How Much Does It Cost to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?

sharpening a chainsaw chain

Wanna get your chains sharpened by a professional? 🧐

Not a BAD idea!

But what’s the average cost to sharpen a chainsaw chain?

Let’s find out!

Btw, I’m Samuel, and I have over 20 years of experience in chainsaw sharpening. 😎 In this article, I’m going to share everything you need to know about the cost of having your chainsaw chain sharpened. So stay tuned!

How Much Does it Cost to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain?

It usually costs around $5 to $15 to have a chainsaw chain sharpened by a professional. However, this cost can go as high as $30 depending on the size, condition, and type of your chain.

For example – 👇

A 16″ chainsaw chain usually cost between $5 to $10 to get sharpened, while a 20″ or larger could set you back by $15 (or more).

On top of that, if your chains are in pretty BAD shape, they’re gonna need some extra love, and that usually means a bigger price tag for getting them sharpened.

I rang up a bunch of local stores and services, and pretty much all of them quoted me between $5 to $15 for standard chains.

And just to give you a heads up, my local Stihl dealers charges a mere $7.

To keep myself occupied during those chilly winter months, I’ve even started offering chainsaw chain sharpening services.

You know, it’s a pretty neat way to hone my skills and earn a few extra bucks! 💸

Here are my chainsaw chain sharpening rates: 👇

Chain SizePrice
16" or shorter$5
18" - 20"$8
22" - 24"$10
Over 24"$12

Btw, it also includes – 👇

  • Depth gauge grinding (if needed)
  • Gullet removal (if needed)

And of course, I charge EXTRA bucks for chains that are heavily damaged!

Factors that Affect the Cost of Chainsaw Chain Sharpening

There’s no FIXED rate when it comes to chainsaw chain sharpening. It can vary depending on various factors, like – 👇

Size of the Chain

As already mentioned, larger chains COST more to sharpen!

This is because, the larger the chain, the more teeth it has and the more time it takes to sharpen them.

chainsaw chain collection

One of my friends has a small engine repair shop, and he charges $8 for chains up to 20″. Anything over 20″ will cost you an EXTRA 50 cents per inch.

Type of the Chain

YES, different types of chains can cost differently to sharpen.

For example, carbide or tungsten-tipped chains are much harder and require special tools to sharpen them correctly.

Regular chain vs carbide chain

As a result, they usually cost more than standard steel chains. (I mean a LOT more!)

On average, it could cost you $20-$30 to have a carbide chain sharpened! But the good thing is, these are less prone to getting dull.

Condition of the Chain

A chain in BAD condition will obviously cost more to sharpen!

What do you mean by that?

Well, if your chain has burred or rounded edges, damaged drive links, and such, then it’ll require more time to clean up and sharpen correctly.

chainsaw chain after hitting dirt and rocks

And you’ll have to pay more for the extra time and effort needed to restore your chain back to its former glory. 

Here’s what Greg, one of our Facebook community members, had to say about this – 👇

Location of the Service

Depending on where you live (or the location of the sharpening service), you may see some variation in the cost.

I posted a question on our chainsaw sharpening Facebook group, “How much do you charge (or pay) to sharpen a 16″ chain?

A facebook post of mine asking the group members - how much does it cost to get a chainsaw chain sharpened in their area?

I got responses from all around the US (as well as from people worldwide), providing a wide range of insight on chainsaw sharpening costs.

Here’s a table summarizing the responses – 👇

Kentucky, US$25
South Louisiana, US$7
Minnesota, US$9
Victoria, Australia$15
Montana, US$10
Gladwin, Michigan, US$5
Delta Junction, Alaska, US$8
California, US$8
New London, Missouri, US$5
Ontario, Canada$12.5

Can You Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain Yourself?

YES, you can definitely sharpen a chainsaw chain yourself. It’s not rocket science; all it takes is a basic understanding of the process, some practice, and a few essential tools.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on sharpening a chainsaw chain: 👇

Don’t get MAD if you get it WRONG in the first few attempts (and ruin one or two chains in the process). 

That’s the beauty of practice – you get better with time! 🙂

Trust me, once you get the hang of it, you can SAVE a lot of money by sharpening your chains yourself.

Here’s what Patrice had to say to the beginners (which I found QUITE inspiring!) – 👇

Patrice motivating the beginner chainsaw users to sharpen their own chains.

How Much Would It Cost If You Sharpen Your Chains Yourself?

If you’re thinking about sharpening your chain yourself, you’re in luck because it won’t break the bank.

You’ll need to purchase a few tools and safety gear, but they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Here’s a ballpark estimate:

  • Round File: About $5 to $10.
  • Depth Gauge Tool: Usually between $5 and $15.
  • Vise or Clamp: Range from $20 to $50 or more, depending on the type and quality. 
  • Flat File: Typically under $10.
  • Gloves: A decent pair will run you around $10 to $20.
  • File Guide (Optional): Around $10 to $20.

In a nutshell, you can expect to invest approximately $50 to $80 for the basics. Of course, if you splurge on the fancy stuff, it could be a bit more.

But remember, these tools are a one-time purchase, and you’ll surely save money in the long run.

Does Getting a Chainsaw Chain Sharpened By a Professional Worth It?

To be completely HONEST, I don’t think it’s worth it!

Don’t get me WRONG; here’s why I’m saying that: 👇

For example –

If you choose to get a 16″ Oregon chain sharpened by a professional, that’s going to cost you anywhere from $5 – $15. Let’s settle on $9.

Well, that’s nearly 50% of the cost of a brand-new one! (Seriously! You can snag a new 16″ Oregon chain for just about $19 on Amazon).

Price of a 16" Oregon chainsaw chain on Amazon.

And if you take into account the time, travel, and other expenses involved in getting the chain sharpened, it might not be worth the hassle.

You’re likely better off just grabbing a shiny new chain! (No kidding!)

And let’s face it:

Not all the services out there offer a TOP-NOTCH job.

I’ll never forget the time I took my chains to a local hardware store for sharpening, and it turned into a total disaster. When I received my chains back, they couldn’t cut through butter!

The cutters were all discolored, the edges were jagged, and they were far from being anywhere near sharp.

It was a hard-learned lesson, that’s for sure!

When Should You Hire a Professional?

If you’ve just started playing with chainsaws and you’re still not feeling confident in your sharpening skills, leaving it to the professionals is probably your BEST bet.


Because it’s a quite delicate and technical process. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up ruining the chain, or even worse – injuring yourself!

Just a few days ago, I had a mishap ended up cutting my finger while sharpening my chains! 🤕

A few days back, I was sharpening my chainsaw without gloves on, and I ended up cutting my finger!

PRO TIP: DON’T make the same mistake I did! Always keep those gloves ON. (Here 10 common chainsaw sharpening mistakes you need to avoid)

Also, if you’ve got carbide-tipped chains, it’s always a GOOD idea to get them sharpened by an expert. 

Cause they’re hard to sharpen manually and require specialized tools.

How Do Professionals Sharpen Chainsaw Chains?

Professionals don’t possess a mystical wand that can instantly transform your dull chains into razor-sharp ones! 

What sets them apart is their experience, which allows them to sharpen chains more efficiently and achieve outstanding results.

They utilize the same file, the same depth gauge tool, and the same vise that you have readily available in your own garage.

Yes, sometimes they do use specialized tools like electric chainsaw sharpeners and grinders to improve the efficiency of their job.

But I mostly hand-sharpen my chains. I find it more enjoyable.

chainsaw sharpening file guide

How to Tell If Your Chain Needs a Sharpening?

Here are 5 signs that your chain needs to be sharpened –

  1. Your chainsaw produces powdery sawdust instead of chunky wood chips.
  2. Your saw doesn’t pull itself into the wood; you need to push it.
  3. You notice visual signs like rounded edges, bent cutters, and broken teeth.
  4. Your saw vibrates way too much while cutting.
  5. Your saw starts to smoke when cutting.

Btw, I’ve written an entire post on this topic – How to tell if a chainsaw chain is dull?

GO ahead and check it out!

Samuel Anali

Hey there! My name is Sam, and I'm the NERD behind this site. I'm an avid chainsaw enthusiast, and I've been tinkering with them since I was 17 (it's almost 20 years now!).

Leave a Reply