Wow like a new saw.

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
I have a ms290. Had it for ten years. Do minor repairs, sharpening and maintenance myself. Started running and cutting like crap.
I ordered a rebuilt walbro carb, bought a new Stihl bar and chain. It's like a new saw. It cuts like a light saber. It's easy to get used to low performance, guess it comes on slowly.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
898
Palmyra, WI
How have you been sharpening. Sometimes what seems to be a too worn of a chain, ground to nubs with missing teeth, can really bite and rip ribbons.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
How have you been sharpening. Sometimes what seems to be a too worn of a chain, ground to nubs with missing teeth, can really bite and rip ribbons.
Dremel
 
Get a 2in1 for that new chain ..you will not believe how sharp you can keep your chain with the 2in1 ..
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
898
Palmyra, WI
Dremel works. Just not very well. It's easy, but, a file is easier. I used a Dremel with a chain attachment for 10yrs or so. File much better.
With the new chain, get a feel for how it cuts, and notice the difference between that and the old one. Then get a 2in1, you'll have that new chain feel from now and forever.
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
378
Connecticut
I've seen a few recommendations on this site and other good reviews on other sites for the 2 in 1 file.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,826
SW Virginia
It's easy to get used to low performance, guess it comes on slowly.
Yeah, I'm hoping the wife doesn't notice.

Seriously though, I curse myself every time I put off a sharpening/repair only to find out later how much time I wasted working with a subpar tool.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,081
Northern Canada
The best and cheapest proformance upgrade for a chainsaw is a sharp chain!
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
The best and cheapest proformance upgrade for a chainsaw is a sharp chain!
Pic of the old chain and new chain. Notice the old drive links. I never even thought to look at them (the old ones are the ones rounded over). The sprocket needs replaced too.
 

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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,299
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I can see how dull that chain on the left is. It looks nearly new. Are you sure the dremel has been removing anything? How about the rakers? Don’t throw that chain away, it has many years of life left.
 
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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
I can see how dull that chain on the left is. It looks nearly new. Are you sure the dremel has been removing anything? How about the rakers? Don’t throw that chain away, it has many years of life left.
Look at the drive links. Rounded over on the left.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,299
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Look at the drive links. Rounded over on the left.
That doesn’t matter. The chain drive links aren’t terribly precise or essential as long as they aren’t twisted or bent so that they don’t fall into the sprocket slot. Plus, a chain is pulled and not pushed, the pull side of those drive links look great.

That little hook in front that you’re worried about is for scooping bar oil or gunk out of the bar groove.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,329
Downeast Maine
Highbeam is right. A good sharpening jig would have that chain cutting like new. Then you will have a spare in case of a pinch.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
898
Palmyra, WI
The left chain looks very dull, similar if I hit the ground or some hardware. May need to go back a ways to get the edges squared away. But, once there, it could have lots of life left. Maybe take it in to be ground, then maintain it after that. The right looks sharp, but now used - touch it up to keep it razor sharp.
Teeth ground back can still cut very well.
 

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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
The left chain looks very dull, similar if I hit the ground or some hardware. May need to go back a ways to get the edges squared away. But, once there, it could have lots of life left. Maybe take it in to be ground, then maintain it after that. The right looks sharp, but now used - touch it up to keep it razor sharp.
Teeth ground back can still cut very well.
So you're not concerned with the rounded over drive links? I knew about the cutters.
The right chain is new. Was used for one hour.
 
1590320135814.png

Put the 2in1 to that and you will be amazed ... still have a lot of teeth left . Do you check to see if the chain is on the clutch correctly each time you put it back on ..
 

CincyBurner

Feeling the Heat
Mar 10, 2015
492
SW Ohio
I agree - it appears that both chains have plenty of life in them.
I run my chains until they are nubs Might be a bit more grabby though (non-safety chain). Stihl has inscribed wear indicators on its chains (sawset's post #15).
(They also have marks (triangle between drive links) to show you with direction to install chain :) <> ;em ).​
If chain lightly rocked fairly easy to resharpen.
I use Pferd 2-in-1 (blue)/ Stihl (orange & white), or Timbeline sharpener (manual rotary carbide cutter). The 2-in-1 works great on full comp chain and is easy to use (in field too). It simultaneously files depth gauge. Both will recondition at the expense of chain material and time. For many folk it's not worth the hassle.
However, if you hit concrete within trunk, it will be faster to use a grinder. But probably best to pitch the chain especially if near end of its life.
* Maintain the 'hook' of the cutters - when sharpening starts to ride-up the cutter, the sharpening suffers and saw won't cut properly.​
* Maintain depth gauge at correct setting.​
* Use quality files (Pferd or SaveEdge) that are harder steel than the cutter.​
* Replace files when they get dull.​
* When looking head-on at the cutter there should be no reflection (spot) directly back toward you.​
 
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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,680
NNJ
View attachment 260443

Put the 2in1 to that and you will be amazed ... still have a lot of teeth left . Do you check to see if the chain is on the clutch correctly each time you put it back on ..
The chain you circled on the right is 1/2 hour old. The one on the left is yrs old.
 
The chain you circled on the right is 1/2 hour old. The one on the left is yrs old.
I just copied the pic ...
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,915
07462
I'm a hand sharpener guy myself, after years of using a grinder I finally unplugged it and put it away, the hand file 2 & 1 sharpener is about as easier as it can get, now I just use it exclusively, I can get about 8 cords of wood cut on one chain before I start to notice that the thing stretches out and gets a little wacky.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,299
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I can get about 8 cords of wood cut on one chain before I start to notice that the thing stretches out and gets a little wacky.
I can get way more than 5.5 cords of wood on one sharpening! Probably 8 like you but my one year supply is just 5.5 cords so that's all I cut in one day. Well, it only takes about 4 hours and 3/4 gallon of mix gas once you get going. Clean doug fir must be easier on the chains than muddy oak.
 

kevin j

Minister of Fire
Jan 21, 2008
686
minnesota us
The rounded surface toward the bottom of the picture is the profile that acts like a gear tooth that engages the spur gear on the clutch. the cut away on the top of the picture edge is just for clearance for the tip of the spur gear or rim sprocket. as it goes that tight radius of the clutch gear, the tip of the gear has to clear the previous link that’s why the cut out is there. The left-hand chain might’ve been rounded over from day one if it’s a different manufacturer. As somebody else noted the sharp things just helps clean out some of the crap and it also tends to route oil up toward the pins a bit. Either one of those chains has a lot of life left in them. As a tooth get filed back there’s more chip clearance and they can actually cut better.
sharpness and the shape of the cutter is the key.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,915
07462
I can get way more than 5.5 cords of wood on one sharpening! Probably 8 like you but my one year supply is just 5.5 cords so that's all I cut in one day. Well, it only takes about 4 hours and 3/4 gallon of mix gas once you get going. Clean doug fir must be easier on the chains than muddy oak.
Yeah that doesn't happen here, as a hard wood cutter I tend to re-sharpen every other tank of fuel, typically because of dirt in the bark, but also for some reason especially with oak, some oak cuts like butter, other oak cuts hard & hot, usually only saw dust chips are the end result, but then you take the same chain untouched and hit a ash or maple round and your throwing dime size chips like nothing.
I don't know how long just cutting takes me now, because I like to take my time, I also cut then switch over to splitting when the landing starts getting crowded. I figure cutting, splitting, and stacking by myself I can process about a cord and a half per day.