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How Often Should You Use A Chainsaw Sharpener?

Choosing the right chainsaw sharpener depends on several factors. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation.

These factors include how often you use a chainsaw and the type of chainsaw you’re using.

A chainsaw that is used regularly is going to need sharpening more often than one that is used sparingly.

If you are a gardener and only use your chainsaw several times a year then sharpening the chain won’t be a regular occurrence.

But if you use your chainsaw at least once a week, chances are it will need regular sharpening.

In my case, I’ll use my chainsaw five to six times during the year. I sharpen the chain once a year.

But a neighbor almost has his chainsaw strapped to a “holster” and uses it regularly and he’ll sharpen it at least three times during the year.

A guide you can use is if you use your chainsaw for a total of three to six hours over time, then consider sharpening the blade.

Check the telltale signs in the next section that will tell you sharpening is required.

One more thing; it’s recommended that a chain will need replaced after at least six sharpening sessions.

This may sound like too few sharpening sessions for a chain but again, remember that for a light user, this could be over several years.

Chains are not meant to last forever and because a chainsaw does heavy-duty work, it’s only natural to assume its chain is going to deteriorate faster than most tools.

Key Takeaways In This Guide

There are telltale signs a chainsaw needs to be sharpened. Regularly sharpening your chainsaw ensures optimal performance and safety.

Different types of chainsaw sharpeners cater to varying needs and preferences.

Consider factors such as compatibility, ease of use, and budget when choosing a sharpener.

What Are The Signs A Chainsaw Sharpener Needs To Be Used

Signs A Chainsaw Sharpener Needs To Be UsedThere are at least eight telltale signs a chainsaw sharpener needs to be used. Each of these signs can be an issue on its own but it’s more than likely that you’ll see two or more come up at the same time. In fact, one could just be a symptom of the other. For example, when you have to force a cut it could be a symptom of the chainsaw performing in a dull manner.  They are:

  • The chainsaw performs in a dull manner when making a cut.
  • Fine sawdust is produced during the cut.
  • When you have to force a cut.
  • Your chainsaw will vibrate.
  • The chainsaw will make a louder-than-usual noise.
  • It produces an unusual amount of smoke during the cutting process.
  • You have trouble maintaining a straight cut.
  • The cut loses its precision over time.

Commonsense needs to be applied here. Anyone of the signs above is a sign it’s ready to use your sharpener. If you don’t, then you are not only risking damage to your chainsaw but more importantly, you are putting yourself at risk.

For example, continually trying to force a cut can lead to accidents, and usually, it’s the person on the end of the chainsaw who will get hurt.

A chainsaw is a great tool to have in your arsenal but it can be a danger to you if you continue to ignore the danger signs.

Now that you know how often you should use a sharpener, here’s what we’ll cover in the rest of this article.

  • The types of chainsaw sharpeners you should consider.
  • How to choose your suitable chainsaw sharpener.
  • Top sharpener brands and models to consider.
  • Chainsaw sharpener maintenance.

Meanwhile, here’s a short video guide on when you need to sharpen your chainsaw.

Types Of Chainsaw Sharpeners

Types Of SharpenersA chainsaw sharpener is a must-have tool in your gardening arsenal. In fact, I always recommend to first time chainsaw buyers that one of the accessories you need to buy at the same time is a sharpening tool.

There are several types of sharpeners, each with its own unique benefits.

In this section, we will discuss the different types of sharpeners available to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

Manual chainsaw sharpeners are an affordable option. If you have never used one before, they are relatively easy to use. However, always ask the person you’re buying from to run you through the process at least once.

These sharpeners typically consist of a round file and a guide that helps you maintain the proper angle while sharpening your chainsaw’s teeth. The advantages of manual sharpeners include their low cost and ease of use.

But be aware, they can take longer to sharpen a chain and require more physical effort compared to other types.

Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

Electric chainsaw sharpeners offer speed and efficiency when sharpening your chainsaw. They usually consist of a grinding wheel and an adjustable angle guide, allowing you to sharpen your chain quickly and precisely.

An Oregon Universal Chainsaw Sharpener is an excellent example of an electric sharpener.

While electric sharpeners are more expensive than manual ones, they can save you time and effort, especially if you’re sharpening chains regularly.

Automatic Chainsaw Sharpener

For the serious chainsaw user, an automatic sharpener is a great investment.

These sharpeners work by automatically adjusting the grinding wheel to the correct angle for each tooth, ensuring consistent and precise sharpening. Additionally, they can significantly reduce the time and effort required to sharpen your chainsaw.

However, automatic chainsaw sharpeners come at a higher price and may not be suitable for casual users.

Portable Chainsaw Sharpener

A portable chainsaw sharpener is a convenient option for those who need to sharpen their chainsaw while out in the field.

One example of a portable sharpener is the Granberg Bar-Mount Chainsaw Sharpener, which can be mounted on your chainsaw’s bar, allowing you to sharpen the chain without removing it.

These sharpeners are particularly useful for professionals or those who often work away from a power source, as they can be easily transported and used on-site. Remember, it’s crucial to maintain your chainsaw for optimal performance and safety.

Three things will come into play when choosing the correct sharpener for you specifically. They are what you need for your use, the frequency with which you’ll use it, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The right chainsaw sharpener for you will depend on your specific needs, the frequency of use, and your budget.

Take the time to assess your needs and choose the sharpener that will best serve your chainsaw’s performance and longevity.

Choosing The Right Chainsaw Sharpener – Professionals vs. Homeowners

Choosing The Right Sharpening ToolAs a homeowner or a professional, you need to select the chainsaw sharpener that suits your requirements.

Professional chainsaw sharpeners are designed for heavy-duty usage and tend to be more powerful and durable.

If you’re a homeowner who needs to sharpen chainsaws occasionally, a simple manual chainsaw sharpener, like the Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit, might be sufficient for your needs.

Compatibility And Versatility

Whether you’re using a handheld chainsaw sharpener or a bench chainsaw sharpener, compatibility, and versatility are essential factors to consider.

Your chainsaw sharpener should work seamlessly with different chain sizes and pitches.

The Oregon Universal Sharpener is an example of a versatile sharpener that caters to various chains.

Ease Of Use And Handling

A good chainsaw sharpener should be easy to use, and handling should be a breeze. But this doesn’t mean you should take them lightly.

Manual sharpeners like the Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener or handheld chainsaw sharpeners usually offer a more convenient, user-friendly experience.

However, some electric models like the Timber Tuff Benchtop Electric Chainsaw Sharpener can be easy to use and handle as well.

Price And Durability

Quality should not be compromised by the price. Look for chainsaw sharpeners with a good balance between cost and durability. A buying guide such as this article, can help you make a better decision. 

Always keep in mind the factors you should consider when buying a chainsaw sharpener. This applies to both professionals and homeowners.

They are compatibility, ease of use, price, and durability. When I bought my first chainsaw sharpener, I explained to the salesperson that this was my first time buying one and the facts I was looking for. It made for a seamless and happy shopping experience.

Top Chainsaw Sharpener Brands And Models

Top Chainsaw Sharpener BrandsIn this section, you’ll find information on some of the top chainsaw sharpener brands and models.

Keeping your chainsaw well-sharpened is essential for optimal performance and safety.

Let’s take a closer look at these popular options:

Oregon Chainsaw Sharpeners

Oregon is a well-known and trusted brand in the chainsaw industry. They offer the Oregon Sharpener, which is considered the best chainsaw sharpener for 2023. This electric sharpener is compatible with various pitches up to .404″ and mounts easily. Its 3500 RPM motor ensures a fast and efficient sharpening process.

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

The Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener is a reliable, wall-mounted option. This model is adjustable, allowing for precise sharpening of different chain angles. Its versatile design lets you grind most chain pitches, making it a great addition to your toolset.

Granberg Bar-Mount Chainsaw Sharpener

Granberg Bar-Mount Sharpener provides an on-site solution for sharpening your chainsaw. Its bar-mount design allows you to restore a sharp blade on any level surface within minutes. Its portability means you don’t need to interrupt your work to head back to the shop for a blade touch-up.

Timber Tuff CS-BWM Benchtop Sharpener

Last but not least, Timber Tuff offers the CS-BWM Benchtop Sharpener, which is a fast and efficient option. This sharpener features a patented tool that delivers impressive precision and accuracy. The benchtop design allows for a stable and controlled sharpening process.

Chainsaw Sharpener Maintenance And Troubleshooting

chainsaw maintenanceLike any tool, regular maintenance is all important. Not that you’ll be performing maintenance on a chainsaw sharpener continuously.

Maintenance is needed every time you use the sharpener. That just makes sense because of the obvious trauma on both the sharpener and the chainsaw. I recommend not ignoring this aspect. I’ve seen too many hard luck stories from people who use their sharpener and then just forget it until they need it again. Over time, without maintenance on it, it will show signs of distress.

Check the dull chain conundrum, chain brake, and tips on how to sharpen your chain for the best results.

Dull Chainsaw Handling

A dull chain can make your chainsaw inefficient and potentially dangerous. To keep your chainsaw sharp, consider using an Oregon 410-120 or a similar electric chainsaw sharpener. When handling a dull chainsaw, ensure that your work area is clear and you have a secure grip on the chainsaw.

Chain Brake Considerations

Your chain brake is an essential safety feature of your chainsaw. Regular chainsaw maintenance includes checking the chain brake for wear and ensuring it functions correctly. If you notice any issues with the chain brake, consult your chainsaw’s manual or a professional for repair.

The Advance The Chain Steps Method

This method is one you should learn and once you understand how it works, it will serve you well.

To sharpen your chainsaw effectively, it’s crucial to advance the chain as you work. To do this:

  • Secure the chainsaw to a stable surface, such as a wall or workbench.
  • You’ll need to free up the chain movement by loosening the chain brake.
  • Sharpen one cutter, then advance the chain by pulling it along until the next cutter is in position.
  • Repeat this process until all the cutters are sharpened.

Remember to tighten the chain brake when you’re done to prevent accidents.

Sharpening Angles And Techniques

Proper sharpening angles are essential for optimal chainsaw performance. Your manual is like a bible when performing this task. Use it regularly for recommended sharpening angles and techniques.

Typically, you should file the cutters at a 30° angle. Using a filing guide can help you achieve consistent angles across the entire chain.

In conclusion, regular chainsaw maintenance and attention to the chain’s sharpness, chain brake function, and sharpening techniques will ensure optimal performance and safety.

Chainsaw Sharpener FAQ

What’s the best method for sharpening a chainsaw?

There are several methods to sharpen a chainsaw, including using a file, a manual sharpener, or an electric sharpener. The best method depends on your experience, budget, and how frequently you need to sharpen your chainsaw. For example, an electric sharpener, like the Oregon Universal Chainsaw Sharpening tool, can be efficient for regular use, while manual sharpeners are more affordable options for less frequent sharpening.

chainsaw maintenance

Are chain sharpeners worth the investment?

Yes, investing in a chainsaw sharpener is a smart decision. A well-maintained, sharp chainsaw offers better cutting performance, increased safety, and extended chain life. By sharpening your chainsaw regularly with a good sharpener, you’ll save time and money on replacing dull chains.

How do I determine the correct file size for my chainsaw?

To determine the correct file size for your chainsaw, you must first know your chainsaw’s pitch, which is the distance between individual chain links. Once you have this measurement, you can refer to the chain manufacturer’s specifications or check with your local dealer to find the appropriate file size for your chainsaw model.


Do teeth sharpeners actually work?

Yes, teeth sharpeners do work. Chainsaw sharpeners, when used correctly, can restore the sharpness of your chainsaw teeth, leading to improved performance and a safer cutting experience. Following the proper technique and using a sharpener compatible with your chainsaw model will ensure the effectiveness of the sharpener.

What are the key features to look for in a chainsaw sharpener?

When selecting a chainsaw sharpener, consider factors such as compatibility with your chainsaw’s pitch, the sharpening method (electric, manual, or file), mounting options, and ease of use. Additional features like adjustable angles, a built-in light for improved visibility, and durable construction are also important aspects to look for in a quality sharpener.

Is it possible to return a chainsaw sharpener?

The possibility of returning a chainsaw sharpener will depend on the seller’s return policy. Most reputable retailers and online stores such as Amazon have clear return policies in place. Make sure to read the return policy before purchasing a chainsaw sharpener, as return procedures and timeframes can vary between sellers.

JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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