How Does a Chainsaw Sharpener Work

Aug 20, 2018 | Blog

Are you a homeowner with a yard full of trees? These trees are your responsibility, and although tree and stump removal and other more serious jobs will require that you hire a certified arborist, there’s still quite a bit that you can do yourself. You will need the right tools though, and for pruning, removing storm damaged tree limbs and other projects, a chainsaw is the only tool that’ll get the job done properly. A chainsaw does go dull after a while, however, and although there are replacement blades, you can save a considerable amount of money by sharpening the cutting teeth on the chain yourself. Be sure to check out our reviews of chainsaw sharpeners.

For those who don’t want to go through the trouble of manually sharpening their chainsaw blades with a file, there are electric chainsaw sharpeners that can do the job quickly and with a great deal of precision (all of the teeth along the blade have the same length when the job is done). Another advantage to an electric chainsaw sharpener is that it strips away more material on each pass than a single pass with a file, meaning that you can extend the life of your blade considerably if you invest in an electric chainsaw sharpener.

It’s fairly easy to use also, but of course any time there’s machinery with blades a considerable amount of caution is called for. First of all, it’s important to situate the chain in such a way that the sanding disc makes the minimal amount of contact with each “tooth” or cutting link, just barely brushing it. Yes, an electric chainsaw sharpener cuts away more than you can file away manually, you still don’t want to strip away too much as this can adversely affect the chain, making it less effective and in some cases even dangerous to use.

How Does A Chainsaw Sharpener Work?

There are two basic kinds of electric chainsaw sharpeners: stationary chainsaw sharpeners that are mounted to a bench and handheld chainsaw sharpeners. The former requires a certain amount of assembly prior to use. It’s also important when using one of these electric bench-mounted chainsaw sharpeners to turn the motor off and move the chain through the saw’s chain holder along to the next link. This process of turning the motor off, moving the chain along, and then turning the motor on again to sharpen the next link must be repeated for every single cutting link in the chain.

Handheld chainsaw sharpeners have a spinning disc (like a die grinder or a Dremel axle grinder) that does the cutting. A guide is attached to this tool, and this helps with the accuracy of the sharpening process, but it’s still important to bear in mind that slight changes in the angle of the cutting blade can result in inconsistencies in the grade of sharpening from tooth to tooth along the cutting chain.
Thus, it’s safe to say that a stationary chainsaw sharpener is more precise than a handheld model. Nonetheless, the portability of a handheld is a must for professionals who work for long hours out in the woods falling trees and can’t be caught with a dull chain when they’re hours away from the closest electrical outlet. The best handheld electric chainsaw sharpeners hold their charge for hours.

John McDonald

Chainsaw Expert for

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