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who sharpens by hand? who uses a sharpener?

Post in 'The Gear' started by kennyl70, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'd hate to be out cutting wood and end a day short because of a broken chain.

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  2. kennyl70

    kennyl70 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
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    Loc:
    Missouri
    back when i was taught i didnt even know they made a guide for hand filing lol. i have used one .....once..... and i felt like it was in the way more than helping so i gave it back to the guy who let me use it and said thanks...... that thing works great......:)
  3. kennyl70

    kennyl70 New Member

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    Oct 28, 2012
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    Loc:
    Missouri
    Same here. i keep one extra chain around...... for then dangit moments
  4. Leroy_B

    Leroy_B Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southern N.H.
    I sharpen by hand when out in the field. Make my chalk mark on the first tooth and watch for the shine. When I'm in my shop I'll sharpen them all on the grinder. The wood chips bury my boots cutting a 2' diameter red oak in no time.
  5. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I'm fairly new at hand sharpening with a file. I still use a guide, but am extremely happy with the results.
  6. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    southern NH
    I sharpen by hand - got sick of the poor job done by my local shop - never seemed very sharp and they never touched the rakers. Cheers!
  7. Dairyman

    Dairyman Feeling the Heat

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    Southwest MO
    I hand sharpen, don't think the local shops know what rakers are.
    MasterMech likes this.
  8. tlc1976

    tlc1976 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
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    68
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I sharpen with a hand file and have gotten really quick at it. I just keep a glove on one hand to hold and advance the chain, keep the other hand free for filing and for checking the sharpness with a light touch. I can sharpen out in the woods or wherever if needed. My dad uses a grinder and it takes him way longer and mine still cuts better.
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I do both. With monster logs and you need a stright line through 55 inchs of oak grab the fresh ground chain! :eek:
    jeff_t likes this.
  10. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    Aug 11, 2011
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    Loc:
    rondout valley ny
    hand file everything.

    for knives, plane blades etc i use a diamond stone to keep my waterstones flat. sometimes i'll use a jig or guide depending on the purpose.
    Thistle likes this.
  11. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    614
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Have always (46+ yrs.) sharpened chainsaw chain by hand with very satisfactory results. My current inventory is one saw, two chains, and two files. Take good care of your saw and chain and they will not disappoint. ;)
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    In 50+ years, I have yet to experience that.
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I've broken 3 chains in the last 2 years. Came apart at a rivet or a link broke.
  14. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Finally getting the hang of handfiling, wasted a lot of metal previously. Use a flat guide, didn't like the husky contraption at all. Starting to do freehand if i'm focused and 100%. Also starting to realize that touching up frequently is the way to go, instead of waiting to long to re-sharpen.
    onetracker and kennyl70 like this.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    That's a whole lotta flying chain. Once they get noticable play in the rivets, I toss 'em.
  16. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I've always hand filed. Watched & copied my dad. Thought I was doing well, but have since learned that I'm not great at it & my dad was worse! Flat guides didn't help. I've now used the Husky roller guide thingy for a few years. Not sure if my chains are better, but I'm faster anyway.
    After a half dozen or so sharpenings I think my angles get off. They cut well to start, but dull quicker. So I just bought a cheapo HF grinder to use every once in a while when I need it. Everyone I've asked says local shops would charge $12 or $13 to grind the crap outta my chains.

    Unless you're hitting junk I'd be buying my chains somewhere else. Are these pre-packeged loops or are they looped at a saw shop? Makes me squirm just thinking about that loose end of chain flying off.
  17. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Savage, I am also using the dremel. While sharpening do you angle the dremel slightly (up or down) or do your best to keep it square to the chain?
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Keep it horizontal and you'll do fine. Just don't hold that thing on the tooth very long either.
  19. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I use the Husky filing gauge, when I hand filed, I eventually would end up with uneven angles. I still havent figured out how to use the depth gauge part of the Husky rig and neither can the shop I bought it from.
  20. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Haven't tried the husq, but the stihl one is easy. If I bought a stilh brand for the husq chain, is this ok our different pitch?
  21. jlightning

    jlightning Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    I like using both the file and the electric sharpener. The file for maintenance sharpening ever 2-3 tanks and the electric sharpener for when I rock the chain. Seems to work pretty well for me.
  22. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I have both the grinder and the files. Use the file on my 3/8 chain and the grinder on the smaller ones. Both produce good results and I am just to lazy to change the stone on the grinder for one larger saw chain.
  23. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    Highland Lakes, New Jersey
    I hand sharpen using the Stihl file guide. I get better all the time.
  24. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    I don't own a grinder , but I would like to some day . (Silvey ) but, I do use a Timberline a lot . Having said that, I also use a Husky roller guide ,a Stihl file guide guide , Pferd file guide occasionally , and even free hand just to stay in practice .
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Bound to hit junk in the wood. When I'm cutting, I cut. I don't spend hours marking off lengths, cleaning the wood, x rating, MRI, pap smears etc etc!

    3 chains in 3 years isn't bad. Roughly around 50 cords of wood cut.

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