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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, here is the situation. I have a chainsaw, I used it to cut a cord of wood this weekend. I went to lowes today to get a file to sharpen it and there were about 7 different lengths. I have always watched my father sharpen one, but never got around to ask how. Any tips?
 

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JUst get a set of chainsaw files, they always come in handy in other applications like bowmaking. You'll need a number two and three if I recall the standard right.
 

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Thanks Leon. I just watched a few YT vidoes on this and ebay has them really cheap for "sets" (like $12 for a whole set), whist lowes has one for $8. Wow. Might make some threads on maintenence prior to shtf so that people don't have to worry about greesing their trailer wheels for a long time.
 

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If you have a Harbor freight they have an electric one for I think $29.00 they work great. Hubby has used this one for several years and we cut about 6 full cord per year. You have to use the right size file for your chain. If you look on the guide of your chain there are numbers. Match that number at the store. Or take your chain with you. Or local hardware stores usually sharpen them for about $5.00 if you don't know what you are doing you can ruin the chain real fast......
 

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Run the file in the bit turning toward the tooth as you move it forward. I generally use a drill or a dremmel tool with a correct size bit in it. This is a lot faster than a file. I can take my battery operated drill with me in the woods a little slower but works. Get a grinder bit that is the same size as the file you would use. Tuning up the chain with a file is different than the sharpening that is done at the saw shop. That is actually grinding and resetting the tooth angle and clean outs on the chain. I will file the chain 10 or so times between sharpening's at the shop. Its 4 buck a chain to get them sharpened off the saw so not a big deal.
 

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If you use a file you will need a good set of leather gloves, it only takes a half a second to cut yourself bad I know.lol The most important part is to get the angle right, most chains have a mark on each tooth to help you keep it right.If you are cutting locust or dead wood you can dull it pretty fast. If it's not to dull just a few strokes will get it sharp again, I tried to always do the same amount on each tooth. Sometimes you don't have that luxury say you hit some metal, it has a tendency to get one side or the other worse. The most common sizes we used were the 3/16 for smaller saws and the 7/32 for the larger. Something else is be careful not to take the dogs down to far, 2-3 light strokes with a flat file after several hours of use. If you get them down to far you can cause a kickback situation.

I used to hate when someone else would sharpen my saw, I would usually have to go back and do it over. A sharp saw will let the saw work harder and not you. I can't say about the electric sharpeners, I never used one. My brother said if your not careful you can take too much off and it's just a waste. I wish you luck and hope this helps. If your hills was close to my hills I would show you. What saw do you have?
 

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I have been felling trees and splitting five cord of firewood a year for 25 years.
I built my own 25 ton log splitter.

Sharpening a chain is somewhat of an art to get it just right.
I keep saying i am going to get an oregon sharpener but never have, about $400.00 for the good one.
I use a dumore die grinder (dremel on steroids) for the job.
I clamp the bar (whole saw)in a vise and go from there. I do use an air hose to blow off all sawdust first.
Remaining bar oil helps if using a file.
There are available diamond wheels of the right sizes for all chain types.
With any of the methods used it is important to keep the angle and the hook form correct.
Using a file you have to go with the angle from the center out not against the cutting edge.
The depth regulators need to be dropped also.
When sharpening look at the cutting edge, if you can see it, it is still dull.
As mentioned by another poster rotate the file like you were following rifling in a barrel, this will prevent micro grooves in the hook.
Clean the files often with a file card.
In shtf you will need files with no power available.
I also have two new 6 ft. Simmonds Saw and Steel two man crosscut saws for when the gas runs out, or my saws fail.
I have one nib 24" huskie in reserve.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm trying to think how the dead wood would cause it to get dull faster, but that seems to be the trend with me. My thinking was that it would be easier to cut with a dull chain? I have a Stihl and a poulan. I Don't know the model numbers, but I guess I should find them, along with the type of chain size. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those diamond wheels the ones you clamp on the front of the bar on both sides and it has something like a fishing real type (or pencil sharpener handle style) and your done in like 3 minutes?
 

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i'm trying to think how the dead wood would cause it to get dull faster, but that seems to be the trend with me. My thinking was that it would be easier to cut with a dull chain? I have a stihl and a poulan. I don't know the model numbers, but i guess i should find them, along with the type of chain size. Correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't those diamond wheels the ones you clamp on the front of the bar on both sides and it has something like a fishing real type (or pencil sharpener handle style) and your done in like 3 minutes?
it is harder to cut dried wood. In live trees the fibers are still moist and soft or pliable.
Those fibers shred easy when cutting wet, they form a hard barrier when dried and shrunk together.

what I use are called mounted points, they have a 1/4 inch shank and appropriate front diameter plated with diamond.
It is applied just like a file would be.

Chains are chains, tooth styles change but the sharpening application is the same for all.

I have have seen those new attachments they advertise but never got into them, they refer to them as self sharpeners.
I assume that is what you are talking about. No chain can be properly sharpened in three min. 15 min. Is about average for me.
I do not do a quick field touch up. I just change saws.
One thing most newbies miss is removing the bark when felling a tree. A lot of sand gets into the first 3 feet and dulls the chain quite fast.
Just notch out the bark where you are going to make a cut with an axe.
You have got to keep the nose out of the dirt at all cost also.

I can get 3/4 of a cord of green oak per sharpening.
 

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I use a Dremel tool with variable speed and a chainsaw grinding stone from Dremel to sharpen mine. I was taught how by a guy who works for Asplund (sp?) who is the "tree monkey" -- the guy who climbs the tree and sections it off and ropes limbs to the ground. He used a similar grinder (12 volt powered off his work truck battery) to sharpen his blades. He said his rule is you can't use a chainsaw unless you know how to sharpen the blade.

You just use the tool to track the angle of the cutting tooth on the chain, and just make 2 or 3 light passes at medium speed, and don't bear down on the metal -- the stroke is almost like a polishing movement versus a grinding movement. I can sharpen a saw in about five minutes this way.

I use a Stihl Wood Boss. Worth the extra money. The saws sold for homeowners at big box hardware stores do not compare. I still own a McCulloch MacCat, which I use for trimming downed branches, so I went the homeowner route first. The Stihl has twice the power -- you can feel the difference in quality immediately.

Buy a couple spare chains -- you never know when you'll need them, and if you only have one and it breaks, you are sunk.

Hand files are okay, but take too long. I carry a couple in my hard case for use away from electricity or battery power, but they are just backups.

Dremels make short work of it.
 
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