Electric chainsaw Sharpeners: Tips and Tricks

If your chainsaw isn’t sharp, then it won’t be able to cut down trees every efficiently, the teeth will not be able to lock themselves into the wood properly. This can increase the chances of bounce back, and cause the cut of the tree to not be very smooth at all.

The best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain is with an electric sharpener. This is a much quicker method than using the old fashioned filing rod, and you won’t have to pay for every individual chain like you would do if you went to a hardware store.

In this article, NorthernSunWoodworks.com will cover 8 tips and tricks for using an electric chainsaw sharpener.

Use a Sharpie

Use a Sharpie

This first step involves a high advanced piece of technology. Not really. It involves a Sharpie, or any other brand of permanent marker. If your chain is silver, like most chains, it would be best to use a black Sharpie. However, if you have one of those black chainsaws, then you might to get a more brightly colored Sharpie, perhaps a gold one would do the job best.

For this trick, you need to mark the first tooth that you’ll be sharpening so that you know when to stop.

Where to put the wheel

When you bring the wheel down it can sometimes be quite difficult to know where it ought to be in relation to the tooth. The perfect place for it to be would be just about scraping the edge of the tooth. This means that it will sand down the sharp part, and make it even sharper.

If it’s too far forward, you will end up sharpening to top of the tooth, which will not be going into the tree and therefore doesn’t need to be sharp. But too far back and you won’t even be sharpening the tooth at all but rather the gap between the teeth. Again, this will not be going into the tree and therefore doesn’t need to be sharpened.

Alternate the teeth

Something that many people might not know about chainsaws is that each tooth is alternating. What do I mean by this? It makes no sense!
What I mean is that if one tooth has it’s sharp side of the left, then that means that the teeth either side of it have their sharp side on the right. By doing this, the chainsaws will have a better grip, and will, therefore, be able to lock themselves better into the wood. When you’re sharpening a chainsaw, skip every other tooth, and then go back to do all of the teeth which you haven’t sharpened yet.

Secure it

When you’re sharpening a chainsaw, the last thing you’ll want is for the machine to wobble around, this can make it incredibly difficult to work with, and will even be a rather large safety hazard. So before you get sharpening, you’ll need to make sure it’s secured firmly onto your work desk. How to do this will depend on what sharpener you’re using. Some of them come with a clap, others will need to be drilled onto the table.

If you hit a nail

One question that gets asked by a lot of people who are new to chainsaws is “How often should I sharpen my chain?”

And the simple answer is ‘whenever it gets blunt’. Aside from this, there is no one size fits all answer that can please everyone. How often your chainsaw gets blunt will depend on the type of metal the chain uses, how often you use it, and what sort of wood you use it on. But there is one occasion where you need to stop what you’re doing and sharpen the saw ASAP. This is when you accidentally hit a nail or other metallic object when you’re cutting.


I think it goes without saying that chainsaws are very sharp and very dangerous. This means that when you use them, even if it’s just to sharpen them, there are risks involved. Although if it’s not attached to the bar, you don’t need to worry about the chain coming off and hitting you in the face, you still risk getting a nasty cut, this could be on a tooth, or on the filing disk. Make sure you take the right safety precautions, this could mean wearing gloves, or using a cover for the disk.


Many of us like to save money, and buying an electric chainsaw sharpener is a great way to do that, as it means you won’t have to take it into the shop every time you want your chain to become sharper.

However, don’t just buy the cheapest one you can find. These ones are more likely to break, and therefore will cost you more in the long run. So it’s going to be better for your bank account to invest a bit more into a higher quality machine.

chainsaw sharpening tips


When you first start doing something, you’re not going to be very good at it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Everything in life takes practice in order to fully master the skill. And the same applies for chainsaw sharpening.
When you first buy your first sharpening machine, don’t just start on the chains you want to use. Instead, find a couple of old chains that you don’t use anymore (or ask your friends for some), and practice on them. Once you’ve mastered the skill, you can get to work on your own chains. This way, you will reduce the chances of breaking anything.

And there we have our 8 tips and tricks on how to use an electric chainsaw sharpener. Use a Sharpie to mark the first tooth. Make sure the disk is just about scraping the edge of the tooth. Do every other tooth, the spin the chain around, and do the rest. Make sure the machine is secure before you get to work. Shapen it asap if you hit a nail. Always keep safety in mind. Invest in a good one, as it will last longer. And practice on an old chain before you sharpen your good ones.

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