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Chain saw chain durability.

Post in 'The Gear' started by micah, Jun 23, 2008.

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  1. micah

    micah New Member

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    I have a small chain saw with a 14" bar. It takes an oregan s52 chain. I have been using it to cut maple and oak. Im not sure how to sharpen them not a skill I have learned yet, but the seem to be going dull REALLY quick. I get about 1/2 hour of cut time out of them before there dull. When I say dull I mean instead of wood chips i get saw dust, and the saw constantly wants to cut at an angle. If I put a new chain on it, it cuts like butter. I figure i get a small pickup load of wood before its completely unusable? Is this normal. Im not hitting nails and all the wood is up off the ground.

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  2. Thomask9590

    Thomask9590 New Member

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    I put some Wal-Mart chain on my 18" 32CC Craftsmen and it cut just as you have described. I went to a real outdoor equipment dealer and the chain he gave me probably cut for 3 hours on and off and it's still throwing chips 2 inches long :coolgrin: . It must be the grade of the chain. If it is cutting at an angle then it is dull on one side. Meaning the teeth that all face left or the teeth that all face right are dull.
  3. micah

    micah New Member

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    Any brand recommendations? All i can seem to find in my area is either cheapo crap or oregon.
  4. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    I went to to a chain saw dealer and said I wanted a non safety chain, and one that was more aggressive than the stock one that came with my 18" bar. They gave me an Oregon....forget what model number thoug. It even looks more aggressive. I've only had the chance to use it on one tree, but it definately ripped. Time will tell as to the longevity of its ability to hold an edge.
  5. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    A chain saw chain is like a knife blade. The more you use it the more it needs sharpening. If you give it a quick touch up every time you first start up it will stay sharp longer. If you don't know how to use a file to sharpen the chain, Lowes has an electric sharpener. I haven't used one but a friend said they work good its about $30.
  6. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    All I use is Oregon, once you get the hang of sharpening its pretty easy. 2-3 passes with a file on each tooth usually does the trick.
    I get many cords ripped up before I have to change out the chain and or touch it up.


    WoodButcher
  7. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    my guess is that you are probably doing more damage not knowing how to sharpen when you do sharpen! Check out the Husquvarna website and there is a link to a great video that shows you how to properly sharpen a chain. Oregon chains are decent chains. I use the Husquvarna chains, bot the same price as the Oregans..Now I hear that the Stihl chains are the best.
    Do yourself a favor and buy a sharpening guide. helps a ton!
  8. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Look at the depth setting. If it's throwing dust- then it's not taking a bite. My saw cut at an angle- when I learned to set the depth properly that went away.
  9. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    yes, that video goes over filing off with a depth gage etc. watch the video!
  10. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    Good point.

    The angle can be changed depending on the type of wood you are cutting most. It is different for softwood and hardwood if you want the optimum cutting ability. I forgot the angles to use for each but it would be no problem searching the net for it.

    So you are right, it will cut no matter what the angle....well almost.....and if it is making dust then check the rakers which probably need filing down for a better bite from the cutters.
  11. micah

    micah New Member

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    Sorry for posting in the wrong forums.

    That is a very good video. I didnt realize there was so much to a chain!!! I now have 4 chains because I keep buying new ones. I think ill use one and learn the art of chain sharpening.
  12. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    If you do decide to sharpen your chain don't let the salesman talk you out of buying a file. When I bought mine the guy tried telling me it was to hard to do and to let them sharpen it. Its not hard to do just keep the file at the right angle and don't forget to file the depth setting. I didn't watch that video but if the other say its worth watching than do it. They give great advice.
  13. Gator eye

    Gator eye Member

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    Take a look at the file guide made by stihl.......it's almost idiot proof.....heck I ve even had good luck sharping my chains with it, and it doesn't take but 5 minutes to touch up the chain when I refuel the saw.
  14. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    and there are alot of other files out there. a buddy of mine swears by the file made by dremmel.
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I use the Dremel sharpener. I love it.
  16. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Micah you must friends or neighbors that cut wood...just ask one to show ya how they sharpen the chain. There's nothing to it...once ya know how.
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    The guy that taught me has a pile of grinders, never uses them, unless the chain is really buggered by a nail or rock... Once he showed me, I find it's far easier than a grinder, and faster considering that I no longer have to take the chain on and off...

    I also don't use much of a guide - I got one of the plastic Husky file handles, which is IMHO a great holder as it holds the file tight, but is easy to insert and remove them - the handle has 25 and 30* bevels cut on the sides of it, and as a check I make sure that when the handle hits the bar at the end of a stroke, I'm even on the 25* bevel (spec for my chain) Otherwise I just follow the existing tooth face, making sure to pull up on the file a little bit as I stroke across the face to the outside of the tooth. I take 2-3 strokes on each tooth every time I finish a tank of gas. As I make a stroke, I give the file about a 1/4 turn twist of my wrist, turning so that the top of the file turns away from the top of the tooth - my friend claims that this puts a sort of micro-serration on the tooth edge, which helps it hold up better.

    I also use a raker depth guage, and check a few teeth after every sharpening - put the guage down, and run the corner of the file back and forth along the guage face - if it hits noticeably, the rakers need to be taken down, I find this happens about every 3-5 tanks of gas. - put the guage on each raker and file it, again going to the outside of each tooth.

    IMHO, once you learn how - doesn't take long with a good teacher, all those guides and such do little more than lighten the wallet and slow you down.

    Gooserider
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