How to Use Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener

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Are you a chainsaw user, and you need to sharpen the chain with an Oregon sharpener but you don’t know how to? If yes, then you are definitely in the right place. 

Using Oregon chainsaw sharpener is pretty easy and effective as it’ll sharpen the chainsaw chain within no time. The method to use an Oregon chainsaw sharpener includes checking the grinder wheel shape, setting the assembly to the right top plate filing angle, checking that the vise-blocking handle is screwed in tightly, turning on the Oregon chainsaw sharpener, sharpening the cutter, raising the arm and loosening the handle, and running the chain forward to position the next cutter. Once the cutters are sharpened, you should turn off the machine and unplug the power cable.

In this article, you will get to know all about sharpening the chainsaw chain, how to use Oregon chainsaw sharpener, is it worth sharpening the chainsaw chain, when should you sharpen the chainsaw, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers you are looking for.

Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener for Sharpening the Chain

Powersharp was invented by Oregon, which ranks as one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of chainsaw chains, bars, and accessories. Many chainsaw manufacturers make use of Oregon chains as standard equipment on their latest models. Within a few uses, you will understand how good these chains are. Professional loggers also utilize Oregon products too. 

An Oregon chainsaw sharpener is essentially a sharpening unit featuring an inside U-shaped grindstone, a bar constructed for securing the sharpener, and a proprietary chain intended for sharpening on top of the teeth. The total cost of an Oregon Chainsaw sharpener will be around $80. The bar and sharpener body would be able to survive for a long time. Meanwhile, a fresh chain and replacement grindstone will be available for $35. Before the chain is toast, you could expect around 10-15 honing sessions.

It is essential that you keep your chainsaw chain sharp whenever using the machine. Dull chains can easily increase the risk of injuries or the chainsaw bar launching upward after the chain gets caught in the wood. This occurrence is known as kickback, and it is a common cause of chainsaw injury. Increased fuel consumption and damage are two other reasons for avoiding cutting with a dull chain.

There are multiple methods that you can use to sharpen the chainsaw chain – using a round chainsaw file or using an electric sharpener (like the Oregon chainsaw sharpener).  There’s also a third method, square filing, which is only meant for certain chainsaws used for cutting large trees. 

You should remember that a sharpened chain might be sharp, but it won’t be as effective as a new, fresh chain. Further, it won’t be as great as a chain that has been sharpened by a professional.

How to Use Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener

There are different types of electric chainsaw sharpening systems, and they’ll vary in different ways. The exact procedure can differ from system to system, and it’ll take a couple of tries to get used to. If you’ve got many projects in mind that will require you to use a chainsaw or if you’ve got an older chainsaw that requires maintenance, you will require a reliable Oregon chainsaw sharpener.

An Oregon chainsaw sharpener will be a great solution if you’re a chainsaw user with high-volume usage. It is recommended that you should use a sharpener that employs clamps for attaching to your workbench for any blade sharpener. Different Oregon chainsaw sharpeners make use of various power supplies. 

When you have to use an Oregon chainsaw sharpener, there are the essential steps that you need to follow – 

  • Check the chain – First, you need to examine the chainsaw chain and make sure that your chain is actually in need of sharpening
  • Mount – Now, you have to mount the chainsaw sharpener appropriately
  • Angle – After that, you need to adjust the sharpening angle
  • Depth – After that, you need to adjust exactly how far the sharpener will go down into each tooth
  • Sharpen – Now, you have to sharpen the teeth
  • Rotate it – Rotate for sharpening the teeth facing the other side
  • File – Lastly, you have to file the depth gauges

Now that you know the basic steps, it is time to get into the details. Here are the steps you have to follow for sharpening with your Oregon Chainsaw Sharpener – 

Step 1: Check the chain

First, you will have to examine your chainsaw chain. You have to ensure that it isn’t too damaged or overused. In particular, you must keep an eye on a worn-out tooth of the chain and mark it. You should use it as a benchmark for the degree that you sharpen to, as you’ll want the entire chainsaw chain to be even and balanced. If you notice that the chain is damaged, it is recommended that you should replace it. Damage can occur when the chainsaw chain has hit a rock or other sharp object.

Step 2: Mount the Oregon chainsaw sharpener on the chain

The high-end chainsaw sharpeners do not require you to remove the chainsaw chain from the chainsaw bar. However, most chainsaw sharpeners do need you to remove the chain. Remove the chainsaw chain and then put the chain into the sharpener with a marked tooth directly under the blade.

Step 3: Adjust the sharpening angle

Now, there are a few adjustments that you will need to make before you can start sharpening. First, you should adjust the sharpening angle. The chainsaw chain holder can easily be adjusted in terms of its orientation. Usually, chainsaw chains should be filed at a 30° angle to the spinning blade. This angle could differ for different chainsaws, so you should check for the appropriate angle for your particular model.

Step 4: Adjust the depth

Next up, you should adjust the blade stop such that the spinning blade is grazing the edge of each tooth. Now, adjust how far down the blade will go. You’ll want the blade to go as far down the tooth as possible without it coming in contact with the chain itself. It’ll sharpen the teeth of the chainsaw chain optimally.

Step 5: Start sharpening the chainsaw chain

You can start the sharpening process now. Remember that the chainsaw chains have teeth that are facing different directions in alternating order. It means that you will have to sharpen every other tooth in the first round of sharpening, then sharpen the ones that you didn’t sharpen in the previous round.

Step 6: Rotate when one side is sharpened

Once you are back at the marked tooth, you should rotate the chain holder such that you can begin sharpening the teeth facing the other direction. Once you are done with them, all the teeth in the chainsaw chain will be sharpened.

Step 7: File the depth gauge

Lastly, the chainsaw chains come with a depth gauge. Depth gauges are the round pieces of metal of every tooth, and their purpose is to control how much material each tooth is capable of removing in a single rotation. The depth gauge will show the required height difference between the edge of the tooth and the depth gauge.

The size of the teeth decreases when you sharpen them, so the depth gauges should be adjusted to maintain the correct height difference. Otherwise, the chainsaw chain can lose its efficiency. You make use of a file for this. You will only need to file the depth gauges once every few times you are sharpening the chainsaw chain.

Oregon 520-120 and 410-120 Electric Chain Grinder Instructions

Is it Worth sharpening the Chainsaw Chain

It is important and well worth regularly checking and sharpening the chain. A sharper chainsaw chain will cut through the trees faster and with less effort. If you’ve got a dull chain, you’ll have to apply more force on the chainsaw. This makes the work more dangerous while increasing the likelihood of injuries.

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

1. More wear

Applying more force will cause more friction to be generated. Meanwhile, the components in your chainsaw will wear out faster.

2. Fatigue

Applying more force will cause you to fatigue much sooner. It would not be a good idea to use a chainsaw when tired. Your chainsaw will demand more strength and control, while handling it while tired can result in an injury.

3. Rough performance

Dull chains tend to produce rough cuts and result in more fire dust when cutting wood. This dust might not only get into your eyes, but it can also end up clogging the air filter and damage the internal parts of the chainsaw over time.

4. Kickback

Using a dull blade will increase the probability of a kickback, which is one of the most common causes of injury when using a chainsaw.

When should you Sharpen the Chainsaw

It would be best if you sharpen the chainsaw chain whenever it starts becoming dull. Common signs of a dull chainsaw include a longer time to cut, rough cuts, producing more sawdust than usual, and the need to apply more force. The most obvious sign would be a reduction in the cutting ability of the chainsaw, and an increase in the time it is taking you to cut through the same objects.

It is recommended that you should check the chain before and after work. Check if the chainsaw chain needs sharpening and that it isn’t damaged. If you are working for several hours, it’ll be a good idea to check during the job too. Sharpening won’t take you that long, and a sharp chain will make cutting more efficient. In case the chain is damaged, you should replace it.

How to Mount an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

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

Feed the chainsaw chain through the sharpener’s guide slots while ensuring that the teeth are facing forward. Tighten the chainsaw chain screw and make necessary adjustments to the sharpener’s guide slots for holding the chain securely in place. 

oregon chainsaw sharpener

Plugin the sharpener and then turn it on. Gently guide the blade against the rotating grinding wheel until the teeth are sharpened.

How Many Times can you Sharpen the Chain

Generally, most chainsaw chains can be sharpened up to 10 times or more. However, there is no exact number of how many times you can do this before it has to be replaced. It’ll largely depend on the type of material that you cut with your chainsaw. You should always replace the damaged chainsaw chain.

Materials like iron and rock are tougher than wood, so if you accidentally hit these materials, it can cause your chainsaw chain to wear out faster. If the tooth chips off or breaks, you won’t be able to use the chain, and it’ll have to be repaired or replaced. 


What is the purpose of a chainsaw sharpener?

If you use your chainsaw regularly, it could cause the chainsaw chain to go dull. The chain will eventually get dull over time when you’re cutting into firewood. It needs to be sharpened immediately when cutting into stone or metal. If you have a properly fueled chainsaw, you will need to sharpen the chainsaw chain to keep your chainsaw cutting smoothly.

What is the best way of sharpening a chainsaw chain manually?

When you’re sharpening the chainsaw chain manually, you have to make use of a file. Use a file for following the edge’s angle as directed in the handbook after it is in place. After a few strokes, you will start noticing the results. When you are sharpening the chain, make sure that you’re lining up the gadget appropriately.

Can I sharpen my chainsaw chain multiple times?

The cutters can be sharpened up to 10 times before the chainsaw chain has to be replaced. Remember, when you’re filing the chain, apply the same number of strokes and the same amount of pressure for maintaining your chainsaw cutting in a straight line.

What should you look for in an electric chainsaw sharpener?

When you’re looking for a new electric chainsaw sharpener, there are a few factors that will come into play. Your chainsaw sharpener needs to offer efficiency, ease of use, and control over the amount of sharpening. Further, you should also consider how often you’ll need to sharpen the chainsaw, your budget, what size sharpener do you prefer, do you want a handheld version or a desk-mounted version.

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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.