Best Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews

A chainsaw is an indispensable home and garden tool. There are quite a few branches, stumps, and other obstructions that a chainsaw can clear better and faster than just about anything else. However, a chainsaw’s spinning teeth are just like any other tool with an edge in that they need occasional sharpening therefore this time we are looking for the best chainsaw sharpener on the market today. 

A chainsaw that goes dull will lose effectiveness until it can’t cut through anything anymore or in fact, it can get even more dangerous.

You can have the best chainsaw chain you can buy, but even those do not last forever. The more you use your chainsaw, the faster it will lose its edge, especially if you are dealing with hardwoods.

Keep a close eye on the tool’s performance to see when it is becoming dull. You don’t want a dull chain to be holding back a great chainsaw.

How Do I Know My Chainsaw Blade Needs Sharpening?

Recognizing when your chainsaw blade requires sharpening is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and safety. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw blade:

Reduced Cutting Speed: If you notice that your chainsaw is cutting slower than usual or requires more effort to make a clean cut, it’s a clear indication that the blade has dulled.

Rough or Jagged Cuts: A sharp chainsaw blade should produce smooth, clean cuts. If you see rough or jagged edges on the wood you’re cutting, it’s a sign that the blade is no longer sharp.

Increased Kickback: Dull chainsaw blades are more prone to kickback, which is a sudden and dangerous upward motion of the chainsaw. If you experience more kickback than usual, it could be due to a dull blade.

Smoke and Sawdust: A sharp chainsaw will produce clean sawdust, while a dull one might create fine sawdust mixed with wood chips and even emit smoke due to friction.

Straining Motor: A dull blade can put extra strain on your chainsaw’s motor, causing it to overheat or work harder than necessary. If you hear the engine struggling or notice it getting excessively hot, it may be time to sharpen the blade.

Uneven Cutting: If your chainsaw tends to veer off to one side while cutting, it could be due to an unevenly sharpened blade, which can result from wear and tear.

Increased Fuel Consumption: Dull blades require more power and fuel to cut through wood, so if you notice a significant increase in fuel consumption, it may be time to sharpen the blade.

Chainsaw Vibrations: Excessive vibrations can be a sign of an imbalanced or dull chain, which can affect the overall performance and safety of your chainsaw.

To maintain the effectiveness and safety of your chainsaw, it’s essential to regularly inspect the blade and sharpen it as needed. How often you need to sharpen the blade depends on usage frequency and the type of wood you’re cutting, but a general rule of thumb is to sharpen it every 5-10 hours of use.

Methods for Chainsaw Blade Sharpening

Once you think that the teeth on the chain could do with some sharpening, you have options. There are a few different methods and approaches.

They fall into two main categories: powered and unpowered.

  • Powered approaches use bench tools and power tools like grinders to quickly hone a sharp edge into the teeth.
  • Unpowered kits contain a selection of hand tools that you can use to sharpen the teeth yourself.

Neither is superior to the other. They provide different benefits and either could be the best chainsaw sharpener for your particular needs. The hand tools take more time and require some experience, but they allow for the precision of detail work.

A powered sharpener is significantly faster, so you can get your saw back to a full capacity more quickly. 

Both are effective. They can vary in characteristics like the size of the tooth that they can handle, their power and speed, and how portable they are.

In this post, we will run down five of the best chainsaw sharpener products on the market with a diverse selection to provide you with options that will fit your needs, goals, and level of experience.

What are the Best Chainsaw Sharpeners this Year?

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Electric chainsaw sharpeners streamline the chain sharpening process, making it easier for you. The ECSS from Buffalo Tools is a flagship model and one of the most popular sharpeners today. As the name suggests it is a powered tool that you can mount on a bench, a wall, or place into a vise depending on your workspace.

This electric sharpener has a grinding speed of 4200RPM and draws 85 watts of power, and it also uses a regular 120-volt outlet.

The ECSS is small enough to be portable at 7 pounds. It measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches by 6.2 inches. Its size and weight, combined with the wattage, means that you can bring a generator out to someplace remote and use the sharpener there as long as you have a bench or other surface to secure it.

In terms of setup, there is little that you need to do. The ECSS does not need any assembly. It needs to be attached securely to a surface of your choice to hold it in place, but it should only take a few minutes from opening up the box before you can start sharpening.

You can adjust the ECSS to accommodate the size of the teeth and chain for your tool and the range of settings is quite large.

This automatic chainsaw sharpener model, ideal for anyone from an introductory user up. Portability on a sharpener isn’t as important as with other tools because sharpeners won’t be in use every day, but if you happen to be out on a distant jobsite or anywhere else that is far from home base, the ECSS is easy to bring along.

To conclude our review, the Buffalo Tools ECSS is a rather strong contender for the best chainsaw sharpener title!

Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder


Weight (lbs)

The Oregon chainsaw sharpener is also a powered solution. Compared to the Buffalo ECSS, it is a slightly more advanced model with a few extra features that might put it ahead.

Physically, it is larger and has more metal components, which pushes the weight up to 17 pounds.

This is still manageable but a little harder to carry around. There is a small amount of assembly required to connect the large pieces of the 410 together before you can use it. The included instructions are important not just for assembly, but also for providing guidance on how to set up the 410 so that it can sharpen teeth of varying sizes and profiles.

One of the most valuable features of this portable chainsaw sharpener is the LED work light. Even slightly dim or indirect light can make it hard to see your work, and when it comes to power tools you want as much detail as possible. LED bulbs are efficient and long-lasting. Additionally, they create a narrow, focused beam so that you can get the brightest light on the moving parts and the grinding spot.

Other features of this Buffalo tools chainsaw sharpener include a wheel wear indicator, multiple grinding wheels for different-sized teeth, and a dressing brick. It uses a 120 V outlet and draws 140 watts.

Oregon 511AX Saw Chain Bench Grinder/Sharpener

Oregon 511AX Saw Chain Bench Grinder


Weight (lbs)

The 511AX is a higher model from Oregon that makes a number of changes. It is larger in size with a more open design that is easier to operate.

It lacks the LED worklight, but in return, it gains some features that extend the lifetime of the machine and make it easier to keep using grinding wheels even after they start to wear down.

This last feature is the most important one on the 511AX. There are different grinding wheels that you can swap in to adjust for different chainsaws, but the wheel or wheels that you use most will get worn down eventually.

Rather than having to buy a new wheel right away, the manual provides instructions for how to alter the angle and the settings so that you will experience only a minimal decrease in performance for as long as possible. This matters because you get significantly more value from each wheel.

The adjustments are easy to make after you familiarize yourself with all of the settings and angles.

The 511AX in general is simple to use, although it is a good idea to keep the instructions as a reference for the proper settings under different circumstances.

Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

While manual chainsaw sharpeners may take a bit more time to complete the task, they are also the most budget-friendly option and do not rely on any power source for operation. They prove to be an excellent choice for smaller chainsaws, but they are equally capable of handling larger ones.

This kit of hand tools from Katzco has a full set of items to manually sharpen any chainsaw and a pouch to hold them all.

Sharpening by hand is useful if you want precision or if you are in a location that does not have ready access to electricity.

The kit contains the following: a 3/8-inch hardwood handle that mounts the other tools, a 6-inch flat fine-tooth file, a filing guide, the aforementioned pouch, a depth-gauge tool, a 5/32-inch fine round tooth file, a 3/16-inch fine round tooth file, and a 7/32-inch round file.

It takes time to learn how to use a kit like this, but it means you don’t have to deal with power tools and that you always have access to a sharpener no matter where you are.

It might be useful to think of this, not as a substitute for a power sharpener, but as a backup or travel kit that you keep on you just in case you need it.

Pferd Cs-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide

Pferd Cs-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide


Weight (lbs)

This product is very unique, it sharpens the tooth and files the depth gauge in one easy operation. The CS-X is probably the simplest chainsaw sharpening solution, a single tool that you can put in your pocket. It’s made in Germany.

The CS-X from Pferd is built for particular size chainsaw chains:

Guide arrows and rods demonstrate how to use the tool, and it comes with instructions as well. There is no assembly required and it is about the size of a toothbrush.

The more experience you have, the less time it takes to use, and eventually, you can sharpen a whole chain in under 15 minutes. You do not need anything else to sharpen, although a vise to hold the chain in place can be a useful accessory.

Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener

Best Stihl Chainsaw Sharpener – 2 in 1 Easy File

A nice alternative could be the Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener. The Stihl is obviously more expensive but comes with outstanding reviews and of course, if you want a STIHL, then let it be! 


We believe that the best chainsaw sharpener balances ease of use, quality, and durability.

Each of the products we highlighted here has some unique edge. There are many good choices for sharpeners available. Therefore you have to be in tune with how often you expect to use it, where and when you need it, and what kinds of chains you plan to sharpen.

The answers to those questions will inform your choice.

In our opinion, it is hard to get a feel for how these tools operate, especially the hand versions. It might be worth talking to a friend or visiting a hardware store to get a demo first. That way you will learn whether you think the manual models are better for you or if you prefer powered ones.

Usually, it is worthwhile to learn both because they are useful in different situations.

The top priority should be whether a sharpener can actually serve the chains you use. Only after that should you look at extra features like lights, portability, or adjustments. Those extra features are for separating out the final purchase from a shortlist of ones that can actually do the job.

The more you use your tool, the more you will learn about how to get the most out of it. So don’t be discouraged if it takes too long the first time you try it out. It is ultimately you, who decides, what is the best chainsaw sharpener for your needs!

Best Powered Chainsaw Sharpener

Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder

Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder

Best Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

Pferd Cs-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide

Pferd Cs-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide