What Is The Best Way To Sharpen A Chainsaw Chain

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen A Chainsaw Chain

Many people who own a chainsaw have absolutely no idea how to sharpen the chain when it becomes blunt. Let’s not kid ourselves; chainsaws are intimidating machines, especially when it comes to maintenance. So what is the best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain? Read on to find out how I do it.

So what is the best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain? You have 3 options.

  1. Use the file that is supplied with most saws to manually sharpen the chain. This requires some skill and can be dangerous as there is a risk of getting injured.
  2. You can take the saw to a professional shop that does chainsaw maintenance to have it sharpened. This can be pricey over time.
  3. Use a sharpening tool like the STIHL 2 IN 1 EASY FILE Chainsaw Sharpener which is a cheap but great option and the one I use or the easier to use Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener which is a great sharpener but a bit pricer.

Most chainsaw operators do not sharpen the chain until such time as it becomes impossible to continue to use it. This is a mistake and will shorten the life of the chain and the saw. What they do not understand is that just like any other tool, the chainsaw chain needs sharpening from time to time for efficient operation.

If the chain is not sharpened correctly it will require the operator to put pressure on the saw to continue cutting which can damage the chain and is dangerous for the operator. Also you can only sharpen the chain a number of times before it will need to be replaced.

If you are still wondering what the best option is for you to sharpen your chain, you need not worry because I am going to give you the best advice on how to get the job done. Even if you are a professional, you aren’t off the hook, because you might have been doing it wrong all along, but I am here to offer the best solution.

If you have been wondering about what is the best way to sharpen a chain saw chain at home, here are my recommended solutions.

The options available for a casual or home user are as follows.

For a homeowner, you need a tool that isn’t complex to operate but still gets the job done. In that regard, here are the best chain sharpeners I have found to use at home.

This is quite similar to the Husqvarna chain sharpener. It is one of the best sharpeners you can find in the market. It is ideal for an amateur home user because of its simplicity. If you have a backyard workshop, this will be the best tool to purchase.

Stihl produces high-quality tools, and this chain sharpener is no different. You don’t require a great deal of skill set to operate it, and you will still be able to sharpen your chain. It is ready to use directly from the box. You get a high-quality budget tool that produces excellent results.

1. Easy to use even for a beginner.
2. It will sharpen the teeth and depth gauge in a single step
3. Made for quality materials as you would expect from Stihl.

1. It can damage the chain if used incorrectly
2. A bit expensive but worth it

This tool is ideal for anybody looking for a reliable device that gets the job done. It’s cheap, light, and easy to use. It is easy to operate even if you have little experience in handling chainsaws.

You will be able to use it quickly and easily to get your chain in pristine condition. Just be sure to follow the instructions.

It is also easy on your wallet and by investing in this great tool you will be able to keep your machine in excellent working condition.

1. Easy to use even with no experience.
2. It will sharpen the teeth and depth gauge in a single action.
3. A quality product as you would expect from Husqvarna.
4. Great tool at a very competitive price.

1. It can damage the chain if not used correctly.

3. Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener

It is an excellent tool for sharpening your chain. It is extraordinarily simple to use regardless of your expertise in handling chainsaws. It is light; therefore, you can carry it around without too much effort.

Therefore, if you are amateur when it comes to matters chainsaws but use them frequently, the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener is one of the best tools for you.

The options available for a professional chainsaw user.

For a professional, you will need a robust tool capable of handling high-volume jobs. The following are the best tools I have used.

It is one of the popular tools among professional chainsaw operators and those offering chainsaw sharpening services. It has an adjustable profile making it compatible with numerous chainsaws.

This is because it has a self-centering chain vise making it easy and flexible to use. If you are in the market for a robust chain sharpener, then this Oregon saw chain grinder should be among the first you consider.


1. High-quality tool from a top brand Oregon.
2. Hydraulic assist for hands-free.
3. Will sharpen chain up to .404″ pitch.
4. Suitable for bench on a wall mounting.

1. Not cheap but worth it for professionals.
2. Difficult to mount on a wall

This is another super tool ideal for a worker who is always on the go. If you move around quite a lot, then you get this sharpener as it is easily portable.

It comes with innovative technology and great design making it a joy to operate. With this power tool, you will be sure to sharpen your blades accurately.

If you need a fast and accurate tool to help you get your chains in the best of condition, then you cannot go wrong with this.

1. Good quality tool great price.
2. Table vise angle 35-degrees right or left.
3. Easy to use with 4,200 rpm motor.
4. Will adjust to all chain designs & pitches.

1. Not as well built as more expensive models.
2. Can be difficult to find spare parts.

I have found that possibly the best way to sharpen a chain is manually with a file whether you are a home user or a professional logger. You will get a better result with a sharper chain for cheap.

All you need is a set of files and guages. However, it is a skill you need to learn and it will take time. I found the best way to learn is to practice on an old chain as you are libel to damage a new chain.

Here is a video the demonstrates how to sharpen a chain with a file.

Safety tips when sharpening a chain

Tighten the chain first before anything else

A slack chain is hazardous to work on, and you might end up hurting yourself. Also, you cannot get the real picture of what’s happening during the entire process. You will not be able to sharpen your chain correctly. 

Closely inspect the sharpener

A malfunctioning sharpener has the potential to injure you and also damage your chain even more. It is not worth the risk of operating a faulty sharpener. If you find issues with your sharpener, it is better to invest in a new one. 

Secure the blade and sharpener

If you are working with a bench sharpener, it is vital to secure it on a stable bench before starting. You will also have to secure the blade of the chain to prevent it from moving. Doing so ensures you avoid injury and sharpen your chain effectively.

Wear protective gear

Before beginning the sharpening process, you must wear protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and face shields. You are dealing with very sharp tools and equipment, and the possibility of injury is ever present.

File the teeth in the direction they are facing

Each tooth of the chain has two sides and each need sharpening. It is recommended to file only in the direction the tooth is facing. Going against the course means you will reduce their actual size. When you do it correctly, you will give your chain razor-sharp teeth to slice through the timber smoothly. 


Sharpening a chainsaw chain requires the right equipment for the job. With the above sharpeners, you have the best tools on the market.

Whether you are a homeowner or professional in the timber business, these tools will get your chain sharpened in record time.

Following the safety features above will ensure you avoid injury while at the same time keeping your chain in pristine condition. 

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