The 8 Best Chainsaw Sharpeners of 2021

Keep your wood-cutting tools in top shape

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Our Top Picks
"You can mount this sharpener to a bench or wall, and it works on a variety of popular chainsaw brands."
"This handheld electric chain sharpener comes with three sharpening stones and variable speed control."
"This inexpensive model is designed to be mounted to a workbench for stability and easy access."
"By mounting this sharpener to the wall, you can keep it out of the way in your workshop."
"This tool attaches to your guide bar and holds a chainsaw file at the perfect angle."
"The kit includes three round files, a flat file, a filing guide, depth-guage tool, and more."
"This handheld unit can be powered via a 12-volt car adapter or battery clips."
"A special system helps to advance the chain you're sharpening, speeding up the process."

Just like any other tool, your chainsaw needs regular maintenance if you want it to perform its best, and that includes sharpening the blade. There’s no hard-and-fast rule on how often you need to sharpen your chainsaw, but many experts recommend doing it every time you need to refuel the tool. You can also check its sharpness visually—when the leading edges of the teeth are rounded or out of the required angle, it needs to be sharpened.

There are several styles of chainsaw sharpeners to choose from, including both electric and manual options. Electric models make the task quicker and easier, but they’re also more expensive. However, the price may be worth it if you regularly use a chainsaw and need to sharpen blades frequently. Manual products, on the other hand, require more time and effort, as you have to file the chainsaw teeth individually, but they’ll save you quite a bit of cash.

Here are the best chainsaw sharpeners to add to your workshop.

Best Overall: Oregon 410-120 120V Bench/Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

For a chainsaw sharpener that will deliver consistent results and keep your tool in top shape, you can’t go wrong with the Oregon Bench/Wall-Mounted Saw Chain Grinder. While somewhat of an investment, this tool is worth it for anyone who regularly needs to tune up chainsaws. It can sharpen models from a variety of popular brands and includes everything you need for the best results.

This 120V Chain Grinder can be mounted to a workbench or wall, and it can sharpen 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch low profile, 0.325-inch, full profile 3/8-inch, and .404-inch pitch chains from all manufacturers (including Oregon, Stihl, Husqvarna, and more). The unit comes with a grinder, dressing brick, quick-check grinding template, and three grinding wheels. It has a built-in wheel wear indicator and even a light for better visibility while you work.

While this chainsaw sharpener may be overkill for someone who only cuts wood a few times a year, if you use your tool regularly, the Oregon Saw Chain Grinder is a worthwhile investment.

Best Electric: Powercare 110-Volt Electric Chainsaw Chain Sharpener

Powercare 110-Volt Electric Chainsaw Chain Sharpener

Electric chainsaw sharpeners make quick work of sharpening your chains, and this model from Powercare is an unbeatable value. The handheld electric chain sharpener can be used on a 3/8-inch low profile, .325-inch, and 3/8-inch standard chain pitches, and it offers variable speeds, ranging from 8,000 to 30,000 revolutions per minute.

This chainsaw sharpener comes with 5/32-, 3/16-, and 7/32-inch sharpening stones that will deliver a smooth and sharp cutting edge, and the tool also includes a 72-inch power cord and a chain angle guide. Once you get the hang of using this tool, you’ll be able to sharpen your chainsaw in a matter of minutes—without ever needing to remove the chain!

Best Bench-Mounted: Blue Max Bench Mount Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

If you have a spacious workbench, you may want to have your chainsaw sharpener mounted right onto the surface, and the Blue Max Electric Chainsaw Sharpener is designed to do just that. This bench-mounted sharpener runs on 120-volt power, and it can also be mounted to the wall or a vise—just be sure it’s installed properly, otherwise you may run into vibration issues.

This chainsaw sharpener can be tilted up to 35 degrees on either side, and it delivers a 4,200 RPM grinding speed. It comes with a 4-¼ inch sharpening wheel with a 7/8-inch arbor and can be used on any brand of chain, but keep in mind that it does require you to remove the chain from the chainsaw for sharpening—a small price to pay for easier maintenance, if you ask us.

Best Wall-Mounted: Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Save space in your workshop with a wall-mounted model like the Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener. This tool easily adjusts to accommodate most popular chain designs, and you can attach it to a bench, wall, or vise for easy access and unbeatable stability.

The Buffalo Tools Chainsaw Sharpener can be used on chains gauge .05 to .08 inches, but it won’t sharpen .043-inch chains. All you have to do is plug it into a 120-volt wall outlet, and it has a 4-1/2 inch grinding wheel with a 7/8-inch arbor that will make quick work of the task thanks to its 4,200 RPM grinding speed. While this tool may take a little while to figure out, once you get the hang of using it, the sharpener will allow you to easily restore chains to their optimal state.

Best Bar-Mounted: Granberg Bar-Mount Chainsaw Sharpener

The Granberg Bar-Mount Chainsaw Sharpener attaches right to the bar of your chainsaw, allowing you to manually sharpen all major saw chain pitches. The tool attaches to your guide bar in seconds, and it essentially acts as a guide for your chainsaw file, holding the file at the perfect angle and depth for precise results—it even has calibrated swivel guide markings to help you find the right angle.

The unit is crafted in the U.S. from cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel for unmatched durability, but keep in mind that it doesn’t include any files, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.

Best Manual: Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

If you like to do things the old-fashioned way—or just want to save some money—the affordable Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit includes everything you need to manually sharpen your chains. The eight-piece kit comes with three round fine-tooth files, a filing guide, depth-gauge tool, fine-tooth flat file, and hardwood handle, as well as a convenient tool pouch where you can store all the items.

This kit can be used on any chainsaw, and it includes files in 5/32-, 3/16-, and 7/32-inch sizes. The files and the depth-gauge tool can be inserted into the included handle for a more comfortable grip, allowing you to work more quickly. Plus, the whole set costs less than $20, making it an ideal option for those who only sharpen their chainsaw a few times a year.

Best Portable: Oregon 575214 Sure Sharp 12V Handheld Chainsaw Chain Sharpener

The Oregon Sure Sharp Handheld Chainsaw Chain Sharpener is a convenient tool to keep in your truck or bring to job sites, as the portable unit includes both a 12-volt car adapter and battery clips, allowing you to sharpen your chainsaw anywhere. This electric unit can be used on 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch low profile, 0.325-inch, 3/8-inch, or 0.404-inch chains, and despite its small size, the sharpener’s motor delivers a 25,000 RPM sharpening speed.

This tool comes with 5/32-inch, 3/16-inch, and 7/32-inch sharpening stones, as well as a collet wrench, and it features a simple sharpening angle adjustment guide for accuracy. The product is lightweight and compact, so it won’t take up much room in your tool kit, but the one downside is that it doesn’t include a standard AC adapter.

Best Speed: Garrett Wade Quick Feed Chain Sharpener

Garrett Wade Quick Feed Chain Sharpener

Many electric chainsaw sharpeners require you to advance the chain manually, which means you have to stop and move to the next tooth—a somewhat painstaking task. However, the Garrett Wade Quick-Feed Chain Sharpener solves that problem thanks to its system that helps you quickly and precisely advance the chain, allowing you to sharpen a chain for a 20-inch saw in around four minutes.

This chain sharpener is designed to be mounted to a bench, and it comes with a 4.5-millimeter grinding wheel. The company says it typically takes around 5 minutes to complete the initial setup, and after that, you’ll be able to fly through the sharpening process, getting back to work faster. 

Final Verdict

For regular chainsaw maintenance, the Oregon Bench/Wall-Mounted Saw Chain Grinder (view at Amazon) can sharpen chains of various pitches and from many popular brands, making it a must-have in the workshop. However, if you only need to sharpen chains occasionally, the Powercare Electric Chainsaw Chain Sharpener (view at Home Depot) is a more affordable handheld option that can sharpen three common chain pitches.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, whose partner is a carpenter and contractor for luxury homes. He provided product recommendations and expert insights for this list.

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