Oregon PowerSharp Review – Part 2

I try out the Oregon PowerSharp bar and chain in the woods and compare the performance to a standard chainsaw chain. This review is continued from Oregon PowerSharp Review – Part 1.

Oregon PowerSharp Benefits

1) I’m a homeowner and occasional chain saw user who’s never bothered to learn how to sharpen a chain, preferring to pay my local Stihl dealer $11 to do it. Learning how to sharpen a chain isn’t difficult, I just have other priorities, haven’t bought the sharpening tools and lack the patience.

2) My chain always seems to get dull just when I need it most. Like the Sunday afternoon when I was sawing down a large Ficus tree that was too close to the house in Florida. I had sawn off the limbs and was working on the trunk when the blade started to get dull and was working me to death, lot’s of sawing with little progress. Being Sunday afternoon the local chain saw shop was closed so I couldn’t get it sharpened. I had to stop work until the next weekend.

3) It’s aggravating to be delayed by a dull chain.

Oregon PowerSharp Field Testing

Two things I wanted to learn about the Oregon PowerSharp are:

  1. How well does it cut compared to a factory chain?
  2. Does the sharpening system really work?

To find out, my testing consisted of:

  • Timed cuts with the Stihl factory bar and chain
  • Timed cuts with the PowerSharp bar and chain
  • Several hours of sawing with the PowerSharp to see how well it held an edge
  • Trying out the PowerSharp quick sharpening system

Stihl Factory Bar and Chain – Timed Cuts

I began testing with a newly sharpened Stihl standard chain on my MS-210C chainsaw.

Stihl Chainsaw: Factory Bar and Chain

Stihl Chainsaw: Factory Bar and Chain

I cut a half-dozen discs off a ~14″ diameter log with the Stihl chain while my son timed each cut with a stopwatch. On average, the Stihl chain needed 20 seconds to make the cuts.

Stihl Factory Bar and Chain - Timed Cuts

Stihl Factory Bar and Chain – Timed Cuts

PowerSharp Bar and Chain – Timed Cuts

Next, I mounted the PowerSharp bar and chain on my Stihl chainsaw. Changing the bar and chain was quick and easy, needing only screwdriver.

Oregon PowerSharp on a Stihl MS-210C Chain Saw

Oregon PowerSharp on a Stihl MS-210C Chain Saw

I cut another half-dozen discs off the log with the PowerSharp, timing each cut with a stop watch. The PowerSharp needed 16 seconds on average for each cut. That’s about 4 seconds (or 20%) faster than the Stihl factory chain. I attributed this to the more aggressive cutters on the PowerSharp chain.

20% faster sawing is great but my main concern is working carefully rather than quickly, and I took comfort knowing the PowerSharp wouldn’t slow me down.

Oregon PowerSharp Timed Cuts

Oregon PowerSharp Timed Cuts

Compared to the standard Stihl chain, the PowerSharp was a bit different because it felt like the chain “melted” through the log and less pressure was needed on the bar. Relax and let the saw do the work.

Oregon PowerSharp in Action

Oregon PowerSharp in Action

Sawing up this felled tree was no problem with the Stihl chainsaw and PowerSharp chain.

Sawed Logs by the Oregon PowerSharp

Sawed Logs by the Oregon PowerSharp

I spent several hours sawing up a variety of fallen and live trees, both pine (softwood) and oak (hardwood). The PowerSharp worked really well – lasting longer than my lower back muscles!

Oregon PowerSharp Gets the Job Done

Oregon PowerSharp Gets the Job Done

Bar-Mounted Sharpening System

The cutters on the PowerSharp held an edge really well and was still sharp after sawing trees above ground. I turned my attention to logs on the ground that would put the chain in the dirt. The cutters now felt less than razor sharp.

The bar fits over two steel alignment studs in the bar-mounted sharpener and the sharpener is clamped over the bar. Be sure to shut off the motor first!

Oregon PowerSharp Chain Sharpener

Oregon PowerSharp Chain Sharpener

To sharpen the chain, start the motor, press the spring-loaded boot against a log and rev up the saw for 3 to 5 seconds. Notice the sparks flying!

Oregon PowerSharp Bar-Mounted Chain Sharpener

Oregon PowerSharp Bar-Mounted Chain Sharpener

After sharpening, I stopped the motor and felt the cutters. Razor sharp just like a new chain! Wish I had a PowerSharp system when I was working myself to death with a dull chain on that Ficus tree in Florida.

Final Thoughts

The PowerSharp system is a high quality, well made product that works. The speed and convenience of sharpening the chain in seconds is a huge benefit that will keep you going on the job. The sharpening system is foolproof and so easy anyone can do it.

The PowerSharp Starter Kit is available in sizes to fit most chainsaws. You only need to buy the guide bar and sharpener once.

PowerSharp replacement chains are roughly twice the cost of standard factory chain but PowerSharp is more economical if you add the cost of two sharpenings by the chainsaw dealer.

An easy to use and inexpensive slide-hammer log splitter is described in this follow-up project.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2016 HandymanHowTo.com   Reproduction strictly prohibited.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to Oregon PowerSharp Review – Part 2

  1. Patrick October 18, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    I get about 10 -12 sharpenings per chain. Based on your excellent review (I am going to buy this product) I will save more like $100-$120 on chain sharpenings per chain. This product will more than pay for itself throughout its life!

  2. Thom Lewalski, Milford DE January 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Glad I spotted/reviewed your trial of the PowerSharp. I’d just finished reading the Good-OLD-Boys negative (read “self-aggrandizing”) comments on MyTractorForum wherein they all impressed one-another with “the- hard-way-is-the-manly-way” comments. No useful, applied/tried information was forthcoming! Your practical, systematic approach was/is 110% value to anyone who finds it and takes the time to review it. It is the ONLY type of testing that is meaningful to me.

    Now…where can I find REAL-LIFE, useful info on the BEST auto wiper blades?? (All I review is self-serving verbal garbage.)
    MANY THANKS! Your son must be proud of you!

    Dr Thom

    • Bob Jackson January 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

      Sounds like a bunch of grumpy old men to me at http://www.MyTractorForum.com. Hey! I resemble that remark! Seriously, of the 8 people who commented on MyTractorForum.com not a one of them claimed to have tried it out and sweated all day until their lower-back ached sawing up logs.

      In the months since my October review, I’ve sawed up many dozens of dead-fall and trees for firewood with PowerSharp and I’m still on my first chain and sharpening stone. It simply works, is quick and economical.

      Tell you what, how about a bake-off between “aametalmaster” and myself with his chain-of-choice and a PowerSharp on the same make/model chain saw sponsored by PowerSharp.com? I’ve e-mailed aametalmaster – should be friendly fun!

      Thanks for writing,
      Bob

  3. David Alan January 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Bob:

    Thanks for the thoughtful & methodical review. Based upon your review, I’ve given it a try, here’s my impression:

    I tried it on a smaller Stihl, my MS 170 – it did great, but the 16″ bar was a bit much for the very modestly powered engine to pull.

    It would have been much happier with the 14″ powersharp.

    I have since sold the Stihl, but am now using a Poulan Pro 4218 – significantly more power than the much smaller Stihl – and am about to test it with the 16″ powersharp bar / chain.

    Do you happen to know if they’re planning on coming out with a set up for the larger saws, to replace the .325 (usually 20″ bars / 45cc + saws) standard chain ?

    If they do, I have a Pro Saw I’d like it on, and ECHO CS-530 – that would really be something ! (Great saw, tons of smooooth power….)

    Thanks again for your work !

    David in Texas

    • Bob Jackson January 17, 2011 at 9:05 am #

      > Do you happen to know if they’re planning on coming out with a set up for the larger saws…

      You can contact OREGON® for answers to your technical and product questions at:
      1-800-223-5168 or E-mail: technicalservices3@oregonchain.com

  4. Syd April 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    I know what my dad is getting for Father’s Day. Thanks for the review.

  5. David Buzulak November 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I bought the 14″ powersharp for my little Stihl. I cut up for about 2 hours and hit a few rocks(I live in the mountains of Pa). Used the sharpener BUTTT pressed too hard for 4 seconds. Of course, I didn’t realize that until a couple of minutes later when I noticed a few small sparks when I was cutting. I stopped my saw and noticed that I had, basically, NO TEETH left! What a meathead I was for pressing too hard! So be careful not to press too hard-the directions say “lightly”. Should’ve read those first as well! Lesson learned but I sure enjoy this product-I’m always hittin’ a rock somewhere.

    • Bob Jackson November 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

      Yeah – you don’t want to see sparks flying because it means you’re just grinding down the cutting teeth instead of honing (sharpening) the edges. Press lightly to make contact with the sharpening stone and check if the chain is sharp. It doesn’t take much. The sparks flying in my photos are for illustration purposes only and not a “best practice”.

      I’m on my 2nd chain and found the chain holds up well.

  6. Jerry Maske September 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    It worked well at first. After cutting several pieces of Rock Maple I needed to sharpen the chain only to find that it wouldn’t move on the bar. Finally took it apart and couldn’t get the chain out of it’s guide. The guide is pinching the chain to the point that it won’t move. Put the old Stihl bar and chain on and will sharpen it the old fashioned way.

    I’d wondered if this thing had a reasonable lifetime. Two months past warranty. Should have known.

    • Bob Jackson September 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Jerry,
      The PowerSharp Limited Warranty states:

      “OREGON® | Blount, Inc. warrants its products to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for as long as they are owned by the original retail purchaser.”

      although there’s an exception which says the “OREGON® carbide chain is not covered by this warranty.”

      Have you contacted Oregon Customer Service (see the above link) to explain the problem? I think they’d want to investigate the chain getting stuck in the guide.

      Thanks,
      Bob

Leave a Reply