Comparing Manual and Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners: Which is Right for You?

Date Posted: 26 January 2023 

To keep your chainsaw in optimal condition and ensure it lasts at least ten years or more, it is essential that you sharpen its teeth.

If you need to sharpen your chainsaw teeth, you need a good chainsaw sharpener to do the job correctly. Chainsaw sharpeners can come in two forms—manual and electrical sharpeners.

But are you familiar with the differences between manual and electric chainsaw sharpeners? Below is a guide highlighting everything you need to know about chainsaw sharpeners.


The Basics of Chainsaw Sharpening

Chainsaw teeth work by cutting through wood as you move the chainsaw through it. They have a bevelled edge designed to cut through the wood fibres and a flat side that helps guide the saw through the wood. As you use the chainsaw, the teeth can become dull or damaged.






This can make it more difficult to cut through wood. Chainsaw sharpening is a necessary task to maintain chainsaw safety and efficiency. Here are steps for sharpening chainsaw teeth:

Step 1: Secure the Chain

Before you begin, ensure the chain is securely fastened to the chainsaw. You don’t want the chain to move or come loose while you’re working on it.

Step 2: Locate the Dull Teeth

Identify the dull teeth on your chain. These are the teeth you should focus on when sharpening.

Step 3: Set the Depth Gauge

The depth gauge is the small, raised bump on the top of each tooth. Use a depth gauge tool to file down the depth gauge, so it is level with the top of the tooth.

Step 4: File the Tooth

Hold the chainsaw steady and sharpen the tooth using your chainsaw sharpener. File at a slight angle to create a bevel on the top of the tooth.

Ensure you maintain the proper angle when filing the teeth. Use an angle gauge to check the angle and adjust as necessary.

Step 5: Repeat the Process

Continue sharpening each tooth, working your way around the entire chain. Make sure to sharpen each tooth to the same level.

Step 6: Inspect the Chain

After sharpening all of the teeth, inspect the chain as a whole to ensure it is symmetrical and smooth. Also, check that all the teeth are at the same level. If they are not, repeat the process for the specific teeth that aren’t well-sharpened.

Step 7: Clean the Chain

Once you’re done, clean your chainsaw with a rag to remove any filings or debris. If you are not using it immediately, store it in a cool and dry place.


Manual Chainsaw Sharpeners

For optimal chainsaw maintenance, you can opt for a manual chainsaw sharpener. These devices sharpen the cutting teeth by hand.

This chainsaw sharpening kit consists of a file guide that attaches to the chain and holds it at a correct angle when sharpening. It also has a round file used to file down the teeth on the chain.

To use a manual chainsaw sharpener, clamp the file guide onto the chainsaw bar. Then, file down the teeth of your chainsaw using the round file.


Pros of a Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

Manual sharpeners have their advantages and disadvantages. Some of the main reasons why people choose it include:


Manual chainsaw sharpeners are ideal if you are looking for an inexpensive sharpening option. They are less expensive than electric sharpeners, making them a more budget-friendly option.


Manual sharpeners are portable. You can carry them to the job site, even if it’s in a remote location.


They allow you to have full control over the sharpening process. As a result, you can sharpen the chain exactly as desired.

Easy to Maintain

Manual chainsaw sharpeners are also relatively easy to maintain. This is because they don’t have any electrical components that can wear out or break over time. This means that they can last for a long time with proper care.


Cons of a Manual Chainsaw Sharpener

Manual sharpeners do come with their fair share of issues. Some of the common cons include the following:

Not Easy to Use

On the downside, manual chainsaw sharpeners can be tiring and time-consuming. You need more skill and practice to master the correct angle and maintain the correct angles of sharpening. In addition, if you are a newbie, you may cause inaccuracies that can affect the performance of your chainsaw over time.

Lack Precision

Manual chainsaw sharpeners are not as precise as electric sharpeners. This can lead to cases where teeth aren’t sharpened at the same angle, making cutting with your chain a hassle.


Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

Aside from manual sharpeners, you can also use electric chainsaw sharpeners. They use a motor-driven abrasive wheel to sharpen the cutting teeth of a chainsaw chain.

To use an electric chainsaw chain sharpener:

  1. Secure the file guide to the chainsaw sharpener and plug the sharpener in.
  2. Place the chain in the sharpener and ensure it’s well-aligned with the file guide.
  3. Turn on the sharpener and gently guide the chain through the guide.

Once you’ve completed filing one tooth, move on to the next and repeat the process.

Pros of an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

But are electric chainsaw sharpeners any good? Below are some advantages that you may want to consider:

Ease of Us

Electric chainsaw sharpeners are very easy to use. They have simple controls you can easily operate, even if you lack experience.


An electric chain sharpener for chainsaw comes with adjustable guides that help you sharpen each tooth to the correct angle. As a result, you can get a much sharper and more precise cut.


Electric sharpeners are much faster than manual sharpeners. Therefore, they can save you much time if you need to sharpen many chains.

Cons of an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener

The cons of an electric sharpener are few. Some of the issues users have had with them include:

  • Cost: Electric sharpeners are more expensive than manual sharpeners
  • Inconvenient: You can’t use them in a remote location that doesn’t have a power source


Comparing Manual and Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners

Can’t decide between manual and electric chainsaw sharpeners? Below is a comprehensive comparing manual to help.


Manual chainsaw sharpeners tend to be less expensive than electric sharpeners. For example, you can purchase them for around $20 to $50, whereas electric sharpeners can cost upwards of $100.

Ease of Use

Unlike electric sharpeners, manual chainsaw sharpeners tend to be technical and tiring to use. This is because electric sharpeners have easy controls. But they often have a complex setup.


Electric chainsaw sharpeners are generally more accurate than manual sharpeners. This makes them better suited for less experienced people with chainsaw sharpening.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Chainsaw Sharpener

Several factors may influence your decision to use one type of sharpener over the other. These include:

Size of Your Chainsaw

If you have a larger chainsaw with a wider chain, you may find it more difficult to sharpen with a manual sharpener. Electric sharpeners are better suited to larger chainsaws, as they can sharpen the chain faster and with greater precision.

Frequency of Sharpening

A manual chainsaw sharpener may be more convenient if you only sharpen your chainsaw occasionally. However, an electric sharpener may be a better investment if you sharpen your chainsaw regularly. It will save you time and effort in the long run.

Experience Level

If you are an experienced chainsaw user confident in your ability to sharpen the chain at the correct angle, a manual sharpener may be suitable for you. However, for a beginner, an electric chainsaw sharpener may be ideal.


Buy a Quality Electric Chainsaw Sharpener Today

The best sharpening option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. But generally, electric sharpeners are more accurate and easier to use.

If you are looking for the best electric chainsaw sharpener in Australia, look no further than our online store or this and more. Shop now!