Let me introduce you to the best chainsaw chain sharpener ever! It’s fast, efficient, and brilliantly designed!
This is the CS-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide made by Pferd, a German company. Legend has it that they are the company that makes the very popular 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener for Stihl. The only difference between the two besides the color is the price. The Pferd sells for around $34 on Amazon, whereas the Stihl sells for around $46 on Amazon. (Links to different models are further down in the post.)
When I first heard about the Stihl sharpener I searched for it on Amazon and the Pferd version also came up. After reading the rave reviews about it, I decided to save some money and try the Pferd and I gotta tell you, I absolutely LOVE this thing!
There are several different models to choose from so you have to be careful to buy the right one for your chain. You need to know the pitch of your chain and the diameter of the sharpening file required. Below are the links to the different Pferd models:
- Pferd 17300 CS-X Sharp CS-X Chain Saw Sharpener – 3/8″ Chain Pitch, 5/32″ Files
- Pferd 17301 Sharp CS-X Chain Saw Sharpener – 0.325″ Chain Pitch, 3/16″ Files
- Pferd 17303 Sharp CS-X Chain Saw Sharpener – 3/8″ Chain Pitch, 13/64″ Files
- Pferd 17304 Sharp CS-X Chain Saw Sharpener – 0.404 Chain Pitch, 7/32″ Files
BTW, the pitch of the chain is the distance between any three rivets on the chain, divided by 2. My chain measure ¾” between three rivets, so the pitch is 3/8″ which is a common chain pitch. My chain requires a 5/32″ file diameter.
Alright, let’s put this thing to work. First, I mark the top of a link so that I know when I have come full circle sharpening the chain.
Here are the key parts that make up this ingenious device. It has two round files for sharpening the chain teeth, one for each direction. And a flat file for filing down the depth gauges while sharpening the teeth. I’ll have more to say about that in a moment. And four square guide bars that help position the files correctly on the chain. Oh and it also has guide markings so you know how to hold the file depending on which direction you are sharpening.
The sharpener is positioned so that the inner edge of the handle is parallel with the chain, as shown below. Make sure the hinge is on the lower left of the handle. What’s that hinge for? You’ll find out shortly.
Positioned properly, two of the guide bars rest on top of two cutting teeth. The round sharpening file is engaged with the rear tooth that’s about to be sharpened.
At the same time, the flat gauge file sits atop the depth gauge in front of the tooth to be sharpened and gentle files it down as the cutting tooth is sharpened. This is very important because the more you sharpen a cutting tooth, the short it gets. The depth gauges sit in front of the cutting teeth and determine how big of a bite the teeth take out of wood, so if the depth gauges aren’t also filed down while the chain is sharpened, over time the chain will start to take smaller and smaller bites and become less efficient. This is the secret sauce of this type of sharpener: it also makes sure your chain continues to take the proper sized bite as it spins.
As you sharpen, make sure you keep the tool level and maintain the proper angle throughout each stroke. If you finish the stroke with the inside edge of the handle parallel with the chain, you know you are maintaining the correct angle. Just a slight amount of pressure is all that is need. Let the files do the work.
Flip the tool over and move up to the next tooth. Three to five strokes should be plenty, depending on how dull your blade is.
Notice that you can use the tool to pull the next set of teeth around for their turn.
With practice, you can sharpen the entire chain in a couple of minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be back at the starting point.
I promised you I would tell you about that hinge. You can open the handle with the hinge and remove the round files as well as the flat file. So you could replace them if necessary.
It so happens that the sharpener is also the correct pitch and file diameter for my Greenworks 40V pole saw which is really convenient.
I have found that the Pferd CS-X Chain Sharp Filing Guide is an excellent chainsaw sharpener. It has a brilliant design that let’s you sharpen your chainsaw very quickly and precisely – with a little practice, of course.
Note: Links to Amazon products are Amazon Associate links that won’t cost you any extra, but will help support my efforts with a small commission on qualified products. Thanks for your support!