Table of Contents
- Best Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews 2019
- ADINC Chainsaw Sharpener, Universal Chain Saw Blade Sharpener Fast-Sharpening Stone Grinder Tools Bar-Mounted Chainsaw Teech Sharpener Fit for 14” 16” 18” 20” Two Hole Chain Saw Bar – Best Seller
- Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit – Contains 5/32, 3/16, 7/32 Inch Files, Wood Handle, Depth Gauge, Filing Guide, Tool Pouch – for Sharpening & Filing Chainsaws & Other Blades – Top Pick
- Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener, Model# G-106B (Original Version) – Best Value
- Stihl 2 IN 1 EASY FILE CHAINSAW CHAIN SHARPENER .325″ – Runner Up
- Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener – Also Consider
- Best Chainsaw Sharpener Buying Guide 2019
Best Chainsaw Sharpener Reviews 2019
While in the course of trimming branches or cutting down trees, you will eventually wear out the edge on the teeth of your chainsaw’s chain. While you can always simply purchase a new chain, that can get somewhat expensive– especially if you use high-quality chainsaw chains in the first place. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best chainsaw sharpener reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ, so you can properly navigate all of the nuances in this surprisingly robust and varied market. While the ADINC and Katzco are our top slotted options, that is due in large part because of their price. Keep reading to find out which was the top-performing chainsaw sharpener of 2019.
ADINC Chainsaw Sharpener, Universal Chain Saw Blade Sharpener Fast-Sharpening Stone Grinder Tools Bar-Mounted Chainsaw Teech Sharpener Fit for 14” 16” 18” 20” Two Hole Chain Saw Bar – Best Seller
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Considering what we know about ADINC, which is not too terribly much, it may be a bit of a surprise that it is the best selling chainsaw sharpener on the market. For one, the company does not specialize in chainsaw sharpeners or chainsaw accessories at all. In fact, ADINC does not even specialize in anything remotely related to power tools or the contractor field at all. Instead, ADINC is better understood as a manufacturer of numerous different accessories associated with the electronics market. Of course, arguably the biggest advantage that the ADINC chainsaw sharpener has going for it, at least in regards as to why it is able to achieve the best seller position despite its relative obscurity, has to do with the fact that it is the least expensive product we reviewed. That said, while the ADINC chainsaw does have some snags to account for, it does offer a solid operation for the right situation.
The ADINC chainsaw sharpener is definitely a bit unique in terms of how it accomplishes its function. Generally, chainsaw sharpeners come in one of two varieties: either they are a set of hand tools which require you to manually sharpen the chainsaw, or they are an automatic machine that allows you to sharpen the chainsaw much quicker. The difference between these two approaches often hinges more on which you find most valuable between your time or your money with the formers and the latters respectively. ADINC takes a completely different approach in that it allows the chainsaw to sharpen itself. Basically, the ADINC chainsaw sharpener uses the rotation of the chain around the bar as its “automatic” function. However, rather than spinning the abrasive surface over the chain, the ADINC chainsaw sharpener spins the chain over the abrasive surface. This ultimately accomplishes the same function, except you do not need a separate piece of machinery with its own motor to sharpen the chain’s teeth. Easily one of the best qualities about this approach is that it allows you to sharpen the chainsaw’s teeth with the relative speed that other automatic chainsaw sharpeners afford. That said, it is worth noting that the whetstone provided by ADINC is not noted for being the best quality, though it is not inherently a bad accessory either. Instead, the whetstone is prone to wearing out quicker than a number of people expected which is likely dependent on the general dullness of the chain, to begin with as well as whether or not you use the product as instructed.
While the ADINC chainsaw sharpener may perform similarly to an automatic chainsaw sharpener, that should not give the impression that the build qualities are equitable. That said, the ADINC chainsaw sharpener is still fairly well constructed for its intended use, all things considered. This may seem a bit odd at first glance considering that the overwhelming majority of the ADINC chainsaw sharpener is constructed from plastic, but thanks to its design, this does not actually become an issue unless you use the product well outside of its instructed intentions. Instead of being used for primary structural integrity, the plastic of the ADINC chainsaw sharpener is meant to serve as a line of defense in case the chain breaks or comes loose in the course of sharpening it. Even better, the ADINC has a fairly effective locking mechanism to help make sure that the plastic cover serves its purpose without issue or fail. That said, the locking mechanism, as effective as it may be, is not without its own issue, specifically one of compatibility. This may seem a bit odd considering that the ADINC chainsaw sharpener can fit a wide range of chain bar sizes, but the locking mechanism was designed for chain bars with two holes in them. If your chainsaw’s chain bar does not have two holes in it already, ADINC suggests drilling a second hole to fit the locking mechanism, but not everyone is as eager to void the warranty on their chainsaw bar.
- Is easy to install
- Is easy to use
- Is a safe chainsaw sharpener
- Is quicker than most
- Has broad compatibility
- Has a stable lock
- Is not a universal chainsaw sharpener
- The whetstone is not that good
Katzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit – Contains 5/32, 3/16, 7/32 Inch Files, Wood Handle, Depth Gauge, Filing Guide, Tool Pouch – for Sharpening & Filing Chainsaws & Other Blades – Top Pick
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Katzco is another company with a fairly short history, having been founded in 2016, which also limits its experience a bit. On top of that, it should be noted that Katzco is not an outdoor lawn care accessory specialist, nor do they even focus primarily on contractor products more broadly– though they do offer a decent lineup of products within the contractor field. Still, there is no getting around the fact that Katzco is a brand owned by KCO Brands, LLC and centered around a wide variety of products meant for household use. Beyond the fact that this is a fairly broad market to serve, meaning specialized knowledge is unlikely, it also places the Katzco chainsaw sharpener well within the consumer-grade market. While this is not inherently the worst thing, it does come with some considerations– but for the price, this option cannot be beaten which is why we ranked it as our top pick.
Everything You Need
Easily one of the biggest potential problems with the Katzco chainsaw sharpener comes from the fact that it is a manual option. This means that you are provided with the various hand tools you will need, but you will also have to use manual labor as well as the proper technique to get the most out of them. Thankfully, as a consumer-grade brand focused on providing products for the average household, Katzo has at least made sure that you will not necessarily want for the appropriate accessories. That is because the Katzco chainsaw sharpener comes with an entire 8-piece kit that even includes a vinyl carrying case to help make sure that you can keep all of the different implements organized and in good care. On top of that, rather than simply saddling you with a wide variety of different hand tools, the Katzco chainsaw sharpener instead provides a number of different attachments which are then screwed into a sturdy wooden handle made out of durable hardwood. This helps ensure that you do not have to worry about the various implements failing or breaking over the course of their lifetime.
Of course, the hardwood handle and carrying case are really only the icing on top of a fairly expansive cake that can cover a wide variety of different situations depending on the type of chainsaw and chain that you are using at any given time. This begins with a depth gauge, the first tool you will need to use to help identify which implement is necessary for your particular chain. This is important not just so you can ensure you are using the proper attachment but because a number of other manual chainsaw sharpeners do not provide a depth gauge with their actual sharpeners. After gauging the depth, you will be treated with 4 different files, 3 of which are round and a flat-file as well. The 3 round files come in the sizes of 5/32”, 3/16”, and 7/32”, providing the sizes most commonly used for sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw chain. Of course, if you happen to have a chain that does not fit within those size categories, the fine-toothed flat file is more than capable of handling whatever else is left. Still, since this product is marketed towards homeowners and not professional landscapers or foresters, they added one final piece to the puzzle. The Katzco chainsaw sharpener is only one of two on our list that comes with its own filing guide. By using the filing guide, you do not have to worry quite so much whether or not you are using the exact technique necessary to sharpen the teeth at the proper angle and avoid the curving cuts that uneven teeth can cause. The only real problem with any of these features is the fact that the file guide clip is a bit flimsy and is known to break rather easily. Thankfully, the product is designed in such a way that you can just as easily hold the file within the guide with your thumb as part of the natural use process.
- Has a hardwood handle
- Comes with an 8-piece kit
- Can gauge depth
- Can fit 3 different chain sizes
- Allows for guided sharpening
- Is a less expensive chainsaw sharpener
- Requires manual sharpening
- The file holding clip is flimsy
Granberg Bar-Mount Chain Saw Sharpener, Model# G-106B (Original Version) – Best Value
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Granberg may not be the most well-known company on our list, but they are definitely one of the more prestigious, especially within their wheelhouse. This is one of the few companies on our list that also specializes exclusively in outdoor lawn care equipment, but more than that, this particular chainsaw sharpener is the product which first put Granberg on the map. That said, it is worth noting that our best value product is not anywhere near our least expensive product. In fact, this is actually one of the more expensive chainsaw sharpeners that we reviewed, but that alone should tell you something about its quality compared to its value.
Out of all the different chainsaw sharpeners on our list and in the market in general, few can make the kind of claim of durability and build quality that the G-106B chainsaw sharpener can. For one, this is one of the few chainsaw sharpeners we came across that does not actually have any plastic used in its construction. Instead, the Granberg G-106B chainsaw sharpener is made of cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel. This is important because it not only provides structural integrity to the Granberg chainsaw sharpener, but it helps prevent this all-metal product from rusting or corroding as well. In fact, one of the few potential issues with the Granberg chainsaw sharpener is the fact that it does not come with any files, a rarity in this market.
As noted prior, the absence of files, while unusual, does at least inform us that the Granberg chainsaw sharpener is a manual type. While this would normally be considered something of a flaw compared to automatic chainsaw sharpeners, the Granberg G-106B avoids this issue by providing one of the easiest and most precise operations we found. This begins with a mount that is affixed directly to the bar of the chainsaw and can fit virtually any chainsaw on the market. However, the Granberg G-106B chainsaw sharpener complements this secure base with the inclusion of incredibly precise calibrations which makes sharpening the teeth extremely accurate and without the need to keep readjusting.
- Comes with a mount
- Is made of cast aluminum and zinc-plated steel
- Suitable for all chainsaws
- Allows for precise calibration
- Provides a more accurate filing
- Can account for various chains
- Is a more expensive chainsaw sharpener
- Does not come with files
Stihl 2 IN 1 EASY FILE CHAINSAW CHAIN SHARPENER .325″ – Runner Up
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There are few, if any, companies that can compete with Stihl in terms of reputation and prestige in the outdoor lawn care equipment market. Part of this has to do with the fact that Stihl has been around for nearly a century and provided top-tier, professional-grade products for that entire stretch. Another important consideration is the fact that Stihl focuses and specializes in outdoor lawn care equipment, only the second company on our list to do so. That being the case, it might be a bit surprising that the Stihl is so far down on our list, but its price has a bit to do with that.
When looking at the Stihl chainsaw sharpener, it may not seem too terribly special, but that is due to its inconspicuous design. This is the only chainsaw sharpener we reviewed which is inherently a sharpener guide, the first part of the 2-in-1. Not only is the sharpener its own guide, but the body of the guide includes easily identifiable marks which allow you to quickly identify the proper position. As if that were not enough, the Stihl 2-in-1 chainsaw sharpener also provides 3 files, so you do not have to worry about purchasing extra in the case of loss or damage. However, that last part should not be an issue as the Stihl chainsaw sharpener is also the only model on our list that has an integrated file tolerance compensation.
First, Stihl is one of the few products that we found which has been able to meld a couple of different products into a single tool. While a couple of different options provide the necessary accessories to accomplish all of these tasks, the Stihl chainsaw sharpener is the only one on our list that includes the depth gauge as part of the base tool in the first place. This allows you to quickly and easily check the gauge of each tooth which is especially important for this model as it does require you to use it manually. Thankfully, it also allows for other uncommon qualities, arguably the most impressive being its ability to sharpen .404 chainsaw chains, though this is the .325 model.
- Is a 2-in-1 sharpener and guide
- Suitable for a wide range of tooth pitches
- The only 2-in-1 guide for .404 pitches
- Has integrated file tolerance compensation
- Is easy to use
- Comes with 3 different files
- Is a more expensive chainsaw sharpener
- Requires manual sharpening
Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener – Also Consider
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Buffalo Tools is owned by Buffalo Corp, a company that was founded over half a century ago. While they may have started as a seller of consumer-grade tools for homeowner use, they quickly expanded to include a much wider variety of different. That said, even when Buffalo Corp focused primarily on tools, they never specialized in the outdoor lawn care field. Regardless, the Buffalo Tools ECSS chainsaw sharpener is actually not part of their consumer-grade lineup and is part of their Pro Series.
Despite the Pro Series designation, you should understand that this is not a professional-grade chainsaw sharpener. That is not to suggest it is poor quality, but it is definitely still well-within the consumer-grade market as noted by its price. Consider that while this may be the most expensive chainsaw sharpener on our list, it is actually one of the least expensive automatic chainsaw sharpeners that we came across. Not only that, but the Buffalo Tools ECSS chainsaw sharpener is also fairly impressive spec-wise with 4200 rpms, more than enough to quickly and efficiently grind a fine edge onto the teeth of your chainsaw chain.
One of the more important aspects of the ECSS chainsaw sharpener being automatic is that it will perform its function significantly quicker than most of the other options on our list. On top of that, this electric chainsaw sharpener is also capable of providing one of the most precise functions we came across too. Part of this has to do with the fact that the Buffalo Tools electric chainsaw sharpener is able to be securely mounted to a vice or workbench, though this is not truly an optional task. However, it is important to remember that the ECSS electric chainsaw sharpener also requires some precision in your technique, or else you are liable to grind the teeth too much.
- Is an automatic chainsaw sharpener
- Has a grinding speed of 4200 rpms
- Suitable for all types of chains
- Has mounting hardware
- Is extremely quick and effective
- Uses standard power and accessories
- Is the most expensive chainsaw sharpener reviewed
- Takes practice to use properly
Best Chainsaw Sharpener Buying Guide 2019
This may end up being one of the more important aspects you have to consider, but it is not a decision that should be approached as you would with other tools. For instance, a power saw is rarely so particular that you would be better off using a hand tool in order to practice for using the powered model. However, that is exactly how a number of automatic chainsaw sharpeners should be treated due to the potential risks involved in messing the process up. That said, there are generally two types of chainsaw sharpeners: manual and automatic, though there are some hybrids.
This type of chainsaw sharpener is fundamentally a series of hand tools which have often been designed to work on chainsaw chains. The primary component of this chainsaw sharpener will be the file, though most products will often include a number of different files. First, the standard chainsaw sharpening file is the straight file, though this often requires a bit of experience to use properly. The other type of file commonly included is a rounded file, and many products will actually include a variety of rounded file for use with different types of chainsaw chains.
The standard automatic chainsaw sharpener is little more than a modified, specialized grinding wheel. The overwhelming majority will use a common size abrasive wheel to perform the grinding, so there is rarely a need to purchase a specialized grinding wheel for the task. Automatic chainsaw sharpeners are extremely quick and perform the job without too much effort on your end, but they may require a bit more expertise in how to sharpen a chainsaw chain than a manual chainsaw sharpener does. This is because most automatic chainsaw sharpeners can adjust their positions to suit a wide variety of different chainsaw chain types, but this inherently requires you to understand what those different settings mean to properly adjust them.
While manual chainsaw sharpeners often include implements that can be used for a wide variety of different purposes, the versatility of a chainsaw sharpener generally refers to the number of different types of chainsaw chain the sharpener can sharpen. This will refer primarily to the different degrees of the pitch as well as the depth between each tooth. Thankfully, most chainsaw sharpeners are designed to accommodate the most common types of chainsaw chains, though there are a few sizes and types of chains which are a bit rarer than others.
As such, it is vitally important to make sure that you know which type of chains the sharpener is designed to work on before purchasing. It is worth noting that the straight file included with most manual chainsaw sharpeners can usually be used to sharpen any type of chain, but it will also usually require a more precise technique to make sure that you sharpen the teeth consistently and avoid asymmetrical depths or pitches. The newer, hybridized chainsaw sharpeners work by strapping onto the chainsaw and allowing its function to sharpen the teeth for you. This helps ensure that all of the teeth are sharpened to the same depth and pitch while still retaining the speed and ease of an automatic.
Which Type of Chainsaw Sharpener to Use?
This is a fairly big aspect for you to consider during your selection process primarily because it will impact how quickly and easily it is to sharpen your chainsaw. However, it should be noted that the decision is not as clear cut as it might first seem due in a large part because the technique will often come into play. While it would be nice for one type or even one product to allow for a more consistent use without a refined technique, sharpening a chainsaw will inherently require you be somewhat familiar with the process.
That being the case, it is not a bad idea to practice sharpening a chainsaw chain that you actually have no intention of using ahead of time. This will allow you to refine your technique without having to worry about whether or not the chain will be usable when you are done. All the same, it is likely a better idea for those of you without experience to start with a manual chainsaw sharpener and get an automatic later, once you understand the process a bit better. Of course, some automatic chainsaw sharpeners make it a point to streamline the process as much as possible and maybe suitable for even the earliest beginners.
One thing to be careful of when sharpening your chainsaw is to maintain consistency between all of the teeth. This is important for both cutting and safety reasons, and getting it wrong can have expensive consequences. First, you are going to want to make sure that each tooth is roughly equal in depth once you have completed sharpening your chainsaw. On top of that, you will also need to make sure that each tooth is set to roughly the same degree of the pitch as well. This refers to the angle of the tooth in relation to the bar or the wood being cut. If either of these elements is not aligned properly, it can cause your chainsaw to cut unevenly. While this is not a great situation in general when trying to maintain a smooth and clean-cut, it is especially troublesome for your safety.
This is because a chain with misaligned teeth can throw off the balance of the chain drive and put more stress on the chain than is intended. This additional stress can eventually cause the chain to weaken and break which could prove to be dangerous, especially if your chainsaw does not have a number of other safety features for this situation. Finally, the breaking of the chain will force you to go out and buy a replacement which is specifically what the chainsaw sharpener was meant to prevent in the first place.
What to Look for?
What you should look for in your chainsaw sharpener will heavily depend on which type of chainsaw sharpener you are using. If you are using an automatic chainsaw sharpener, then the speed and power that the abrasive grinder puts out will be fairly important. It does not really do much good to get an automatic chainsaw sharpener if the grinding wheel is too slow to speed up the sharpening process. That said, automatic chainsaw sharpeners do have the added caveat that they require significantly stronger and more secure stabilizing devices to help make sure that the chain does not accidentally get sucked into the grinder. Aside from the fact that this can ruin either the chain or the sharpener, it can also be incredibly dangerous to the user.
On the other hand, if you are opting for a manual chainsaw sharpener, then you are going to want to make sure that it provides a number of different options depending on the type of chain being sharpened. Thankfully, a fair number of manual chainsaw sharpeners are able to accommodate the most common types of chains on the market. That said, since a manual chainsaw sharpener requires you to know what you are doing ahead of time, it also helps if the product comes with a guide. While this can take a few different forms, the important thing to remember is that it ultimately makes sure that each stroke of the file occurs at the same degree.
In the end, there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat, especially if you need to sharpen your chainsaw before doing so. Of course, each of these approaches is a little bit different than the next, so it is important to understand which will best suit your needs. The ADINC is a fairly simple and quick option, but it will heavily depend on your chainsaw or willing to modify an otherwise incompatible model. The Katzco may be somewhat basic and old-school, but it uses tried and true tools which also happen to be fairly well-made and versatile. The Granberg may seem a bit unassuming, especially considering that it does not even come with files, but it is also noted for being one of the most accurate and precise chainsaw sharpening options on the market. The Stihl is an excellent choice, especially if you have a Stihl chainsaw, and is also one of the few options out there for a .404 chain. Finally, the Buffalo Electric would have been higher on our list were it not for the fact that it is also the most expensive option we reviewed, but it is also by far one of the quickest and easiest to use as well.