How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with an Electric Sharpener – Quick 10 Steps Guide

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Any home owner knows the importance of caring for their tools. A chainsaw is no exception as it requires proper care and maintenance for optimal functioning. A chainsaw consists of some major components including the bar, engine, blade and others.

The blade is very important and proper care is must otherwise the chainsaw will be useless. Below I will show you how to sharpen a chainsaw blade with an electric sharpener.

An electrical sharpener is the best option when it comes to sharpening a chainsaw because it is faster. It is also precise unlike a manual sharpener. With an electric sharpener, you will achieve more without putting in too much effort. Let us find more about aggressive chainsaw sharpening in this guide.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with an Electric Sharpener

What Is An Electric Sharpener?

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

An electric sharpener is an essential tool used to sharpen the blade of a chainsaw. Electric sharpeners will require a power source for them to function or to keep running.

There are plenty of electric sharpeners out there and they all have different capabilities. Some professional chainsaw sharpener equipment will run once plugged into a power source while others will run on batteries.

An electric sharpener is the best way to sharpen a chainsaw because it is faster and more efficient. It will strip away deeper on the blade teeth with each pass.

An electric sharpener is a professional chainsaw sharpener which will offer a longer lifespan of the blade. Electric sharpeners come in two basic types. They are stationary sharpeners as well as handheld sharpeners.

Stationary sharpeners need to be mounted and assembled before use. The handheld sharpeners feature a spinning sanding disc which will sharpen the teeth of the blade. For the best precision, always opt for the stationary electric sharpeners.

When To Use A Chainsaw Sharpener?

First, do electric chainsaw sharpeners work? Yes, they do! Once you invest in an electric chainsaw sharpener, you will also have to figure out when to use it. Buying a chainsaw sharpener doesn’t necessarily mean you must use it every day.

Everyday use can lead to damage and reduced service life of the blade. Below are a few crucial things you should look out for to know when using your sharpener.

In case you are working with your chainsaw and you see it is spitting dust when it is supposed to be spitting sharp wood chips, then it’s time to use the sharpener. Spitting dust means the blade edge isn’t sharp anymore.

The amount of effort you put in when you are cutting the wood will also determine when you should use your sharpener. Applying too much pressure when cutting wood means the blade’s teeth are not as sharp and need to be sharpened.

Also, another red flag to indicate your blade needs sharpening is if it keeps pulling in a certain direction. This will mean one side isn’t sharp enough, and to balance it with the other side is by sharpening it.

Any of these signs means you can use the chainsaw sharpener to improve on your tool’s performance.

Remember if your chainsaw’s blade teeth are dull, there is a high risk of a kickback cut through wood. Kickback can lead to terrible injuries and also damage to your chainsaw engine.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-Inch .050 gauge .325 pitch low kickback low-vibration

Since you now understand when to sharpen your chainsaw blade, learn how to sharpen the blade with your electric sharpener. First of all, you need to get the best electric sharpener out there.

I mean you will handle your needs effectively. There are many options out there that to try, such as Oregon electric chainsaw sharpener and the Chicago electric chainsaw sharpener, among many.

Below are a few ways to sharpen a chainsaw blade with an electric sharpener. But first, you will need a few supplies before you start the whole process.

Things you will need to prepare

The things you may need will be essential. Some of these are required to protect you from any injuries as you sharpen the blade. You will need to prepare for the working area. Make sure it is free from any obstacles.

Also, make sure the electrical source is constant and of the right voltage. Other things you will need are a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

Eye protection and endeavor to wear a long-sleeved shirt just for extra protection. Once you get all that, then start to sharpen your chainsaw blade.

Steps by Step Guide on How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with an Electric Sharpener

Is it worth sharpening a chainsaw? Well, after using your tool for quite some time, the blade will get dull. You need to sharpen the blade so that to enjoy a great performance. Here are some chainsaw sharpening techniques you should follow.

Step. 1: Check the Saw Blade Specifications

The first thing you must learn is the specifications of the blade you are going to be sharpening before you start any sharpening.

Understanding the blade’s specifications, such as the gauge or even the pitch, will give you a better idea of how to go about the whole process.

Get such information from the user manual that comes with the chainsaw. If the user manual is not included, look for the specs from the internet.

Also check from the side of the packaging of the chainsaw. You will need to get the right information if you want to sharpen your blade easily and correctly.

Step. 2: Prepare the Chain

Now that you know the blade’s specifications, then move on to the next step, which is preparing your chain. Here, you will have to detach the chain from the saw and then have it appropriately cleaned using any solvent.

After cleaning it, give it a few minutes to dry completely, or if you are in a hurry, dry it by hand as long as you get all the water out. Next, lift the chain stops to slide it inside the sliding tracks.

Now, lower the stops to lock the chain in place.

Remember to place the lock resting onto the tooth of the chain, as it will be your sharpening starting point.

Step. 3: Secure the Sharpener

The next step is to secure your electric sharpener in place. I am guessing you are using a stationary sharpener; therefore, you will have to attach its end onto a steady bench.

Your sharpener should have holes at the base which you can use for securing it onto the bench. Ensure it is easy to access the locking wheel as you secure the sharpener on your workbench.

You may find some models will need to be secured on the ground. If you have such a model, it is likely it doesn’t feature a free-standing design. Place it on to the ground.

However, such models will not allow you to move the blade free as you sharpen. You will sharpen it in one position.

Step. 4: Position the Electric Sharpener

Now try to position the chainsaw sharpener appropriately. This is important to prevent the sharpener from shaking or even moving when you begin sharpening.

If you have a model that needs to be placed on the ground, make sure you place it on a flat surface with nothing underneath that can cause vibrations.

In case you have a workbench model, make sure to mount it correctly and lock it well in a proper position.

Proper positioning of the sharpener will make it easier for you to install the blade onto the sharpener.

Furthermore, proper positioning will allow a smooth and quick sharpening process.

Step. 5: Install the Accurate Sharpening Stone

After properly positioning the chainsaw sharpener, your next task is to install the right sharpening stone. To get the correct sharpening stone will depend on the blade specifications, as we mentioned in step 1.

Getting the right blade specifications will allow you to install the accurate stone width, which will fit perfectly into the chainsaw blade teeth gap.

With numerous sharpening stones like Oregon chainsaw sharpener stones, you might get them mixed up if you don’t know your blade’s specifications.

Usually, the width of a sharpening stone is 3/16 inches; however, getting a stone that will fit the blade’s specifications is very important.

Step. 6: Adjustment of the Swivel Angle

Next, you will need to place the chainsaw blade into the sharpener’s holder. Once you are done, then go ahead and adjust the swivel angle. The most common swivel angles are between 0 and 60 degrees.

However, you may find a sharpener with a swivel angle that could go up to 80 degrees.

Step. 7: Set Blade Tooth Angle

When setting the blade tooth angle, you will have to go back and refer to the blade specifications. Check the tooth angle stated on the specifications. Once you know the angle, then set it on the sharpener.

To do this, you will have to listen to the knob at the holder of the blade. Keep moving the knob either positively or negatively to get the right settings.

Step. 8: Adjust the Depth

This step is essential if you don’t want the sharpener cutting too deep into the blade. Adjusting the depth helps to position the sharpener properly. Some of the other consequences may occur are the blade overheating.

Others include loss of integrity of the construction material, and the metal between the blade teeth getting cut deeply by the sharpener’s grinder.

Step. 9: Start the Process

Once you have set everything up, now begin the sharpening process. Start by lowering the sharpener’s grinder onto the first tooth until you spot some Sparks.

Don’t keep the grinder onto the blade for long. After a few seconds, lift the grinder off and see if the tooth has a shiny finish.

Step. 10: Advancing

When you are through with your first tooth, don’t celebrate just yet because you still have more to go. Move to the next tooth and repeat the procedure.

Remember after you are done with a set of teeth, you will find you need to adjust your grinder to another position.

For example, if your grinder was set at a depth of 20 degrees in the positive direction for the first set, you will have to set it at 20 degrees at the negative direction. This will allow you to sharpen the next set of teeth properly.

How To Use An Electric Sharpener

Buffalo Tools ECSS Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

You need to know how to use the chainsaw sharpener to avoid chainsaw sharpening mistakes. When using an electric sharpener, you will have to put a lot of things into consideration. First, you need to consider your safety as it is the most important thing.

You also need to know the entire process can be challenging, especially if you are new to the whole thing. Below I will show you how to sharpen chainsaw chain with Oregon electric sharpener as an example.

When using the Oregon electric sharpener, you will have to check the grinder wheel shape first. Go on to set the vise assembly so that the top plate filing angle is accurate.

Next, using the specifications of the top plate cutting angle, you will have to set the grinder head angle as per the specifications.

Now check and see if the vise handle is screwed tightly, making the chain secured in place. Turn on the electric sharpener and start sharpening by lowering the sharpener’s arm motor unit.

Once you are through sharpening the cutter raise the arm’s handle and listen to it. Now run your chain forward to sharpen the next cutter and repeat the same process until you sharpen the last cutter/tooth.

Electric Sharpener Using Tips and Tricks

As you use your chainsaw sharpener, it’s essential to do so with some tips and a few chainsaw tricks to help you perform a great job. Below are a few chainsaw sharpening tricks to get you started.

  • Try to keep the chain firm as you sharpen the blade.
  • Check the sharpener to see it is in good condition to get the job done.
  • Before you start sharpening the blade, secure your sharpener firmly.
  • Never use your electric sharpener in a wet or even damp environment.
  • Do not use the electric sharpener in an environment close to flammable liquids or even gases.
  • As you sharpen the blade, count the number of swipes you make on the first tooth and make sure they are the same for the rest of the teeth.
  • The place you are sharpening from must be well lit. Preferably, always use the sharpener outside.
  • Pay close attention to the direction of the teeth as you make each swipe.
  • Remember to wear your safety gear as you use the electric sharpener.

Safety Tips before Using an Electric Sharpener

Safety should be your priority to avoid injuries. The following are some essential tips that you should know when dealing with an electric sharpener.

Keep The Chain Tight While Sharpening

Make sure your chain is placed firmly on to the sharpener’s holder. When a chain is not placed tightly, it will be shaking throughout the entire sharpening process.

This will not be good for the sharpener as it will affect its performance. You will also fail to get the proper sharpening accuracy.

Check Your Sharpener

Since you are dealing with an electric sharpener and not a manual one or a file to sharpen your chainsaw blade, you will have to check it before use.

Just like your chainsaw, your electric sharpener also needs care for continuous proper functioning. Thorough checking will prevent the risk of the sharpener blowing up while in use.

Take Special Care Of The Tooth’s Direction

Look at the direction each swipe you make is taking. Each swipe should be in the same direction so that you don’t cut too deep into the teeth. Also, it will help the teeth to remain smooth and balances out.

Grease Things Afterward

Once you are done sharpening, make sure you grease your chain as well as the blade. This will allow the blade and chain to perform smoothly, eliminating the risk of kickbacks or any other sorts of accidents.

Take Your Protection

Before you start sharpening the blade or even setting up the sharpener, you must consider wearing protective gear to keep you from getting injured. Wear gloves, Google’s, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect you from chips of metal.

You should also keep a safe distance as you sharpen your blade. Furthermore, wear the right shoes and do not have any sort of jewelry hanging from your neck.


Sharpening your chainsaw is very important because when the blade gets dull, it will not be able to function well. While there are plenty of ways to sharpen your chainsaw blade, the best and fastest is by using an electric chainsaw sharpener.

I have taken you through different steps on how to sharpen a chainsaw blade with an electric sharpener, and everything should be clear by now.

You will have to follow the steps carefully if you want to go through the process easily and quickly. The tips I have shared will allow you to set up your tools nice and easy, and I guarantee you will get the best results.

Don’t forget to follow the safety tips as well to keep away from accidents.

You May Also Read:

1. How To Sharpen A Chainsaw With A Dremel – A Handy Easy Guide (2020)

2. How to Sharpen Circular Saw Blades – 7 Steps Handy Guide (2020)

3. How to Sharpen a Pole Saw Blade – 3 Effective Ways (2020)

Robert Terry

Robert Terry is a specialist author at He is very enthusiastic about woodworking and carpentry. His writings have been published in the wood magazine before. His passion for working with wood and woodworking tools lets him explore many pieces of informative content and resources. Besides working as a creative writer, he loves to share his skills and experiences with the woodworking and carpentry community.

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