Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

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SteveHGraham
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Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby SteveHGraham » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:40 am

Thanks to Irma, I know have three chainsaws. Each one requires a different size saw file. I did not know there were different sizes, so I bought a package with two files in it, thought I was all set, and then learned the bitter truth.

Anyway, I notice sites are selling what appear to be Dremel stones for chainsaws. Good idea or bad? I can see a couple of problems. First, I'm likely to oversharpen the cutters and wear them down, and second, the stones will wear, changing their diameter and rendering them useless.
Don't trigger me, bro!

stephenc
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Location: youngstown ohio

Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby stephenc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:39 pm

I always use a file ... every time I put gas and oil in the saw I file the chain .
How much I file just depends on how I'm using the saw .

For clean soft wood I might only give each tooth two or three strokes . Clean hard wood maybe three or four strokes . ... how much really depends on conditions .

As a result of that my chain's are always sharp and it takes a lot less effort to cut wood . And the only time I have to change a chain is if I hit something and it's to dinged up to fix with a file .. or the rakers need ground .

Files are very quick and easy to use once you get used to holding the correct angles .
And if you remember to give each tooth the same number of strokes each time your chain will always cut nice and straight.

As to the dremal stones ... I have them and have used them .
I don't recommend them to a novice , it's to easy to improperlygrind a chain with them .
If your used to sharpening chains and understand what your doing they do work pretty good for touch ups if you hit iron or a rock or let things get beyond what you can easily fix with a file .

Unless your very good you'll eventually need to take the chain somewhere and have properly ground no matter what way you do it .

I usually take mine to a fellow once a year after I'm done cutting wood ... mostly to have the rakers properly ground tonthe same hieght

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby SteveHGraham » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:29 pm

The files are pretty easy to use.

What are you paying for all that chain work? Looks like new chains max out at $32.
Don't trigger me, bro!

STRR
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby STRR » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:47 pm

Steve,

I purchased a Horror Fright chainsaw chain sharpener. I used to use files but this thing is so easy and quick. It literally takes 5 minutes to sharpen a chain. Now I wouldn't recommend it for any serious sawyer or business but for homeowners, the price is low enough, it does a good enough job, and it is easy to use, making it a good deal. Keep in mind, I use only GOOD tools as I know the true meaning of value. BUT, for minimal money and minimal use, this has impressed me thus far.

Good Luck,

Terry Miller

Oh, and Welcome to America. Wish you could have made it sooner.

stephenc
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby stephenc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:32 pm

The fellow I take my chain's to charges $4. To sharpen them and like I said it's usually a once a year thing unless you hit something.

My brother has the harbor frieght sharpener ... like Terry says it does work .
Not as well as a real chain grinder but it still does a pretty decent job .

I still prefer to use a file , I can get the chain much sharper with the file .
Plus the chains last a lot longer .

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mcostello
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby mcostello » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:55 pm

A ground edge is sharper than a filed edge I use a Dremel with the appropriate stone. Faster too. Just a touch up is needed unless I hit something bad.

spro
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby spro » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:19 am

As mentioned earlier, the raker grinds must be done to work with the blade teeth grind. Rakers are essential but they don't get the wear that the chipper teeth get. The chipper teeth are at an angle so when reduced by sharpening, they are lower than the rakers' wear height.
Sharpest teeth and don't cut because of high rakers.

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neanderman
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby neanderman » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:13 am

Files, or a Dremel, as mcostello advocates.

A chainsaw is a brute force tool -- expecting a fine cut is ridiculous, especially since you're generally cutting wet wood. Sharpening with a stone would be a ridiculous waste of time. It's unlikely to stay sharp any longer and any benefit from a slightly smoother cut would be superficial.
Ed

Le Blond Dual Drive
US-Burke Millrite MVI
Atlas 618
Files, snips and cold chisels

Proud denizen of the former "Machine Tool Capitol of the World"

curtis cutter
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby curtis cutter » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:21 am

I keep spare chains on hand. Like Spro says, most do not deal with the rakes and that is a necessary part of the chain. When a chain is dull I pull it off and put a professionally sharpened one on.
I believe this also benefits the bar as the professionally chain is now riding parallel to the bar.

In the fire service we carried two chain saws. One was for trees and the other for ventilation. They were equipped with different chains. The tree saw has teeth that are what most people use in that they allow the chip to pass through the cutter and be removed by the rake. The ventilation saw has teeth that are attached on both sides of the tooth, usually with a carbide cutter. That chain is designed to "rip" through plywood etc. There is no use for a rake as the "chip" is drug all of the way though the wood. The conventional chain would be destroyed by a comp roof and the comp roof chain would not cut a tree because it would fill the tooth and then just drag across the entire surface.

Here is a nice explanation of chain selection and care by one of our local saw shops:

http://www.madsens1.com/muu_barchain.htm

Note the "Terminator" fire service chain below:

http://rapcoindustries.com/carbide-chai ... n-designs/

Gregg

spro
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Re: Chainsaw Sharpening: Stones or Files?

Postby spro » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:37 pm

First I salute you from afar. Second I was wrong in the terminology of a raker. If we step back to the excellent site that you linked, I was talking about the "depth stop" teeth. This becomes more clear as I have had experience with wood planes of various types. I just know that there is a choke point, acting as a throat, to allow a reasonable chip to be cut.
So by intuition I would file/ grind as seemed required but I didn't get the full knowledge about gullet relationship. Things are going to be better due to your reply.


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