Electric Chainsaw Sharpener vs File

electric chainsaw sharpener vs file

Unleash the power of precision with the Electric Chainsaw Sharpener—no more dull blades!

The Electric Chainsaw Sharpener surpasses the traditional file in every way. With effortless precision, it delivers razor-sharp results, ensuring optimal cutting power. Say goodbye to manual labor and hello to efficiency. Don’t settle for mediocre sharpening—upgrade to the Electric Chainsaw Sharpener for professional-level performance and superior results.

This comprehensive article will cover everything you need about the Electric Chainsaw Sharpener vs File debate.

So Let’s Get Started!

Main Difference Between Electric Chainsaw Sharpener vs File 

The main difference between an electric chainsaw sharpener and a file is their sharpening method and convenience level.

An electric chainsaw sharpener is a specialized tool designed specifically for sharpening chainsaw blades.

 It comprises a motorized unit with a rotating grinding wheel or a sharpening stone. The chainsaw chain is mounted on a guide bar, and the sharpener is used to grind down the cutting teeth to their original sharpness precisely. 

Electric chainsaw sharpeners are generally more efficient and provide consistent results due to their automated process. They are suitable for users who frequently need to sharpen chainsaw chains or have multiple chainsaw blades to maintain.

On the other hand, a file is a handheld tool traditionally used for sharpening chainsaw chains

It requires manual effort and skill to achieve proper sharpening. With a file, the user manually files each cutting tooth to remove dullness and restore the sharp edge. 

This method is more time-consuming and requires some experience to maintain consistent results. However, it provides flexibility regarding sharpening angles and can be done in the field without electricity.

An electric chainsaw sharpener offers convenience, speed, and consistent sharpening results. 

It is suitable for users who require frequent and precise sharpening. Conversely, a file requires more manual effort, skill, and time but provides flexibility and can be used anywhere. 

The choice between the two depends on the user’s specific needs, preferences, and frequency of chainsaw maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Electric Chainsaw Sharpener vs File

Electric Chainsaw Sharpener:


  • Faster and more efficient sharpening process compared to using a file manually.
  • Consistent sharpening angle and depth, resulting in uniform cutting performance.
  • Automatic features such as adjustable sharpening angles and depth gauges make it easier to achieve desired results.
  • Suitable for professionals or those who frequently use chainsaws and need precise and quick sharpening.
  • It can be more convenient for individuals with limited manual dexterity or physical strength.


  • Requires a power source or battery to operate, limiting portability and requiring access to electricity.
  • The initial cost can be higher compared to a manual file.



  • Portable and can be used anywhere, as it does not require a power source.
  • Relatively lower cost compared to an electric chainsaw sharpener.
  • Simple and straightforward to use, making it suitable for beginners or occasional chainsaw users.
  • It can be easily carried and used in remote locations or areas without access to electricity.
  • It provides more tactile control, allowing users to adjust their sharpening technique.


  • Time-consuming compared to an electric chainsaw sharpener, as it requires manual effort and precision.
  • Achieving consistent sharpening angles can be challenging for inexperienced users.
  • It may require more physical strength and endurance, especially for sharpening multiple chains or larger chainsaw blades.

Safety Tips for Using Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

If you’re planning on using an electric chainsaw sharpener, you should keep a few safety tips in mind. 

First, always wear eye protection when using the sharpener. The chain can throw off sparks and debris, so protecting your eyes is important. 

Second, be sure to keep the sharpener away from children and pets. The moving parts can be dangerous if someone gets too close. 

Third, make sure the area around the sharpener is clear before using it. You don’t want anything caught in the chain while it moves. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the sharpener. This will help ensure that you’re using it correctly and safely. 

Finally, always disconnect the sharpener from the power source when you’re done. This will help prevent any accidents and injuries. 

These safety tips will ensure you can use your electric chainsaw sharpener safely and effectively.

Cost Comparison – Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners vs Files

There are two popular ways to sharpen a chainsaw: with an electric chainsaw sharpener or with a file. Which method is right for you?

To help you decide, here is a cost comparison of electric chainsaw sharpeners vs. files:

Electric Chainsaw Sharpener:

An electric chainsaw sharpener will set you back anywhere from $60 to $200. The price depends on the brand, quality, and features. For example, some models have a built-in light, while others have a dust collector.

The biggest advantage of an electric chainsaw sharpener is convenience. You can do it yourself without taking your saw to a professional. And it only takes a few minutes to get the job done.


A file will cost you around $10. But, you will also need to purchase a filing guide (around $15), which costs this method around $25. 

If you choose to sharpen your chainsaw with a file, you must know how to do it properly. 

If not done correctly, you can damage your saw. Therefore, we recommend watching some instructional videos or taking your saw to a professional the first time around. 

After that, filing your chain is easy and only takes about 10 minutes per session.

Recommended electric chainsaw sharpeners

Electric chainsaw sharpeners are a great way to keep your chain in good condition and extend its life. 

There are many different models on the market, so it’s important to research before purchasing one. 

We’ve compiled a list of our top recommended electric chainsaw sharpeners to help you make the best decision for your needs.

1. Oregon 511A Bench Mounted Chain Sharpener 

2. Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener 

3. X-Sharp XS-16 Portable Chainsaw Sharpener 

4. Einhell TE-CS 38/1 Li Solo Battery Powered Chainsaw Sharpener 

5. Husqvarna 531300441 Chainsaw Sharpening Kit 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and effective electric chainsaw sharpener, the Oregon 511A is a great option. 

It’s designed for use with standard chains and can be mounted to a bench or workbench for stability during use. 

The Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener is another excellent choice, and it’s compact and lightweight for easy portability. 

The X-Sharp XS-16 is a great choice for most chainsaws if you need a portable option. For a battery-powered option, the Einhell TE-CS 38/1 Li Solo is a great choice that’s powerful and efficient. 


Electric chainsaw sharpeners and files are excellent tools for sharpening your blades. 

The electric chainsaw sharpener is faster and easier to use, but it may give you a different level of precision than a file. 

Ultimately, it depends on what kind of results you want. If speed and convenience are more important to you, an electric chainsaw sharpener might be the best choice. 

However, if accuracy is key, then using a file might be preferable for getting those razor-sharp edges you’re after.


Are Chainsaw Chain Sharpeners Worth It?

Yes, chainsaw chain sharpeners can be worth it, depending on your needs and usage. An electric chainsaw sharpener can save you time and effort if you frequently use a chainsaw or have multiple chainsaw blades to maintain. It provides consistent results and ensures that your chainsaw chain is sharpened correctly, which improves cutting performance and safety. However, if you only use a chainsaw occasionally or prefer a more manual approach, using a file may be a more cost-effective option.

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

The best way to sharpen a chainsaw depends on personal preference and available tools. Here is a general step-by-step guide:
Ensure the chainsaw is powered off and the chain is secured.
If using an electric chainsaw sharpener, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up and operate the sharpener. If using a file, proceed to the next step.
Identify the starting point or reference point on the chain. This is usually the tooth with the shortest cutting edge or the one nearest to you.
Hold the file or sharpener at the correct angle. The angle depends on the type of chainsaw chain and can usually be found in the manufacturer’s instructions or on the chain itself.
Apply consistent pressure and file each cutting tooth in a downward motion. If using an electric chainsaw sharpener, follow the instructions for positioning the chain and activating the sharpener.
Repeat the process for each cutting tooth, ensuring they are all sharpened evenly. It is recommended to sharpen every second or third tooth to maintain balance.
Check the depth gauge or raker height and file them if necessary to maintain proper cutting performance.
After sharpening, check the tension of the chain and adjust if needed.

What Size File Is Best For Sharpening A Chainsaw?

The file size required for sharpening a chainsaw depends on the chain pitch and gauge. The file size should match the diameter of the filing guide or the diameter specified by the chainsaw manufacturer. Common file sizes for chainsaw sharpening range from 4.0mm (5/32″) to 7.0mm (9/32″), but it’s crucial to verify the correct size for your specific chainsaw model.
To determine the correct file size, refer to the chainsaw’s user manual or check the markings on the chainsaw chain itself. The file size information is often imprinted on the chain or can be found in the manufacturer’s documentation. Using the correct file size ensures proper sharpening and prolongs the life of your chainsaw chain.

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