Chainsaw cutting to the right

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,271
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Thanks for the Carteton link,
So that’s how a saw chain works. You’re never too old to learn. It’s not like I haven’t filed a chain or cut any wood. My first saw, 49 years ago, was a Homelite then a Partner R17 and an R20 followed by a couple of Husqvanas, Rancher 55 and a 323. I’ve logged our former 70 acre wood lot, worked a stint for small operation cutting logs and four foot softwood pulp, cleared house house and garden sites and of course firewood. I’m sure I’ve made and worked through all the mistakes the Carleton article shows but somehow came to maintain a well cutting saw. Still, knowing how that tooth pivots and lifts into the cut make the rest of the info make so much sense. From what Carleton says I might have to be more precise if I had an XP model with the higher rpms. Buying my first chisel chain the advice I got and followed was ‘file up a little from straight across’. Carleton recommends 10 degrees. I’m wondering how many do this.
Oregon specifies a 10° tilt on all of their crosscut full chisel, 0° on semichisel. I grind and file at a 10° tilt on all my full chisel chains. I can't swear that it actually matters, but I'm not likely to switch them (it costs metal to re-profile a chain, and it's also convenient to know that all my full chisel has the same angles on it).

They have some 45° ripping chains too, I would like to see what that profile looks like.
 

Max W

New Member
Feb 4, 2021
16
Maine
Thanks for the Carteton link,
So that’s how a saw chain works. You’re never too old to learn. It’s not like I haven’t filed a chain or cut any wood. My first saw, 49 years ago, was a Homelite then a Partner R17 and an R20 followed by a couple of Husqvanas, Rancher 55 and a 323. I’ve logged our former 70 acre wood lot, worked a stint for small operation cutting logs and four foot softwood pulp, cleared house house and garden sites and of course firewood. I’m sure I’ve made and worked through all the mistakes the Carleton article shows but somehow came to maintain a well cutting saw. Still, knowing how that tooth pivots and lifts into the cut make the rest of the info make so much sense. From what Carleton says I might have to be more precise if I had an XP model with the higher rpms. Buying my first chisel chain the advice I got and followed was ‘file up a little from straight across’. Carleton recommends 10 degrees. I’m wondering how many do this.
323 saw? Naw that’s my brush cutter. The saw is a 359. But does anyone know where to get a file guide for a Husqvarna scarlett brush cutting blade 22t 8”. Been looking online with no success. I was ok filling my last non scarlett blade freehand but this blade has tiny teeth, hard to see and little to line up with. I‘m tackling nasty, dense multiflora rose infestations.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
Oregon specifies a 10° tilt on all of their crosscut full chisel, 0° on semichisel. I grind and file at a 10° tilt on all my full chisel chains. I can't swear that it actually matters, but I'm not likely to switch them (it costs metal to re-profile a chain, and it's also convenient to know that all my full chisel has the same angles on it).

They have some 45° ripping chains too, I would like to see what that profile looks like.
45* on the top plate or from horizontal? That's super weird either way.

I didn't know about sharpening flat for semi chisel. I do them all at 10* and 30* on the top plate regardless of cutter shape. Now I see Stihl (not marked on the boxes I have) suggests 30* top plate angle for the 1/4" micro cutters and no other angles. The Stihl is actually my first semi chisel chain equipped saw, my 460 came with full chisel round ground. My ripping chain is also semi chisel, maybe I should not be using that 10* off horizontal setting for it either...
 
Last edited:

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,271
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
45* on the top plate or from horizontal? That's super weird either way.

I didn't know about sharpening flat for semi chisel. I do them all at 10* and 30* on the top plate regardless of cutter shape. Now I see Stihl (not marked on the boxes I have) suggests 30* top plate angle for the 1/4" micro cutters and no other angles. The Stihl is actually my first semi chisel chain equipped saw, my 460 came with full chisel round ground. My ripping chain is also semi chisel, maybe I should not be using that 10* off horizontal setting for it either...
45° down tilt... I figured it out though, those are square ground chains. So 45 isn't a weird number after all. I just didn't know that Oregon shipped any chains with a factory square grind. Screenshot_20210424-002936_Drive.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
45° down tilt... I figured it out though, those are square ground chains. So 45 isn't a weird number after all. I just didn't know that Oregon shipped any chains with a factory square grind. View attachment 278095
I've never used a square grind and I probably never will unless I can come across a Silvey grinder for a good deal.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
I don't need a way to make my chains require more frequent sharpening, even if someone gives me a free Silvey and a barrel of flat files. I'm cutting firewood, not entering cookie races.
I can't imagine anything cutting appreciably faster than my full chisel after a recent going over with the Granberg jig.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,271
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I can't imagine anything cutting appreciably faster than my full chisel after a recent going over with the Granberg jig.
Apparently square file is ~20% faster in the cut, but you lose that back again when you stop to sharpen.

Still an advantage for someone looking to make a smaller number of fast cuts in clean wood (large tree felling and chainsaw racers).

I can see the upside of saying "heck with it, I'll take a bunch of sharp chains out into the woods with me" , but the downside is another grinder and another box of files, and losing a big chunk of cutter the first time you grind the chain (or paying a premium for preground ones).
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
In my experience, chains not cutting straight ( running) is caused by the bar rails. I bought a rail squeezer many years ago and it works but once the temper in the bar is gone it just doesn’t last long enough for pro use. I remember when they first started pushing 3/8’s chain over 404 and as soon as the chain got around 2/3 wear, it would start running. This was on 32” and longer bars. So then they started making it with thicker drivers which helped a lot. Still not quite as good as 404 but most guys switched anyways because of the slightly faster cut.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sawset and SpaceBus

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
In my experience, chains not cutting straight ( running) is caused by the bar rails. I bought a rail squeezer many years ago and it works but once the temper in the bar is gone it just doesn’t last long enough for pro use. I remember when they first started pushing 3/8’s chain over 404 and as soon as the chain got around 2/3 wear, it would start running. This was on 32” and longer bars. So then they started making it with thicker drivers which helped a lot. Still not quite as good as 404 but most guys switched anyways because of the slightly faster cut.
Indeed, once the bar looses temper it is gone. I burned a few bars on my mill this way.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
Not sure, but I keep my chain pretty snug when I’m milling. No issues yet. I don’t add any additional oil . Maybe that might help
In my case the mill rail was not straight or flat and tight grain would pull against the saw and put a heavy load on one side. I also run tight chains and seem to have less issues overall. These damn Carlton chains stretch a ton, and the 25' roll of Archer chain I just ordered probably will as well.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
Sounds expensive. I haven’t milled any hardwoods. We have some available here but nothing like you guys have in the east although every once in a while I’ll find some crazy species in the residential. I cut a huge sycamore in Yelm Washington once. It reminded me of madrona but a different color.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
Sounds expensive. I haven’t milled any hardwoods. We have some available here but nothing like you guys have in the east although every once in a while I’ll find some crazy species in the residential. I cut a huge sycamore in Yelm Washington once. It reminded me of madrona but a different color.
The 25' roll of Archer chain was $80 and one loop of the Stihl chain that the 25' roll is copying cost $55+. I should have the mill rail issue resolved and won't be smoking the bars anymore. Some people report the Archer chain will lose cutters they hit a large bolt or nail, but with 25' I'm not worried.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
Wow, that’s a lot less than I thought. Pretty sure I paid over 400 for the last roll of 404
Yes, it's an Australian brand copying the Stihl 63PMX chain, but it is made in China, hence the low cost. Normally I would go with the Stihl product, but Covid times are a bit lean!
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,438
Northern Canada
Chances are buy the end of the roll you will not save much.
There is a reason that Stihl chain is the most recommended chain.
Sometimes the savings come after the purchase price is paid.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
813
SE North Carolina
Chances are buy the end of the roll you will not save much.
There is a reason that Stihl chain is the most recommended chain.
Sometimes the savings come after the purchase price is paid.
I was happy with the first 4 big cuts with my Archer chain. Refused to 10 degrees by hand and it was every bit as hard as the Carleton chain. Stretch was manageable. Lots of oil that’s the second persons job on a 52” bar, and cutting cold wet timber helps a lot.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,957
Downeast Maine
Chances are buy the end of the roll you will not save much.
There is a reason that Stihl chain is the most recommended chain.
Sometimes the savings come after the purchase price is paid.
I should be able to make six full loops with 84 drive links each and still not hit the cost of two loops of the Stihl 63PMX. I'm sure the Stihl chain is the best chain for milling, but I don't need the very best. With the Archer chain I could afford several backup loops and that's better peace of mind than one loop of the Stihl chain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P