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Sharpened chain....received snow...coincidence?

Post in 'The Gear' started by schlot, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I took my chain in for sharpening and got it back yesterday. Took it in as I expect to cut up some of the popular and ash I brought home recently. $4.50 plus tax, which sounded like a deal. Then I woke up to let the dogs out this morning and there is snow coming down. What a great start to a day!

    How many times would a "normal" chain go through sharpening before needing replacing?
    PA Fire Bug and smokinj like this.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Depends almost entirely on the guy sharpening the chain. Some know what they are doing and only take off the bare minimum to get a clean edge on the cutter....others grind the you know what out of it and dramatically shorten the life of the chain.

    To a lesser extent, the condition of the cutters pre-sharpening plays into life. Some people will try to keep the cutters all uniform, so if one is damaged or has a big chunk out of it, they'll grind them all down to match. One or two dinged up cutters don't bother me...they aren't hurting anything and you aren't going to notice it cut any faster. I just file them down a little at a time with the rest of the chain.
  3. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I have close to 30 cords between 4 chains and they all still have easily 50% life left.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've got enough chain to wear out every saw I own. ==c;lol
    PA Fire Bug, Nixon and zap like this.
  5. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Be careful the next time you bring something in for service. If you got snow from a chain sharpening imagine what a tune-up will get you in the weather department??
    albert1029, n6crv and firefighterjake like this.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Whatever you do, do NOT get it ported. !!! ;lol
  7. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Chain life depends on how long you run it after it starts to get dull. Like any other cutting tool, the longer you put off sharpening, the more grinding required to bring it back. I carry 2 spare, sharp chains. When the one I'm running starts to cut crooked or gets otherwise dulled, I replace it immediately. The shop regularly comments on how little they have to grind to bring them back.
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    There's no such thing as "normal." If your wood is clean and you keep the tip out of the dirt your chain will last for a long time.

    I got 20+ cord out of my last chain. Most of the wood was clean but some wasn't. Never hit the dirt with it.
    ScotO and My Oslo heats my home like this.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    No set "Norm". Conditions, how sharpened, who sharpened & operator are al variables.

    I have 10 or so cords on this one, some dirty wood. Couple groundings.
    I filed mine almost every time after a load of wood. Some day it needed filled more than others.
    Still on the saw, few cords left in it.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/when-is-a-chain-worn-out-teeth-getting-short.92020/

    A couple extra chains come in handy if you don't sharpen yourself.
    Swap out a dull chain & keep cutting; better for the saw & easier on you to cut with a sharp chain.
  10. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Yes, probably should have used the word "average" rather than "normal". But either way I just wanted to get a rough idea.

    Got the spare chain already. Figured with that price, it's worth it have it done professionally.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I used to do that. I had 6 chains, would drop off 3 or 4 at the shop & still have sharp ones working.
    Got to filing it after each cutting session, worked out better for me.
    Sharp chain to start every trip. Touch up if needed in the field.

    1/2 to 3/4 cord, hit it with the file, saved money to buy files. :) LOL

    Which ever way works best for you.
    Always having a sharp chain on the saw makes cutting much more fun ;)
  12. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I give the teeth 2-3 strokes with the file every tankful or so.Depending on what I'm cutting.Dead/down Red/White Oak,(which is roughly 70% of what I'm cutting),Shagbark Hickory,Honey Locust even green are pretty rough on chains,especially the bark of Hickory.

    Other woods the edge lasts longer,except when milling.I dont wait until its 'dull' or I see powder,its much easier to touch it up before then.Chain cuts better/faster & less wear/tear on the saw (and you) as well.

    Always keep a sharp spare chain with me also.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    File early and file often. Chain lasts a long time and if you learn to do the sharpening (easy), you save lots of dollars.

    Many folks take several chains to the woods with them. I own one chain. When that wears out I'll buy another. I do sharpen the chain often but can't tell you how many cord of wood I cut per chain except to say it is lots.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    The fact that my chains rarely (in many cases never) see a grinder contributes greatly to their longevity
    Thistle likes this.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Used properly a grinder will only remove the min amount of material to sharpen the chain.... same as a file.

    smokinj likes this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Problem is you just about have to own that grinder to ensure it is being used properly.
    ScotO and Thistle like this.
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have a dozen chains I bought in 2006: I still have a dozen and all in pretty good shape. Couple more years I may need to throw a couple away.
  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Agree! 100 percent.
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Considering the fairly cheap cost of a decent grinder, I'd imagine many of us on here own them. It didn't take very many $10 sharpen jobs for me to realize buying my own grinder would pay itself off quickly.

  20. tlc1976

    tlc1976 New Member

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    I've got about 30 cord on my chain and it was used when I got it. However some of the teeth are almost down to being triangles. But at long as it keeps cutting great I'll leave it alone. I sharpen it with a hand file and try to keep it out of the dirt as much as possible. I also just use my old engine oil for the most part, who knows if it would last longer with the proper oil. I would think it matters what you are cutting too. I cut maybe 1/3 green wood but I also cut a lot of ironwood.

    Usually for me it works the other way. Bad weather always hits when I am not ready.
  21. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    I use the angle guide you can get at Lowes or home depot...partial to the Oregon one...with no experience at all, from the first time it was awesome...got the raker gauge but haven't had to use it yet...agree that equal number of strokes for each cutter...usually 3 sometimes 5 or 6 if uneven or particularly dull ...gets very sharp and cuts straight every time... !CD456Mw!mk~$(KGrHqYOKj4E00bKcdpEBNQFl7d,Y!~~_12.JPG
  22. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    In over 40 years of cutting/sharpening I've gone from an unguided hand file, to a "flat bar" guided hand file, to a fancy "jig type" guided hand file, to a guided carbide cutter sharpener, to a small 12V Oregon rotory grinder, to a larger el-cheapo Oregon circular bench grinder, and back to hand filing with the simple Stihl flat bar guide. (The little 12V Oregon sharpener with the round stones was the next best thing for me.) I file my chains a few strokes after every 1-2 gas tanks and keep them from ever getting really dull.
    albert1029 likes this.

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