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Chain keeps dulling!!

Post in 'The Gear' started by thephotohound, Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    I have a Husky 340 with a 16 inch bar and a factory chain (Oregon backup). I know that after each tank of gas, I'm supposed to touch up the chain (I use a with a Dremel attachment). I spend approx. 3 seconds on each tooth (about 4 strokes) on high.

    Here's my question: After about 2 sharpenings (2 tanks of gas) the chain starts to dull almost immediately. It takes approx. 2-3 logs, and I'm blowing dust again. Yes, I'm sure it's the right diameter Dremel attachment, and no, I'm not hitting sand/dirt. I get it machined, and it's awesome for about 2 more filings with the Dremel.

    So... am I filing too much myself? Not enough? Should I stop using the Dremel? Get it machined each time? Thoughts?

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  2. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    The problem with a dremel is you cant get a good pitch in this case 30 degrees, if the dremels takes off to much or not enough this could be your problem. This would also explain why after you get it professionally done it works like it should.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Been there & done that. The best way to sharpen your chain is with a round file. It's hard to believe, but it's true.

    Try the file and see if you have any better luck. Also, check your raker (depth gauge) height. It may be wrong.
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I use a Dremmel and have no problems. I can see two problems you may be haing.
    1. 4 passes is too many keep it down to 2 or 3. You just touching it up if your not hitting dirt, rocks, spikes etc.
    2. If you don't get the knack of hitting it at the 30 degree angle, that is more of a problem than anything else. If its not sharpening the entire edge around the loop, your not at the right angle. After a getting the angle down, you will notice a difference. There is a line on the Dremmel guide plate marked at 30, just keep that in line with the bar and you'll do fine.
    Everyone has their preference, hand file, dremmel file, use a guide, etc. Do what is easiest and what works best for you.
  5. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    What's the original angle on the chain? All my Oregon chain (73 series) is 25 degrees. I'm sure it would cut fine fully re-sharpened to 30, but if you sharpen a 25 degree chain part way at 30 I don't know what would happen. Of course, when I hand-sharpen I'm probably lucky to stick within +/- 5 degrees...

    When you're "blowing dust", do the teeth still feel sharp to the touch? If so, I'd also suspect the rakers. Best part of the Sharpforce/Pferd sharpener is it does both at once.
  6. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Over heating the teeth with the dremel and losing temper. Use a round file of the correct size with a guide, it does not take that long to sharpen a chain. I like to give them a touch up at every tank fill up, 2 tanks at the most. Might take you a couple of sharpenings to get the correct angle back, and to remove enough to get past the part that has lost temper.

    Checking your rakers is a good idea also. BTW, use stihl chain, it seems to stay sharper, longer. KD
  7. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Great advice - Thanks.

    First off, I have noticed that at the 30 degrees, it doesn't get the teeth sharp all the way around. They only get sharp on the very edge. I'm thinking it may be the wrong angle... because if I give it 5-6 strokes, it sharpens all the way around, but probably because I've changed the angle! Looks like I should probably get them machined again, then either make my own 25 degree mark or go by hand. I'm assuming my manual should specify angle, so I'll go back and check that too.
  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    4 passes is not going to overheat chain and take away temper. If he was holding it there for minutes on end, then yes. And again, if hes doing that, he should be letting someone else sharpen them.
  9. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    There should be a line etched into the top of the tooth that shows the "factory" angle. See here. My sharpforce has a 35 degree angle reference built it, you can imagine the trouble I had early on until I learned to use the line. A lot of Oregon chain also specifies a 10 degree angle about an axis along the length of the bar, (so when filing on a horizontal saw one hand is higher than the other) rather than the more common (I think) 0 degrees. If I get that one right it's pure luck, because there's no good reference mark. I doubt your saw manual will have any chain info, as chains vary. Look on the back of the box your chain came in, if you have it, or if you know the number go to oregon's website.
  10. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    I sharpen waaaaay less than that. but I am colorado with out the "proper" hardwood easterners may have.

    I run Stihl 038 av super, 20" bar and stihl safety chain. I may have 2 or 3 hours (4 to 6 tanks) and I have not touched it (with dirt OR my file).

    The stihl chains are certainly better in my opinion--but they cost more. whether they are worth as much more as they cost would be debatable. but they are pre strethced and I believe the chrome is thicker. they slice fingers if not careful and cut SMOOTH right off the bat. I run Oregon chain, too and it usually cuts slower, rougher and needs frequent adjustment when new because it stretches.

    Try a Stihl chain (if you can afford it!) and don't sharpen until it gets dull. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER touch anything but wood with the chain. the nicest, plushest lawn does remarkable dulling to chain when even just barely touched!
  11. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    Hound,

    I have the found the same issue when sharpening with my Dremel tool. I used it 3 times and found that the chain dulled very quickly, so I went back to the round file and found that the same chain remains sharp through more than a tank of gas. So I have come to the conclusion that I wasted $15 on that Dremel tool attachment, chalk it up to learning.

    Erik
  12. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Erik -

    Based on the other comments, I was leaning, but after yours, I'm going back to hand-filing. Guess I'll have to find another reason to use the Dremel!
  13. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Thanks Rush. Mega Dittos.
  14. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    "Here’s my question: After about 2 sharpenings (2 tanks of gas) the chain starts to dull almost immediately. It takes approx. 2-3 logs, and I’m blowing dust again."

    Just a thought...I sharpen by hand (I find a chain lasts a lot longer when done by hand though you need to get good at it) and I run Stihl chipper chains. On occasion when i've gotten "greedy" on a cut and got the tip into the dirt or ticked a rock it takes a lot of work to restore the damaged teeth. I have noticed if I don't take the time to get the teeth right that sometimes i accidentally leave a burr on the horizontal edge (cutting edge). That burr will fold over the tooth and hence the dust instead of a good chip.

    If you get a new chain or get your old chain sharpened on a sharpening fixture the best advise is don't get greedy on a cut. If you don't get into a stone or dirt it only takes a couple of swipes with a round file to keep a chain nice and sharp.

    Another thing I do is flat file the rakers on occasion. She pulls a mean chip but you should be very used to cutting wood before you do that.
  15. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Catskill,

    I am glad photohound confirmed my suspicions. That is Rush Limbaugh. "Meeting and surpassing all audience expectations on a daily basis'"

    If only I was as humble as he is. Sigh.

    Carpniels
  16. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    i also run the oiler at max output almost without exception. if i had a really short bar on a big saw, I may turn it back, but IMO, they barely pump enough oil anyway. of course, the wood sucks up lots of the oil so when cutting, it is hard to tell how much extra oil you are pumping. but when I break in a new chain, I run it a while without cutting and after that, the inside of the clutch/sprocket cover is dripping wet.
  17. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    I had troubles with my husky's chain it came with an oregon. It would dull quickly and I tried various methods to sharpen it, dremel and by hand with round file with little success. I decided to bring it in and have it professionally sharpened, the guy I brought it to was also a Stihl dealer and he sold me a Stihl yellow chain. Stihl makes green and yellow chain, the yellow is a more aggressive chain that cuts quicker but has a greater chance of kick back. When I got home I tried the new chain on a 80 year old oak and was amazed at the results. The saw was pulling into the wood and going through it like it was nothing. In no time I had the tree down, de-limbed and into 20" rounds. I went back into the house grinning from ear to ear and called the Stihl dealer asking hime to throw aout the chain I had brought in to be sharpened and told him I would be in to pick up another chain. I have had this chain for sometime and noticed it does not dull very easily cutting hard wood, I almost exclusively cut white oak. I would highly recommend the Stihl chain.
  18. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    I can't read instructions, I guess.
    everytime I fit up a new Stihl chain to my saw, I check my hands to see if I am bleeding (literally).

    the instructions say to wear gloves. someday I will learn.
    for the price they charge, I guess I should be able to shave with the thing.
  19. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    "Stihl dealer and he sold me a Stihl yellow chain. Stihl makes green and yellow chain, the yellow is a more aggressive chain that cuts quicker but has a greater chance of kick back."

    "I have had this chain for sometime and noticed it does not dull very easily cutting hard wood, I almost exclusively cut white oak. I would highly recommend the Stihl chain."

    I thought the green was the chipper chain (more aggressive). Whatever the case, they do rule!. They do hold an excellent edge UNLESS you get greedy nip a stone...but that's true with any chain.
  20. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    Have a Green chain went throw a white oak "Y" and In the middle had four nails that I didn't know about. The chain saw only hesitated and went right through. Blade has never been the same I had to change pitch.
  21. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Stihl green chain and bars are low kickback consumer grade, yellow is for commercial/trained as they are more aggressive = higher kickback.
  22. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    "I thought the green was the chipper chain (more aggressive). Whatever the case, they do rule!. They do hold an excellent edge UNLESS you get greedy nip a stone...but that’s true with any chain."

    "Stihl green chain and bars are low kickback consumer grade, yellow is for commercial/trained as they are more aggressive = higher kickback. "

    Yep, yall were correct. http://www.stihl.us/chainsaws/types.html
    The chipper or chisel chains are the way to go. BTW, I cut quite a bit and i've never had the saw kick back.
  23. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    Its not just the kick back the saw will jerk or vibrate a little more especially while de-limbing and when cutting big stuff the saw can stall easier if you do not have the hp to drive the chain. My husky 359 can handle the more aggressive chain but I do have to back off sometimes to keep the rpm up.
  24. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    i have yellow version of 25" chain that I sometimes rig up on the 038 AV S. I don't notice much differenct in cutting speed, but the safety chain does not bore as well. remarkable, it does bore to some extent, but the yellow chains bore better because the anti-kickback devices aren't there preventing the nose of the bar from biting in.
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