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Harbor Freight bench sharpner review now with pics!

Post in 'The Gear' started by Pallet Pete, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I am posting this because I see a lot of file questions so here is my grinder review.

    Purchased 8/2010

    I have been using a Hand file for a long time then one day I see a Harbor Freight add advertising a bench top chain grinder and I think for about two seconds then buy the sucker. The directions suck big time and I end up watching the demo video that shows you how to use it on HF's website and get a good grasp of it. It was a battle for the stop to work properly and hold the chain in place it made me go insane for a bit to be honest with you then I got an idea :coolgrin: !! I modified the guide/stop so it was more stable by simply adding a couple washers to it and wamo it works. :) I sharpened the first chain and had some issues with the grinding arm being sloppy when I tried to sharpen the tooth it also got a washer on one side and it has no more slop. After the washers it is nice and tight I can just barley touch a tooth and it is razor sharp my test was simple I cut a sheet of paper by pulling it over the tooth and it sliced like butter. Ever since then it has performed flawlessly just be patient and this sharpener works like a dream! I do still use a hand file in the field every tank of gas I give the chain one pass per tooth and it stays crazy sharp because of that.

    Here is the link to the sharpener it is 49.99 regular however I got it for 29.99 on sale if you wait for a sale you can too.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/electric-chain-saw-sharpener-93213.html

    Hope this helps
    Pete

    Attached Files:

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  2. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info. How about labelling the photo or taking pics to show where you put the washers? Following a written description is difficult.
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I will take photos and get them up as soon as I can Dan for you, It will be tonight I hope .
    Pete
  4. wetwood

    wetwood Member

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    I would also like to see pics of your washer modifications. I've thought about getting one of the hf sharpeners but figured they were just more of their plastic junk. It would be great if it could be turned into something useful.
  5. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    Its actually a Chinese copy of the Italian "Nick the Grinder" which I have. My dad has the HF version. They are pretty much identical.

    Its not an industrial duty or super high precision design, but its close enough for most folks.
  6. Trktrd

    Trktrd Feeling the Heat

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    I got one a couple days ago, and yes the instructions are pretty much useless. I also had to mod the guide stop with washers to make it work properly. I practiced on a really worn chain for a bit and once I got the hang of it, I blew through 6 others in no time.Not the world's most "precision instrument" but I'm quite pleased with it. Besides, with my arthritis and this cold weather my arm would feel like it's going to fall off after hand filing 1 chain. As far as I'm concerned, it's paid for itself already.
  7. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Yes, when you consider the slight "play" in the unit, it's certainly less play than when you sharpen by hand. I don't know anyone who can make almost a hundred file strokes at a precise angle in all three dimensions.
  8. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I was at HF yesterday to get a come along, which is already broken. They were advertising a sidewalk sale/clearance for this weekend, so my plan is to take the POS come along back, and get a POS grinder if they are $30. Friend has had one for years, and is happy considering what he paid for it. I'll be looking for your pics, Pete.
  9. Regency139

    Regency139 Member

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    X3 with a picture of your setup. I bought one of these a few months ago and I must have watched the video four or five times on YouTube. I've sharpened a few chains with it and the play it has is a bit annoying.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the original "Nick the Grinder". Probably average about 12-15 chains per year on it. It will probably be running till I quit. Its cheap, but workable. Now if somebody gave me one of those 511a things, I would toss Nick in the can, but until then it does everything I ever expected it to do.

    Edit: I have never had the need to washer or shim anything on this grinder so it "may" be a bit tighter construction than the other one in question. Dunno.
  11. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Sorry guys I have been very busy I will get the pictures up tomarrow morning I promise ;-) sorry again

    Pete
  12. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Sorry guys I have been very busy I will get the pictures up tomarrow morning I promise ;-) sorry again

    Pete
  13. Stubborn Dutchman

    Stubborn Dutchman Member

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    I have used one for about a year now. Using a light touch, it seems to work fine for me. I hand file mostly, usually after every tank refill, due to all the dirty storm damaged tops I'm cutting on. I use the HF sharpener to get the cutters all back to the same length. Going super lightly, it takes about three passes to get every thing back in shape. I like the idea of adding washers to the chain stop! I'm glad to hear others saying they can make theirs work good enough for them.
  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Ok I took the guide apart so you could see what it looks like. I took the screw out of the side of the arm that holds the stop be very careful not to loose the spring as it is very small. next I added 3 washers to the screw and put it back on this moves the arm over and more in line with the chain as well as tightens it up. Then I backed out the adjustment screw and removed the rubber washer and put a lock washer on then put it back in. This helps me a great deal buy holding the stop in place much more stable and keeps it from moving then I added a nut to the end which makes the screw push the arm without slipping off the side which was my biggest problem before.

    Good luck
    Pete

    Attached Files:

  15. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Pete. Now I just need to take the laptop downstairs and see if I can duplicate what you did. It'll be over the weekend, but I'll keep you posted.
  16. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Good stuff let me now how it works for ya.

    Pete
  17. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I should add I am not sure what size washers I used one was thicker two where narrow. I actually just dumped a bin full of washers on my workbench and tried till it was tight fitting.

    Good luck
    Pete
  18. Regency139

    Regency139 Member

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    Thanks Pete. I'll be modifying mine tomorrow.
  19. wetwood

    wetwood Member

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    Thanks pete, now I'm going to get one of those hf chain sharpeners, but the wife's not going to be happy that I need another tool. :-/
  20. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Wetwood just be aware that it is still going to take a lot of patience this is still a cheap hf sharpner. It works much better for me after the mods and I get a way better edge with the stops all tightened and realigned though.

    Good luck
    Pete
  21. wetwood

    wetwood Member

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  22. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I may be wrong, but it looks to me as though the chain is mounted in the wrong direction in the illustration for the new one...
  23. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    When we were on the way to buy a POS come along, my six year old asked where we were going. I said 'To a place that sells cheap tools.' She said 'If they're cheap why are we going there? They will just break.' :-/
    It did, first time we were using it. 'Told ya.'
    I'm not taking her when I go get the grinder....
  24. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Like anything you have to be careful what you buy ! I will say I have many of my tools are from Harbor Freight and I really use and love them such as my pitsburg wrenches, chicago electric welder, greyhound splitter and the list goes on. Just be careful and research fully what you buy and you won't have buyers remorse I use the reviews on there website before I buy anything from HF as a rule. One nice thing they do offer is a no questions asked warranty on there products its cheap piece of mind if your not sure about a purchase.

    Pete
  25. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I need a come along once every couple of years. Had a little swamp logging project going on, and thought it should make it through that. I bought the biggest one they had.

    I have no illusions about HF tools. Seems like their simple hand tools are okay. Anything else, you're taking a chance.

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