There are several kinds of chain saw sharpeners on the market which are used to sharpen your chainsaw chain. The simplest kind is a round hand-held file that you can carry in your toolbox or chain saw case. This is the cheapest kind, and in fact the most commonly used type of chainsaw sharpener.
Even professional loggers carry hand-held chain sharpeners so that they can do touch ups at any time in the field. Hand-held round files only cost a few dollars, and come in several different diameters depending on the size of your chain and the teeth pitch. The most common sizes are 1/4” and 3/8” files.
An excellent electric chainsaw sharpener for the handyman is the Garrett Wade 115V 45T01.01 standard chain sharpener which sells for approximately $65, and the Garrett Wade 45T01.02 quick feed chain sharpener with an automatic chain feed which sells for approximately $95. The quick feed chainsaw sharpener is an Italian product and is commonly referred to as the “easy use” model in Europe. There are also a number of other electric chainsaw sharpeners, including the Jolly chain grinder line of chain sharpeners.
A similar type of chain saw sharpener includes the round hand-held file with a special guide attached to it which helps you maintain the correct angle as you sharpen your saw. These hand-held guides are also very inexpensive and can be purchased for $10 – $40 in many hardware stores.
Another type of chainsaw chain sharpener is a bar mounted guide. These types of sharpeners are portable and can be taken with you and used in the back of your truck. You attach the guide mechanism to the bar of your chain saw and both the side angle and upwards angle can be set and maintained perfectly. These types of chain saw sharpeners are surprisingly cost effective today, ranging from $75 – $150 for very good machines.
Finally, there are professional bench mounted chain saw sharpeners that are permanently mounted in saw shops. Generally, you need to take the chain off your chain saw if you are going to use one of these machines. In many cases these machines can do an excellent job, however cheap versions need to be avoided. Some of the cheaper models simply make a straight cut instead of following the curved shape of the tooth gullet.
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