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rotate
07-10-2007, 11:58 PM
Is the tip that does the cutting on a chainsaw made of hss or carbon steel? I'm just wondering because round file is used to sharpening it, and I wonder how well it would cut if it was hardened steel?

I bought a Dremel chainsaw sharpening attachment, and I'm hoping to sharpen my chain tomorrow. Any advice before I go at it? Thanks.

dp
07-11-2007, 12:29 AM
Take the slack out first, give the bar a bit of oil if it's been sitting long, clean out any gummed on crud, wood chips, etc. from the chain, bar, and motor, mark your starting point, file the cutters first then set the rake depth. A good filing jig makes it go quickly and results in a better product, and make sure your file/grinder is the correct size for your chain. Cheap files don't last long and it shows in the quality of the wood chips you throw if you wear them down.

I hand file my cutters and rakes using the jig then finish the cutters with a fine stone in the dremel. Usually need to do it just once/year.

Edit: No idea what kind of steel the chain is made from.

Doc Nickel
07-11-2007, 12:32 AM
Older chains are merely fairly hard steel- they had to be tough, plus they had to be able to be sharpened quickly and in the field, far from power tools.

Today it's fairly common to find "bi-metal" chains (for want of a better word) with harder steel at the teeth than the body of the link. These typically need to be sharpened with a grinder, as a file won't touch 'em- or at least will wear out quickly.

There are carbide-faced chains, but I'm told they're not as popular due to the cost, and the fact the carbides don't last as long as you think, due to the battering they get during use.

Doc.

Evan
07-11-2007, 01:18 AM
Sounds like you haven't sharpened it before. That has me thinking that it is the original equipment chain on a fairly new saw. Take it off and go with it to the nearest saw equipment dealer and buy a real chain instead of the severely kneecapped safety chain the saw comes with. You will cut twice the wood in half the time.

ahidley
07-11-2007, 07:34 AM
The dremal sharpener works great!! I use one exclusivly.. As you sharpen the tooth and it wears away the little "bump" in front of the cutting edge will need one or two passes with a flat file.. This will let the tooth cut in deep. Actually cut too much off and the engine wont have enough power to spin the chain. Use the correct diameter grinding wheel

IOWOLF
07-11-2007, 07:54 AM
My advice is the same as evans.Get rid of the Anti kickback chain buy a "pro" chain.

Also Doc had some good advice.

Your Old Dog
07-11-2007, 09:40 AM
The dremal sharpener works great!! I use one exclusivly.. As you sharpen the tooth and it wears away the little "bump" in front of the cutting edge will need one or two passes with a flat file.. This will let the tooth cut in deep. Actually cut too much off and the engine wont have enough power to spin the chain. Use the correct diameter grinding wheel

I use the Dremel as well and use it free hand. Judging from the size of the chips compared to when dull it's cuts just fine. No jig, just the little chain saw sharpening stones. I had to buy both sizes as I didn't know which one I needed.

Your Old Dog
07-11-2007, 09:41 AM
The dremal sharpener works great!! I use one exclusivly.. As you sharpen the tooth and it wears away the little "bump" in front of the cutting edge will need one or two passes with a flat file.. This will let the tooth cut in deep. Actually cut too much off and the engine wont have enough power to spin the chain. Use the correct diameter grinding wheel

I use the Dremel as well and use it free hand. Judging from the size of the chips compared to when dull it's cuts just fine. No jig, just the little chain saw sharpening stones. I had to buy both sizes as I didn't know which one I needed.

I used to take mine to a sharpener but turns out my demands aren't so rigid I can't get by on my own.

pcarpenter
07-11-2007, 11:03 AM
I've always wondered about the wisdom of an abraisive chain sharpener from a chain/sprocket/bar life standpoint. We all know about how wise it is to grind over machine ways (which are subject to lots of force, but limited speed). I suppose if you pull the chain off and give it a kerosene bath after the sharpening....or sharpen it off the bar and then clean its a non issue. Otherwise, it seems like its a bit like running the saw into the dirt....guaranteed to put a bunch of abraisive grit in the chain, bar and sprocket.

Paul

jim davies
07-11-2007, 02:09 PM
I bought a smaller saw with the new type chain a while ago and while it doesn't have an easily file-able depth raker between the cutters, it does seem to be able to hog out chips similar to a real Oregon chain. I have been using both saws between 4 and 8 hours a day for the last while taking down a seemingly endless number of bug-killed pine. It is bucking on the ground that takes the edge off chain. I have been falling, limbing and only bucking the easy stuff for the last several weeks [fire season is overdue and getting the small stuff burnt is a priority] and haven't had to file a chain in over a week.

Any chain I have used files so easily I can't see why I would buy a grinder.

SGW
07-11-2007, 02:52 PM
The Carlton chain company sells a little gizzie they call a "File-O-Plate" or some such name. It's really simple -- just a thin hardened steel plate maybe 1/32"x1"x2" with a couple of strategic slots so it fits over the chain teeth -- but it makes filing the chain with hand files a snap.

I don't know if it would work as well with another brand of chain, but I've had good luck with Carlton chain, anyway.

gwinn
07-11-2007, 02:53 PM
I am surprised nobody so far has suggested getting the now-inexpensive pro-type wheel sharpener about 5 inches in diameter, and which you can get from HF for $40 or so. In my experience of burning two stoves at a time for some years, the Dremel setup is good for about three sharpenings until it wears out. Files work ok, but are slow and irregular even with a guide or a jig. A lot of times, after a file job, one side works great and the other is bad - the end of the day comes early when the saw blade goes sideways. I will say this: if you decide to file it, pay $5 or $6 for a file and don't look back. They last and hog metal off.

I have used the wheel sharpener now for three seasons, or about 60 or 70 chain jobs and it is fast, reliable and, overall, it is quite inexpensive. I can do 5 chains in about 20 minutes and they are all close to original. It takes longer to clamp to the bench and to blow it off with air than sharpen one chain. These things used to be $300 to $500 for a name brand, but this one is made in Europe and is really quite good for the money.

ahidley
07-11-2007, 03:07 PM
Dont wory about grinding dust on the chain/bar. The oil comes from the inside of the chain and the centrifical force flings it off with any dirt.

IOWOLF
07-11-2007, 03:17 PM
I am surprised nobody so far has suggested getting the now-inexpensive pro-type wheel sharpener about 5 inches in diameter, and which you can get from HF for $40 or so. In my experience of burning two stoves at a time for some years, the Dremel setup is good for about three sharpenings until it wears out. Files work ok, but are slow and irregular even with a guide or a jig. A lot of times, after a file job, one side works great and the other is bad - the end of the day comes early when the saw blade goes sideways. I will say this: if you decide to file it, pay $5 or $6 for a file and don't look back. They last and hog metal off.

I have used the wheel sharpener now for three seasons, or about 60 or 70 chain jobs and it is fast, reliable and, overall, it is quite inexpensive. I can do 5 chains in about 20 minutes and they are all close to original. It takes longer to clamp to the bench and to blow it off with air than sharpen one chain. These things used to be $300 to $500 for a name brand, but this one is made in Europe and is really quite good for the money.


I would have mentioned it because I own one of each a H/F CS grinder which I only use for taking off the "tooth" and an Oregon saw sharpener which works so much better that there is no comparison.
I didn't mention it because they are not for a guy with just one saw to sharpen, IMHO.

mjydrafter
07-11-2007, 04:24 PM
The little kit for the dremel works great, plus you can do the sharpening whenever you want. Like when you accidentally ground the chain 2 cuts from being done...not that I would know about that...I have 2 saws and heated with wood only, many years ago.

Seastar
07-11-2007, 07:43 PM
I'm at my Minnesota cabin and have 30 or 40 trees down from a windstorm.
I have been cutting 5 hours a day.
All I use is a good file and a little care and my saws cut wood like a hot knife through butter.
Throw away the Dremels and the guides and learn to sharpen with a file.
Bill