Nothing impedes a chainsaw’s ability to cut efficiently and safely through a tree more than a dull blade. Dull chainsaw blades are not only inefficient, but they also present somewhat of a safety risk. That’s why it’s important to find the best chainsaw sharpener available and use it to keep your chainsaw’s chains nice and sharp.

With that being said, however, finding a sharpener for a chainsaw isn’t always easy. After all, there are a number of things to consider including whether you want an electric or manual sharpener, the size of your chainsaw chain and whether you need a bench mounted or a bar mounted model.

Best Chainsaw Sharpeners – Top List

10Timber Tuff CS-12V

When most people think of chainsaw sharpeners, they either think about the large bench grinders, or they think about metal files. Fortunately, this particular sharpener doesn’t fall in either camp and instead falls somewhere in between. It’s an electric sharpener that comes with three different grinding stones for sharpenings 3/16, 5/32 and 7/32-inch chains. This tool sharpens the chains quickly and efficiently but doesn’t overheat like some other electric models are capable of doing. And it’s a simple product to use. All you have to do is choose the appropriate grinding stone, connect the battery, and then sharpen your chains.

9Unidrift 9-Piece File Kit

Individuals who need to keep their chainsaw chains sharp when they’re out in the field are going to want to have a manual kit that can get the job done but won’t cost an arm and a leg. And this particular manual sharpening kit fits the bill. It’s a 9-piece set that includes files of different sizes for different jobs. It has three round files: 3/16, 7/32 and 5/32-inch, and a 6-inch flat file as well. It also comes with a filing guide, wood and plastic handles, a carrying case and a depth gauge tool. This kit is small enough to be taken anywhere and has just the right tools for the job.

8Granberg Bar Mount Sharpener

This bar-mounted chain sharpening system was initially designed over three decades ago by Elof Granberg and is known as a file-n-joint system that’s extremely durable and reliable. This guide will allow even the uninitiated to sharpen their chain, and get professional quality results. It can be mounted to any saw and is made of cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel, so it’s designed to last a long time. Although it will work with any file size, the files have to be purchased separately from the guide. Once that’s accomplished, however, this sharpener is ready to sharpen just about any chainsaw in use today.

7Drixet Sharpening & Filing Kit

Although this toolkit requires the user to use a bit of elbow grease to sharpen their chains, it is an extremely efficient way to perform the task and allows chainsaw sharpening to be accomplished anywhere. This kit comes with 8 distinct pieces that come together to form a sharpening set that can be used on just about any chainsaw. This set comes with three round files, a handle, a depth gauge, a filing field guide and of course, a travel case. The 3 round files in this set include a 5/32-inch, a 3/8-inch, and a 7/32-inch. It also comes with a 6-inch flat file and a 3/8-inch hardwood handle.

6Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Sharpener

Taking your chainsaw to have it professionally sharpened can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, that’s not an option that people who own this electric sharpener have to ever exercise. That’s because this extraordinary model is capable of producing professional results and do it not only quickly but also efficiently. It’s capable of producing great results thanks to its 4,200 RPM grinding speed that powers a 4.25-inch by a 1/8th-inch grinding wheel. All the user has to do is mount it to a bench or to a vise, and this tool is ready to produce amazing results each and every time it’s used.

5Timberline Sharpener With Carbide Cutter

If accurate sharpening is required, then this sharpener is one that should be examined. It allows the chain to be sharpened without having to remain the chain from the saw itself. All the user has to do is clamp the tool on the bar and then pull the chain through it as each tooth is sharpened. Since it only shaves off a minuscule amount of the chain, it results in a longer chain life than what other sharpeners would allow. This system’s carbide guides are fixed at 30-degrees, but 25-degree and 35-degree guides can be purchased separately if the operator needs them.

4Katzco 8-Piece Sharpener File Kit

This chainsaw sharpening kit is designed to not only be inexpensive but also to be durable as well. It comes with 8 distinct pieces which give the user everything they need to make their chains nice and sharp. In this kit can be found a 6-inch flat fine tooth file, three round fine tooth files in the 5/32-inch, 3/16-inch and 7-32-inch sizes, a depth gauge tool, a filing guide, and a tool pouch to keep everything together. Although this kit is not as expensive as other manual filing systems, it’s not made with cheap materials and is designed to hold up to everyday use.

3Oregon 410-120 Bench Grinder

This chain grinder can effectively be used to sharpen chains up to a .404-inch pitch and easily mounts to either a wall or a bench. This unit comes with a quick check grinding template and three different grinding wheels. These wheels allow the user to sharpen 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and .325-inch chains. Another key feature found on this tool is a built-light that allows it to be used even in dimly lit conditions. Other features found on this tool include a one-way motor rotation for safer operation, easy-to-use adjustments, a dressing brick, and the tool has a rated speed of 3,500 RPM.

2Stihl 2-in-1 Easy File 3/8-Inch

Even though this chain sharpener is designed for Stihl brand chains, it can actually be used on any chain brand. It’s a 2-in-1 sharpener that simplifies the entire sharpening process by performing two different functions at once. It sharpens the chain cutters and lowers the depth gauges. It’s an easy and accurate manual sharpener that provides the user with excellent results every time it’s used. Included with this system are two different round files, a flat file, and a file holder. This system also comes with a filing guide so the user can utilize it in the best way possible.

1Pferd CS-X Sharp Filing Guide

This tool is designed and manufactured in Germany to provide excellent results to anyone who needs to sharpen their saw. It’s a 2-in-1 sharpener like the Stihl and comes equipped with 3/16-inch files. By using this sharpener, users can do away with paying extra money to have their chains sharpened in a professional shop. Although some people shy away from using their own chain sharpener because they think it’s too complicated, this sharpener is sure to change their minds. That’s because it’s so easy to use the consumer will wonder why they ever bothered to ever have anyone sharpen their chainsaws.

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Chainsaw Sharpener Guide

A chainsaw sharpener can help to enhance the performance of the device so you can make light work of tough stumps and garden foliage, not to mention it will prolong the lifespan of the chain. Some sharpeners are better than others and can make a tough job a lot easier, and safer.

This only comes with knowing what to look for and to make this important purchase easier, we have created the following chainsaw sharpener guide. At the end of it, you will know exactly what a good product should be capable of.

What To Look For In A Chainsaw Sharpener

  • Durable Materials – Because you will want the sharpener to be fine for many uses it has to be made from durable materials. Everything from the gauge file to the motor of electric sharpeners needs to be built to last. A good sign is via customer reviews where longevity doesn’t come up as an issue.
  • Powerful Motor – For electric sharpeners, the product is only going to be as good as the engine allows. There are plenty that gives you around 110 volts which will increase the RPM. This will speed up the sharpening process so you’re not stood around moving slowly between teeth.
  • Added Features – A lot of people assume a chainsaw sharpener is going to be a simple device and for a lot of them, this is true. However, if your budget allows, some advanced products come with neat extras. This includes an LED light to make it easier to sharpen with accuracy.
  • Adjustable Pitch Sizes – Because the more you sharpen the chainsaw the smaller the cutters are going to get overtime, you need to be sure they have adjustable pitch sizes. A lot of products will give you a few options here and the more the merrier.
  • Easy To Use – Some chainsaw sharpeners are more complicated than others so stick with something that isn’t going to take an age to get around the chainsaw. Although you need it to be accurate, you want the product to make the process simple so when it comes to sharpening next time, you aren’t tempted to put it off.
  • Warranty – There is no better way to protect a purchase than by ensuring you get a product with a warranty. Some only come with a year but the better companies often give you more.
  • Value – Not everyone has the budget to buy an electric sharpener. If this is the case, you don’t have to use a dull chainsaw as there are plenty of options. Manual chainsaws might involve more graft but they are cost-effective and you can even find handheld sharpeners that don’t take up any bench space.
  • Compatability – Chainsaws are built very differently from one another and not all sharpeners are suitable for certain shapes and sizes. Before you purchase, make sure it is fine to use on your chainsaw in terms of the materials it will need to sharpen and the size.

How To Sharpen A Chainsaw With A Manual Sharpener

Although it might seem like a complicated and dangerous task, sharpening a chainsaw can be simpler than it sounds. Although safety is paramount, the better products will make it easy for you to avoid cuts and nicks whilst sharpening.

Before you do anything you need to put on a pair of thick gloves that are fit for purpose and wear protective goggles. Always make sure the chain brake is on and the bar nose is clamped to keep the chain stable when you sharpen. A lot of people trap the chainsaw in a vice to keep it in place but this is a matter of personal preference.

Those with a manual kit will need to attach their sharpener to the chain and ensure the arrows face towards the nose. Using even strokes, move the file over the cutter until you see a shiny surface before moving onto the next one. Adjust the sharpener after every few cutters to move onto a new set before applying the brake again. Repeat this on both sides until complete.

The final step is to locate the depth gauge and use the filing tool to file to the correct height.

A useful tip is to repeat this every time it comes to refueling as it will keep the chainsaw clean and sharp.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Chainsaw?

This will depend on how often you use it and what type of wood you are cutting through. Clean wood doesn’t affect the sharpness quite so much so you can expect to be able to use your chainsaw for many hours before they need sharpening.

Sawdust and dirt can dull the blades faster than you might think and if the job involves a fair amount of either, you will want to clean and sharpen the chainsaw after using it.

Other telling signs include how easily it gets through wood and whether cutting produces fine sawdust or large chips.


Although sharpening your chainsaw can feel like something more necessary than enjoyable, there are plenty of products that make it easier. It is always good to get the right tools to prolong the life of your chainsaw as buying a sharpener is better than a new chainsaw.

The above tips should help to make sure yours is sharp enough to get the job done.