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Somebody recommend a good chain saw sharpener.

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by BRONZ, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. BRONZ

    BRONZ Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have only been using my chain saw about 6 months and now it doesn't want to cut. I'm going to buy a few extra chains to have but what do you guys use to sharpen your saws.
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    6 months ? ahahahaaaa......I sharpen mine about every tank of gas.

    Seriously, the key is NOT let one get too dull...better a touch up every tank than trying to revive a dead chain.

    Tried a bunch of different sharpeners, but always go back to a file, which is all I've used in a long time. But get a clamp on guide for the file. I got one at the Sthil dealer....it has the cutter angle marks on it to keep you filing at the proper angle, and also lets you use ALL the file.
    Georgia_Boy and William Antrum like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Amen. [ditto] [bow] Back in my chainsawing days, manually sharpening every outing was the way to fly. And a guide is nearly a requirement until you are practiced enough to go without. MAKE SURE you tighten the chain while sharpening with a guide, or the chain will rock and mess itself up. Then, MAKE SURE you reset the tension. :D

    They ain' no substitute for too much oil, either.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I run my Stihls and Husqys at Wide Open Oil splatter myself.

    I have about 10-12 chains for each and typically change to a Sharp one every day out using it.
    I must confess that I have a Guy that sharpens all my circular saw blades do my chain sharpening. $2.95 @
  5. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have about three extra chains for my Stihl (which I used yesterday) and I take them all in and get them sharpened, too lazy to do it myself.
    Georgia_Boy likes this.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A file (especialy with a guide if not used to it) works fine, especialy if you are just useing it part of the time. I make my living with a chainsaw though and so the time spent sharpening costs me money. I have a Dremmil tool and you can get a guide that goes on it to keep you at the right depth and has the lines to show you the proper angles to sharpen at. You basicly need to watch what the saw dust looks like and when it stops spitting flakes of wood and starts throwing powder or dust you need to sharpen the saw. As long as you do it this way all you have to do with the dremmil tool is touch it to each tooth for 1-2 seconds. Once you are used to it you can sharpen a normal size chain (say up to 24 inches or so) about as quick as you could change it out for a new one and I normaly take about 10-15 minutes to sharpen my BIG chain (36 inch bar). You will need to be sure you get the right bits for it. They make ones that are grey for the smaller (homeowner size) saws and then kind of a pink colored ones for the biger teeth on the felling saws. I have a small inverter that I can hook to the truck and plug the dremil tool in at the truck to sharpen chains as well as in a normal outlet if at home but you can also get the cordless ones.
    Thats the way I have decided to go at least and have been useing them for about 5 or 6 years now and they work well. Around here the bits are usualy in 2 packs and run about $5 a pack and will sharpen a chain maybe a couple of dozen times and for say an 18 inch bar the chain takes me 5 minutes or less to sharpen and dose a great job. [beer]
    Georgia_Boy likes this.
  7. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    What about the raker height? While I do not cut for a living, I do cut for my hobby - woodturning. I've learned to sharpen with a hand file (and guide) and also use a dremil type tool. But usually once or twice a summer I'll send the chain with my FIL to work since he has a chainsaw sharpener.
    Now when he has it he will also file down the rakers using a guide that he has. A buddy of mine has been "trying" to get his chain sharp for some time. I borrowed his chain,used my FIL raker guide and presto, almost like new, cutting better than ever.

    Now my question, where to get the guides to file the rakers? I've checked the local "home improvement" stores, but no go. I've found them on Ebay, but didn't like the shipping costs.

  8. BRONZ

    BRONZ Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks guys I went out and bought a guide and a few files that are the right size for my stihl. Worked the chain over twice. Took the saw out to see and just like I remembered....like new.

    Sorry about the [newb] 6 months chainsaw guys. I'm a city boy just moved to the country. :D
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Not a problem at all, glad to help and we all started sometime and theress undoubtedly others who can use the same info but are just to shy to ask.

    I just use a flat file on them say about every 5 or 10 times I sharpen the teeth and just make sure to use about the same number and length of passes for each one. On the Stihl chains if you look real close there are also light marks on them so you can go by them for how far down you are. Once in a while I even just use the dremil tool to grind them down a bit but Ive do it often enouph that I freehand it and even with doing that reagularly its still not perfect but better than haveing them to tall and not being able to bite into anything. On my little chain for the big saw I keep them ground way down anyway, I have an 046 magnum Shihl that will take a 3 foot bar with no prob and most of the time run an 18" bar on it so it has the power to pull it with them ground down further so it cuts faster.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Some of the file guides can do both. The one I have from Sears can guide both the round and flat files. [boozingbuddies]
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    You have a CO-OP out your way? They have guides...
  12. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    file is the best old school method and it runs on person power so it is easily recharged... keep some of the old ways in your life it will pay dividends....
    Georgia_Boy and Sapper John like this.
  13. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    A file

    Edit add , BUY a Sthil ONLY FROM the dealer & ONE handle , dealer only !!
    Don't waste money on toys , LEARN as most have . 2 EZ
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
    William Antrum likes this.
  14. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Monkey++

    The U shaped file guides have several uses. Guide the angle for the round file. Lay lengthwise on top of chain with rectangular cutout over a raker. Use flat file to file raker down even with bottom of guide slot. Rakers should be a little lower than front edge of tooth. Curved end is used to pull through the chain guide slot in bar to clear debris.

    Be sure to file each tooth back the same amount. Because the teeth are slanted up, longer teeth will cut deeper and make it cut in a curve to the side with longer teeth.

    If you hit a rock or grit it will chip the chrome off the leading edge of some teeth. ALL teeth need to be filed back evenly until none have chipped chrome. Otherwise the chipped ones will dull faster and cut curved.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The Oregon Chain Stone Sharpeners work very well in the industrial Logging Biz.... Most of the Log Processor Chains are done using one of those, or similar. I have one, that I use every other year, to do ALL my Stihl Chains. When one gets dull, I swap it out for a Sharp one, and then when I have run thru all the sharp ones, I get out the Stone Sharpener, and do them all at once.
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    William Antrum and Georgia_Boy like this.
  16. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    Thats the one you plug into battery right?
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    No that is the one I plug into 120Vac, and sits on the Dining Room Table, when I am in Saw Chain sharpening Mode....
    William Antrum likes this.
  18. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Use files but have Dremel and a Craftsman sharpener. Sometimes I get the angles wrong and they cut "curves" so I just hit the other side a lick or two and get it cutting straight again.
    William Antrum likes this.
  19. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Pretty much what's been said, use a file with a guide. Easiest (and cheapest) method for us part-time users.

    When I worked in Guam, we'd have to go out and clean up after the storms (typhoons). Had 3 brand new Husquevarna chainsaws, plus one old dinosaur. The majority of the trees that came down were good for firewood (and would mysteriously get cut into 18-24 inch lengths, piled up by the side of the road! LOL), and wouldn't dull a blade too quickly. But the ironwood trees.....well, let's just say they're well named! I'd have to sharpen the saws at lunch time, then again at the end of the day, for the next morning, if we were cutting that stuff! With a good file & guide, I could knock out a chain in about 7-10 minutes, max.
    William Antrum likes this.
  20. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    Grandpa had one with leads for truck battery when we ran through five or so cords a day he would sharpen while i split....
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