If you’ve had experience sharpening a chain saw chain with a file, you know two things. Sharpening manually with a file takes a lot longer and it’s hard to get the angle right. Instead, pro users prefer using a saw chain grinder.
But how do you know which grinder is best for your saw? Today we’ll look at two models from Oregon, one of the top manufacturers for this kind of equipment. Both aresimple to use, and have presets and templates to make operating them practically error-free.
Oregon 410-120 Bench or Wall Mounted Saw Chain Grinder
The Oregon 410-120 saw chain grinder is designed to be mounted on a bench or a wall in your workshop. It’s not portable, unless you’re creative enough to mount it on your truck and run it off a generator. But it’s fast, and it’s easy to use. If you occasionally need to sharpen your chain saw chain, this is a great investment.
The 410-120 grinder only consumes 1.2Amps and 140 watts of electricity with its direct-drive 0.4Hp motor. It runs at 3500rpm
This grinder sharpens a variety of chain sizes and pitches, like ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, low profile 0.325, full profile 3/8-inch, and 0.404-inch pitch chain. It comes with a quick check grinding template, and has several other features to help a new user get the job done right.
For example, it has a built-in light, a safety shield, and a one-way motor to keep its operation as safe as possible. The chain vise self-centers the chain to keep the grind angles the same without you needing to make adjustments. And there is a grinding wheel wear indicator so you know when it’s time for a replacement.
To get you started, the grinder comes with three 5-3/4-inch grinding wheels, a wheel contour tool, and a dressing block. The contour tool and dressing brick will help you keep the grinding wheels in top shape for longer.
The grinder uses wheels with a 7/8-inch arbor and round bolt hole shape. When you open the box, you’ll need to assemble the grinderand install the wheel you need. Although it comes with instructions, you may need to reference a video online if you don’t have experience using a saw chain grinder.
More features of the Oregon 410-120 Saw Chain Grinder:
- Covered by warranty offering 12 months of parts and labor
Oregon 520-120 Bench Saw Chain Grinder
Why would you select the Oregon 520-120 saw chain grinder instead of the 410-120? Well, you’ll prefer it if you’re doing a lot of chain sharpening. It’s a heavy-duty machine that handles any chain up to a 0.404 pitch.And the vise has a new, longer design that slides fore and aft for smother operation.
While the 410-120 can be mounted on a wall or a bench, the 520-120 is made for bench mounting only. It has a direct drive one-way 0.4Hp motor that consumes 4.3Amps and 300 watts for faster grinding. But it comes with the same 5-3/4-inch grinding wheels that you’ll get with the Oregon 410-120 grinder. And it has a built-in light.
The box also includes three wheels for sharpening ¼-inch, 3/8-inch low profile, 0.325, 3/8-inch 0.404, and ¾-inch pitch chains. There are also a quick template and a dressing brick to keep the wheels in top shape.
Users have commented that the instructions for this grinder are a little vague. You may need to supplement them with instructions for your saw regarding the best angle for your chain.
More features of the Oregon 520-120 Saw Chain Grinder:
- Covered by a warranty with 12 months of parts and labor
The choice between these two Oregon saw chain grinders comes down to how often you’ll want to sharpen your chains.
If you only sharpen occasionally, the Oregon 410-120 is made for light-duty work, and it’s easy to use. You can mount it on a wall or on a bench or table. It comes ready to use (after assembly) with everything you need to get started.
Otherwise, if you have a lot of sharpening to do on a regular basis, you’re better off getting the Oregon 520-120 saw chain grinder. It has a heavy-duty design with an improved chain vise.