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When is a chain worn out? (Teeth getting short)

Post in 'The Gear' started by bogydave, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    How far can you file down the teeth?
    I've been cutting where I have to drag the logs.
    Sometimes they get dirty & the chain seems dull on the last few cuts.
    I sharpen after each trip, clean the saw & bump the rakers about every 4th sharpening.

    Bumped the gravel road today on the last log,<>
    RPM jumps up, saw not pulling & I see dust instead of chips.
    So I use leverage to finish (green birch so I got away with it).


    I'm near the angle mark. I figured when the angle mark is gone, time for a new chain ? Sound about right?
    Have knocked down the rakers a few times too. Will again tonight.
    Stihl 33RS72 (20")
    New vs old Pic: 100_8132.JPG

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  2. geoff1969

    geoff1969 Member

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    [​IMG]
    in that photo you have the old chain at top and the newer chain at the bottom = look on the bottom newer chain and on the cutter tooth you will see a line indented mark on top the cutter teeth on the back edge of cutter = hit that shes stuffed ..
    Realstone likes this.
  3. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    The witness mark or when they start breaking.
    ScotO, smokinj and Thistle like this.
  4. Freeheat

    Freeheat Minister of Fire

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    Keep cutting you still have teeth left
  5. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    i would treat myself to a new chain

    good job on that chain
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    That chain still has life in it.
    Thistle likes this.
  7. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I've got a couple that are slimmer than that.
    Save em for cutting a railroad tie or when I want to flushcut a stump on a new trail.
    hilbiliarkiboi likes this.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'm curious how far I can take it. Now I almost have no rakers sticking up.
    I should have kept track on how much I've cut with it.
    There's angle marks on the old one, the reflection angle blinds them out in the pic, both chains are Stihl 33RS.

    I'll use it up until a tooth breaks . Don't want to start saving chains that are almost worn out & have them hanging around forever like Dad did. :)
    I don't think he ever threw one away.

    Be nice to have a "chain recycle bin" at the saw dealerships. Some good steel being thrown away. ;)
  9. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Still some cutting left in that chain.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have a couple similar that I saved as backups. You still have some teeth so keep on filing.

    Have you considered taking a wire brush with you Dave? Brush before cutting. That is why I don't like dragging logs is all the dirt you have to contend with. Dulls the chain super fast.
    fox9988 likes this.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Good idea.
    I did find a few small gravel peas in the cut marks. Got them out before cutting.
    Wire brush a good idea for the wet &/or muddy days.
    1 more step & more bending over the log though. Maybe I'll make one on a long handle ;)

    Yesterday a wire brush would've helped, I ticked the road. At least I was on the last log :)
    Usually pretty careful, cut 3/4 thru the roll & cut the other side.
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    'til the teeth are gone. Lot's more cuts left in that chain.
    ScotO likes this.
  13. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    It'll make it 'til Christmas ; )
  14. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I swear that as the chain gets filed back, that it gets dull quicker. I also seem to think that the saw gets "grabbier" Plunge cuts that arent normally an issue seem to want to kickback. Then again I sure havent done any sicentific studies.
  15. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    I agree wi Peak - But truth is I set them aside for cutting trees in people's yards. From the ground to as high as people can reach I'll find just about anything stuck in the wood ; (
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I agree there's life left in that chain, but don't punish yourself if for some reason it stops working right. Just replace it with a new one. What's $15 compared to the extra wear and tear on your saw and body when the chain won't cut right? That said, I take mine right down to the angle mark, generally. I think next cutting season I'm going to spring for a new chain, bar and ring sprocket. You can screw up a new chain if the bar and sprocket are worn (mine are), and you can screw up a new bar and sprocket if the chain is worn. Sometimes best to get 'er all done in one transaction.
    pen likes this.
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Amen! I run 'em til there's damm near nothing left. down to a little triangle (or when the cutters break off). I know when that happens 'cause it'll chatter on the log....I definately get me's money worth out of my chains....
  18. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Have you seen some of the beautiful knives that member BobUrban makes out of old chainsaw chains? Incredible work.....and some of the best steel you could make a knife out of.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/a-chainsaw-in-the-kitchen.88513/
    PapaDave and Backwoods Savage like this.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    You are certainly gonna get your money's worth out of that chain.
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Dave, have you considered semi-chisel, aka: "chipper chain" (not safety, Stihl 33RMC-xx) to do your "dirty work"? Holds it's edge a lot longer than full-chisel in dirty wood. 33RSC (or 33RS) in dirty wood is kinda like driving a Corvette down a logging trail. ;)
  21. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Thanks
    I'll see if the Stihl place has some.

    I'm hoping that if I canget a few more loads, the ground will be frozen & the mud & dirt will be less of an issue.
    Should finish of this chain anyway.

    I have a couple old chains I use for stump roots & other dirty work on the old Husq y61. No need to have another one that I can't throw away :)
  22. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Unless there is a TON of dirt on the log I just cut. I was cutting in near dark this weekend and it was throwing off sparks every once in a while, I guess from dirt maybe? Chain will usually last about a cord before I need to throw it on the grinder provided I don't get it into the ground, so I don't worry too much about it.

    That top chain still has another 5-10 sharpening on it. I'd run it till it's got no more left on it.
  23. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I run em till they start throwing teeth, then scrap em. When those cutters get down about 1/2 length they'll start cuttin faster because there's more room for chip clearance. Clean the gullet out good with the file, sharpen her up & cut with it. A C

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