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New chain - are you kidding me?!!!

Post in 'The Gear' started by Creek-Chub, Mar 13, 2009.

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  1. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Up until now, I've been cutting a fair amount of wood (10+ cords through the winter) with your garden variety oregon chain on the MS280. I don't know the model numbers, but whatever they list for the 280 when you walk into TSC, Menards, Rural King, etc.

    Today, I have reached Nirvana in my wood cutting experience. Having read about them here, I picked up a couple of Stihl semi-chisel chains and fired them up on a 32-inch hunk of white oak I've been picking away at. It was like cutting through butter. Almost literally, as compared to my other chains. The difference was night and day, and has literally changed my outlook on wood cutting. I have been dreading getting through another 15-20 cords this spring (trying to get two years ahead) because it has been such a chore bucking logs. Now I can buck in a day what it used to take me to do in 2 or 3 weekends.

    I can't imagine what a full chisel chain would be like, but my logs aren't the cleanest and I figured it would be too much hassle keeping a full chisel sharp. Once again, cutting wood has become fun, and that's something.

    Thanks fellas!

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  2. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the post. I've been meaning to get a semi-chisel chain because I had heard good things about them. I think I'll grab one this weekend as I have a decent amount of bucking to do this spring.
  3. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Night and Day difference. I certainly agree that it's a big chore to cut with big box chains. I'm just like you... never had a good cutting experience until I tried out a new Stihl RSC yellow chain. The first time you experience the bite it shocks you. I realize that you can get good Oregon stuff, but I just stay with Stihl because I KNOW what I'm going to get with those yellow branded chains.
  4. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Grasshopper, you have attained a new level of awareness. Next a muffler mod is in order. I still have not doen the muffler mod... :cheese: :cheese:
  5. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Night and day difference is right. I hate to keep harping on this, but bucking wood has gone from a serious chore to "fun" work overnight. You hear guys talking about how their saw/chain etc. cut like butter. Having switched chains, I understand that there really is such a thing.
  6. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I saw your other post, and that's some good looking wood you'vve been picking away at. I'll try to get a new post up with photos tomorrow in the Wood Shed forum, but we bucked, loaded, and trailered home somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 cords today with the new chains. 4 or 5 loads on the 18 foot trailer pulled by a big bad old Ford, had a little Deere to load them, and went to town. Local farmer I went to school with was clearing a fence row between two fields, and we had to get while the getting was good. With the safety chains I've been running I would have been lucky to get through a cord or two. It makes you feel pretty good when you're bucking logs just about as fast as the guy on the excavator can knock them over. Pics to follow...
  7. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Go ahead and buy a loop of Stihl RSC and save it for some good clean wood. You'll see yet another speed difference. But they do dull a bit faster.
  8. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    All i use are full chisel on my 044/20"
  9. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Found this thread while doing a search for Chisel Semi-chisel to find out the differences. I have and rotate through 3 safety chains for my Husky 359, one is Husky brand, the other two is Oregon. I am going to try out a Oregon semi-chisel for my pricepoint so it sounds like it's da'bomb. My woodpile is shrinking nicely but it sounds like it'll be gone in shorttime with the non-safety chain. I think I am experienced enough to start venturing into more serious cutting...

    Thanks,
    Jay
  10. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    If you get a real chain then those safety chains will be in the garbage where they belong. Welcome to the real world of cutting. Do they even sell 'real' chains at the box stores? I get mine through the stihl dealer because I don't want to ever chance getting another wimpy chain.
  11. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    I don't believe so. Usually I'm in a rush and run down to the local box store and pick up one. I don't recall ever seeing a non-safety chain. But I am going to order one online from somewhere now that I am in no longer a rush. I did a search for the Oregon 72DP semi-chisel and found some so-so results on it which has me wondering if I should go full chisel or semi...

    Jay
  12. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I'd go with full chisel, unless you're working with dirty wood. Even then, it's easy enough to run a file over it quickly every so often (like when refueling). And yes, safety chain is garbage!
  13. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    You really want to wet your pants and give your wood a woody try Oregon LP chain.
    I have always trained my cutters to bore cut dirty wood on the deck. This keeps the chain pulling out through dirty wood instead of dragging the dirt through the entire cut dulling the chain further.
  14. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Well, the thing is, I got my wood free from a tree service via Craigslist and some of these babies are like 36" wide which is why I got my 359 with a 20" bar. However, some of them have roots and vines growing up the sides and a bit of dirt on them. In other words, these trees are not the picture perfect trees you find in the paper mills or lumbar yards. Maybe I should debark them first because lord knows, all the dirt and grime that are on the bark...

    I presume sharpening a semi-chisel would be the same as a full chisel, even though the cutter profile is curved, the sharpening should not be on the profile of the cutter and just the underside, if that makes any sense...

    Jay
  15. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    OK, heck, I went out and bought one of both, a 72LGX in a 20" loop and a 72DP semi-chisel from Amicks. Seems like on Arboristsite, they mentioned Amicks which will ship the chains in a flat fee USPS box for like $4-$5. Seems reasonable enough to me...

    Jay
  16. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I recommend chisel bit chains only for those who do a lot of tree falling followed immediately or shortly by bucking on the spot. If you cut mostly wood that has been down a while or yarded or moved several times since it was felled I would skip the chisel bit altogether.
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Your mileage may vary... I prefer to use full chisel all the time and sharpen after every tank... I prefer full power cutting with more frequent sharpening to less effective cutting with a longer time between...

    As to Amick's, I know I've seen the mention of the low cost shipping approach over on Arboristsite, and I know I've mentioned it here - I think Tony can get up to 5-6 chains in one flat rate envelope if you order that many, with the obvious savings in shipping cost, not to mention that they have a lower cost per loop than most. I've been really happy every time I dealt with them, as they really go the extra distance on customer service.

    Gooserider
  18. mbokie5

    mbokie5 New Member

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    After reading this thread, I went to the Stihl shop nearby and he sold me two Husqy full chisel chains, second one at half price.

    He's been superb on customer service and never balks at answering every question in full. And I haven't really spent much money in his shop. I bought a Stihl weed whacker, a gas cap for my Husqy and some winter chain oil. Big deal. I think he's also convinced me that my next saw will be a Stihl 441 with a 24" bar. Around $800 Cdn.

    I'll be giving the new chain a go this a.m.

    My old chains are semi chisel. He explained the engineering of the semi and full to my satisfaction, but convinced me that the full chisel was faster.
  19. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    It is faster, they just dull a little quicker.
  20. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    That's how I found Amicks, I think I did a search on 72LGX Oregon and came up with a link to Arboristsite with the info on how to get the flat fee USPS box. If you enter "FLAT" in the coupon box, something comes up in your shopping cart with the flat fee. Then if you select USPS shipping when asked for it (You have to select something or else their software gives you an error), you get processed. I think the shipping for that comes up as $5.XX and it is added to your total, but I'll see whether I get charged the $4 fee or not. I don't recall how much the flat fee rate is, but it might have gone up above $4 since the thread I found on Arboristsite was from 2006...

    Here's the link:
    http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=39904

    Jay
  21. mbokie5

    mbokie5 New Member

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    Now, does dulling faster mean cutting less wood per chain?
  22. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I supose that's a loaded question. It's guess it's kind of like the tortoise and the hare. I prefer to have a fast cutting chain and either sharpen it more often, or keep a couple on hand so they can be changed out when they get dull.

    Ideally, you should select chain based on the wood you're cutting and conditions you're cutting in.
  23. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It depends. If the wood is clean then chisel bits are the bees knees. Dirty logs will dull a chisel bit faster than a saw will run out of gas.
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    It depends on how you define that - if you mean per sharpenning, maybe... If you mean over the life of the chain, no. What I've found with full chisel is it either cuts fantastic, or it doesn't cut for beans - when it goes dull you KNOW it. If you keep trying to cut at that point, your production will go way down, and you will really mess up the chain. If you stop and file it, a couple passes will bring it back in very short order.

    If the wood is dirty, or you hit something, it will dull well before you get through a tank, but if you are in reasonably clean wood, then it usually works out pretty well to sharpen after every tank.

    W/ Semi-chisel, you don't cut as fast even when sharp, but the performance drop as it gets dull is less dramatic, so you can keep (sort of) cutting longer with a chain that isn't as sharp as it should be...

    Gooserider
  25. caber

    caber New Member

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    nice prices on Amicks. I'm going to have ot buy a couple semi-chisels to see how they do.
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