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Posted By Treacherous,
Sep 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM
Should I be using a hand file or will this save me some time? $39.99
I have that exact sharpener and so far I like it. I use a hand file while in the woods and use the electric sharpener when I get home. So far my method seems to work pretty well. If/when I rock the chain the electric sharpener does a great job bringing the chain back to life!
Thanks! Might have to pick one up.
I've heard there's work to be done to get them to prduce more consistent results. Nothing scary tho. Like a lot of HF tools, a bit of tweaking makes them work much better.
Not to rain on your charcoal but in this picture the chain appears to be on backwards, Ken
Yea the chain is on backwards!! Good job marketing dept!! I did tweak mine w/ a couple of washers around the chain brake.
I had one and returned it. It was a piece of crap. Not good enough for even a rough sharpening in my opinion.
Have one and only real complaint is you have to reajust for the left and right cutters to get then the same.
I could never seem to quite get the knack for hand filing, so I bought one from HF a couple of years ago, at best it is OK. Last year I bought the sharpending stones that fit in to my Dremel. Of the 3 methods, I get by far the best results using the Dremel, and in less time and effort. Plus, as with hand filing, you can do it in the field and don't have to remove the chain.
Does Dremel work like this unit?
Yes they do work the same. I used the stones but they would wear down too fast so went to the Diamond burrs and they last a long time. I get them off Ebay and had real good luck. The last ones even came in a package that saids for Chainsaws.
I have owned one of the original "Nick the Grinder" for several years, a bit different version, but a cheapo. I have sharpened lots of chains with it. It works. It makes sharp chains IF you pay close attention to what you are doing. If you are just pulling down on them and moving on, you may be disappointed.
This, the only drawback is that you have to intentionally sharpen each tooth. No robotic grinding. I have the HF sharpener that I bought for 30 bucks. I use no files and have no intention of ever getting good at using a hand file. When I bought my new 290 3 years ago I bought an extra skip chain. Those two chains sharpened with this grinder only have allowed me to dice up the last 20 cords of wood. Point is, using a grinder does not mean you need to remove a lot of material. A little skill and even a cheap HF grinder is all you need.
You might want a nicer grinder to attain perfection but the HF is sufficient.
When I use the hf sharpener I give each tooth three soft one second hits w/ the grinder and it works very well. If you grind away at the tooth you will ruin the temper and it wont cut well. The reason I purchased one is because my local stihl dealer sharpened one of my chains 4 times for $7 or $8 a pop and the chain was ground down to nothing by the time I was ready to get it sharpened the fifth time! The hf sharpener is worth it in my opinion/experience.
Just touching up a chain should yield many, many sharpenings. At 4-5-6 times and the chain is wasted - they are simply hogging steel.
If you are in no hurry for the HF one, wait a bit as they tend to go on sale about e/o month or so. I picked one up last year but I never waa happy with the end results so I returned it. Hand filing works for me through about a dozen outings and then it's off to the dealer for a sharpening, but one day I plan to pick up something a bit more exotic and hope to skip the pro sharpening.
Just noticed that HF has them on sale for $25 right now if anyone's been waiting
I got one of these for my birthday last week. I have not had a chance to use it, but with a couple of free scrounges I might be picking up this week it may very well get a test run after Turkey Day.
These machines do work, but if I may make a suggestion...
Do not treat these as a set and forget machine like the expensive ones. Carefully watch contact on each tooth and remove as little material as possible. The plastic frames of these can flex a bit. They should be set so that there is virtually no pressure applied to the tooth (just grazing the front of the tooth.)
I picked one up for $25 bucks a few weeks ago. I've got 5 chains & after a few years use on scrounged wood some had damage & others just seemed to not hold a sharpening so I figured the angles were off from hand sharpenings. The HF unit was way cheaper than taking my chains to a pro to get ground to a stub for $8-10 a pop.
I spent about a half hour tinkering with initial set-up, putting a few washers on the main hinge and the chain brake, looking for problems... First chain wasn't the best, but I quickly learned it's quirks & now I'm getting good results. I tried doing the rakers with it based on a method I saw on Youtube, but it seemed sloppy & slow, so I just did them by hand. It's taking me about 10 minutes per chain.
I thought I'd just use it every so many sharpenings or if I hit something, but now I think I'll just stick with grinding them all & switching chains in the field. As MasterMech pointed out, switching between grinder & file actually makes hand filing slower and takes more metal off because the file & stone have different profiles. Picture switching a knife blade back & forth between straight ground and hollow ground. Not a big deal if you just want to stick with one chain, just be aware it may not last as long.
I am a bit goofy about the rakers and like to keep the original rounded shape, just reduce them in size. I use a round stone in a dremel to take the rakers down. Couple of swipes from front to back and move on to the next.
Thanks Jags, you just gave me another reason to get a Dremel! And just before X-mas too...
FY I you can get the, HF - Electric Chain Saw Sharpener for 25 bucks this month with the coupon here , http://www.harborfreight.com/oct-tab1.html
Here is a review of mine it works well but I had to mod it for good results. It is the same basic sharpener inside. I ordered it too and would have to mod it as well to get a sharp as I wanted so I took it back because I already had a moded one.
A buddy of mine bought one. Mind you, he's a small engine mechanic is a master "tinkerer"....he added a few washers here and there, and put an absolutely stupid sharp edge of my Stihl chisel chains. I couldn't even come close with the Granberg. I recently picked up some diamond dremel bits from feebay and have been very happy with the job they did.