Chainsaw Sharpening

wormser

New Member
Feb 16, 2021
16
Finger Lakes, NY
Anyone using an electric or battery operator sharpener and thoughts? Handheld? It's the one thing I hate doing in the process of getting wood. I have 4 chains that I rotate through and usually a rainy day sharpen them all up. I walk around the shop half the day trying to think of other things to do until I finally give in and do it.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
I use the Pferd 2 in 1 sharpener, which I really like. I use one chain to cut and bring along one spare. The spare is usually to help get my bar unstuck. If I have a fairly hard day of cutting, I clean, sharpen, gas up and oil up my saw at the end of the day, religiously. I make heavy use of my air compressor blower when cleaning.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
I like to always have a sharp chain so I sharpen by hand every few tanks of gas when bucking hardwoood. I'll hit the rakers every 5 sharpens or so. It only takes about 10 minutes and I find it a relaxing break for my back! I always have an extra bar and chain with me to rescue myself if I get pinched but I find it's just as fast to sharpen than to swap out the chain and clean out the inside. I run a 440e just use a file and small Husqvarna guide. My dad uses the Stihl 2 in 1 tool and likes it on his MS250.
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
420
Helena MT
I clean, sharpen, gas up and oil up my saw at the end of the day, religiously. I make heavy use of my air compressor blower when cleaning.
I used to fill with gas and oil at the end of the day so as to be ready to go, but I no longer do that. I used to have quite a lot of oil leaking in my storage space. My dealer said that was because a full oil tank , when subject to varying temperature swings, will cause the incompressible full oil tank to exert pressure and force oil out the oil hole. He suggested to leave the partially empty tank as is so that the air space could accommodate the changing pressure. Now I only fill when ready to cut, and I no longer have oil leaks.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
I used to fill with gas and oil at the end of the day so as to be ready to go, but I no longer do that. I used to have quite a lot of oil leaking in my storage space. My dealer said that was because a full oil tank , when subject to varying temperature swings, will cause the incompressible full oil tank to exert pressure and force oil out the oil hole. He suggested to leave the partially empty tank as is so that the air space could accommodate the changing pressure. Now I only fill when ready to cut, and I no longer have oil leaks.
I learned this the hard way too lol. I still store the saw on a rag just in case.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
I used to fill with gas and oil at the end of the day so as to be ready to go, but I no longer do that. I used to have quite a lot of oil leaking in my storage space. My dealer said that was because a full oil tank , when subject to varying temperature swings, will cause the incompressible full oil tank to exert pressure and force oil out the oil hole. He suggested to leave the partially empty tank as is so that the air space could accommodate the changing pressure. Now I only fill when ready to cut, and I no longer have oil leaks.
That's a good idea, especially with warmer weather and being stored longer.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
Another thing to keep in mind is to flip the chain bar over every time the chain is sharpened. Doing that evens out the wear and tear on the bar, and also helps to prevent twisting when cutting.
 

wormser

New Member
Feb 16, 2021
16
Finger Lakes, NY
@Woody5506 I just watched a video on the 2in1 and I think I'm going to pick one of those up. Someone must have come in my shop and stole my file guide as it's not where I left it last so I have to get a new one. This looks better.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,753
Woolwich nj
I hand file my chains. After some time or when they look like a hand file will take a while, I put them on the electric grinder. I never take alot off, just enough and get it back to a factory edge. I may run the grinder once a year, that's it. It's nice to have it on the grinder and get it back to new. Sometimes there just to much of a ragged edge from dirt on the logs or a nail in the tree your cutting, at that point it's past hand filing.
 
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St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
I like to always have a sharp chain so I sharpen by hand every few tanks of gas when bucking hardwoood. I'll hit the rakers every 5 sharpens or so. It only takes about 10 minutes and I find it a relaxing break for my back!
Agree.

Pretty much what I do. Take my chain saw, sharpening file, and some needed adjustment tools and oil to the field and I need little else. The sharpening break is good not just for the back, but also for the mind. Gets one to think a bit about what needs to be done next. And it really is not that difficult to learn how to properly sharpen a chain in the field simply using a sharpening file. After all, if you get it wrong, things start to cut slow fast, and you need to re-evaluate your sharpening technique. There is nothing that will improve hand sharpening methods and techniques more quickly than in time having to deal with such when you get it wrong. Good life lessons for nudging one toward how to do it correctly.

Price for a sharpening file: maybe $7.

Life lessons (50+ years worth) in the field how to best use that file: priceless (you can not buy it on Amazon).
 

wormser

New Member
Feb 16, 2021
16
Finger Lakes, NY
It's not that I can't hand sharpen....it's just one of those tasks I don't enjoy. I picked up the Stihl 2in1 and man is it nice. I feel like my chains are sharper too. I don't typically sharpen while I'm out rather just swap out chains after a tank or two of gas. My thinking/break time is sitting on a stump or log and enjoying the woods. I'm blessed to live on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere so all I typically hear is nature. I just need to make sure it's deep enough the boss can't see me from the kitchen window.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
@wormser , I use the 2in1 and I really like it. One thing I was doing which I didn't realize, was sharpening one side of the chain more than the other. Eventually it was enough to notice the difference in the teeth.

One suggestion that @SpaceBus had was to "get an inexpensive pair of dial calipers or some kind of micrometer to make sure you are applying even pressure and keeping the cutters at the same length." Which I am using this opportunity to say that was a great suggestion, which I have been doing. After about 5 sharpenings, with a new chain, I checked the teeth with a micrometer and sure enough one side was getting shorter again, so the next few times I gave the long side an extra stroke with the 2in1 to bring it back to even length with the other side.

Hopefully that made sense. I posted this back in December, which had some good discussion about it. https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/chain-sharpening.184591/
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
I don't typically sharpen while I'm out rather just swap out chains after a tank or two of gas.
I find I can sharpen in about the time it takes to take the bar/chain off, clean out the case, and put it all back together. Both ways work...different strokes!
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,710
07462
Up until last week I would have argued tooth and nail about the 2&1 hand file sharpeners being the best, and yes they have a spot with me in my chainsaw bucket when out in the woods for touch ups.
I just recently purchased and have been using a power care hand grinder with round stones for sharpening (dremal), boy oh boy, game changer, I can sharpen a 20" chain in under 2min better then factory sharp, only worry about lowering the rakers after 5 sharpens. Bought at homedepot for $35, and extra grinding stones 3 pack for $5 each.
To put things into perspective I literally just cut about 10 or 11 cords of log rounds ranging from 8" to 32" thick on the same chain and can probabaly do another 10 cords before the chain is worn out (more likely the actual drives vs the cutting tooth) The grinder comes with an adjustable guard for degree pitch, I thought it was cheesy and took it off, I just follow the existing line on the tooth for the 30deg angle you need.
The best part is if you hit metal or the ground and you mis shape the cutter, you can reshape it in no time, the only con I see and with experience, it will come naturally is to sharpen each tooth evenly, if you dont, you will get a curve cut when you want to go straight.
9DB76CE8-4D5D-4C9F-A522-BE785EF45FEF.jpeg
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
Up until last week I would have argued tooth and nail about the 2&1 hand file sharpeners being the best, and yes they have a spot with me in my chainsaw bucket when out in the woods for touch ups.
I just recently purchased and have been using a power care hand grinder with round stones for sharpening (dremal), boy oh boy, game changer, I can sharpen a 20" chain in under 2min better then factory sharp, only worry about lowering the rakers after 5 sharpens. Bought at homedepot for $35, and extra grinding stones 3 pack for $5 each.
To put things into perspective I literally just cut about 10 or 11 cords of log rounds ranging from 8" to 32" thick on the same chain and can probabaly do another 10 cords before the chain is worn out (more likely the actual drives vs the cutting tooth) The grinder comes with an adjustable guard for degree pitch, I thought it was cheesy and took it off, I just follow the existing line on the tooth for the 30deg angle you need.
The best part is if you hit metal or the ground and you mis shape the cutter, you can reshape it in no time, the only con I see and with experience, it will come naturally is to sharpen each tooth evenly, if you dont, you will get a curve cut when you want to go straight.
View attachment 277053

This is basically what I use, but mine is the Granberg Precision Grinder. It has a backstop to keep all the cutters the same length and locks in at certain angles.

 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
We're you able to find the 3/16" round bits easily? That's a really interesting idea I might try that out.

I ran about 8 cords thru my factory chain in my Husky before changing it...had a lot of dings I had to file out and felt it was a soft chain. I still have it for back up incase I ever get pinched but its long in tooth. The x-cut chain I have now will last a lot longer.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
We're you able to find the 3/16" round bits easily? That's a really interesting idea I might try that out.

I ran about 8 cords thru my factory chain in my Husky before changing it...had a lot of dings I had to file out and felt it was a soft chain. I still have it for back up incase I ever get pinched but its long in tooth. The x-cut chain I have now will last a lot longer.
8 cords without sharpening!? I clean up my chains every three or four tanks of gas with my grinder. You must have a powerful saw or huge shoulders, that chain must have been like a butter knife! Granberg, and several other vendors, sell the various stones you need for these style grinders. I'm also pretty sure you need a 7/32 for a 3/8 profile chain.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
No, 8 cords before changing out the chain lol ;hm. I sharpen every 2 tanks of gas ish usually depending on the wood. I'm usually cutting oak/maple.

I said 3/16 because that's what my files are if I remember correctly. I'll have to go look.
 
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