Everything You Need to Know
About Chainsaw Sharpeners

Comprehensive Guide for Manual & Electric Devices

We bring you all the advice and information you need for choosing a chainsaw sharpener - the ideal device for getting a dull chainsaw chain in prime condition again. Read about the various types of manual and electric sharpener, how to use them safely and the benefits of owning one. We also provide plenty of useful information about chainsaw chains, oils and other accessories. 

Types of Chainsaw Sharpener


Learn about manual &
electric sharpeners

Which chainsaw sharpener?


Which is the right
sharpener for you? 

How to Use a Chainsaw Sharpener


Tips & advice on buying
and using a sharpener

Chainsaw Sharpener Benefits


The many advantages 
of owning a sharpener 

chainsaw accessories


Chainswaw chains,
oils & other extras

Let a Sharpener Bring New Life to Your Chainsaw

Buying a chainsaw sharpener is a key step to making sure you get the best out of your chainsaw - if your chain has become dulled and your chainsaw is no longer pulling down smoothly during the cutting process, it's time to buy a new chain or invest in a sharpener.

If you are cutting wood or other materials with a dull chain, then you are doing extra unnecessary work which defeats the object of why you bought a chainsaw in the first place - to make cutting easier! 

Rather than throwing away or replacing your existing chain it's a much smarter move to make your chainsaw cut like new again by sharpening the chain. The process of sharpening chain blades is easier than you might imagine and many electric chainsaw sharpeners cost under £40 - so they can prove a truly wise investment.

A chainsaw sharpener is a machine or tool that sharpens the individual teeth of your chainsaw. There are several different types of sharpeners including the manual rounded file sharpener, the bolt-on manual sharpener, drill set sharpeners, portable 12V sharpeners and wall or bench mount electric sharpeners.

You could opt to go ‘old school’ and buy a manual chainsaw sharpening kit featuring round and flat files and a depth gauge tool, but that can mean a lot of work. Plus the angle will not be accurate when attempting to sharpen a chainsaw with this type of device. Another option is to to buy sharpening attachments for tools such as the Dremel multi-tool which are perfectly capable of taking on a dulled chain.

However, when it comes to getting great results, it's hard to beat a standalone electric device whose sole purpose is to sharpen chainsaw chains. These devices are motor-driven and use an abrasive disk to carrying out the sharpening procedure. They typically have angle adjustments so they can be set to sharpen just about any chainsaw chain out there. 

Trying to cut wood in your garden or other location with blunt chainsaw teeth is a waste of time and effort - and could pose a risk to your personal safety. It also puts a lot of wear and tear on the chainsaw itself. For these reasons alone it makes sense to invest in a chainwaw sharpener - even home users who use their chainsaw very occasionally will benefit greatly from sharpening, not least of all because they tend to use their power tool more roughly than professional operators do.

The key decision you need to make then buying a chainsaw sharpener is whether you want it to be a manual or electric-powered device - additionally, if you opt for an electric device, you will need to decide whether you want a small to medium-sized portable sharpener or a large stationary benchtop sharpener . If you want to take your sharpener with you and sharpen while you cut then you can consider buying a battery or 12 volt portable sharpener. A manual rounded file is another option but this involves a lot more work.

If you use a chainsaw in your profession and own multiple chainsaws and chains, then buying a heavy-duty benchtop chainsaw sharpener will make sharpening quicker and easier. Cheaper models of bench sharpeners are a great choice for anyone who just uses a chainsaw around their garden.


How to Tell if Your Chainsaw Chain is Blunt and Needs Sharpening

There are two easy ways to tell if your chainsaw chain is blunt and needs to be replaced or sharpened. Firstly, your chain's teeth should bite cleanly into the wood you are cutting with minimal pressure - the chain should self-feed, with the teeth cutting to the depth gauge setting. If this is not what you are experiencing and you are having to forcibly push the chainsaw into the wood, your chain is almost certainly blunt.

The second way to confirm a chainsaw chain is dulled, is if it's only cutting out small chips of wood, not much larger than sawdust - a sharp chain should be cutting out large and regular square-shaped wooden chips.

You should stop using your chain saw as soon as you suspect your chain is becoming dull. Continuing to use a blunt chain places undue wear and tear on all the parts of your chainsaw, not just the chain. There is a lot of evidence to support the view that dull or improperly maintained saw chains are the real source of most bar-related failures.

Dull chains also impact on the person using the chainsaw - they can cause fatigue, frustration and can also impair judgment. This is a huge safety hazard and has been the cause of many accidents involving chainsaws. The message is simple - if your chainsaw is struggling due to a dulled chain, stop using it and get it sharpened. If you don't want to invest in buying your own sharpener, there's always the option to pay a professional to sharpen it for you.

We discuss the benefits of owning a sharpener fully throughout this site - but here's just a few that stand out.

  • A sharpener keeps a chain in prime condition  
  • Sharpening is cheaper than buying a new chain
  • Sharp chains are safer - more control, less kickback
  • A sharp chain cuts more quickly & efficiently
  • Most sharpeners are easy to operate
  • A sharp chain can extend a chainsaw motor's lifetime
A chainsaw chain consists of small sharp blades called teeth. Each portion of the chain is made using riveted pieces of metal which resembles the chain of a bicycle. Each tooth on the chain is shaped in the form of a folded tab of chromium plate steel and has a sharp curved or angular corner.

Any tool or instrument that cuts or saws will become blunt after a while. The blades on a chainsaw chain will become dulled and less effective the more you use it and a sharpener is the solution to the problem. If you use your chainsaw regularly you will need to sharpen it much more often than someone who only uses their device occasionally.

You should be especially careful if you do not use your chainsaw frequently, as it may be more difficult to notice your saw is dull. A dull chainsaw is much more likely to cause accidents due to kick backs or putting too much body weight into using it.

Electric Bench Top Devices Make Light Work of Sharpening

The cheapest and most simple type of sharpener is a hand file which has a diameter that matches up with the size of the chain saw links. When using this type of device the hand file passes back and forth over the chain, sharpening the tip. It can take quite a bit of practice to use a hand file competently because all the sharpening needs to be carried out at the same angle - failure to do so can lead to the chain's cutting angle being changed.

Manual bar sharpeners can help you get round the challenges posed by a hand file - these devices bolt onto the bar of the chainsaw itself and feature a fixed round file which slides back and forth to allow you to sharpen each tooth on the chain at the correct angle.

A wall-mounted or bench top type of electric sharpener appeals to amateurs and professionals alike because it achieves an impressive degree of accuracy. These devices are easy to operate and can sharpen the teeth on a chain very quickly and efficiently. A cheap bench top sharpener will cost around £25 to £40, but you can expect to pay quite a bit more for a deluxe heavy-duty model.


You'll find plenty of information here about the various types of chain saw sharpeners from leading brand names including Sealey, BMC, Einhell, Clarke, Black & Decker, Powerplus, Maxtra, Oregon, Scheppach, Stihl, TimberBoss, Power Tools, Timberline, Faithfull, B&Q, Ozaki, Blount, Arnold, Neilsen, Suresharp, Dremel and Katsu. 

Top quality chainsaw sharpeners are sold by many leading UK stores these days including UK Tool Centre, Machine Mart, Building Supplies Online, Rapid Online, Amazon, B&Q, Wickes, Tesco Direct, Autosessive, Argos, eBay and Coopers of Stortford.

If you are keen to buy a few chainsaw accessories to use while cutting wood, we've got those too - we have an impressive reange of chainsaw chains, chainsaw oil and lubricants, plus various safety wear including protective gloves, goggles and visors, trousers, jackets and ear protectors.

As you can see, a chainsaw sharpener really is an essential bit of gear for keeping your chain in prime condition. Hopefully we can help you find the right sharpener for your needs so can get the best out of your trusty chainsaw.