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Chainsaw Blade Sharpener. Tips from a professional

Cutting a tree using a dull chainsaw can be stressful and frustrating. It may feel like you’re cutting a steak with a butter knife. Of course, you can sharpen the chain with a file, but that takes some practice and skill. Using a chainsaw blade sharpener makes the whole process easier.

Chainsaw blade sharpener

A chainsaw blade sharpener will help sharpen the blade correctly. There are three main types, manual sharpeners, electric sharpeners, and fully automatic sharpeners. The manual one is the most cost-effective sharpener, and the electric chainsaw sharpener will do most of the work for you. The fully automatic sharpener is easy to use but does not give the best result and requires a unique bar and chain.

If you’re new to chainsaw blade sharpeners, you’ll find all you need in this article. I provided a detailed buyer’s guide for you, alongside answers to some frequently asked questions, so read on.

Chainsaw Blade Sharpener Buyer’s Guide

Chainsaws are handy tools for removing trees, cutting firewood, and punning. However, most people don’t always realize when their chainsaw blades go blunt, they cut less efficiently and are more dangerous. For your chainsaw to always be safe and efficient, you’ll need to ensure that the blades are sharp.

Sharpening your chainsaw chain can be done in several ways. Using a file is one of them. Using a blade sharpener is another more straightforward method. There are different types of sharpeners, fully automatic ones, electric models, and manual models. Before you proceed to purchase a chainsaw blade sharpener, you should know a few things:

● How Chainsaw Blade Sharpeners Work

Sharpening the edges of a knife and sharpening the blades of a chainsaw work looks quite similar. The difference is that a chain contains many teeth that need to be sharped individually, whereas a knife has only one blade that needs sharpening.

A blade sharpener will abrade the surface with a harder material. The process is a lot similar to filing your nails. When you file your nail, you mostly move the file in a round motion to sand off the sharp edges. In the case of the chainsaw chain teeth, it requires you to move the file in a linear motion against the chainsaw blade.

In the case of a chainsaw blade sharpener, it will guide you through this grinding. It will help you sharpen at the correct angle. This angle is crucial as it defines how well the chain will cut the wood. Besides guiding you through the sharpening process, a chainsaw sharpener will generally do this job faster and easier than doing it fully by hand. Sharpening it by hand with a file can lead to the same or even a better result, but you need some experience to do it well. Filing at the correct angle is not always easy.

● Types of Chainsaw Sharpeners

There are three main chainsaw sharpener types: electric chainsaw sharpeners, manual chainsaw sharpeners, and automatic chainsaw sharpeners.

– Manual chainsaw sharpener

The most cost-effective chainsaw sharpener is the manual one. They are a tool that helps you file the chain at the correct angle and location. The advantage is that you do not need any power to sharpen the chain. You also don’t need to remove the chain from the chainsaw for a lot of types.

In a way, you do the same as when you would only use a file. But the chainsaw sharpener ensures that the file angle and direction are correct. But you will need to do the filling yourself.

– Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Electric sharpeners are generally easier to use and save time than manual sharpeners. However, they cannot be used for all chain sizes. And in some situations, they tend to grind more materials than expected. Electric chainsaw sharpeners are generally more reliable than manual sharpeners.

You won’t have to worry about the sharpener grinding off more materials than needed with manual sharpeners. They give more control over the level of grind, sharpness, and angle compared to most electric sharpeners. The cons will be that they need you to do the work, and the positive point is that they are easier to transport than electric sharpeners. You also need a power outlet to use them.

If you decide to buy an electric sharpener, you will discover many available options. Fortunately, every good electric chainsaw sharpeners have similar things in common, like a powerful motor.

The best electric chainsaw sharpeners also have some features that will enhance how they work and improve efficient and consistent grinding. Some of them are also a good choice if you are less experienced. They help you sharpen the chain correctly and make it hard to ruin it.

To easily know if the chainsaw sharpener is a good one, you might want to confirm that it has the following features:

  • Sturdy build
  • Accurate angle guides
  • Quality and consistent results
  • Different positions and settings
  • High-quality grinding disks

In addition to these, it’s worth mentioning that these sharpeners vary in price, but you’d generally expect the more expensive sharpeners to be more feature-rich.

– Automatic Chainsaw Sharpener

Automatic chainsaw sharpeners are a more recent type of chainsaw chain sharpeners. They are generally the easiest to use. You click them on the tip of the bar and then turn the chainsaw on for 10 to 15 seconds. There is no need to remove the chain from the machine. The downside is that they generally need a special bar and unique chain. This also makes them more expensive and not suitable for all situations.

It makes sharpening extremely easy and super fast. But the downside is that it does not give a perfect result. Several brands have models, like the Oregon Powersharp Sharpener. Ensure that the automatic chainsaw sharpener fits your model bar.

Frequently Asked Questions

● How many times can you sharpen a chainsaw blade?

Generally, you can sharpen most chainsaw blades 10 to 15 times before you should replace them. If you use your chainsaw frequently, you will have to sharpen it several times a year. You can expect to last the blade for several years. It can last for ten years or more for infrequent use and yearly sharpening.

If you cut more challenging wood, I recommend sharpening your chainsaw after the second or third gas refill. Or earlier, if you notice that it is cutting less efficiently. Doing this will help you keep it in good working condition. Of course, you should always try to avoid rocks and dirt. Hitting a rock can also damage the chain. In some cases, you can still sharpen and use it, but often it needs to be replaced.

● How much does a chainsaw blade sharpener cost?

Generally, chainsaw blade sharpeners cost between $50 and $250. But it depends on different factors. This includes the brand, model, features, and store. As mentioned earlier, the more expensive blade sharpeners generally have more enhanced features than the cheaper chain sharpeners. But that does not mean you can not find good and affordable chainsaw blade sharpeners.

● Why does my chainsaw blade get dull so fast?

Having a chainsaw will help you accomplish different tasks, but this can also become frustrating, especially if the blade gets dull quickly. There are several reasons for your chainsaw blade to become dull faster than average.

Here are some of the reasons why your chainsaw blade gets dull so fast:

  • Prolonged usage: Constant use will dull your blade faster. Whether you maintain the blades regularly or not, what’s certain is that it will eventually go dull. Prolonged use will make the process go faster.
  • Cutting angle: Steep angles on the cutters can also lead to faster wear and tear on the chain. The best angle to use your chainsaw blade is 25 and 35 degrees. One thing to note is that the angle also depends on the material you’re cutting. For hardwood, I recommend a steeper angle.
  • Dirty wood: Cutting dirty wood can also dull your chainsaw blade faster. If you cut dirty wood regularly, it’d be best to expect your chainsaw blade to go dull faster. Ensure that the wood does not contain any nails or screws. Hitting them can also lead to chain damage.
  • Hardwood: Some types of wood are generally harder on chains than others, and this can be a factor that’s causing your chainsaw blade to get dull faster. Hedge apple, ironwood, and hickory are examples of wood generally hard on chainsaw blades. When you cut these types of wood, you can sharpen your blade more frequently.
  • Hitting the ground: Using the bar’s tip on the ground can also cause the blade to get dull, whether it’s accidental or not. When using your chainsaw blade, always try to be careful with it. Ensure that you don’t touch the ground or other hard material with the tip of the bar.
  • Bad sharpening: Wrongly sharpening your chainsaw blade can also cause it to go dull much faster. This is common with people who are new to using chainsaws and don’t have a lot of experience with sharpening the chain.

● How long should a chainsaw blade stay sharp?

If you use your chainsaw infrequently and with softwood, you need to sharpen the chain once a year. If you use it more frequently, you have to sharpen the chain more often. A chain can get dull already after a few hours of usage. But this depends significantly on the type of chain and the wood you cut.

A hardened chain will last longer. Cutting softwood will need less sharpening as well compared to tough hardwood. It is best to check the chain condition before you start cutting. If you notice that it is getting blunt, sharpen it. When you use a chainsaw sharpener, it is not difficult. And it does not have to take long.