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chainsaw file life

Post in 'The Gear' started by Boom Stick, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    Curious about how long a round file should last. My first file was a stihl round file without guide and I initially was sharpening freehand. It lasted a good bit but I replaced it as it felt slick and lost its bite. I now use a guide and figured if I rotate the fileI can evenly wear on it. I am assuming these are not nicholson quality files.....cheapo stihl files. Under normal conditions how long should a round file last me.....how many sharpenings before I toss it out? Do they need to be cleaned at all for metal shavings? Thanks!!

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  2. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    737
    Loc:
    NJ
    Yes, get a file card and keep it clean. But remember that files are diposable. You might still have your grandfather's axe but you shouldn't be holding any sentiment about his files. If it doesn't feel like it is biting anymore get another out of your supply, don't you by them by the dozen?
  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,040
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Lots of factors:

    Hardness of chain
    Hardness of file
    Number of cutter links in a chain loop
    How dull you let the cutters get before sharpening
    Rotate your file periodically.
    Blow out filings from file valleys.

    Some cutter links are harder than others. Some files are harder than others. Stihl chain requires harder files, and genuine Stihl files are up to the task. Save Edge are pretty good, too.

    If one of my 3/8 pitch, 32" full comp Stihl chains is very dull, I can kill a good Stihl file in one sharpening of that chain.
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,458
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    Trick to keep your files lasting longer, rub them down with some plain cheap bar soap before you use them, keeps the filings from sticking and clogging up the gullets. You still need to use a file card every so often to clean out gullets.
  5. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,952
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Perhaps true with cheap modern round files, but otherwise wrong! The best files to be had are vintage Simmonds, Diamond backs, Heller, and Nicholsons. Send them out for sharpening, and they come back sharper and last longer than most of the crap you can afford to buy today. If you have any of your grandfathers vintage files of which you'd like to dispose, please send them my way.

    One of the biggest, but most frequently ignored factors in file life is storage. Keep them separated. This is why files come to you individually wrapped, or wrapped in a large roll with paper separating each file from the next.
    blades and Fifelaker like this.

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