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Chain Sharpening

Post in 'The Gear' started by kruger, Nov 22, 2008.

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  1. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I have curved bumpers on all of my saws; no dogs and my saw drops through the hardest of hardwoods. Levering through a log with dogs is a bad habit that increases bar and chain wear. A properly sharpened chain and tuned bar should need no more than the weight of the saw to get them through a cut. No big deal doing it here and there, but if you need to use the dogs to cut then there is something very wrong with your filing or cutting technique.

    The exception to this can be large face cuts where you don't have the help of gravity.

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  2. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I disagree, but we're looking at two different issues.

    Issue #1 - Using the dogs to lever through the wood means your chain is dull. That's just silly. Chip size tells you how sharp your chain is, not cutting technique.


    Issue #2 (your issue) - Proper cutting technique regardless of chain sharpness. I often cut large Doug Fir logs lying on the ground. I suppose I could hold my bar level letting it sink as I bend over or squat but I hate working bent over so I do it as little as possible so I rock my saw back and forth (thereby minimizing the time I spend bent over.) Why are the dogs there?
  3. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    On issue one, you are right that using the dogs does not necessarily indicate a dull chain, but many untrained cutters will resort to levering when the chain gets dull so it is a reasonable association.

    On issue two, the dogs are there to help control the saw and for smaller logs to help keep them from spinning. As I stated they can properly be used to help gain pressure in situations where gravity is not assisting the cut. For example they are helpful for large face cuts where the bottom cut is actually working against gravity. Using them for regular downhill crosscuts will certainly speed things up a bit, but the abuse on the bar is not worth it. Then again most people don't take the time to keep their bar properly dressed and cutting straight anyway. In the end it doesn't really matter all that much. It is not unsafe to use the dogs in the manner you speak of, it just beats up on the gear more. The reality is that a good cutting chain will cut just about as fast with gravity alone. That is why I remove them from my saws; prevents the urge to cheat the cut, but I also care very much about having a true bar.
  4. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    If you HAVE to lever the saw with the dogs to make it cut, then it's a sign that the saw might need to be sharpened.

    Nobody said "If you are using your dogs...."

    I'll admit that I use them some depending on the cut, bent over, in a hurry, cutting the last few pieces of dirty wood and not wanting to file, etc. For me a good gauge of how sharp the saw is, is how fast it pulls itself through the wood. That's all I was trying to say.
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