Chain saw chains sharpening

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by ship1of2, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. ship1of2

    ship1of2 farmer11

    Jun 27, 2003
    What do you think works best to sharpen your chains. I have been using a file but it seems to be hard to get it perfect every time. What about electrice ones?
  2. Pink Rose

    Pink Rose Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    I have a 12 volt electrical sharpener that comes with a templet atached to it. The rotary grinding portion works well for me but I must also remember to lower the spaceing bar ridges about every 2 or 3 sharpenings.

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    I bought one of the small electric ones with the disk off eBay and am greatly pleased with it. I can take off just enough to resharpen the chains. May not keep as sharp as a shop sharpened one, but the chains last a whole lot longer as the shop grinds off so much of the teeth each sharpening.

    Ken Scharabok
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Clarksville TN.
    Nothing beats experience when it comes to filing a saw.(just keep practicing!) Ive tried many gadgets over time and have come full circle back to just a plain file.Oh and a vise.Its very hard to sharpen a saw if you chasing it around on the ground.Especially small saws! I always stop an point the teeth back up if i nick a rock or the ground.Then when i get home before going back out ill clamp it in the shop vise and straighten things out proper.(Take all the teeth down to the same size,check the angle of them,and drag teeth if i removed very much..) You can pretty much eye ball things after you no what there supposed to look like.Never hurts to have an extra new chain to compare with.Until you get enough Esperance to just no what it needs.Some chains have a wear indicator line imprinted on the top of every tooth,there across the tooth at the proper 45% angle,which makes it easy to compare with the angle you have filed.(I don't think the smaller chains have these) They still give me fits some times to,Since there harder to see.A little hint here,if you are sticking your head down there so you can see better.Wear some safety safety glasses! ;) Metal can get flicked up in your eyes.

    A little hint to make things shaper,Hold an edge longer.Use a handle on the file,so you push down harder and so you can turn it while pushing it across the tooth.I also rap a little black tape around the other end of the file to enlarge its size.(This technique makes it even harder to hold at the proper angle while sharpening,but if you get used to doing it like this.Your files and chains will last longer.)Twist your wrist as you push the file so as to turn the metal up at the point of the tooth (at least on the last stroke or two)..Also make sure you have cut back deep enough into/under the tooth.(isn't that called your curfs? I cant remember.) You can tell by the size/thickness of the wood chips the saw is throwing out if it needs to be cut deeper.It will also cut faster,when there set right.Those gages that attach to your file will stop you from doing both properly most of the time.Dont forget to check your drag teeth after a few filings.I'm not really sure if you supposed to file them down or just replace the chain.But i take a few strokes off them with a flat file when the saw seems like it not getting enough bite.Like after a few filings,when you have removed a 1/3 of the material from the teeth.Agin you can tell by the size chips,and speed of the cut if they need to be kncoked down a bit.

    Filing a saw is almost an art form. :D Very hard to describe,and learn on your own..It would be much better to watch some one else do it.And learn from them.Lawn mower shops will sharpen them for you.You might even find one that will teach you.If not try finding a tree trimming service or logger working near by some time.They most likely would be glad to show you how.And a few tricks to boot.

    I hope this post makes since. There is so much racket going on in the house rite now i cant think.Happy turkey day. Its finally time to eat here! :D
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I'm with Ken on this one. Get one of those home versions of pro sharpener with the stone wheel disks that do the sharpening off the saw. You have much better control. They may not be quite as great as actual pro shop model, but then the shops seem to hire some kid who doesnt give a damn and takes off way too much metal greatly shortening life of chain. If you do all your sharpening with one of these, it requires very little metal removed and chain will last long time. Just dont try to match all cutters to one damaged one like the kids do in the shops. That just wastes the life of the chain and doesnt gain any great cutting ability.

    Next best is one of those file jigs that clamp to bar and hold file exactly in position on the bar. Real trouble with these is when chain groove wears and doesnt keep chain perpendicular when sharpening. These arent as accurate as setup above, but ok in the field with a professional sharpening every once in a while. I am sure if you thought long and hard could make your own bench mounted chain vise to use one of these with chain off the saw. Would improve accuracy greatly.

    I've only tried one of the 12v dremel looking sharpeners that my ex brotherinlaw gave me for Xmas one year. I didnt like it at all. Very hard to get it accurate and its speed tended to burn the metal. Now there may be better ones, but I'd be very weary of them.
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    My bro uses a 12v dremel type and it seems to work OK. It does seem to be very fast so you haver to be careful. I had been wondering how Ken's grinder was working out!
  7. GW

    GW Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Spend about $10 for a file guide and raker guage. The site below talks about using them. This is the way all Maine CLP's (certified logging professionals) are filing saws.

    Greg W
  8. greatwhitenorth

    greatwhitenorth New Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    British Columbia Canada ...home of non-mad cows an

    i cut 8-10 cords of firewood a year, and every ywear my buddies give a hard time about the way i sharpen...everyone is an expert!
    the best i found so far ( for me) is a file in the bush and every other time i go for firewood , i use an eletric sharpener with a bar guide, to bring it back to factory specs. Once the chain is back to spec its easier to keep it close.

    but your buddies will still give you a hard time...but then the guys i get wood with are fallers by trade, so I have to take their abuse......for now!