Best Chainsaw File: Choosing Guide And Recommendations

Published on: April 2, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

We don’t throw away a pencil when it gets dull; we use a sharpener for it. Then why throw away the chainsaw chain when it wears off? Some take the chains to the vendor and pay a fortune to get those sharpened.

Professionals use an electric sharpener to sharpen the chains themselves, but that is even more expensive and is not suitable for outdoor use.

best chainsaw files
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For an easy touch-up for a dull chain in the backyard or outdoors, in the middle of an operation, a tiny chainsaw file can make the chain functional within minutes.

It is cheap, pocket-sized, and useful for frequent use. Read ahead to get an idea about chainsaw files, how they work, how to decide which one to buy and how to use one. You may end up being a pro at this and never visit a vendor again for chainsaw sharpening.

However, if you are in the mood to buy a chainsaw file, you can read this instruction. We believe this guide will give you a great deal to your research.

Which Chainsaw File to Pick that Fulfills Your Needs

The chains used in chainsaws come with variety, as the chainsaw files. In the market or online you will find packs that involve only a file of a particular size, or several files with a handle, or a kit of 8 to 10 pieces of attachments with a pouch or box. You just need to find out which one will work for you.

We have organized our list in a way that everyone will find the file they need to sharpen their chainsaw chain. Now, before reaching our list of top 5 chainsaw files here are some guidelines that will help you to choose and decide among those.

Know Your Chain

Check out the chainsaw chain you are using. If you only use one type of chain, then only a particular file with additional tools is all you will need. For different chain types, you will need various files. Thanks to all the manufacturers because almost every chainsaw file brand markets the files as a single file and as a tool kit pack.

Have a Look in the ToolBox

Before ordering a ‘kit’ of chainsaw files, it is better to look for the tools you already have. Most ‘kit’ packs include a wooden handle, depth gauge, guide bar, etc. if you already have these, it’s better not to order these types of packs. A single file will do.

For beginners, the ‘kit’ type packs will be more economical than ordering the essentials separately. The additional accessories that come with the files in ‘kit’ packs are necessary to make the sharpening accurate. In the beginning, you will need each one of those.

The Material of the Files

The chain sharpening files should be thin enough to do sharpening well, but tough enough not to snap under pressure. Files made of high carbon steel material are better than the steel ones. These are rust free too but a little pricey.

Look for the handle the file has. Some files have a plastic or wooden built-in handle to make a secure grip, others come with a separate wooden handle that goes with multiple files. It is better to go for the built-in one because sometimes, the separate one falls off easily due to overuse.

If you are ordering a pack that has multiple pieces, then make sure you do check reviews on those additional accessories as well. You don’t want to load up your toolbox with crappy accessories.

Things to Take Care of During Chain Filing

This part is entirely for those, who are going to sharpen their chainsaw chains for the very first time. Congratulations! Finally, you decided to ditch the vendor sucks away your hard-earned money for chain sharpening. It is a small and easy task that you can do at the peace of your home or outdoors.

Only the right tool and some patience are all you need. Before practically doing the job all by yourself, here are some things you need to take care of before using a file on your chainsaw chain.

Enlighten Yourself

Some file packs arrive with the user manual. But it’s better to check out the YouTube tutorials on how to use a file to sharpen chainsaw chains. You will get an idea about which file to use, what tools you will need, and how to use it accurately.

In the beginning, you will need ten to fifteen minutes to file each tooth. But the duration depends on the length of the chains. Over time, you will be able to complete the task in less than five minutes.


Use protective gloves and eye gears while sharpening the chains. The tooth on the chain can cut your skin and the fine metal dust can be dangerous if they enter your eyes. Wearing a mask is also a good idea for a similar reason.


Using a chainsaw file requires a lot of patience. The sharpening procedure involves several tiny tools. Patience ensures the proper use of every tool to get the best results. So, make time to do this job and try not to hurry, you may end up with a useless chain.

Check for Usefulness

Before filing an old chain, carefully check the height of the tooth compared to the depth gauge. If the tooth and the depth gauge are at the same height, then there is no point in using a file on that chain. It is time to replace the chain with a new one.

Maintenance of the File

Most of the users neglect to maintain the chainsaw files to maintain their chainsaws. It results in a weak, rusty file that is prone to break. To avoid that, clean the file after use and store it in an airtight tool kit or pouch. This way, the file will serve you for longer than expected.

Likewise, you need to take good care of your chainsaw chains. Brush off the wood particles after use and soak the chain in oil when it is not in use for a long time. Besides, use the right chain for the right purpose. For example, never use a chain that is for softer woods for milling hardwood trees.

View Our Recommended Chainsaw File, Below-

Oregon 5/32-Inch Chain Saw File – 2 Pack

  • For 3/8 low profile and 1/4 pitch chains;
  • Made of steel;
  •  Package length, Width, Heigh : 12.0″ : 3.6″ :0.25″;
  • 9.5 inches long.

The pack holds 2 pieces of Oregon 5/32 files. These files are made of smooth steel and are very fragile. So, be careful while placing in a file guide. But, they work amazingly on chains. Only a few strokes are required to sharpen each tooth.

For some, these files are worthless as they break off too easily. But I would say, a pro will not have any problem with these. For beginners, I would suggest purchasing several packs at once so that they can get used to it. Or you can purchase ‘filing kits’ which include a handle to use with the files.

How long will these files last? I can’t tell. But they don’t need to last long if they make your chains long-lasting. These are affordable, so they will surely outperform their price.


  • Faster removal of material;
  • Affordable.


  • Brittle files require careful handling.

Vector Tools Set of 3 Piece Chainsaw Chainsaw Chain Sharpening File Rod

  • 5/32 inch, 7/32 inch and 3/16 inch files;
  • Made of High carbon steel;
  • 8 inches long.

For demanding chainsaw jobs, you need files that last longer and available in a variety of sizes to serve all of your chains of different sizes. This pack is an all-rounder pack that has 3 filing rods to sharpen different chains. There is a small plastic handle at the end of the files to make a secure grip and make filing easier and more consistent.

These rods are made of durable steel material. So, they won’t break easily as other files do. But you need to take good care of them while storing them. Remember to clean the files after use and store them in a dry plastic box. Otherwise, the files can get rusty and become fragile.

This pack is priced right away. The amount you are paying for three rods is very low compared to how they serve you for a long time.


  • Comes with a handle;
  • Durable;
  • High carbon steel file set;
  • Different sizes for different chains.


  • No cons.

Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit with 4 Piece Files

  • 5/32, 3/16, and 7/32 Inch files;
  • Comes with additional accessories;
  • Hardwood handle;
  • 9.75 inches long.

This is a complete set of chain filing kits. 3 files of 5/32, 3/16, and 7/32 inch, a flat file, a wooden handle, depth gauge, file holder, and a roll-up pouch completes this set. There is nothing you will need more to file your chainsaw chains perfectly.

All the tools of this set have been chosen carefully to make it the best of its kind. The roll-up pouch is handy to take the set anywhere, take the tool you need and organize it nicely. With the filing rods, a flat-file is also included to make this kit more useful. The depth gauge and file guides will add accuracy to your sharpening.

The problem with this kit is, the added tools are not durable. Some have complained that the wooden handle comes off frequently which makes it useless. The files are fine, but the gauge and guide are made of flimsy material. For beginners, this kit will really help to own everything they need in one pack, but for professionals, I recommend something stronger.


  • A complete set of chain filing tools;
  • All equipment includes storage cases for use;
  • Convenient to carry and store;
  • Non-slip handle.


  • May was not long-lasting.

BGTOOL Chainsaw Sharpener 10 Piece File Kit

  • 5/32 3/16 7/32 Inch round files;
  • Use high-quality steel;
  • Reliable and long life;
  • Comes with additional accessories.

Here is another set of kits, but it is of better quality than our former filing kit. Besides, it includes more accessories that will help to precisely set the angle and make filing consistent. This kit can be a good option to start sharpening your own saw in the comfort of home, the backyard, or the field. Because it has a user manual with the package to make using this kit easier.

The round files of this kit are made of high-quality durable steel. The clamp-on file guide with engraved angles is convenient to use the files in the best way. The clamps keep the guide set in one place while you sharpen the tooth with round files.

This is a perfect kit for professional craftsmen. It can be used effectively sitting at home.

The entire kit is affordable enough to keep you visiting the vendor sharpener shop for months. For one visit to those shops are more than the price of this pack. So, to start filing your own saw at home, this kit is a wise choice.


  • Made of durable material;
  • Comes with a manual;
  • It can be used to work quickly and safely;
  • Additional helpful tools.


  • No cons.

Drixet Chainsaw Sharpening & Filing 8-Piece Combo Kit

  • 5/32, 3/16, and 7/32 Inch round files;
  • High-quality steel;
  • Comes with compulsory tools.

This pack is lacking some tools compared to other packs and is organized with the basics. There are files of 3 sizes, a flat-file, file guide, and a handle-all are organized in a pouch. The files are made of durable steel, hence we expect them to last for a long time. This kit is the affordable version of other kits we have reviewed. Saw users on a budget can spend on this to try their luck.

In the package, there is an instruction manual that was supposed to make using the tools easy for first-time users. But unfortunately, the manual does a little help to do that. Rather, YouTube tutorials are a better option to train oneself about the proper method of using these tools.


  • Great strength and longevity;
  • Very simple to use;
  • Cheap price.


  • Poor user manual.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kind of Chainsaw Sharpeners Are There?

These have made significant progress since the years of the chainsaw file. Today, you can choose from handheld chainsaw sharpeners or electronic, bar-mounted or divider mounted, and manual or hydraulic support.

How Might I Know When to Sharpen a Chainsaw?

Here is an indication that you need to sharpen your chainsaw. Look at the carved wood. These tools reduce showers and a dull saw restores fine wood dust.

What is a Chain Saw File Utilized for? 

Numerous expert tree specialists and arborists use chain saw files to sharpen chains. An all-around kept-up chain will empower you to work for longer hours without getting drained quickly. A very much sharpened chain will likewise proficiently cut profound into the wood.

What Size File do You Have to Sharpen Chainsaw Tools?

When sharpening your chainsaw utilizing a file, it is significant that the right-sized file is utilized to keep up the right trap point on the tooth and the shape of the neck. The suggested size documents 3 / 8LP and 325 Pitch Chain A 5/32 (4mm) these.

What Size Chainsaw Tool does Require?

The standard rule is to pick a chainsaw tool with a bar that is 2 inches longer than the width of what you require to cut. For instance, in the event that you need to cut a tree that is 10″ across, you will require a chainsaw tool of 12″.


Sharpening files are a convenient, handy, and on-the-go sharpening solution for outdoor jobs and for users on a budget. It is effective to save you from pricey vendors who charge you too much for sharpening the chain. Or even worse, it can save you from buying new chains when the old ones get dull.

This cheap and easy solution works best when you take the right one and use it properly. Spare some time to choose the best chainsaw file for your chainsaw. In the long run, it will save you money and time.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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