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Chain Saw Sharpener for the Handyman

Sep 10, 2008
A handyman chain saw sharpener typically sharpens the chain while it is still on the chain saw. This is different than a professional chain saw sharpener that is typically bench mounted or wall mounted.

One advantage of a handyman chain saw sharpener is that it's usually more portable. You will be able to carry this handy device to the job site and pull it out any time for quick touch ups to your chain. Remember, if you're doing any kind of productive work with your chain saw you need a razor sharp chain, and the only way to maintain that sharpness is with frequent sharpening during the job.

You will still get fast, efficient results with a handyman chain saw sharpener. This type of sharpener is surprisingly affordable today, and the benefits of a properly sharpened chain far outweigh the minimal cost involved. Besides, one of the most unsafe aspects of any chain saw is trying to cut when it's dull. Since the chain saw doesn't cut easily when it's dull the operator tries to force it too much and the saw kicks back easier.

In many cases a battery is used for the power source in a home handyman chain saw sharpener. This allows you to bring the sharpener almost anywhere, including a remote jobsite in the woods.

You should still be able to grind any type of chain and size, including 1/4 inch, 0.325 inch, 3/8 inch, and 0.404 inch pitches. However, this level of sharpener will require more manual adjustments and won't be quite as precise. The quality of work will still be excellent, and this type of sharpener should be capable of doing both round and chisel chain styles.

The grinding head will usually be spring loaded, but it is still easily adjusted for different cutting angles. Again, you should expect anywhere from 0 degrees to 35 degrees adjustment.

A portable chain saw sharpener should also have an adjustable chain stop for different depths, as well as a transparent safety guard. The grinding wheels on handyman chain saw sharpeners are typically in the 4 inch to 5 inch diameter range, with motor speeds of 4,000 to 5,000 rpm.

The important factor is that even these portable chain saw sharpeners provide a consistent filing of every tooth on the chain. The guide that is mounted onto the bar ensures consistent sharpening angles for every tooth. The same quality and consistency of sharpening cannot be achieved with a hand held round file and hand guide.
About the Author
T Bridger runs the Chain Saw Sharpener Guide, where you can get honest, practical advice about how to sharpen your chainsaw chain, and learn all about a chain saw sharpener.
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