters. In another situation you can just use the electrical bench tool.
electric chainsaw sharpener

The process of sharpening starts with securing the chain or the chainsaw, and then you move the file or the grinder over the cutters. A silver gleam on a tooth means that it’s already sharp. This gleam is easily noticed if you apply a manual sharpener. But if a tool is electric, you should be more careful.

You should take into account that if you sharpen the cutters too far, it can spoil the chain and lead to serious issues while applying the chainsaw.

With any kind of a sharpener you have to make sure that you implement correct angles and file the teeth to the needed depth. Otherwise your chainsaw chain will lose its efficiency and power.

How To Choose The Accurate Depth

Your chainsaw chain operates in the most effective way if all the teeth obtain the same size, which is called height or depth.

If you spend some time measuring the depth of cutting, you will be sure that the chainsaw will work correctly and safely.

chainsaw is cutting the log

Almost all producers supply their chainsaw sharpeners with a special depth gauge. If you have chosen the tool without this feature, you can buy it yourself so you could choose the needed height for the teeth of your chainsaw.

The needed height is adjusted when you hold the gauge up to the cutters. If it is bigger than the gauge is, you just make it the right size with the sharpener.

Useful Information: 10 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners

In this video you will learn what are the best chainsaw sharpeners to buy and what characteristics do they have.

How To Use Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Again we would like to mention that chainsaw sharpeners were specifically developed to make the teeth of the chainsaw chain sharp and even.

The electric sharpener which is mounted onto some surface, requires to put the chain off the chainsaw. Then you put your chain inside the instrument, make sure that it won’t get away and you can start sharpening by turning the tool on.

electric chainsaw sharpener

If your chainsaw sharpener is powered by the battery, it is usually put onto the chainsaw bar. The chain has to be loosed, so you can turn on the tool and do the sharpening task.

The manual sharpener allows you to control the process of sharpening completely. The tool works when it is applied with the correct angle by moving it across the cutters.

Actually, an electric sharpener is not really different from the manual instrument, the main difference between them is the time you will need to perform the sharpening.

The Price Of A Sharpener

How much you will pay for the tool is defined by several features, including the initial type of the sharpener.

It is understandable that manual tools have less price than electric ones. The price for a manual sharpener usually starts from $15.

chainsaw sharpener

The cost of standard electric sharpeners goes from $40 to $100, and these are usually good-working effective tools. If you want a professional electric sharpener, you will have to pay from $300 and more.

What Degree To Choose When Implementing The Sharpener

If your chainsaw chain is typical, you should choose between 20 to 25 degrees to work on wood.

If your aim is to rip with the grain, you will need to sharpen the teeth as little as 10 degrees.


But on any occasion we would recommend to get acquainted with the chain’s features designed by the producer so you could understand which degree is the most suitable. This data can be put on the package or you can find it in the user’s manual or even on the Internet.

What Size Of The File Should Be Chosen For Sharpening The Chain

Sharpening The Chain

If you implement a manual sharpener, you should take into account that its size should be suitable for the type of the chain you are going to sharpen. If you have a ⅜ low profile or 0.325 pitch chain, you should apply a 4 mm, or 5/32 chain file. A 4.8 mm, or 3/16 chainsaw sharpener is suitable for a ⅜ pitch chain. And if you are an owner of a 0.404 pitch chain, be ready to work with a 5.5 mm, or 7/32 chainsaw chain file.

How To Sharpen An Electric Chainsaw

Actually, the type of a chainsaw doesn’t matter much when it comes to the sharpening process. The best option for electric chainsaws is to use the manual sharpener at the place of its implementation. What else you should remember while sharpening your electric chainsaw, and in fact, any other chainsaw?

  • Study your chain

You should know everything about the chain you work with: the type, the size and all the needed features so you could decide how you can sharpen it most efficiently;

chainsaw sharpeners
  • Do sharpening on time

Some time before chainsaw users waited until their chainsaw gave off a lot of wood dust compared with wood chips. However, nowadays it’s usually recommended to sharpen the chain every second or third time when you put the fuel into your chainsaw, so you will do it always on time and you will make the sharpening process much easier;

  • Put your chainsaw in a stable position

You can use the special vice if you don’t have an even surface somewhere nearby;

  • Never sharpen without protective gear

It is highly dangerous to use a chainsaw as well as a sharpener without any protective wear. We recommend to use at least specially designed gloves and safety goggles;

  • Choose the right file diameter

We have already discussed the standard parameters of manual sharpeners. If you take the wrong sharpener, you won’t be able to sharpen your chainsaw chain effectively;

  • Try to take your sharpener with you each time you apply the chainsaw

You don’t know when you will need sharpening. Therefore, if you work anywhere out of your house, make sure that you also take your tool;

  • Sharpen the chain in one direction and push but not pull the sharpener

The direction is rather important since you can make sure that you do everything correctly and won’t damage the cutters;

  • Don’t forget about the sharpening guide;

If your sharpener is not supplied with such a guide, do not hesitate to buy this tool. It is rather inexpensive, but it will save you a lot of time and money;

  • Keep in mind the depth gauges

We have already discussed the meaning of the correctly applied depth gauges. We again recommend to be careful with it and keep your chainsaw efficient.

The Reason For The Chain Becoming Dull Too Fast

If your chain turns dull really fast, you might consider the following reasons:

  • You choose the wrong angle while sharpening the cutters;
  • The rakers are put too far down;
  • You operate on dirty wood for a long time;
  • You accidentally touch the ground while cutting with the tip of the chainsaw bar.

To make clear which reason is yours, you should look deeper into the way you cut wood with your chainsaw. When you understand why the cutters turn dull fast, you can choose another chain which is more suitable for the way you cut, or you can work on the way you implement your chainsaw so that the teeth of the chain remain sharp for as much time as possible.

The Signs Of The Chain Being Worn Out

How do you understand that your chain is dull or even worn out? You may notice the following things:

  • Less effective cutting

A sharp chainsaw chain performs its functions rapidly and without any issues. It also produces even cuts, The dull chainsaw causes crooked and not straight cuts, and you will also need additional pressure to take the instrument through the cutted wood;

  • Challenging chainsaw positioning

The worn out tool is very difficult to hold in the right position. You can feel like the chainsaw bounces or rattles. If you face this problem, you should remember that it’s rather dangerous, so it’s better to make sure that your chain is sharpened on time;

  • Smoke

Chainsaws are designed to be endurable and long-standing, so they usually don’t get damaged after much friction. However, if you are sure that the chainsaw is lubricated like it should be and you have chosen the correct tension but you can notice smoke, you should be really careful.

The smoke appears when the chainsaw works too much and heats up. It wears out the instrument as well as poses a threat to your safety. If the chain is regularly sharpened, it means that you try to do everything to cut down on the chances of the chainsaw getting damaged.

  • Damaged chain cutters

When you see that there are already some teeth damaged or even missing, you definitely should take into account that it’s high time you sharpened the chain. Of course, you can continue using the chain with some teeth missing, but the work will be less effective and the chain will be worn out even faster as well as it will create a safety hazard for you.

How Many Times You Can Sharpen Your Tool

Of course, this parameter is defined by how you implement your chainsaw, but the standard quantity of applied sharpening procedures varies between three and five times.

Producers don’t set any specific meanings of lifespan of chains, so we should remember that the time it works effectively depends on the use of the chainsaw as well as the quality of its maintenance.

chainsaw sharpener

If you apply your wood cutting instrument from time to time, the chain will be efficient from two to five years in case you sharpen it well.

But if you use it very often through the whole year, be ready to replace your chain after two or three months of implementing it.

Can We Put A Chain On Backwards

chainsaw is cutting the log

Surprisingly, we can mistake and put the chain on backwards, but we should also know that it won’t work that way. Therefore, if you apply the chainsaw and it doesn’t work properly, make sure that you have put the chain correctly.

If you want to know whether the chain is on correctly, you should see that while holding the tool in your hands that the part of the chain which is cutting faces away from you and goes from the back of the instrument to the front part.

Are The Chains Stretchable

chainsaw chain

You should always remember that if you use your chainsaw rather often, the chain on it actually can stretch and get loose.

This happens so since the rivets are pulled in one direction, which makes the chain loop become longer. So with each applying the rivet clearance is growing, and the chain becomes longer.

Although it doesn’t happen very fast, it’s a standard process which will be eventually noticed.

Read our detailed article Main Steps How To Shorten A Chainsaw Chain.

How Tight The Chainsaw Chain Should Be Set

chainsaw Husqvarna

If you understand whether you have chosen the correct tension for the chain, you should see that on the guide bar it’s slightly loose while it’s tight in a way that you aren’t able to pull its drive links from the chainsaw nose.

In Closing

We hope that after reading this article you acquire all the needed knowledge about choosing the best chainsaw sharpener to meet your wishes.

As you already know there are several different types of sharpening tools available in the market. We have covered the best opportunities in all the main chainsaw sharpeners categories. As we have mentioned, there are tools which are powered through electricity, through batteries and with hand movement.

We don’ think that you have to choose only one type. If you are an active saw user, we think that it is rather essential to have one sharpening product which will always be in your house while another product will be your portable tool which can be used anywhere in the field.

chainsaw is cutting the log

What’s also important is to choose the right size of the tool if it’s not universal. Always make sure that you follow all the rules we have mentioned above so that you won’t damage the cutters of your chain as well as maintain your health and safety. Again we want to point out that safety gear is highly essential when you work with your chainsaw as well as maintain or sharpen it.

If you haven’t met the needed tool in our list, just make sure that it has all the features which were mentioned as essential for a high quality chainsaw sharpener. Of course, some people won’t agree with our choices, but we believe that most of the users who have even once tried the tools from our top list, can support our opinion about the product they have tried.

We also hope that you will choose the ideal sharpener and make the use of your chainsaw even more enjoyable.

Check also which is the Best Beginner Miter Saw.

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