Chainsaws are rugged and sturdy machines that seem like they’ll never stop running. However, just like everything, they are susceptible to wear-and-tear and the teeth on their chains will eventually dull. Some people might choose just to throw a dull chain away and buy a new one, but that is incredibly expensive. You might also opt to sharpen it by hand, but that leads to some teeth being larger or smaller than others, making your cuts uneven and making the chainsaw swivel too much.
The best chainsaw sharpeners are made to fix all those problems, allowing you to sharpen your chain faster than you would by hand, while also making all the teeth relatively equal in size. Here’s why these tools are incredibly useful for chainsaw owners and why you should get one for yourself.
Why Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener?
Chainsaws are tools that see constant use and are meant for heavy duty work, meaning that they will invariably get worn out over time. The chain itself is especially susceptible to this, with the teeth getting duller and duller with each use.
Using a dull chainsaw cannot only slow you down and make your job harder to do, but it can also be dangerous as the chain could get stuck, break or just fly off the bar. Sharpening is a necessity. However, a lot of people find it to be a dull task that is too time-consuming. Taking it to a professional sharpener is one solution, but it costs a lot and causes you to have even more downtime in your work.
Chainsaw sharpeners are the best solution to all of this that there is. These tools can make the job of sharpening a chainsaw much faster than when using a simple file to do it by hand. They usually use files or even grindstones to work on the teeth of the chainsaw and sharpen them, while allowing you to adjust the size you want your teeth to be after sharpening. If you have trouble with keeping the teeth of your chain even in size, this will be a real boon.
Some require more set up time than others, and some can even do the job without almost any input from the user after the initial set-up. There are even those that can be used on the go, if your teeth happen to dull during a long work day in the woods, allowing you to fix-up your chain and get back to work quickly. They’re all-around incredibly useful tools and great time-savers.
Not all chainsaw sharpeners perform well, though, some can even be worse than sharpening your chainsaw by hand, and you need to be aware of that. Picking out the good from the bad can be exceedingly difficult these days. However, we are here to help you with that. We’ve gathered and compared some of the best products on the market in this article and offered our opinions on them. For even more information, we also added in some user reviews. With all of that, you should easily be able to pick out the best chainsaw sharpener for you. So, let’s check out the products we picked!
Meet the Best Chainsaw Sharpeners
The Good: It’s overall a good, fast unit that will fit almost any type of chain.
The Bad: It’s just not that durable and is made from cheap materials.
The Bottom Line: An affordable sharpener with great performance that won’t last for that long but will pay itself off.
The Good: This is a good manual sharpener that is durable and works well.
The Bad: Multiple problems – it doesn’t come with a file, bad instructions and it’s too big.
The Bottom Line: It seems like a great cheap tool at first, but it has multiple problems that might make you reconsider.
The Good: It has amazing performance, sharpens quickly and is portable.
The Bad: Expensive and the carbide blade tends to break easily.
The Bottom Line: It’s a great tool, but it costs a lot, and the carbide blade is too brittle.
While you may feel confident after reading this, you should look at the more detailed info below, just to be sure.
All of the Factors Considered
Chainsaw sharpeners are not simple tools and figuring out which ones are good and which ones aren’t can be a difficult thing to do. There are various companies that will try to trick you by listing common features as something incredible and unique or by masking the lack of good performance by touting extra features. To help you see through all that and pick a good sharpener for you, here are the most important things you should look for:
When getting a product like this you want it to last for years, so you could get the most value out of it that you can. However, not all chainsaw sharpeners are well-made, and some are just flimsy garbage.
You should primarily look at the materials a sharpener is made from – if you want it to last, you should probably pick one made out of metal, preferably steel. Plastic sharpeners are usually not up to snuff when it comes to sturdiness.
You should also make sure that it’s well-built, that it doesn’t have loose screws or parts that might fall off and so on. Look at the customer reviews, especially those from people who have been using the tool for years and see what they say about how durable it is.
One of the most important things about a chainsaw sharpener is how quickly it can get the job done. Electric sharpeners usually have the edge here, but not necessarily, as they can take a long time to set up. You want your chainsaw sharpener to do the work faster than you would with your two hands and a file.
When it comes to sharpeners that use a grindstone, you can always look at the grinding speed, expressed in RPM, to determine how fast it might get the job done. With those that use a file, it’s harder to judge how fast they are, but you can still do it by considering how long they take to set up.
The two main choices here are either electric or manual. The primary difference between the two is that one is operated by hand while other one works automatically but needs to be plugged into a power source.
The benefit electric chainsaw sharpeners offer is that they work much faster than manual ones and require less fiddling, so they are easier to use. However, they are not incredibly portable due to their need for electricity, so you can’t use them out in the field. That’s the benefit that manual variants offer – they can be used anywhere at any time. The tradeoff is that they are harder to use.
So, choose carefully.
Ease of use
Sharpening a chainsaw by hand, usually with a file, is rather simple. So, you don’t want to buy an expensive tool that makes the job harder to do, instead of easier. You want a chainsaw sharpener that will be easy to set up and simple to use, making the sharpening process go by faster.
Some chainsaw sharpeners can be difficult to use, whether due to bad, overly complicated design or just a poor instruction manual. You should check out how easy they are to use before buying them, either by seeking out the opinions of others or taking them for a test-drive if it’s possible.
After finding out what aspects you need to look for, check out how our top products ranked in these areas.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Chainsaw Sharpeners
It’s made out of durable and reinforced plastic, and it will last for a long time. That’s what the manufacturer claims anyway, but the plastic seems rather shoddy and experiences from those who have used it for a long time tell a different tale – it falls apart rather easily.
Strong Electric Sharpener
This is an electric sharpener that uses a cord and has a power of 85 watts, plugging into any standard outlet. Of course, while this makes it pretty fast and automated, it means you can’t carry it out in the field, as is the case with electric machines.
The grindstone in this machine can achieve up to 4200 rotations per minute, making it able to work over any type of chain quickly. In honesty, it has difficulty reaching that number but usually can reach somewhere around four thousand, making it more than fast enough.
Stable and Easy to Use
This sharpener can be used to work in a variety of positions because it can be attached to walls or benches or even to a vise. This allows you to work on sharpening your chain in the position that is most comfortable for you.
Who Should Buy This Product
This one is most useful for people who don’t need to sharpen their chains in the field but can do it when they come back home. The best part about it is how quickly it works and that it fits most chainsaws while being rather inexpensive. So in that sense, it’s good for almost anyone.
What to Watch Out For
The cheapness of this machine comes at a different price – it is not constructed from durable materials and might fall apart sooner than later. That is a risk, but if you’re willing to take it, this sharpener might be worth it. It’s all up to you and if you’re satisfied with a good, but a cheaply made unit.
This is a great unit that comes at a supremely low price and can be good for almost any chainsaw owner. The problem comes with its cheap construction, and it’s just a fact of life that it won’t last for a long time. However, while it does last, it does good work, and due to how cheap it is it will pay itself off anyway.
Made in The USA
This sharpener is made in California, which the manufacturer might think is a guarantee of quality, but we have seen some shoddy USA-made tools. However, this one is solid, made out of zinc-plated steel and aluminum and seems durable enough, though not extremely so.
It’s a manual chainsaw sharpener meaning that it takes a bit longer to do the sharpening, but it can comfortably be taken anywhere with you. Though, even for a manual sharpener, it is a bit too big.
Easy to Set up
The manufacturer claims it will quickly and easily sharpen any chain, but that is not entirely correct. Due to the inadequate instructions that come with it, it is difficult to set up properly, and it might take a while before you learn how to use it right.
Simple to Operate
Again, in essence, it is simple to operate if you’ve ever used one of these machines, but if you haven’t it might be a problem. Because of the lack of proper instructions, it might be difficult to use at first.
Who Should Buy This Product
People who want an effective and durable chainsaw sharpener should take a look at this one as it can do the job rather well and won’t break easily. You can set it up almost anywhere as well, allowing you to use it in the field if you have any need for that. It’s cheap as well, so most people can afford it.
What to Watch Out For
The problems with this sharpener are multiple. First off, the bad instructions make it difficult to set up and use, especially for people who are new to tools like this. In addition to that, even though it is cheap, that’s deceptive – it doesn’t come with a file, and you can’t use it without one, so you need to shell out extra cash. It’s also not as portable as other manual sharpeners due to its size.
This is a decent and durable tool that you will be able to use on most types of chain, and it is incredibly cheap. However, the reason it’s that affordable is that you have to buy the file separately. It also has bad instructions and might be difficult to use for some. It’s still worth it, but not as great as it first appears.
Made from Durable Materials
What’s used in the construction of this tool is mostly high-grade tungsten carbide, stainless reinforced steel, and machined aluminum. The outside is incredibly sturdy, but the carbide blade is prone to breaking and often needs to be replaced.
Portable Manual Sharpener
This is a manual sharpener, and it is incredibly portable, able to fit in your pocket easily. It can also be set up anywhere without an issue.
Sharpens Each Tooth in Seconds
It honestly does sharpen each tooth in a few seconds when used properly, and it is not difficult to set up, meaning that it does the job quickly. It can be difficult to use, but with the proper instructions, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Usable by Anyone
This is the claim the manufacturer makes, but it is not exactly correct as it is easy to get it wrong. Luckily, the instructions are good, and if you follow them precisely, you should have no problems with using this one.
Who Should Buy This Product
This is a handy little tool and anyone who needs a portable chainsaw sharpener that can do the job incredibly quickly this is the right one for you. The best thing about it is how quickly you can set it up and get to work. With that, you needn’t worry if your chain gets dull while out in the woods.
What to Watch Out For
There are a few problems with this one, but the most important thing to consider is the fact that the blade this sharpener has is brittle and might break easily. It won’t break if you’re careful with it, but you need to be incredibly cautious. In addition to that, it’s also expensive, far more than similar products, which might make you reconsider getting it.
This is an amazingly portable, tiny chainsaw sharpener that does its job incredibly well and fast too. The problem is that you have to pay quite a lot for that quality and, even if you do, you might have to pay more for a replacement blade, since it breaks easily. When you consider that, it might be a hard sell.
The Best Pick – Buffalo Tools ECSS
As you can see, there’s plenty of variety on the market when it comes to chainsaw sharpeners and picking out the best one is close to impossible. Different people have different needs, and thus there are plenty of different sharpeners that fit them. However, when it comes to this roundup, the best one, in our opinion, is the Buffalo Tools ECSS. It’s our top pick because it offers consistency and it works incredibly fast – when compared to the other two products, they simply don’t measure up. It also has a great affordable price, especially for an electric model, thus making it our top pick.
While that is our top pick, it doesn’t mean it has to be yours as well. We wrote this article to give you useful info when choosing your very own chainsaw sharpener, and you should use all this information to pick the best one for you. It might be one of the products in this roundup, or it might not be, who knows? In the end, we just hope our article was of some help. If it was helpful, please do share it around so it can help others as well. Have a nice day!