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Chain saw Sharpening with a Dremel

Post in 'The Gear' started by BrianK, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Dremel advertises 3 chain saw sharpening stones, http://www.dremel.com/en-au/Accessories/Pages/SubCategories.aspx?catid=49 and they advertise a kit http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000302YO?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&tag=howtohome1-20 and here's what looks like a decent tutorial http://www.how-to-home.com/how-to-s...ng-dremels-chain-saw-sharpening-kit-1453.html

    I already have multiple Dremel drills and am fairly good with them. Does anyone use a Dremel tool for sharpening their chain saw chains? Pros and cons?

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  2. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    My dad used one years ago, stones wear somewhat quickly reducing their diameter, and they wear unevenly as well since you can't use the full length.
    Worked OK in a pinch.
    Looks like it would be hard to keep the angles consistant without lots of practice.
    Dremel stones and burrs can be expensive, but you are probably more familiar with that then I am. I have one but use my air powered die grinder most of the time.
    I thought I saw a 12v version of one of these somewhere, My not have been genuine Dremel.
    smokinj likes this.
  3. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

  4. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Seems like it may, I have no experience with these.
    Grinding the tooth rather than filing can remove the temper if it gets hot enough. You may need to work your way around a really dull chain a few times until it's where you want it so heat doesn't build and damage the cutters. Why not try the harbor freight or northern tool sharpeners? They seem to be a lot more popular than the Dremel set up, probably more durable and more precise also, just a suggestion.
  5. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I'm probably going to pick up the Harbor Freight version eventually, I just need to find a tutorial on setting one up properly.

    But I like the idea of being able to sharpen the chain in the field with my cordless Dremels, not having to remove the chain to sharpen it, and the fact that burrs are relatively inexpensive.
  6. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I often use the Dremel with holder. By far the biggest advantage is speed, and you can sharpen in place, 2-3 minutes and you're back in business. I can't imagine temper would be a big issue, it really only needs a quick touch. On the downside, stones are expensive and don't last long at all. Also, I suspect that the edge doesn't last as long as a hand-sharpened chain, (maybe I'll rethink the temper question...).

    TE
  7. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Have you tried the diamond burrs? They're only $3 each.
    http://www.pjtool.com/chainsawsharpeningdiamondstones.aspx

    In my experience, the Dremel stone burrs wear out and change diameter quickly, but the diamond burrs hardly wear at all, they just get smoother with time and take longer to do the job. I've also used ruby burrs and they hold up well also.
  8. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    If the Harbor Freight bench sharpener does not affect temper, why would the Dremel? I guess the 110v models might spin too fast, creating heat, but my cordless Dremels are much slower.
  9. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Dremel has a video on YouTube:
  10. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I have the Oregon 12v version, has a guide to keep you on angle, just like a file holder. I use the diamond burrs, several sharpenings per burr. Does a good enough job for me, and way faster than a file, which I also carry. I use the old deformed burrs to knock down the rakers..
    osagebow likes this.
  11. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    So even the diamond burrs wear out relatively quickly?
  12. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Have not actually "counted", but I think I am getting about a dozen sharpenings out of each burr.. I know they last a fair bit longer than the regular ones. I tend to do my chains in batches now, so it's a bit harder to keep exact track. I *think* the burr on there now has been used two maybe three times, so 8-12 chains,still looks useable..
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My buddy Joe uses a dremel . . . likes it . . . but says the stone wears out quick.

    If my poor memory is correct I think Backwoods Savage has said he has used a dremel to sharpen his saws as well.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Your memory is correct Jake. You haven't lost it yet, except for that splitting job....

    I filed chains for many, many moons by hand until my hands kept hurting too much to continue so finally broke down and got the dremel-type sharpener. Sure, I had heard the stories about how they would not work worth a hoot especially compared to hand filing them. However, that has not proved to be the case at all. I think I can sharpen as good with the dremel as I can by hand and do it a whole lot faster too. I simply keep the sharpener in the tool case and it is with me whenever I go to cut wood. If the saw needs sharpening, I just hook up to the atv and do the sharpening. I used to be able to just clip onto the battery for power but our new atv I had to change the end so I could plug it in rather than clip onto the battery.

    As for the sharpening, I do not work as slow as the video they put out. If held onto the tooth that long it would seem to me to burn and thereby losing the temper. I just do not hold it on the tooth that long and if need be, just sharpen it twice around. I tend to sharpen often so only once or twice have I double sharpened it.

    I also do not do like most on this forum. That is, I have only the chain that is on the saw and I do not keep extras around. Can't see the sense in having that much money tied up in chains. When the chain gets worn badly, then I'll buy another but usually only have the one on the saw.

    I've talked to a few others who also use this type sharpener and they all have told me they can do a better job of sharpening with it than they could by hand. You can pick these things up for $10 many times. They are worth it too.
    quads likes this.
  15. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I have used a cordless dremel for a while. I find it is very easy to maintain angles with this tool. Much easier than trying to run a file to and from at a consistent angle. I use a parts cleaner to keep the stones clean and aggressive, and I make a conscious effort to use the length of the stone in order to keep consistent diameters. There is a great tool for this method now. I have a few tools from this series. The Milwaukee M12 tools are a more delicate level of drills/drivers/saws and specialty tools. The rotary tool is a cordless dremel with serious snot. I have 4 batteries that I can cart along for limitless sharpenings. Keeping the tool clean and maintaining med/slow speed will keep the cutters from heating up. I find the chains are sharpened better than when I use a professional sharpening tool. Best part is the sharpening is done while on the bar. Time saver.
  16. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    I tried the dremel tool attachment and stone and I did not get good results. I have since ordered a FileOPlate for my Husky's. The chains are Carlton's so I figured the FileOPlate would be the best option. I have used this several times and it works far better than the dremel because the FileOPlate assures you are sharpening at the right angles.
  17. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    So if done right with the Dremel, I'll have no need for a bench top sharpener or to take the chains into the shop for sharpening?

    That would be ideal:cool:
    quads likes this.
  18. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Absolutely! I place the saw on a solid base and position the grinder so that my hand is resting on something. Move the tool as little as possible with enough in/out action to get all the stone surface in contact with the tooth at one point during the action. When done, move the chain- not your hand. Maintain the angle that way.
    quads and Como like this.
  19. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I use this exact technique in the field as well with the 12V Granberg tool ( similar to the dremel ). I usually file by hand for touch ups, but if I "rock out" a chain the little grinder is quicker. As stated go around the chain 2 or 3 times depending on damage to avoid excessive heat. A C
  20. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    This looks quite easy and fast, this is what I'm looking at
  21. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Go with the Milwaukee 12v grinder tool over the Dremel. I have both and feel the Milwaukee is superior.
  22. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I will go check that out. Do they hold diamond tips for sharpening by Milwaukee ?
  23. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to call foul on this thread. I was looking down the list of posts and I saw...

    Chain sharpening with a...
    Ram 1500 with an axe...

    That might have been a real interesting thread. I was curious how a truck sharpened a chain saw.

    Matt
  24. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Bits are universal. If it fits Dremel it will fit the Milwaukee. I have not used the diamond cutter. Might try one depending on price. These bits can explode in a hurry if your not careful.
  25. n6crv

    n6crv Feeling the Heat

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    That is what I use. They hold up real well as they keep their size. What does happen is they get less gritty after awhile so do more of a polish then sharping.

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