Anyone can have a collection of the most expensive, premium, best tools in the world. But if they’re not maintained or kept sharp – they might as well be the cheap budget versions.
For sharpening your chainsaw teeth, however, you’re going to need something dedicated. Sure, you can use an old file, but if you really want to save time and effort – you need to take advantage of electricity.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a review of the best electric chainsaw sharpeners available.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow. Please note that throughout this article when referring to sharpening a chainsaw – I am of course referring to the chain itself.
But if you’re actually looking for a new machine, then you should definitely check out these outstanding Husqvarna chainsaws.
Right, let’s get sharpening.
- 13 Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners 2020
- Blue Max Electric Chain Saw Chain Sharpener
- Power Care Electric Chainsaw Chain Sharpener
- XtremepowrUS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- Yescom Electric Power Chain Saw Sharpener
- Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- Safeplus Portable Electric Sharpener Chainsaw
- Stihl Saw Chain Grinder/Sharpener
- Sun Joe Cordless Chain Saw Sharpener
- Einhell X-Change Cordless Chainsaw Sharpener
- Sportsman Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder
- Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder
- TEMCo Industrial Chainsaw Chain Sharpener
- How to Choose the Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
- How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain With an Electric Sharpener
- Why should you sharpen a chainsaw?
- How often should you sharpen a chainsaw?
- Why does my chainsaw get dull so fast?
- How often should you replace chainsaw chains?
- How do I know if my chainsaw needs sharpening?
- Do I need to wear safety equipment when sharpening a chainsaw chain?
13 Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners 2020
Blue Max Electric Chain Saw Chain Sharpener
Starting us off is this 12 Volt portable electric chainsaw sharpener that has the convenience of being able to be powered by any 12 Volt battery you happen to have lying around.
This makes it perfect for sharpening in remote locations – a significant advantage over a bench-mounted tool.
The handheld design makes for quick and efficient sharpening, and it can be used on any round-ground chain to extend its life and maximize performance. Simply place on a flat, solid surface to prevent moving around during the process, and two or three light strokes back and forth will get the job done.
- Great price.
- Highly portable.
- Easy to use.
- Rust resistant.
- Not the most heavy-duty sharpener out there.
- Lacks the power of outlet electric sharpeners.
Power Care Electric Chainsaw Chain Sharpener
Offering a bit more power is this 110 Volt chainsaw sharpener, which includes a selection of sharpening stones, and a chain angle guide that will cover a variety of chains.
The powerful motor provides variable speed, which offers excellent control for super-fast sharpening that will have the chain back in business in no time.
There’s no need to remove the chain from the saw as you grind each section, which should take you about 15 minutes for an 18-inch chain – depending on its condition. Save yourself some money buying new chains and give this tool a try instead.
- Great price.
- Everything included.
- Heavy-duty power cord.
- Impressive motor for its size.
- Instructions aren’t the best.
- Quality of the sharpening stones could be improved.
XtremepowrUS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Here we move on to the first of many bench-top electric chainsaw sharpeners, this particular version at the budget-friendly end of the scale.
With a powerful 85 Watt motor, the mounted sharpener offers stability, with a pivoting head and vice angles adjustable through 35 degrees, and a brake that allows you to hold the chain safely in place while sharpening.
With a maximum speed of 4200 RPM, it’s suitable for both personal and professional use to allow super-fast chain sharpening to get you back in the game as soon as possible.
- Great price for what you get.
- Includes a 4-1/4 inch X 1/8-inch grinding wheel.
- Rust resistant.
- It’s at the budget end of chainsaw sharpeners – which might not be for everyone.
Yescom Electric Power Chain Saw Sharpener
Yescom introduces this bench-mounted electric chainsaw sharpener that features a high-quality, durable copper motor, which offers a maximum grinding speed of 5500 RPM.
With fully adjustable height and angles, you can achieve precise positioning for the grinding requirements of different chains. CE-certified, the tool can be mounted to a bench, wall, or vise, but just make sure you have the correct hardware to do so.
With a grinding wheel cover for added protection, an on/off switch for easy operation, and a UL listed power cord and plug, this unit is safe and simple to use and doesn’t cost the earth to have super-sharp, efficient chains without the need to replace them.
- Great price.
- Powerful 120 Volt motor.
- Compact, lightweight unit.
- Straightforward operation.
- Again, a more heavy-duty sharpener might be better for pros.
Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Mount this ECSS electric chainsaw sharpener to a wall, bench or vise, and save yourself time and money when it comes to sharpening your own chainsaw chains.
Fully adjustable to include the most popular and widely used chainsaw designs, the 4-1/4 inch X 1/8-inch grinding wheel spins at 4200 RPM to get those teeth sharpened fast. Simply connect up to a standard 120 Volt wall outlet and you can sharpen chains with gauges 0.05 – 0.08 inches.
A highly rated and affordable tool, it’s simple to use and has an adjustable stop so you don’t accidentally grind too much into the chain.
- Great value for money.
- Sturdy design and construction.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Accurate grinding.
- Poor instructions.
Safeplus Portable Electric Sharpener Chainsaw
Here we have a versatile electric chainsaw sharpener that can adjust to work with all chain designs and pitches, with the ability to mount it wherever it will suit your working style the best.
Offering height and scale positions, the 220 Watts provide a powerful 7500 RPM, while the vise angles can be adjusted to 35 degrees to the left or right.
With a large side safety guard and chain rotation rollers, this unit will keep you protected from the grinding disk while ensuring your chain remains in excellent condition.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Good safety features.
- Easy to use.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs.
Stihl Saw Chain Grinder/Sharpener
It’s well documented that German company Stihl manufactures some of the best chainsaws in the world, so you would have thought that they would offer a quality tool to keep them sharp.
This is their version of a portable 12 Volt sharpener/grinder, that features an adjustable gauge to ensure you’re filing the chains at the proper angles.
It comes with the clips that can attach to a car battery if required, which means you’ll have chainsaw sharpening power at your fingertips even when you’re on the go. But also take at this battle of the big brands to see who is giving Stihl a run for their money.
- Name to trust.
- Quality construction.
- Easy to use.
- Grinding stones not included.
- Very expensive for what it is.
Sun Joe Cordless Chain Saw Sharpener
Garden power tool experts Sun Joe are up next as we begin to move into the more expensive options for sharpening chainsaws. This device is a powerful 24 Volt cordless offering, complete with a 2.0 Ah battery and charger – which is compatible with other Sun Joe tools in this range.
The unit is well constructed with a sturdy base that can mount on any table or workbench, with a durable 100-grit aluminum oxide grinding wheel. Able to sharpen a variety of chain pitches, it features grinding depth adjustment and a locking brake for precise grinds every time, and the ability to switch the angle 30 degrees left or right to sharpen all the teeth.
And with 40 minutes no-fade run time on one battery charge – it’s a portable kit that will see you right in the field.
- Name to trust.
- Chain guide locks.
- Powerful 6500 RPM.
- Quality construction.
- None to speak of.
Einhell X-Change Cordless Chainsaw Sharpener
This Einhell 18 Volt cordless chainsaw sharpener comes with a 3.0 Ah battery and charger and will restore a nice keen edge to the chain teeth to save you money in the long run.
Featuring a depth stop to prevent too much material being removed from the chain, the angle gauge, and chain tensioner ensure the chain is ideally positioned for precision grinding throughout the job.
Best suited to DIY enthusiasts and weekend gardeners, this smart-looking machine comes with a battery pack that can also be used in conjunction with compatible tools in the Power X-Change range.
- Fast sharpening.
- Clamping device included.
- LED light.
- Quality construction.
- More powerful units are available.
Sportsman Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
The Sportsman Earth Series mountable benchtop electric chainsaw sharpener offers professional standard sharpening and comes with two 5.5-inch grinding wheels. Compatible with most brands and the four most common chainsaw chain sizes, the 110 Volt motor can power up to 3000 RPM from a standard wall socket.
The handy, built-in light illuminates the work area, so you can see what you’re doing at all times to improve safe operation, and the angles are fully adjustable 35 degrees left and right to accommodate a variety of chains.
- Grind depth stop.
- Clamping lever.
- Easy to use.
- Well-designed and built.
- The instruction manual could be seriously improved.
Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder
Here we have the first of two saw chain grinders from outdoor tool and saw-chain specialists, Oregon. This version is their mid-sized bench or wall grinder which can sharpen up to .404″ pitch chain.
It includes a built-in light and one-way motor rotation for added safety and includes three grinding wheels that can sharpen multiple types of chain with depth gauge grinding, a dressing brick, and a quick template.
The unit features a new sprocket nose system for improved longevity and performance and is ideal for casual DIYers and professionals alike.
- Excellent build quality and premium materials.
- Highly rated.
- Name to trust.
- Easy to use adjustments.
- Superior grinding wheels.
- Things are getting pricey.
Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder
Moving a step up is the 520-120 bench saw chain grinder in the Oregon range. This is a professional standard machine that sharpens multiple chain types, aimed at heavy-duty work or if you have a chainsaw collection that requires constant maintenance.
It includes a dressing brick, a quick check grinding template, and three grinding wheels, with a self-centering chain vise and customizable vise hand positioning, and top plate with down angle settings.
Take your chainsaw sharpening to the next level with one of the best electric chainsaw sharpeners you can buy.
- Quality construction and design.
- Highly rated.
- Name to trust.
- Superior quality grinding wheels.
- One way motor operation.
TEMCo Industrial Chainsaw Chain Sharpener
Finally, we arrive at this impressive machine from TemCo Industrial. Take (most) of the effort out of sharpening your chainsaws with this fully automatic bench grinder that works with the most common chain types.
Able to set a 20 to 40-degree angle for precise cuts, it senses left and right cutters with auto-positioning of the grinding head, with automatic feeding, self-advancing, and programmable teeth count – so you’ll never miss a section of the chain again.
The powerful 125 Watt motor provides 11,000 RPM, and wall outlet, car battery, and cigarette chargers are included for use anywhere you need it, at home or on-site.
- Saves time and effort.
- Accurate cutting.
- Intuitive user interface.
- Adjustable grinding depth.
- Clear cover to monitor wear and tear.
- Not suitable for skip chains.
- Very expensive for doing just one job.
How to Choose the Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
With so many tools and machines out there claiming to sharpen your chainsaw back to its full performance potential, it can be a little tricky deciding which one is right for you.
So, check out this handy buyer’s guide and FAQ section to point you in the right direction. Here’s what you should be looking out for.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider is how often do you actually use a chainsaw?
Understanding this will give you a clear indication of the type of chainsaw sharpener you’re going to need – or if you need an electric one at all.
For weekend DIYers, hobbyists, or casual homeowner use, it might be worth looking at manual sharpeners instead.
They’re significantly cheaper than most electric versions, and much more suitable if you’re rarely using your machine.
For professionals or anyone who is regularly putting their chainsaw to good use, then electric sharpeners are the way to go.
It’s then up to you to decide the type.
Static or Portable
Typically, a chainsaw sharpener can either be a portable device you can bring to the job site, or – perhaps more commonly – a unit that you can mount to a bench or a wall in your workshop.
Say you’ve established that you’re using a chainsaw regularly, then I would suggest a dedicated workbench mounted sharpener is preferable – particularly if you have a collection of chains to work on as this will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
If you’re short on space, look for a sharpener that can be mounted on the wall. Even so, you’ll find that the ability to mount the unit around eye level will eliminate the fatigue of stooping over to sharpen multiple chains.
Having said that, also carrying a portable electric chainsaw sharpener isn’t a bad idea – especially on longer, larger jobs.
The ability to quickly sharpen a chain on site will keep your saw operating at maximum performance, which will increase your efficiency and safety at the same time.
Consider the voltage of the electric chainsaw sharpener that you’re mulling over. It’s not rocket science here and I won’t labor the point – the higher that number, the more powerful the motor and the higher the RPM.
And the higher the RPM, the more efficient the grinder will be.
Gauge and Pitch
When it comes to saw chains, it’s not one size fits all. There are multiple variations to consider, and before purchasing a chainsaw sharpener, you should ensure that it is compatible with the chains you’re using.
For this, you need to know the gauge and pitch of the chain.
The gauge figure represents the thickness of the drive links. If you’re having trouble locating this number you can use a pair of calipers and measure it yourself.
The pitch figure represents the distance between these drive links. You’ll find that most chainsaw sharpeners cater for the common pitches, 1/4″, .325″, 3/8″, 3/8″ low-profile, and .404″.
To find the pitch of your chainsaw chain, simply measure the distance between three rivets on the chain and divide by two.
For replacing chainsaw chains, you’ll also need to know the number of drive links as the third most important figure in saw chain maintenance and management.
Chainsaw sharpeners might come with some additional features to help make life easy for you.
Extra grinding wheels to accommodate different pitch sizes, dressing stones to remove debris or residue from the wheel, an adjustable grinding depth so you don’t cut into the metal too much, or perhaps an LED light to help you see what you’re working on. And more.
It’s up to you to decide what’s important for your needs when checking the specifications of an electric chainsaw sharpener.
Sharpeners vary from around $20 to over $400 – sometimes more. Again, I would urge you to choose a product that suits the job – rather than your budget.
There’s no need to break the bank if you’re only using a chainsaw once in a blue moon.
How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain With an Electric Sharpener
At first, chainsaw sharpeners might look like they’re a challenge to use – and being honest, it might take you a bit of practice to get right. There’s a lot to consider before you simply bring down that grinding wheel onto the chain.
You need to check what angle your particular blade should be sharpened at, and adjust your sharpener accordingly.
I could write a full page guide on the tips and tricks for sharpening a chainsaw using an electric sharpener, but you should check out the excellent video below for a visual reference guide instead.
It includes both hand sharpening and electric sharpening. But pay particular attention to where they’ve mounted their electric unit (and also note I’ve covered that particular model in the review above).
And just for good measure, the video below is also packed full of useful chainsaw sharpening information – just in case you want a different perspective.
Why should you sharpen a chainsaw?
Chainsaws are probably the most lethal power tool you can own – they’re extremely dangerous from the get-go. But if you’ve got a dull chainsaw chain, then you can double or even triple just how dangerous they can be.
Like all poorly sharpened tools, you’re risking serious injury when you try to use a blunt instrument on whatever project you’re working on.
One of the most common chainsaw related injuries is when the tool kicks back – which will happen considerably more often if the chain teeth haven’t been adequately maintained.
Aside from this, the power and performance of a chainsaw is seriously affected and will take a nosedive if you’re trying to run a dull machine. As well as risking serious injury – failure to keep a saw chain sharp guarantees you’re creating a lot more work for yourself.
Furthermore, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll permanently damage the chainsaw itself. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video below.
How often should you sharpen a chainsaw?
A rule of thumb is that you should sharpen a chainsaw every five to six hours of use – or after any particularly tough cutting jobs.
However, if you hit dirt during the course of your project, then you need to stop and sharpen immediately.
Likewise, if you feel the chainsaw is not performing to its regular standard, then sharpening the chain might be a good troubleshooting option.
Why does my chainsaw get dull so fast?
This could be for any number of reasons.
Perhaps the first one should be to make sure you actually have the chain on correctly. An improperly fitted chain is one of the most common reasons your machine doesn’t work as well as it should.
Believe it or not, some inexperienced users complain of a dull chainsaw when the blade has been put on backwards.
Next, check the guide bar. It should be perfectly straight and flat with no damage on both the top and sides. If there is a twist, your chain might be an incorrect gauge.
Cutting dirty wood can cause a lot of issues as debris can quickly nullify a chain’s performance.
Likewise, hitting earth or dirt is a super-fast way to dull a chainsaw, so be careful where and how you’re cutting.
Finally, improper sharpening techniques could be at fault and you might start the job thinking your ‘saw is sharper than it actually is. Check the videos in this review for more advice on how to properly sharpen your chain.
How often should you replace chainsaw chains?
With sensible and correct use, you should be able to get a very long life out of a single chainsaw chain. Perhaps five years or more.
But they don’t last forever, and as a portion of the metal is worn away every time you sharpen, there’s only so many times you can do this with it remaining effective and you should consider replacing them eventually.
However, exactly when this is can be confusing, and it will depend on how often you’re using the tool and the type of work it’s being used for.
Check out the video below for some great visual advice on how long a chainsaw chain will last, and how you can tell that it needs to be replaced.
How do I know if my chainsaw needs sharpening?
There are a couple of simple tricks you can utilize to know almost instantly that your chain needs sharpening.
The most obvious one is when you start to feel heavy resistance. If you feel you’re having to force the saw through the wood, then it’s a sure-fire indication that the blades are dull.
Second, check the waste material that has been produced during every cut. If you’re getting wood chips, then the chainsaw chain is sharp and good to go.
If you’re getting powder or fine sawdust, then it’s time to give your chain a sharpen.
Regularly check your chain to make sure there’s no damage or imperfections, as you can often tell by sight when it’s time to sharpen – or to replace.
Do I need to wear safety equipment when sharpening a chainsaw chain?
It’s highly advisable.
Protective eye goggles are especially encouraged when using such machines, as sparks can be unpredictable and shoot anywhere.
There’s always a risk that slivers of metal could also break off – and nobody wants that debris flying into one’s face.
I would always suggest donning a pair of protective gloves, too, but It’s unlikely you’ll need ear protection unless you’re actually operating your chainsaw.
It’s very important to keep chainsaws sharp, so they can run at optimum performance and as safely as possible.
Filing the teeth by hand can take time and effort, but the best electric chainsaw sharpeners will do it in no time.
If I were to choose a product from this review, I’d have to go with one of the Oregon models. Sure, they might be expensive, but they’re easily the best tools for the job and highly recommended if you’re regularly working with chainsaws.
Let me know which sharpener you would choose and why.
Stay safe and stay sharp out there, people!