Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Sharpening chainsaw for a novice
  • dantsw13
    Member

    As the title really. I’ve got an electric chainsaw and a big pile of cherry logs. My blade is blunt.

    What is the best/simplest way to do this?

    Youtube for sure, a few things to be sure of, you need the right size of file, need to do all teeth at the same angle, and also file each tooth the same number of times.

    I put mine in a vice to do, when at home, it’s a lot easier than out in a wood somewhere.

    Edukator
    Member

    Buy a set of files and follow the instructions. (round x two sizes, flat and a guide – you can buy a kit)

    In my experice it’s not so much the round file that’s the problem, it’s getting the right angle and depth of attack with the flat file on the top of the blade.

    New chain?

    Then you can sharpen the old one at your leisure and have a spare.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    If you CBA with the filing then for the infrequent user Oregon have a ‘powersharp’ system with a different tooth profile and a sharpening stone attachment for the bar. A few more £££ to set up so depends whether you want to learn saw sharpening techniques or just crack on and use the saw.

    marksnook
    Member

    It’s wasteful but I would buy a new chain. Depending how bad your existing chain is it’s easier in my eyes to maintain a good chain than try rescue a knackered chain. Find out pitch and number of links then order. While you are at it order a sharpening kit (pretty much a file and a guide) for keeping the new one sharp. You can clamp chain in the vice and just use a round file

    YouTube probably has a million chain sharpening videos!

    nickjb
    Member

    2 in chain saw sharpener is probably the easiest. Not that cheap, though. You can also get bits for a dremel.

    New chain?

    Then you can sharpen the old one at your leisure and have a spare.

    I always have spares, they’re cheap as chips now tbh, but it’s easier to sharpen when on the bar.

    dantsw13
    Member

    It was an Aldi special a few years ago – how do you go about finding the correct size?

    Premier Icon Houns
    Subscriber

    Lesson 1 step 1 part a.

    Don’t call it a blade :0p

    Take it along to local chainsaw/garden equipment place. They can advise you the chain you need and sell you the correct file for it. A vice will make the job easier, make a brew before you start, it’s very therapeutic

    dyna-ti
    Member

    Dremel chainsaw sharpening jig. £6.98 ebay.
    Its dremel so will be of good quality and be easy to use with full instructions and likely a number of you tube vids.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/For-Dremel-1453-Chainsaw-Sharpening-Attachment-6-Pieces-set/312596552770?hash=item48c834dc42:g:JX0AAOSwLdpczrxI
    A dremel is cheap, and very handy for all diy/pro needs, and i reckon most of the other makers use the same 3.2mm chuck and interface on the jig.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Using a Dremel runs the risk of overheating the teeth making them very hard to sharpen.

    Don’t bother with a new chain, you’ll just end up with 2 blunt chains!!
    Get the right size Stihl 2 in 1 sharpener – makes the job a delight and pretty quick.
    Money well spent.
    When it’s easy you’ll not mind giving the chain a quick tickle more often to keep it in good order.

    dantsw13
    Member

    Thanks all – will give it a go.

    Wear gloves! Particularly when you are moving the chain along the bar. Don’t ask me how I know.

    boblo
    Member

    Is anyone using those Oregon sharpener jobbies? They were giving them away under some sort of marketing campaign a couple of years ago and I’ve still got mine. Seems to work OK but I don’t cut McMoonteresque volumes…

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    I still use an Oregon bar chain system, I think they’re really good for small chainsaws. They’re also brilliant where the wood is dirty, I don’t mind blunting the chain, when I can sharpen it in a couple of seconds.

    I also use the Stihl 2in1 system for my bigger chainsaw, but use the blue pferd versions as they’re the same but a lot cheaper.

    WillH
    Member

    As noted above, get a Stihl 2-in-1 sharpener, it’s very, very simple to use and takes less than 5 minutes to sharpen a chain start to finish. You do need to get the right size for your chain, but do a bit of googling and there are goes to help you indentify your chain spec. Most chains have numbers/letters stamped into the plates on the chain.

    Premier Icon jamiemcf
    Subscriber

    As said above it’s a bar and chain not a blade.

    There is a lot to sharpening a chain. There are probably a lot of good YouTube videos on it. I won’t try to explain but I’ll offer you a few tips.

    I’d buy a spare chain a box of round files, a few flat files, bar scraper, depth guage.

    I’ve never used a sharpening guide, they get in the way.

    Make sure you get the correct angle of the top plate of the cutter. As you sharpen it, you’ll also need the correct depth (keeping the file level).

    When a file dulls chuck it in the recycling, I’ve mashed my knuckles more with a dull file than I care to remember.

    The left cutters are sharpened with your right hand and vice versa.

    Find the most damaged cutter and start there. Count the rubs it takes to get it sharp. I always have the right cutters an extra rub or two as my right hand is dominant.

    If you need to take a lot off check the depth guages / rakers. You may think the saw is dull but in reality the rakers are too high.

    Jamie

    neilnevill
    Member

    counting the strokes doesn’t work for many as you’ll file more effectively one way than the other, unless truly ambidextrous. Keeping the cutters to roughly the same length by eye is fine. in fact even that doesn’t matter a jot, so long as the raker/depth gauge is appropriate for the tooth, raker height right, each cutter rotates and cuts appropriately, each cutter cuts the same and if they cut the same it is smooth and straight.

    pferd make the stihl files, when i hunted around for my 2 I actually found the stihl ones cheaper on ebay, but yes if the blue pferd is cheaper get it, but note there was an older system which wasn’t as good (it looks different so easy to you shouldn’t mistake it)

    tip i find helpful, to get the chain tight in the bar so it doesn’t tilt over as you file, shove your scrench or carb screw driver between the chain and bar on the underside where its got slack, and move the screwdriver forward to the bar tip where it takes up the slack and binds the chain, then flip the chain brake on. the chin is now super tight and you can file away.

    Oh and top plate angle…hmmm if you are scrounging firewood, doing a bit of garden work, you probably aren’t always cutting the same wood, nor is ultimate speed that important. steeper angle will cut faster but grab more and dull faster, more obtuse angle more durable…don’t fret too much, 25 to 30 degrees will be fine and the top of every cutter has a line on it to mark that angle. similarly with depth you file at, deeper and more hook is less durable but may cut faster. so long as the corner (or curved edge with semi chisel) has a nice sharp point/edge it will cut well no matter what the exact angles are. Bear that in mind and you’ll find sharpening is actually quite a simple and straight forward task.

    Rickos
    Member

    As mentioned above, the Stihl 2 in 1 is a brilliant piece of kit. So simple and works so well.

    Premier Icon jamiemcf
    Subscriber

    so long as the raker/depth gauge is appropriate for the tooth, raker height right, each cutter rotates and cuts appropriately

    Thats the only bit i disagree with, if the right hand cutters and rakers have been filed more the saw will pull to the right.

    but as said, if you’re only doing firewood and garden work it’ll probably not matter to much.

    Premier Icon Kuco
    Subscriber

    Just learn to sharpen its not rocket science and doesn’t take long to do. Managed to wear a chain out once right back to the wear guides. Then again i’ve screwed a brand new chain up in seconds.

    neilnevill
    Member

    wear guides! hahahaha. keep going past the lines until either the top plates are just triangles and the kerf would start to shrink, or teeth start to rip off….probably about the same time. then keep that chain for the time you might want to cut a root or some other chain destroying job.

    Jamie I know it seems odd. I found it on the web/youtube somewhere where I guy had learnt it from a Husqvarna chain specialist and to test it took a brand new chain and ground one side’s cutters right back, set the depth gauges and it cut straight. Personally I just use the 2 in 1 files and do try to keep the cutters about the same by eye (not counting strokes as I’ve learnt I am much more efficient at filing one side and the other needs more strokes)

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Subscriber

    Okay, I’ll be the first to suggest that as a novice chainsaw user, save the potential use of nhs resources and stop!

    Book yourself on a two day Crosscut and chainsaw maintenance course (may not be as totally applicable for an electric saw, but..), there you will learn how to keep your chain sharp and safe and you will also learn the limb and potentially life saving methods for using the tool correctly.

    I know, I know, but this is STW.

    Jamz
    Member

    It’s really not that hard or dangerous if you have the right tools, follow the process through in the right order and don’t rush it. Don’t drag the chain around the bar with your bare hand! Put the file behind the cutter which you have just sharpened and use the file to push the chain round. With a sharp file you will not need a lot force to remove material, so the danger of slipping and cutting yourself is minimal, there’s no need to push that hard. Just make sure you keep the file clear by tapping it or wiping it every few minutes.

    Seeing as you’re only cutting firewood you don’t need to be too stress too much about getting the teeth perfect. The main thing is to make sure that you are actually filing the cutting edge. Many beginners have a tendency to file back into the gullet towards the engine – you need to make sure you sure that you are applying sufficient upwards pressure so that the file is actually working on the leading edge of the tooth. You can check this by eye and also carefully by hand.

    smiffy
    Member

    Not cutting straight is usually uneven wear on the bar. Turning the bar over regularly prevents this.

    neilnevill
    Member

    And ensure your oiler is working, and dress the bar (remove the burr that slowly forms on either edge using a file).

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    Just as another option you can get a chain sharpened by a shop for £8 or so. Depends how often you think you’ll want it done but its certainly a viable option if its a once a year kind of thing.

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.