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what to use to sharpen a chain saw

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RBoots
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hand file. Used to work for a tree service, I do smaller timber jobs as time allows, and I work for a road department and we cut trees all winter. Any day that we're not plowing snow, we're cutting right of ways back. Sometimes hundreds of trees a day. I also exclusively heat my house and shop with wood, and I live in MI, so I use a lot of wood (not from work, we aren't allowed to touch that, it gets run through a chipper). One thing all roadside trees have in common is embedded dirt and stones. We sometimes only have to sharpen our saws twice a day if we cut the trees high and then go back and cut the stumps off at the end of the day, but there are many times we'll file our saws 6-8 times a day. We carry one spare chain for each saw in case we break a chain. The first thing we do to a new chain is take an angle grinder and grind the rakers off flat to the top of the adjacent anti kickback 'tooth'. We have to run anti kickback chains to keep the safety people happy. I'll file a chain until the teeth start breaking off, then it's time for a new one. If you have the teeth sharpened correctly, it doesn't matter if the teeth are different lengths. A longer tooth isn't going to cut a larger piece out of the wood than a shorter one, the 'hook' at the face of the tooth is what makes the cut. Yeah, if the rakers aren't taken down it will affect the depth of the cut, but that's why they need to be knocked down anyway. We hit so many stones in trees, a new chain will only have the same length teeth on both sides for the first couple of filings. And we're not cutting curves either, flat cuts with proper filing. Sometimes it's only 4 or 5 teeth of one side that need to have multiple passes to take the curse out of them, other times it's every tooth on one side, and sometimes even almost every tooth on the chain. Every day is different depending on what kind of trees we are cutting, how many, gravel or paved road, ditch or no ditch, and how far back from the edge of the road the trees are. Sometimes if a person has filed their chain incorrectly, you'll see a bit of a 'heel' at the bottom leading edge of the tooth, that will push the tooth up out of the cut. In that case, you will have to actually file straight across the front of tooth to get rid of that heel. It won't take the angle of the tooth away, since you will be actually filing underneath the tooth, restoring the hook on the leading edge of the tooth. Once that is out of the way, you can go ahead and file the tooth at an angle to get the underside of that tooth and hook honed to where it should be.

Ross
 
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guido
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello Charlie M,

It is also important that the results of whatever sharpening device you use produces a chain that can make chips not sawdust,

Guido.

 
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RBoots
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Wise advice Guido!
 
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Brendon-KS
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I sharpen freehand with just a file and since I cut mostly hedge (osage orange) this usually occurs several times per day. For me it is more natural to file the teeth on one side compared to the other just because of the way the saw sets on the tailgate and the fact that I'm not ambidextrous. I always need to concentrate more on the "un-natural" side so I get the teeth as sharp and as the other and keep them the same length. Keeping them to all the same sharpness is important so the saw cuts straight.
 
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2510Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I file and take in periodically to get evened up. Most people forget the rakers (spelling?). Good Post, I read with a lot of interest. My guy retired, I had him well trained to sharpen my chains. He did a great job on the cutters and knew how I wanted the rakers.

I hate it when I hear people cutting with a dull saw. I guess that would be one of my pet peeves. I jokingly told the neighbor if heard him cutting with a dull saw I was going to come over and slap him with it.

The other neighbor son complained he had to "push" the saw through the log. His Dad sharpened their many saws, he told his son he did not know how to operate the saw. This went on for years and likely continues. We cut together one day. The son was so mad, he realized you don't have to push the saw through the log. :-)

Have a good day.

Paul
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Just for the record, I'm reading a lot of poor information here. Please don't grin the rakers (depth gauges) down on your chains. Use a guide and get them down the needed .025/.030 below the adjacent tooth. Tooth length will vary because files get dull, teeth get hard and soft spots from work hardening/heat/cold, the more abused a tooth is the more you'll need to take off. A good grinding can straighten a bad chain up, a poor grinding will just make it worse. There are a number of file guides out there and most work pretty good. I recommend the Husqvarna roller type guide for most people, but there are others that work just as well or better. The big thing the guides do is keep your file high enough on the tooth. You can put a little hook into a chain with a roller guide if you want it. The hook only helps on chisel chain, it's useless to try on semi-chisel of chipper (round) chain. The Dremel type grinder can do a decent job IF you don't heat the tooth up too much, same with the HF type grinders. If your files are worn/rusty/dirty, get some new ones. Nothing is more time wasting than trying to file a chain with a bad file. And we northern boys need to remember that sitting a hot chain in snow or ice can harden that tooth and make filing that much harder.

There are a number of good videos out there on good filing/grinding technique. They're worth a watch if anyone is interested in doing a better, easier, faster job.
 
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Dean
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Northern Tool, formerly Northern Hydraulics.
 
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2510Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Brett, I watched the video on the Roller File Guide. It seems to do a nice job on establishing height of the file relative to the cutter. I have often struggled with the height of the file relative to the cutter. Clearly I get a lot of variation in this area. It does not do much for angle so I am assuming some variation in angle of cut is OK. True?

Regarding rakers I use the number of flat file swipes method and then observe how it cuts. That works pretty good if I don't go to crazy with the number of swipes. Also, that works great if I am sharpening for myself but will not work if sharpening for others. Obviously then a gauge is needed.

The snow comment was something I would never of thought of.

Thanks.

Paul
 
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2510Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Brett, also what are your thoughts on the 3 in 1 manual files mss3020 and ACG use? I would like to buy and try one. I have three different chain sizes.

Thanks.

Paul
 
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4wdtom
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Lately I have been using a dial caliper to measure the length of each tooth. This takes care of one tooth getting too long or too short as they are filed a few times. And a height gauge for the guides helps too. And if I want to do a really nice job I take the chain off and hold it in vise jaws so it stays vertical, not like in the bar where the chain can tip to the side if there is any play or wear in the bar groove.
 
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Blueox4
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-Adirondack case gu wrote:
(quoted from post at 09:48:52 01/08/19) I bought a Stihl 3-in-one manual sharpener. It works really well. It not only sharpens the cutter, but it also cuts the raker down at the same time. I am totally impressed.
Loren


This..
 
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wilson ind
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

thank you I still order from them from time to time however did not realize name change
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-2510Paul wrote:
(quoted from post at 12:50:28 01/10/19) Brett, I watched the video on the Roller File Guide. It seems to do a nice job on establishing height of the file relative to the cutter. I have often struggled with the height of the file relative to the cutter. Clearly I get a lot of variation in this area. It does not do much for angle so I am assuming some variation in angle of cut is OK. True?

Regarding rakers I use the number of flat file swipes method and then observe how it cuts. That works pretty good if I don't go to crazy with the number of swipes. Also, that works great if I am sharpening for myself but will not work if sharpening for others. Obviously then a gauge is needed.

The snow comment was something I would never of thought of.

Thanks.

Paul


Paul, you want the angles to be close to the same along the chain and on both sides. A little variation isn't a major thing, but filing one tooth at 35 degrees and another at 20 will screw things up. Just try to stay parallel with the sides of the guide, going 90 degrees across the rollers.

As far as the 2 in 1 guides I haven't used one yet. They only work on full complement chains I understand, not on skip tooth. The idea is fine and I bet it does work. I just haven't had the extra moola on hand to buy one. Some day I imagine I will. The different sized chains is an issue with the roller guides. I;m not sure if it is with the 2 in 1 guides. The Husky guide is built for Oregon chain (I think) and the sides of the guide need a little filing to fit down over Stihl chain, which IMO is the best easily available chain there is.
 
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2510Paul
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: what to use to sharpen a chain saw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. Paul
 
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