Best Chainsaw Files [Keeping it Sharp in 2020]

How many files should I go through to get my chainsaw chain up and running like a butter?

This question came to us from a user a while back. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get back to the poor fellow. We didn’t have any concrete evidence or recommendations to back up our answers.

But that all changes today. Because we have recommendations for the best chainsaw files that are going to offer superior convenience in terms of usability.

There are a number of reasons for you to read our review on the best-rated chainsaw files. Our options will allow you to become more agile with your woodworking endeavors, eliminating any excess use of oil and force.

With that said, we will now offer a comparison table to help you better understand what you are getting. It’s going to be short-just a sneak peek of what you can expect in the coming sections about the best chainsaw file guide.

In a hurry? The best quality chainsaw files I can suggest for you to buy right now would be the Stihl 2 IN 1 Easy File.

Best Chainsaw Files – Comparison

IMAGEMODELFEATURES
Stihl 2 IN 1
  • Metal sharpener
  • 0.325-inch
  • Good for occasional use
Check The Price
Katzco File Kit
  • Metal & wood construction
  • 5/32, 3/16, 7/32-inch
  • Depth-gauge, filing gauge, tool pouch
Check The Price
Pferd 17300
  • Metal & plastic construction
  • 5/32-inch
  • Depth-gauge distance 0.025-inch
Check The Price
STIHL 5605 007 1027
  • Metal & wood construction
  • 5/32-inch
  • Suitable for ¼-inch & 3/8-inch
Check The Price
Husqvarna 531300081
  • metal & plastic parts
  • 3/8-inch
  • Handle, filing gauge, 2-round file, 1-flat file
Check The Price

Chainsaw File Reviews

Now that you’ve had a quick look at what to expect, it’s time for us to jump into action and break down the features of each offering.

Finally, we would urge you to consider reading the later sections of today’s review on the best quality chainsaw files. They will help you customize your choices and make a decision based on your assessment.

1. Stihl 2-in-1 Chainsaw Sharpener

Stihl 2 IN 1 EASY FILE CHAINSAW CHAIN

Key Features

  • It’s a 2-in-1 chainsaw file.
  • It’s only 12-ounces, a highly portable option.
  • Effective for quick use.
  • Good metal and plastic construction.

The Stihl 2-in-1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener is a simple looking chainsaw file that’s occupying the top spot in our review for the best file for sharpening a chainsaw. Although it’s not a full kit, it’s got all the right features to be a handy tool that’s going to keep your chainsaw chain in shape.

From a design standpoint, the one thing you’d notice is that it’s fairly lightweight. Also, it allows the user a lot of freedom when it comes to sharpening job.

If you think of the performance as a whole, then you’ll find it to be a worthy chainsaw file that makes a lot of sense for occasional use. The usability and functionality are both satisfactory, which is why it has occupied the first spot in our review.   

Pros

  • It’s very lightweight.
  • A highly efficient choice for occasional users.
  • The overall functionality is hassle-free.
  • No additional maintenance is required.

Cons

  • The longevity is a point of concern.

Why Should you Buy this?

It’s for those users who want something easy and simple to keep their chainsaw chains in form. If you’re one of those people, then you should certainly check it out.  

2. Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File KitKatzco 8 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File KitKey Features

  • The kit contains all the necessary files.
  • The files come in a roll-up pouch, offering portability.
  • The kit features premium build quality with fine teeth.
  • The angle indications are there for optimal usability.

The Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit comes with 3-different files, making it the ideal option for an on-the-go professional. Having a set of different files means you won’t have any problems with compatibility.

The performance as a whole is right on par with some of the high-end brands out there. Although it’s not the best chainsaw file in the world, the aggressive pricing puts it at a very competitive spot. If you factor that in along with all the proper features, then you have a very decent chainsaw file kit at hand. And if you don’t want the chainsaw bar to overheat, then you need t check it out. 

Pros

  • This chainsaw file will last long.
  • It comes with a very aggressive price tag.
  • The handle’s got a good grip on it.
  • The design allows for a quick and easy sharpening workflow.

Cons

  • It’s not very novice-friendly.

Why Should you Buy this?

It’s pretty much a full-on kit with all the bells and whistles. If you’re in the market for the best chainsaw chain files then you should certainly take a closer look at it.

3. Pferd 17300 CS-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide

Key Features

  • A slim and sleek hand-held chainsaw file guide.
  • It features an ultra-portable form-factor.
  • It weighs just shy of 12-ounces, very lightweight overall.
  • The design allows for a quick and easy workflow.

The Pferd 17300 CS-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide is a simple, yet worthy option to be on our list for the best quality chainsaw files. Granted, it’s not a full kit. Also, there’s really not much to talk about the design either.

Still, if you consider the portability and ease of use, you will find this chainsaw file to be a worthy choice. It’s both precise and efficient to use, not to mention the fair price tag that makes it even more intriguing.

From a novice to a professional, none should have any issues whatsoever. The design is simple, which also complements the usability, making it stick to simplicity as well.  

Pros

  • It’s built pretty well.
  • There’s no extra maintenance hassle.
  • It’s super easy to use.
  • The portability is superior to some of the existing competition.

Cons

  • The instruction manual isn’t very user-friendly. 

Why Should you Buy this?

It’s one of those options that even a novice can use. If there wasn’t any lack of instructions, we would have put it at the very top of the best quality chainsaw files list. But if you are in the market for something portable with good features, there’s no harm in checking it out.

4. STIHL 5605 007 1027 Complete Chainsaw Filing KitSTIHL 5605 007 1027 Complete Chainsaw Filing KitKey Features

  • A complete set suited for ¼-inch and ¾-inch STIHL chainsaw chains.
  • It’s a combination of wood and stainless steel.
  • It’s a fairly precise 5/32 chainsaw filing kit.
  • It comes with a fair number of accessories. 

When it comes to the best brand of round chainsaw files, the name STIHL does come to mind. And their STIHL 56050071027 will give you a couple of reasons to solidify the earlier statement.

It’s a fairly decent kit that doesn’t need any preparation to get started. All you need to do is have the right kit in hand and you’re good to go. You will get the right amount of precision and control, which should be an expectation from a brand of this stature.

Pros

  • The workflow is pretty much hassle-free.
  • No rigorous assembly or preparation is in order.
  • You have a good amount of precision to get the job done.
  • The chainsaw file bag design is unique and easy to use.

Cons

  • No proper instructions to follow.

Why Should you Buy this?

If you’re someone who wants to get the job done seamlessly without any issues, then this chainsaw file kit could be your best friend. So, you may want to take a look at it properly.

5. Pferd 17304 CS-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide

Pferd 17304 CS-X Chain Sharp Filing GuideKey Features

  • It features a solid steel and plastic design.
  • The ergonomics of the shape allows decent functionality.
  • You have a depth-gauge distance of 0.030-inches.
  • A 7/32 chainsaw file that weighs only 13-ounces.

The Pferd 17304 CS-X is a big brother to the 17300, which we took a look at a while back. As far as the build quality and features go, they are pretty much the same.

But the functionality is a bit different from the 17300, simply because of the extra weight. Other than that, you have almost identical ergonomics and control, giving us enough reasons to keep this option in our best chainsaw file list. 

Pros

  • It features an acceptable design.
  • The design ergonomics allow better flow without any hassle.
  • It feels really good in the hand.
  • One of the few portable chainsaw files out there.

Cons

  • There’s no way to swap out files and use them differently.

Why Should you Buy this?

The design ergonomics of this chainsaw file makes it a very intriguing option. So, you should certainly check it out if you’re looking for something that offers ease and convenience. 

6. Husqvarna 531300081 3/8-Inch Saw Chain Filing Kit

Husqvarna 531300081 Chain Filing KitKey Features

  • It’s a 3/8-inch chainsaw sharpening file kit.
  • The cutting tooth is exposed while sharpening.
  • You have the angle marks for proper usability.
  • There are 2-round files and 1-flat files which is for the depth gauges. 

If you want the answer to the question on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file, then Husqvarna 531300081 can give you the correct answer. It’s one of the more prominent brands out there that focuses on proper usability and functionality.

And that’s what you get with this chainsaw file. It’s got just the right amount of balance and control you’d need. On top of that, there is a combination of the chainsaw file depth gauge, which makes the work cleaner overall.

Pros

  • The construction is on point.
  • You don’t need to apply too much pressure.
  • The gauge combination offers good simplification for filing.
  • The overall usability is satisfactory.

Cons

  • The included instructions are very poor.

Why Should you Buy this?

A decent chainsaw kit can take you a long way. And if you are an intermediate user, then the Husqvarna 531300081 will surely make an excellent choice for you.

7. MIZOOVA 10 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit

MIZOOVA 10 Piece Chainsaw Sharpener File KitKey Features

  • It’s a 10-piece kit with a 6-inch flat file.
  • It features a quick lock and release mechanism.
  • There are angle engravings for proper functionality.
  • The kit is very diverse, compatible with a wide range of chains. 

The MIZOOVA 10-piece Chainsaw Sharpening File Kit is pretty much the ultimate when the question of the best chainsaw files comes to mind. You pretty much have all the necessary pieces to conduct a proper filing operation.

And all of the pieces offer good overall usability. You have a very convenient locking mechanism. Pair that with solid steel construction and you have a kit that will make chainsaw sharpening nothing more than a pushover.  

Pros

  • The compatibility of the kit is varied indeed.
  • The steel construction is on point.
  • The locking mechanism offers good control as a whole.
  • The chainsaw bar file groove cleaner is a nice addition.

Cons

  • The overall quality of the tools could be better.

Why Should you Buy this?

If you’re a professional who is constantly on call, then the MIZOOVA 10-piece Chainsaw Sharpening File Kit is the perfect fit for you. Not only will your workflow be precise, but your customers will come to appreciate your efforts as well.

8. Drixet Chainsaw Sharpening & Filing Kit

Drixet Chainsaw Filing KitKey Features

  • It’s a full-on 8-piece kit.
  • You have 3-steel round files along with a hardwood handle.
  • The chainsaw file holder has 2-clips for support.
  • You have an indication for angles that will help ensure precision.

The Drixet kit comes with 8-pieces of gear, purpose-built for a proper chainsaw filing operation. If your chainsaw chain needs a good brush-up, then this kit can make it happen.

As mentioned earlier, all the pieces are there to give you seamless control and precision. And that is to be expected when you have a decent build quality alongside the proper attention to detail.

Pros

  • The overall build quality is commendable.
  • You will be able to adjust the angles properly.
  • The Racer File is pretty accurate.
  • It comes with a healthy number of accessories.

Cons

  • The file does slip in the gauge at times.

Why Should you Buy this?

The Drixet Chainsaw Sharpening and Filing Kit is pretty much a kit for intermediate to high-level professionals who are serious about what they do. If you’re one of those folks who want to impress the customer with a touch of professional prowess, then you should certainly take a closer look at it.

9. Oregon 25896 3/16 inch Chainsaw File Guide

Oregon 25896 Chainsaw File GuideKey Features

  • A 3/16 inch chainsaw file with a good grip.
  • You have lines on the file for proper alignment.
  • There are angle indicators for guidance.
  • The steel construction is precise.

When it comes to attention to detail, you can rely on Oregon. Their top of the line chainsaw files offers good attention to detail along with the promise of getting the job done right.

There’s really no hassle with the usability. It’s all about getting it out, trying it out and get to work. You have the right tool with the proper sharpening capabilities. All you have to do is use it to your advantage.

Pros

  • The build quality is on point.
  • There’s no hassle with depth correctness.
  • The angle indication is a nice touch.
  • You will find the efficiency to be satisfactory.

Cons

  • There’s only one file in the package.

Why Should you Buy this?

The Oregon 25896 is certainly up there when it comes to the best round 3/16 chainsaw files. Although there is a minor flaw in the mix, you certainly have a lot to be happy about.

If you’re someone who wants the best 3/16 chainsaw file, then taking a proper look at this option is certainly an option.

10. Oregon 70503/80503 3/16-Inch Chain Saw FileKey Features

  • It’s got a Swiss cut finish with precision teeth.
  • A 3/16 inch chainsaw file with not too many teeth/inches.
  • The tang, chainsaw file diameter and teeth are uniform.
  • It features a sand-blasted design that comes demagnetized.

Our final product in this lineup of chainsaw files is also from Oregon. And that’s because this sharpening variant is an allrounder in its own right.

Uniformity and control are the two things you need to include when you’re describing this chainsaw file. And that’s pretty much what all professionals need. And you can have both of these traits without making much of an effort.

Pros

  • It feels very premium overall.
  • The uniformity is on point.
  • There’s not much effort involved in the sharpening process.
  • There’s very little chance of trapping.

Cons

  • The durability isn’t that great.

Why Should you Buy this?

The Oregon 70503/80503 has a decent set of features with the right amount of polish. So, if you’re someone who is into uniformity and control, then you should certainly consider it as a potential option.

How to Choose the Right Chainsaw File

There are a plethora of chainsaw file kit brands. And the amount is on the rise, giving the average user very little chance to take some time and see if the option he’s going for is worth it.

When you’re in the market for the best chainsaw files, there are a couple of things you need to take into account. Do note that these considerations are in no particular order. You are in control of how to decipher them and make the most of it.

The Pricing

The pricing for a chainsaw file can range from 15 dollars to a hundred, or even more than that.

One simple rule of thumb is to determine your workflow and make the decision from there. If you are committed to a certain price point, then you have fewer options to deal with.

Then you have the liberty to weigh in all the features and make the right call.

The File Size

Your chainsaw manual and the chainsaw file box are your best friend in this regard. Both of them will have some sort of indication about the compatibility.

We’ve already revealed the measurement of our chainsaw file sizes in the comparison table. Also, we will be discussing how you can take your reference from a chart and work with the right option.

The Accessories

The number and quality of the accessories is a major concern when it comes to a chainsaw file. Make sure to weigh your options properly and see if the accessories you’re getting are really worth the investment.

You may want to seek advice from a close professional if you want to go with something similar. There will be less room for error this way.

The Ergonomics

Design ergonomics is always an essential part of any tool. You may want to look for proper ergonomics that suits you. If you are a regular professional then the ergonomics should be a major point of concern for you. 

The Gauge Depth

It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle that’s going to help you understand the depth of the chainsaw cut. There different types of gauge out there, which with its own set of specs.

But there is a simple thing you should know here: if the sharpening is not proper during the chainsaw file depth gauge, there may be some unexpected vibration.

How to File a Chainsaw Chain: Referencing from a Chart

chainsaw cutter typesIn order to find the right charting reference, you must first know about the cutter types:

  • Round or Chipper tooth
  • Square tooth, round grind
  • Square tooth, square grind

You can either measure the pitch of the chain. Or reference it from a chart, which is widely available.

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw with a File Safely

In order to sharpen a chainsaw safely, there are a couple of things you need to take care of:-

  1. Know the surface. Although we are dealing with stainless steel surfaces, you do have other surface types like a diamond surface.
  2. Know the file size. If there is a compatibility issue, then you may end up damaging the chain.
  3. Use protective gear at all times. This is for your own safety.
  4. Make sure to check the manual that comes with the chainsaw file. If you are uncertain what to do, then watch a couple of good online videos. You may as well do something slow and right rather than doing something quick and wrong.

Answers to Some Simple Questions

Q: I feel like I’m doing something wrong, what should I do about the quick loss of sharpness of the chainsaw chain?

Ans: We appreciate the user being straight with us. First of all, you may want to check the chainsaw file sizes from the user manual. Also, try and put less pressure on the chainsaw chain. You shouldn’t have any further problems.

Q: Should I use my chainsaw with wet wood?

Ans: It really doesn’t make any huge difference. Your chainsaw is already lubricated with oil. So, there shouldn’t be any issues whatsoever. However, you should notice the overheat of the chainsaw bar.

Q: Is there any limit on the number of times you can sharpen a chainsaw chain?

Ans: It will depend on how you use your chainsaw. But the general consensus is in favor of a maximum rating of 5. It means you can sharpen it at least 5 times.

Q: How frequently should I change my chainsaw chain?

Ans: It will depend on your workload of course. In general, for frequent users, a 5-year life expectancy is common. But for those of you don’t use a chainsaw too often, you could easily get away with 10+ years of use.

Q: How should I determine that my chainsaw isn’t usable anymore?

Ans: That is a very important question. In order to find out if your chainsaw chain is wearing out and needs attention, you can take a look at the following factors:-

  • Is cutting performance inconsistent? Are you not getting the desired outcome?
  • Is there any occurrence of smoking?
  • Is it hard to position the chainsaw?
  • Are there any noticeable damages?

If any of the above-mentioned questions have an affirmative answer, then you need to either get a chainsaw blade file and sharpen the blade or make other arrangements.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve made it this far, then we would like to congratulate you! We understand this review of the best chainsaw files isn’t small by any means. There’s a lot of information to go through.

But if you want to get the best value for the money, you need to be able to understand the gist of it all. If you can do that, buying a chainsaw sharpening file is like a piece of cake.

And that’s pretty much all the advice we have for you now. We hope the extent of our review has given you a good bit of data to work with.

See you around. Peace!

Kevin Smith

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