Sharpening your own chain?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by WonderingWoman, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. WonderingWoman

    WonderingWoman
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    I want to learn to sharpen my own chain. It needs it now. I don't have the equipment yet, I was thinking of taking it in to have it done this time, and buying the stuff to do it and getting a run through at the store. I just bought my saw this spring, the Stihl MS 290.

    Any suggestions?
     

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  2. Scott in IN

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    Do a search over at Utube, lots of videos there to show you how to do it...
     
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  3. Corey

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    Youtube is good, there are a couple videos out there where I wouldn't use the technique if they paid me, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJdqIOIxAl0

    For instance, that grinder is going to be way hard to handle, probably heat up the metal and soften it, and on every other tooth, the grinding wheel is going to be cutting 'into' the tooth which isn't the greatest geometry.

    My favorite sharpening tool is a little grinding stone which fits my dremel tool - it's very easy to hold the angle, easy to regulate the cut - you can take a little off, or go a little deeper if you need to work out damage from a nail, rock, etc - and doesn't burn the metal. I throw a tiny 12 to 120V power inverter in the truck and I can even sharpen in the field if needed...though I keep a couple of hand files handy for a quick touch-up between tanks of gas.
     
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  4. SteveT

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  5. Saw-dust

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    I use a Bar Mount Filing Tool.

    I found this one on Sthil's site but there are some that are cheaper that wook just as good.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/acc_filing.html#barmount

    I have the filing kit too but all I use out of it is the depth gage to file the drags down after the chain gets worn back.
     

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  6. stephen44

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    being new I did not have much success with hand filing

    - I did find that the Dremmel sharpener works really well and is very easy to use
     
  7. smokinj

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    dremmel are eazy, i still take them to the dealership about ever 3rd time iam still not so good with the rakers
     
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  8. itsme again

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  9. efoyt

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    Get a Dremmel, it is supper easy and very fast. You will go through chain's a little quicker then you normally would but it is much cheaper in the long run then having to pay for a sharping every time.
     
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  10. Eric Johnson

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    You should sharpen your chain regularly and often. Always try to sharpen a sharp chain, rather than a dull one. I file (by hand) after every tank of gas.

    It's hard to learn to file by hand, but well worth the effort. Resources like YouTube make that process a lot easier.
     
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  11. Gator eye

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    I think people make it out to be harder than it really is......

    All you need is a good file and a vise....

    Put bar in the vise and only sharpen in a forward stroke, if you got a stihl follow the line on the tooth for the angle.

    I put three firm strokes on each tooth............unless I hit the dirt or fencing or other hazard, three will do the trick.

    Every so offend I hit the rakers real quick with a flat file...
     
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  12. Adios Pantalones

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    The "equipment" is cheep cheep cheep (say it like a birdie). Teach yourself and don't wait between touch ups.
     
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  13. pdboilermaker

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    My buddies and I all bought the cheap chainsaw grinders from Harbor Freight, they were like $40.00 and each of us have sharpened 100's of times over the past 3 years
     
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  14. WonderingWoman

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    I went back to the store and bought a kit to sharpen my chain and got instruction from the guy. Thanks for all the advise, I'll look at that video too. From now on I'll keep up on it more frequently.
     
  15. renewablejohn

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    If you need to keep sharpening a chain you are either cutting an awful lot of wood or you are abusing the chain by cutting nails or touching the ground. I do cut a lot of timber and never abuse the chain and it will normally last me two years at which point I replace with professional quality both chain and bar.
     
  16. WonderingWoman

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    I did accidentally hit a nail once, plus hit something on the ground. I'm a newbie so I'm still learning.
     
  17. Shipper50

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    At least your trying. Show me a man that hasn't hit something on the ground once or more and I will put him on Ripley's. %-P

    Shipper
     
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  18. BJ64

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    Shipper has my number. I would like to say most of the things I hit are not my fault but I do tend to cut too close to the ground.
     
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  19. RedRanger

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    I don`t find sharpening the chain to be all that difficult. If it cuts on an angle after sharpening then I go at it again till I get it right and it cuts straight. I find getting the rakers down to the right height to be a more difficult chore. Of course, I`m not using any tools other than the round file and the flat file. Maybe I need yet another gadjet :cheese:
     
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  20. pdboilermaker

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    For the rakers you can buy the following tool from baileysonline.com for $2.95

    Filemate raker tool item 15225

    It is cheap and works fine, a simple gauge
     
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  21. crazy_dan

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    I put a file to my chain every pickup load. I HATE dull chains and keeping a chain sharp will save you time and aggravation.
    Besides chains are cheap compaired to other sorces of heat.
     
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  22. Gator eye

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    I am with you, I touch up my chain with every tank fill up. By that time I am ready for a break anyway, and before the trip to the woods I put the saw in a vise and do a real good sharping job.

    Once you get use to a cutting with a sharp chain you won't cut any other way. Once you learn the how to, it doesn't take no time and really quite simple.
     
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  23. Valhalla

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    Absolutely!. Once you learn it, it is a no brainer. You will never pay to have anyone sharpen them again!

    How does the saying go "teach a man to fish..." Well, it goes the same with your chains.

    A wise choice!
     
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  24. rich81

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    you mean to tell me you can cut a lot of wood for two years straight without ever having to sharpen your chain??? what do you have carbide teeth on your chain?? i can't go two days without sharpening my chain i put the dremel to it after every other gas fill up.
     
  25. Chris S

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    I have a professional grinder and files. As sais previously, I carry the files with me. 2 strokes on each tooth brings the edge back very quickly. With practice, I found that I can sharpen by hand quicker than removing the chain to put it on the machine. Plus... you take off a lot less steel with your file and so the chains last longer. If you've ever watched someone do it in th esaw shop, they take off a lot when they grind ( sell more chain)
    I have an 029 and recently had it in the garage- I blew out the air filter, and etc with compressed air, and thoroughly cleaned the bar & made sure oil could flow where it's supposed to, then sharpened the chain and took it to a 20" oak. It was like a brand new saw with a brand new chain.
    If you've ever watched professionals ( I hire a logger to clear lots for me) they sharpen their chains (by hand) a couple of times a day.
    Practice & you'll get good at it too!
     
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