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Oregon 511AX vs 520-120

For those who work with chainsaws, having an efficient sharpener/grinder is essential to maintaining the chains. Oregon has released two models, the 511AX and the 520-120, that offer excellent sharpening features. We will be comparing the two models based on grinding wheels, vises, and adjustability. We will make a recommendation based on user need.

Oregon 511AX

Oregon 511AX

The Oregon 511AX is a bench sharpener. It offers a combination of durability, power, and overall functionality.


This sharpener is fully adjustable and can accommodate chains of common sizes. These sizes include ½ inch, ¾ inches, 3/8 inches, 0.325 inches, and ¼ inches.

Additionally, it features three different grinding wheels with thicknesses of 3/16 inches, 1/8 inches, and ¼ inches. These wheels are what allow the accommodation of the various chain sizes. They can still be adjusted once they start wearing down. Users will get a perfectly sharpened chain every time.


The 3 A motor provides a power output of 285 W.  At peak operation, the wheel provides 3,400 RPM. With this power, it can provide high-volume sharpening.


The unit can be mounted on workbenches with no safety or stability problems. It is constructed of heavy-duty steel but only weighs just under 19 pounds. It also features great ease of use, with simplified controls.

Vice Sliding Feature

Also, the 511AX offers a vice sliding feature. This means the wheel can be kept in the same position while the material is worn down through usage. This means you only need to set it up one time for your chain. It comes with a template for the wheel contour, depth gauge, and chain pitch.


Additionally, it has excellent safety features. A safety shield protects users form sparks and debris while the built-in light allows users the ability to use the sharpener in lighting conditions that are less than ideal.

Other Features

The large indexing chain stop assembly can handle larger chains. The motor head release function is similar in design. This means that when users are filing their depth gauges, they’ll have more room to work with as they can press a button to lift the assembly head.

The Downside

The downside of this model is that it’s not portable. Users are restricted to use at a workbench. Additionally, the instructions are not very user friendly.

Oregon 520-120

Oregon 520-120

The Oregon 520-120 is also a bench sharpener. It features a direct drive motor, three different grinding wheels, and several safety features.

Compared to the Oregon 511AX, the Oregon 520-120 features different sized grinding wheels. Users can choose between the two models based on their grinding needs. They both offer excellent vise gripping technology for safety as well as efficacy.


The Oregon 520-120 features a 3/8 direct drive motor that provides 3,400 RPM. This is enough power to offer heavy-duty grinding. It offers a variable motor grind angle. This allows for multiple adjustments. The motor head can be lifted, allowing for more space to file depth gauges.

Vise Attachments

The grinder securely holds the parts of the chains to reduce any risk of injury to the user. The vise is self-centering and provides equal grind angles without any need for adjustment. It holds onto chains from ¼ inch to 0.404-inch pitch. Being a standard chain vise attachment, it fits chains that are ¼, 0.325, 3/8, and 0.404-inch pitches.

Grinding Wheel

There are three grinding wheels included. The 1/8-inch grinding wheel can sharpen 1/4, 0.325 (but not the Oregon 20 series), and 3/8 (limited to the Oregon 91 series) inch pitch chains.  The 3/16-inch grinding wheel sharpens 0.325 (only Oregon 20 and 95 series) and 3/8-inch (not the Oregon 91 series) pitch chains. The ¼-inch grinding wheel is used to set depth gauges. All grinding wheels are vitrified.


The Oregon 520-120 features a safety shield to protect users from sparks and debris generated by the grinding process. It has an integrated light for easier viewing of the work area. The light comes with a three-foot cord as well as a three-prong grounded plug. The motor has one-way rotation to help protect the user.

Other Features

The chassis is made of long-lasting cast aluminum. It is built to be durable. The grinder features a large motor fan. Additionally, it has cooling fins that provide amazing temperature regulation.  Easy-to-use controls allow users to make the most precise adjustments. It features a large indexing chain stop. This provides a larger surface area to accommodate large chain types.

The Downside

Like the 511AX, this model is not portable. It must be mounted to the wall or a workbench.


Clearly, both grinders offer some excellent features. However, we would like to differentiate between these features before users make a purchasing decision. The Oregon 511AX is fully adjustable, features three different grinding wheels, and simplified controls. We recommend this for professionals.

On the other hand, the Oregon 520-120 also offers full adjustability, three different grinding wheels, and simplified controls. We also recommend this model for professionals.

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