Oregon Powersharp Chainsaw Sharpener Review

An Honest Oregon PowerSharp Chainsaw Sharpener Review

The Oregon PowerSharp Bar-Mount Chain Sharpening Kit is a great tool choice for beginning chainsaw users who don’t have much gear. However, since the kit requires you to change out the bar and the chain on your saw so the sharpener can work on your saw, you're a little limited if you own several chainsaws or have multiple chains in need of sharpening. That said, this kit will quickly sharpen your saw without requiring any manual filing or removal of the chain. Let’s dive into our Oregon chainsaw sharpener review!

To see product images

Reviewed Model:  Oregon 541662

Overall Rating:

Performance:

Forgiveness:

Build Quality:

Look & Feel:

Price:

PROS

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    Sharpens the chain on the bar while running the engine
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    Requires no power source
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    Easy to mount, sharpens quickly
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    Is easy to open and check the grinding stone
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    Fits many popular saw brands

CONS

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    Only works on low-profile chains
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    Sharpener won't fit on any other bars or chains
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    Chain dulls easily
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    Dull chain gets grabby and hard to control

Key Features

PowerSharp© Chain

The PowerSharp Chain is a low-profile chain with multiple cutting faces. The Bar-Mount Sharpener is designed to fit over this chain and sharpen it when pressure is applied to the clamping tool. 

The PowerSharp Chain has several cutting faces, including a cutting link that sharpens down, not back, so there's no need for filing inside the link.  Directly following each cutting link is a guide to keep the cutting edge aligned correctly with the sharpening crescent inside the bar-mounted tool.

Finally, there's also a link on the chain that will resurface the stone as the chain travels under pressure, keeping the grinding stone properly surfaced. This chain and the sharpening tool are designed to work and wear together. When you finally need to replace the chain, you replace the bar-mounted sharpener as well.

PowerSharp© Guide Bar

The 18" guide bar will fit many makes of chainsaws. This bar is critical to the success of your bar-mount sharpener; there are clamping holes in this guide bar that will hold your sharpening tool in place for quick, safe sharpening sessions. Once you have this guide bar in place, you can use this saw as you would any other 18" low-profile chainsaw.

PowerSharp© Bar-Mount Sharpener

The bar-mount sharpener tool is simple to maintain and easy to apply. With the saw off, open the sharpener and push the guide pins through the pre-drilled holes in the PowerSharp guide bar. While you've got the tool open, you can check the condition of the grinding crescent stone.

This stone will wear slowly over the life of your chain as the PowerSharp Chain has special links designed to resurface the stone as the chain passes through the sharpening tool. Once the sharpener is properly mounted, close the sharpening tool, start the chainsaw and press forward against the tip of the saw bar. This will bring the grinding stone in contact with the chain as it passes through the sharpener and put a fresh edge on your cutting links and a fresh grinding surface on the stone.

Performance

One of the best features of the Oregon PowerSharp kit is that there's really only one way to affix the grinding tool. The guide pins make it very hard to not get this bracket on the saw tip correctly. By carefully monitoring the condition of your stone, you'll have a good idea of how much life is left in your chain. In addition to getting a fairly easy edge on your chain, you don't have to worry about cutting too deep; the sharpening stone only comes in contact with the top of the chain, never deep into the link.

However, no Oregon PowerSharp chainsaw sharpener review would be complete without pointing out this critical point: The sharpening bracket won't fit on just any chain or bar; you have to use all the parts in this kit to sharpen your chain. Check out the Oregon PowerSharp in action:

Forgiveness

Some users find that this chain, once dull, doesn't behave like other chains. As a general rule, a sharp chain will produce fluffy strands of yellow wood as you cut. A dull chain will grind out a lot of sawdust. However, some report that this chain will "grab" rather than grinding. If you're cutting up a fallen tree, grab can be extremely dangerous. Once a tree is down, it may be resting on branches and prone to rolling when some branches are cut and the weight displacement of the tree changes.

Don't work with a dull chain! If you notice the saw starting to jerk under pressure, the chain is grabbing. Stop cutting and sharpen right away. An honest PowerSharp chainsaw sharpener review has to offer this warning: The alteration of the cutting edge on this chain will make it work differently than the chains you're used to. The sharpening instructions offered by the University of Wisconsin can help you determine how often to sharpen your saw.

A quick study of other chainsaw sharpener reviews will point out one of the best features of this kit: The sharpening angle and depth are pre-determined. You'll get an even, sharp edge on each cutting link.

Build Quality

Is the Oregon PowerSharp any good? If you have several standard chains and are looking for a sharpener to use on all of them, this sharpener is not for you as it only works on the Oregon PowerSharp Chain. However, the guide bar is a standard 18" bar that will fit into most brands of chainsaw bodies, and the low-profile chain is quite versatile and comparable to other chains. 

The clamping bracket that contains the sharpening stone, as well as the corresponding guide holes on the bar, make this bar and sharpener tool truly unique. Whether you're cutting wood to heat your home or just cleaning up your yard, this chainsaw kit is a reliable, durable addition to your hand tool arsenal.

Look & Feel

Once you have the bar mounted, this saw should have the same heft and length of your previous 18" bar. If you're installing this kit for the first time, consider running the sharpening tool over the chain and bar before you do any cutting so you know how a sharp chain is supposed to behave.

The bracket is easy to mount and the sharpening pressure should be obvious once you develop the touch needed. A complete Oregon PowerSharp review needs to let users know that this saw may behave differently from other chainsaws you've used once it grows dull; get used to using a sharp saw and you won't put up with a dull one.

Price

It's important to remember that a new Oregon PowerSharp Saw Chain will probably cost around $25.00. The PowerSharp chain sharpening kit contains a chain, a bar, and the sharpening mounting bracket and sharpening stone and will cost you under $40. Calling this a self-sharpening chainsaw chain is a bit of a stretch; there are quite a few steps to using the sharpening feature; however, for the money, you really do get a lot.

How does it compare?

Reviewing comparisons for the PowerSharp kit is a challenge; there aren't many sharpening kits that require you to change out the bar and chain on your machine to confirm that the new sharpener will work. However, the Katzco kit is an excellent collection of files for any need and will get your chainsaw up and running soon. 

One of the bonuses of this kit is that once you determine your depth and the cutting angle you want to expose, you can apply these files to the chain while still on the bar. Your sharpening will go quickly and require little reinstallation or chain tightening.

This is another manual file set with plenty of grinding options. The UniDrift also includes a durable pouch in which to store all your files. Manually sharpening your chainsaw can be a nice break in the middle of a heavy day of cutting, and this file pouch is easy to toss into your truck or chainsaw box before you head out to the woods.  Durable plastic and wooden handles are available for an easy grasp on the file, and an angle gauge and depth gauge tool are included as well.

If you've got access to a 110 outlet, an electric sharpener can speed up your process, though you will need to remove the chain to use this tool. The CO-Z Electric Chainsaw Sharpener features a plastic grinder shield and a work light for easy alignment and confirmation of the sharpening angle. The chain guide table rotates so you can be sure to get to each cutting angle consistently.

This bench-mounted sharpener comes with two grinding wheels and a wear-checking gauge. There is a bit of a learning curve with this tool to set cutting angles, depths and chain guide stops. However, if all your chains need to be sharpened at the same angle, this tool is worth owning and using!

To see product images

The Oregon 557849 is a bar-mounted sharpener for use in the field. This durable tool will travel with you into far-flung woodlots and mount over the chain of your saw. While your chainsaw is not running, just set the grinding angle and cutting depth, manually advance the chain and run the file of this grinder back and forth on the guide bar to quickly file a new edge on each of your cutting links.

This sharpener is all metal and will hold the angles and cutting depth that you set. The Oregon 557849 is built to give you a speedy grinding process and will get you back to cutting quickly.

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