Chainsaw Sharpening

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Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby John(videodoc) » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:03 am

As those that attended Docfest saw, i have been busy cutting firewood.
Image

Anyway, i went to my STIHL dealer and picked up a couple of chains, and asked about sharpening them as the bit i had been using wasnt doing the job. Well apparently i was using too small a bit. He had the right bit there. But the thing he told me, i never heard of, was
use some kind of wax on the bit when sharpening, a crayon, candle or car wax. this will prevent it from getting hot and or becoming brittle and you will go through less bits.


Well i tried it and it works.

What other hints or tips do you have for sharpening a chainsaw chain?
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby beaconlight » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:33 am

I don't know what bit you are talking about but I use a machine by Belsaw at home and another import in the country. Theny are Rotary with wheels about 4 inch in diameter. There is an adjustable stop so that each tooth is exactly the same a way to line up and cut the depth gauges when needed.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby John(videodoc) » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:44 am

I use bits for my dremel tool.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:54 am

I use a Harbor Freight $30.00 sharpener. I've used it for 3 years, or so. Figured, the first 3 or 4 sharpenings, paid for it. Ed
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby Eugene » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:48 am

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=42345

Harbor Freight chainsaw sharpener. Like Ed stated, I've sharpened a number of chains. Does a decent job. Takes about 5 or 10 minutes to sharpen a chain.

Getting to the point that gasoline to drop off and pick up professionally sharpened chains would cost me over $5.00 for two round trips.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby grumpy » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:54 am

When I worked for a Stihl dealer I would sharpen 50 to 100 chains a week with the Stihl brand sharpener. Harbor freight sharpeners work good if you take your time and don't try doing it all in one pass. I usually go through 2 to 3 chains on my 044 a year and have yet to sharpen them with a machine except when I get into a rock or nail.only had to do it 2 times in the past couple of years. I have a hard rule that when I fuel up I always use a file and touch up the chain no matter how good it was cutting. My 066 and ms250 doesn't get used as much as the 044 but they all get the same sharpening at fueling. I feel it's relativly easy to keep the chains sharp if I don't wait till they get dull because you then have a harder job to sharpen. I also use the saw chain with the Yellow (caution) marks just because they cut quicker. Grump
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby daddydip » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:36 pm

beaconlight wrote:I don't know what bit you are talking about but I use a machine by Belsaw at home and another import in the country. Theny are Rotary with wheels about 4 inch in diameter. There is an adjustable stop so that each tooth is exactly the same a way to line up and cut the depth gauges when needed.


the depth gauge needs to be watched closely . a lot of people don't realize that they can sharpen the saw tooth but if the depth isn't set properly your not going to get the optimum cut from your chain.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby DirtDoc » Sun May 02, 2010 12:23 pm

The depth gauge is what Elmer(father-in-law) call the drag dogs. It's the vertical piece of the chain between each cutting tooth. After the chain has been sharpened, the tooth is shorter so the gauge rides higher. We take a flat file and give them about 2 strokes. You want sawdust about 1/4 long. Elmer took too much off once and had "sawdust" 2 inches long. The saw bit into the wood too much and those long strings plugged up the saw. But if you are getting really fine dust.. lower those gauges with a file..Greg
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby Glxy500 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:29 pm

I use a Stihl also, I use a rat tail file to sharpen all of mine. All I have ever used, never learned to use nothing else. I have been using the same chain on my 31av for 10 yrs. Still cuts like a new one. Try not to use it anymore, hard to find any parts for it now. Would like to have a spare one for parts. Got a 28 and I cant keep that junky thing running long enough to dull the chain. I also have an 08, old saw, will cut the world down, but HEAVY little saw. Never used anything but a Stihl. I think I may try to find one of these sharpeners ya'll are talking about though. Sounds alot quicker. Thanks for the info though.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby John(videodoc) » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:01 pm

Well i started using the rattail file, after the postings, and it was faster then the dremel. and seemed to keep a good edge on it. i ran one blade for ever it seemed. know if i could just learn to cut a straight line, and stop making them "J" cuts. they will be a lot easier to split.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:51 pm

John(videodoc) wrote:Well i started using the rattail file, after the postings, and it was faster then the dremel. and seemed to keep a good edge on it. i ran one blade for ever it seemed. know if i could just learn to cut a straight line, and stop making them "J" cuts. they will be a lot easier to split.

Crooked cuts are usually the result of one side of the chain, being sharper than the other. The saw digs towards the sharper side, making a curved cut. Ed
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby CubitisNH » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:57 pm

John--Some tips to help with your filing: most "professional"saw chain is fairly easy to file,provided you haven't hit something other than wood. Look for a mark on top of each tooth-keep the file level and parallel to the mark. I start with the worst (dullest) area of the chain-if it takes 4 strokes of the file to get it sharp,take the same number of strokes on each tooth and the saw should cut straight.Files are cheap,when you have to work too hard to make a stroke with it,get a new one. If you hit a rock and wear the finish off the top of the tooth back more than 1/16" or so,think about having the chain ground by a saw shop,provided it's a fairly new chain.Ditto to what Grumpy said about filing before it gets really dull--at least every fill-up.Saves gas,time and your back. One more hint-clamp the bar in a bench vise to file one side of the chain,then turn it around to do the other side,keeping the chain tight makes it stay upright,thus easier to make a good stroke with the file.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby BigBill » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:42 pm

Did you know were suppose to run the file across the saw chain everytime we gas up the saw? A sharper saw chain means less work on the saw plus it cuts faster.

I used a file guide for that size chain with the correct file size(diameter). This guide keeps the file high enough so its sharpening the upper part of the saw chain teeth. After the teeth are sharpened with the guide i just use a plain file and hog out some chip clearance so the chips can exit faster. I got this from my old fair days when i competed in speed cutting. I still use it in the woods today. (chisel chain) Using chisel chain cuts faster but it also dulls quicker when it hits dirt in the wood. Semi-chisel or chipper saw chain stays sharper longer but chisel chain cuts faster.

The file guide has the correct angle for the saw chain and you need to keep the guide flush on the top of the saw tooth so its going up hill just a tad.

Then you need to set the rakers to the correct depth for the chain size your using. Most chain is .020 to .025.

If the saw cuts on an angle the saw chain isn't sharpened the same on the left and right teeth or the bar guides are worn.

Like anything else sharpening a chainsaw is an art and it will cut mech faster when we do it right.

My 100cc husqvarna saw at the fair in pine the rakers are set at .060" she is a hand full but i can make 8 cuts in 17 1/2 seconds. Thats two cuts down(slices), two cuts up, bore two holes without breaking out and one cut up and one cut down. I use the same saw in the woods with a regular chisel chain and from standing timber to buck'd up on the ground i did cut a cord of firewood in 50 minutes in 10 degree weather.

Keep your saw chain razor sharp, your air filter clean and clean out the clutch area and lube the clutch and bar tip once a day. When i was loggin full time i would do this everynight after we were finished cutting before supper so we were ready to go the next day. Time was money in those days. If the air filter is screen material i use a shot of ether in the woods to clean it quick if it cloggs. The newer husqvarna chain saws with the turbo i notice the air filters stay cleaner longer.

I only used the chain saw grinder when i hit steel objects in the wood and had to replace saw teeth with new teeth and grind them all the same. The bigger 404" saw chain would last way longer than 3/8" saw chain on the bigger 100cc saws. And i purchased saw chain repair kits for the 404" chain too. One 404" saw chain would last for 6 months(fall/winter) if i didn't hit anything in the wood. I would go thru 2 or 3 3/8" saw chains on my smaller saws during the sametime. The saw teeth are much longer on the 404 chain. I use files only so the chain will last longer. The grinders grind too much chain away too soon. Plus you can harden the saw chain too hard with a grinder.

I also purchased a cheap 1" bench belt grinder from harbor freight so i can square two rails on the saw bars when they wear uneven. This also helps the new saw chain last much longer too. I also moly up the bar rails too before assembling them on the chainsaw.

On your chainsaw if it has a sprocket and its wornout see if there is a "rim / drum" replacement for it. This will speed up your cutting too because of less drag and force to turn the chain.

I only use the chain saw manufacturers two stroke oil too. Its manufactured and blended for that saw.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby Goraidh (Jeff) » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:14 pm

That's a great tip, using wax on the bits. Thanks for sharing that. I use a 5/16ths bit in my rotory tool.
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening

Postby Scrivet » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:45 am

Have tried the file, dremel, and Harbor Freight grinder sharpener. All work fine and have strengths and weaknesses. I do a lot of small tree/brush clearing and am constantly dulling the chain. Got an Oregon Powersharp bar and chain for Christmas. It has a totally different style of chain and a grinding stone that attaches to the tip of the bar when you are ready to sharpen it. In a couple seconds the chain is sharp. I have used it a couple times already and am quite impressed. How well it holds up over time is yet to be seen.
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