3 Choices in Chainsaw Sharpeners

Keeping the chain of your chainsaw sharpened is crucial to good cutting and longer engine life. If the chain is dull, it will make the engine work harder to accomplish a cut. This will eventually shorten the chainsaw’s engine life if done repeatedly. By sharpening the chain regularly, you can avoid such damage. Sharpening the chain of your chainsaw can be done in one of several methods. Here are three choices that you can use to get that sharp chainsaw chain that you need.

Chainsaw Sharpeners

An Automatic Sharpener
Several automatic chain sharpeners are on the market. One offered by Foley-Belsaw is sold from a little less than $400. This automatic sharpener locks the chain in place with a patented system as the grinding head is lowered. Because of the automatic locking system, it will take about half the usual time to complete the sharpening of the chain compared to a manual locking system offered on other automatic sharpeners. The sharpener has a tooth stop on which you put the tooth to be sharpened. Once you set the vise angle, you lower the grinder and it locks the chain into place. As the grinder is lifted, the chain is released for you to move the next tooth into position. This sharpener can grind all chains ranging from a 1/4″ to a 3/4″ pitch and up to a .063″ drive length thickness. The sharpener is ready to use when you receive it. It comes with a video to show you how to use it as well as the usual written instructions. It also includes a dressing stick, gauges, various size wheels, and parts list. Foley-Belsaw offers a 30-day trial period and technical support for any questions you may have.

Drill Attachment Sharpener
A more affordable, but still relatively fast, way of sharpener your chainsaw chain is with an attachment that fits on your electric or cordless drill. This small bit-like attachment has a guide plate to help you line up parallel to the cutting edge. Once you have the sharpener aligned with the tooth, you just push the drill button to start sharpening. One brand advertises that it “sharpens each tooth in seconds.” This is much fast and a lot easier on your hand and arms than sharpening by hand. Three sizes are available with most brands: a small, medium, and large for each size chain you may have on your chainsaws. This is a much cheaper alternative to a grinding machine because it will run around $22 per attachment.

Hand File
Of course the cheapest and handiest sharpening tool is still the round hand file. The size of the file, or its diameter, will depend on the size of the chain. If you need a quick on-site sharpening tool, or you do not use the chainsaw enough to warrant investing in an automatic sharpener, the hand file is an affordable choice for you. If you choose to use a hand file, you will probably want to buy the guide that helps you keep a parallel alignment with the cutting edge; otherwise, you could cause the edge to become less efficient at cutting by rounding the edge with improper alignment. These files can be bought at most hardware stores for around $2-$5.

Whether you need an automatic sharpener because you have lots of chains or use your chainsaw heavily, or you need a small hand file for your once-in-while use of a chainsaw, you will always need to keep your chain sharp. You will be doing yourself a favor to check your chain’s sharpness before each use and maintain it regularly. It will make your cutting easier and more efficient as well as extend the life of your chainsaw.

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