What’s the BEST Chainsaw Sharpener for the Money?
First time chainsaw owners often don’t realize the necessity of keeping the blades of your chainsaw sharp using one of the best chainsaw sharpeners on a regular maintenance basis is just as important as regular maintenance on the chainsaw itself. It may be that some owners find it hard to imagine, how a steel blade can become dull while cutting through wood. If fact they do, and the type of wood your cutting through will determine how quickly those blades become dull. The good news is, that you have several options when it comes to sharpening your chainsaw blades.
There are a number of different tools that can be used for sharpening, from simple hand files, to specialized hand sharpening tools, to electric sharpeners, to automated sharpeners. There are a few videos below, that have an example of different types of tools. It is possible to have your blades done by expensive professional sharpeners, but that’s not really necessary all the time. If you only use your chainsaw on a casual basis, then DIY sharpening should be fine.
The DIY sharpeners listed below, usually average around $50 and can make the sharpening job a whole lot easier. The small hand versions are nice, because they’re portable enough to carry with you to the job site. They make it easy to give your saw a quick tune-up right when you need it. The electric ones are quicker, but not so portable. It’s the same if you’re looking at a drill bit sharpener.
Chainsaw Sharpening Guide For Beginners & Pros Alike
If you’ve never sharpened a chainsaw blade before, or just purchased an old chainsaw, this guide is for you.
It’s quite amazing how much quicker a cutting job can go, when your working with a freshly sharpened chainsaw blade. I would estimate, the that shaving off fractions of an inch off a your dull cutters can make your wood cutting job go twice as fast. A lot of chainsaws don’t get this regular tune-up, because most owners believe, that it requires a trip to an expensive professional sharpener. That’s simply not true, as chainsaw sharpening is really a job anyone can do.
Keeping your chainsaw in tip top cutting shape, is basically a two step process. First of all, you need to keep the chain cutters sharp. Chain cutters are the sharp metal components of the blade that do the actually cutting. Not every link on the blade is a cutter. The other step, is tweaking how much wood each cutter is allowed to cut. You do this, by adjusting the depth gauges, that are also part of the chain.
While it’s true, that you could use that old hand file you’ve had for years to sharpen your blade, it’s probably not the best choice. A proper chainsaw filing tool will cost around $50, allow you to get the job done quicker and with more precision. Part of sharpening, is all about getting the correct angles. The proper tool, will have guides, for each type of chain, to keep your angles and spacings correct.
Before you buy a sharpening tool, or start sharpening, you’ll want to check out your owners manual. You manual should tell you what type of chain your saw has, what size the cutters are, and what tool is best for keep the chain in the best shape, just like you should be doing for any of the best chainsaws. When you do get yourself a good sharpening tool, make sure you take care of it as well. Keeping it oiled, and well covered will prevent rust, and extend its life.
There is a depth gauge for each cutter on the chain. It controls how much wood a cutter is allowed to chew on. The gap between the depth gauge and the cutters edge is basically the bite size. You can think of the depth gauge as your lower jaw, and the edge of the cutter as your upper jaw. The more distance between them, the more wood you can bite off. As the cutters become lower from sharpening, the depth gauges need to as well. This can be a bit tricky, and is the main reason why it’s appropriate to use a tool that can be calibrated to your particular chainsaw blade. As mentioned previously, be sure to check your manual for the exact gap specification.
While conventional wisdom might suggest, that it’s better to try out your first sharpening attempt on an old junky chain you don’t care about, it’s actually harder. An old chain that has been sharpened a number of times, is more likely to be out of what with it’s blade angles, and depth gauge / cutter alignment. If the blade on your saw is really that close to being junk, you may be better off buying a new blade, and then consistently stay on top of it’s sharpening maintenance. That way your first sharpening will be on a blade that’s not so abused.