How To Use Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

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Are you a chainsaw user having difficulty with your projects because you have a blunt chainsaw, and you don’t know how to sharpen it with a chainsaw sharpener? If yes, then this is just the right place for you to be.

Using electric chainsaw sharpener is pretty easy and can be done by anyone, be it a seasoned professional or a beginner backyard chainsaw user. To use an electric chainsaw sharpener, first you’ll need to examine the chainsaw chain and ensure that it needs sharpening. After that, you should be mounting the electric sharpener appropriately, adjusting the sharpening angle, adjusting how far the sharpener is going down into each tooth, sharpening the teeth of the chainsaw, rotating to sharpen the teeth that are facing the other side, and filing the depth gauges.

While sharpening a chainsaw chain with a file is well and good, but using an electric chainsaw sharpener will make the job significantly easier and faster. They are comparatively expensive, but can be a great choice if you have to sharpen the chainsaw chain frequently. If you are a less experienced user, electric chainsaw sharpeners will help you get an evenly sharpened chain within no time.

In this article, you will get to know all about sharpening with electric chainsaw sharpeners, how to use electric chainsaw sharpener, when should you sharpen the chainsaw, is it worth it to sharpen with an electric chainsaw sharpener, and more. Stick around and get all the answers that you are looking for.

Chainsaw Maintenance By Sharpening the Chainsaw Chain

Whether you are a woodworker, logger, forest worker, or just a regular chainsaw user, you will probably be aware that chainsaw chains eventually wear out and need to be sharpened regularly. Sharpening the chainsaw is the basis of regular chainsaw maintenance. An electric chainsaw will be a great option to help you with chainsaw sharpening, especially when you have to sharpen the chainsaw regularly.

Chainsaw chains are bound to get dull with time. Chainsaw wearing down ultimately isn’t in your control. However, what you can control is providing proper maintenance periodically for increasing the chainsaw chain’s lifespan and performance of your chainsaw. Tools like files, electric sharpeners, and more are just what you need for sharpening your chainsaw chain.

While many chainsaw users prefer using a file for sharpening, electric chainsaw sharpeners seem to be getting more and more popular with time. While sharpening a chainsaw chain with a file is well and good, but using an electric chainsaw sharpener will definitely make the job easier and much quicker. While they are comparatively more expensive, but they can be an excellent option if you have to sharpen the chainsaw chain regularly. If you are a beginner, you must go for electric chainsaw sharpeners as these will help you get an evenly sharpened chain.

You can easily sharpen your chainsaw chain with a handful of steps if you know the right steps. However, you should remember to wear safety gear and follow the necessary safety regulations, as chainsaws are extremely powerful tools and can easily end up injuring you if you aren’t careful.

How To Use Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

There are many different types of electric chainsaw sharpening systems, and each one of them varies in some way or the other. The exact procedure to use an electric chainsaw sharpener can differ from system to system, and it might take you some time to get used to. However, there are a few essential steps that you will have to follow when using any kind of electric chainsaw sharpener. Here are the steps – 

  • Step 1: Check the chainsaw chain – Before starting, you should first examine your chainsaw chain to make sure that it is actually in need of sharpening 
  • Step 2: Mount the sharpener – Now, you need to mount the chainsaw sharpener appropriately
  • Step 3: Angle – Remember to adjust the sharpening angle of the sharpener 
  • Step 4: Depth – You need to adjust how far the sharpener is going down into each tooth 
  • Step 5: Sharpen – After that, you will have to sharpen the teeth of the blade 
  • Step 6: Rotate – Then, you will have to rotate the chain holder so that you can sharpen the teeth facing the other side
  • Step 7: File – File the depth gauges of your chainsaw chain 

There were those steps in short. Now, it’s time to get into details of how to use electric chainsaw sharpener. 

Step 1: Check the chainsaw chain

First, you will have to examine your chainsaw chain. You will want to ensure that it isn’t overused or too damaged to the point of no return. In particular, you need to look for the most worn-out tooth of the chain and then mark it. You will be using this tooth as a benchmark for the degree that you want to sharpen to, as you will want the entire chainsaw chain to be even and balanced. If you are noticing that the chainsaw is damaged, it is recommended that you should replace it. Damage can occur if the chainsaw chain accidentally hits a rock or other sharp objects.

Step 2: Mount the electric chainsaw sharpener on the chain

Some electric sharpeners do not require you to remove the chain from the chainsaw guide bar. You can sharpen the chainsaw chain while it is on the chainsaw directly. However, most sharpeners will need you to remove the chain. This is why you will have to remove the chain from your chainsaw and put the chain into the electric chainsaw sharpener with the marked tooth under the blade directly.

Step 3: Adjust the sharpening angle

Remember that there are a few adjustments that you will have to make before you can start sharpening. First, you need to adjust the sharpening angle. The chainsaw chain holder can be easily adjusted in terms of its orientation. Generally, chainsaw chains are meant to be filed at a 30° angle to the spinning blade. This angle might be different for different chains, so you need to check the appropriate angle for your specific model.

Step 4: Adjust the depth

Next, you have to adjust the blade stop such that the spinning blade is simply grazing the edge of each tooth. You’ll have to adjust how far down the blade can go. Ideally, you’ll want the blade to go as far down the teeth as possible without actually coming in contact with the chain itself. This will help sharpen the teeth of your chainsaw chain optimally.

Step 5: Begin sharpening the chainsaw chain

You are in a position to start the sharpening process. You need to keep in mind that chainsaw chains have teeth that are facing different directions in alternating order. This will mean that you’ll have to sharpen every other tooth in the first round of sharpening. It is recommended that you should mark the starting tooth, so you’ll know when you have performed sharpening on one full side.

Chainsaw Sharpener - Glen the Go-To Guy's Demo of the TradeTools Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Step 6: Rotate the chain holder once one side has been sharpened

Once you come back to the market tooth, you should rotate the chain holder such that you can start sharpening the teeth facing the other direction. Once you are done with them, all the teeth of your chainsaw chain have been sharpened.

Step 7: File the depth gauge

Lastly, chainsaw chains come with a designated depth gauge. Depth gauges are the round pieces of metal that are in front of each tooth, and their purpose is to control exactly how much material each tooth is capable of removing in a single rotation. The depth gauge will show you the required height difference between the edge of the blade’s teeth and their respective depth gauges.

The size decreases each time you sharpen the teeth, so the depth gauges have to be adjusted for maintaining the correct height difference. Otherwise, the chainsaw chain ends up losing its efficiency. You will have to use a file for this. You will only be required to file the depth gauges once every few times for sharpening the chainsaw chain.

What is the Best Electric Chainsaw Sharpener for Beginners?

It is debatable to say what is the best electric chainsaw for a beginner. There are numerous factors that come into the picture when choosing one that is the best option for your situation. For instance, you will need to consider factors like how often do you have to sharpen the chainsaws, whether you prefer a smaller handheld version or the desk/wall-mounted heavy-duty version, your budget, availability, and more.

The best electric chainsaw sharpener for you will be the one that suits your needs the best. It should offer you efficiency, ease of use, and control over the amount of sharpening you are doing.

One of the best options for beginners is the Oregon 120V Bench Mounted Saw Chain Grinder. It can be mounted on the workbench, spins at almost 3,400 RPM, and be adjusted for sharpening most cutting link pitches. It’ll come with three grinding wheels and features a built-in light, as the light in a workplace isn’t always optimal. While you can also go for other great options in the market, this one will be a good choice for most people.

Is It Worth Sharpening a Chainsaw with an Electric Sharpener?

Yes, it is essential and well worth it to regularly check and sharpen your chainsaw chain with a chainsaw sharpener. An electric chainsaw sharpener is capable of cutting through material faster and with comparatively less effort. You’ll have to apply much more force on your chainsaw with a dull chain, which makes the work much more dangerous while increasing the likelihood of injury.

On the surface level, it might seem that the sharpness of your chain is only tied to how well the chainsaw is performing in terms of cutting the wood. However, there is much more than that. Using a dull chainsaw, chain will force you to apply more force if you want to cut. Using a dull chainsaw can be an issue due to several reasons –

1. More wear and tear

Applying more force will likely cause more friction to be generated, while the components in your saw will wear out faster.

2. Rough cutting

Dull chainsaws tend to produce rough cuts and a lot more fine dust when you’re cutting wood. This dust will not only get into your eyes, but could also end up clogging the air filter and damage the internal components of your chainsaw over time.

3. Additional fatigue

Applying more force can cause you to fatigue much faster. It isn’t a good idea to use a chainsaw when you are tired. Chainsaws generally demand strength and control, while handling them when tired can sometimes result in an injury.

4. Kickback

Using a dull chainsaw blade can increase the chance of a kickback significantly. Kickback is one of the most common causes of injury when using a chainsaw.

It is recommended that you should check the chainsaw chain each time before you start the job. Keeping the chainsaw chain sharpened is always advisable. While you can have someone else do it, doing this yourself will be relatively cheaper, and it won’t take long, especially if you have the help of an electric chainsaw sharpener.

When Should You Sharpen the Chainsaw Chain

It would be the best option if you sharpen your chainsaw chain when it starts becoming dull. Signs of a dull chainsaw include producing finer sawdust than usual, taking a long time to cut, the need to apply extra force, and rough cuts.

sharpening chainsaw chain using electric sharpener

The most obvious sign will be a reduction in the cutting ability of the chainsaw, and an increase in the time that it takes for you to cut through the same objects. It is recommended that you should check the chainsaw chain before or after the chainsaw job. You should check if the chain requires sharpening and if it isn’t damaged. If you’re working for several hours, it will be a good idea to check during the job too. Sharpening doesn’t take long, and a sharp chain will make your chainsaw performance much more efficient. If the chainsaw chain is damaged, you should replace it.

Generally, most chainsaw chains can be easily sharpened up to 10 times, sometimes even more. In fact, there is no specific number on how many times you can sharpen your chainsaw before it has to be replaced. It will largely depend on the type of material that you’re cutting with your chainsaw. Remember that you should always replace the chain if it gets damaged.

Materials such as rock and iron will be much tougher to cut than wood and will definitely cause the chain to wear out faster. In case a tooth chips off or breaks, the chainsaw chain cannot be used and will have to be repaired or replaced.

How To Mount an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Mounting an electric chainsaw sharpener is an extremely simple process, and it can be completed within a matter of minutes. All that you’ll need is a sturdy workbench or a table for placing the sharpener on and some space to maneuver. Remove the chain from your chainsaw and loosen the chain tensioner screw.

You will have to feed the chainsaw chain through the guide slots of the sharpener, ensuring that the teeth are facing forward. Then, tighten the chain tensioner screw and make the necessary adjustments to the sharpener’s guide slots to hold the chain in place.

Plug in the sharpener and then turn it on. Guide the chainsaw blade against the rotating grinding wheel gently until all the teeth are sharpened.


What angle should I set my electric sharpener?

The sharpening angle of the electric sharpener is generally between 25° and 35°. The harder the wood, the greater should be the angle. For maintaining the correct angle, it is recommended that you should use a sharpening grid or a filling gauge for help.

In which direction should I sharpen my chainsaw?

You need to file the teeth of your chainsaw from the inside towards the outside. The easy way of remembering the correct direction is – the tip of the file should always be pointing away from the engine. You need to hold the file at a 90° angle to the flat sides of the bar. After that, move the file at a 30° angle to the straight line of the chain.

How many times can I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

Your chainsaw chain can be sharpened up to 10 times, sometimes even more, before you have to replace the entire thing. However, there is no specific number you can sharpen your chainsaw chain. The number will depend on two things – the amount of wear and tear on your chainsaw and how much metal is removed each time you’re sharpening. Different materials will have a different impact on your chain.

Why is my chainsaw cutting to the right after sharpening?

In most cases, the reason your chainsaw is pulling left or right during cutting is that you haven’t sharpened it evenly. This is most likely to occur with chainsaw owners who manually sharpen the chainsaws with a file.

How to know if the chainsaw chain is sharp?

The chainsaw chain doesn’t pull itself into the wood. If you’re needing to apply extra pressure to the chainsaw to force it through the wood, then the chainsaw is certainly not sharp enough.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.