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sharping chains

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by vaacutabove, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. vaacutabove

    vaacutabove LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,006

    I am starting to use a saw often and suck at sharpening with a hand file. Are the bench grinders any good?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Posts: 827

    Hello All,

    Please check our website for educational info about blade sharpening and balancing. Feel free to also take a look at our products.


    Thank you,
  3. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,101

    Umm, Magna-Matic, I believe he's talking about chainsaws.
  4. MRCo.

    MRCo. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I sharpen chainsaws at my shop. Sometimes I can do over 50 a day if the tree services who use me drop a lot at once. I still use a file. I've been told by grinder sales men time and time again how faster they are. They just seem so time consuming and fiddle to set up, and I see way too man machine sharpened chains that are butchered and bunted up. Im damn good at hand filing by now. I'm fast, I'm good. And folks come to me because of that and because it's kinda folksy and they like that!
  5. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,546

    We have the cheap grinder from Northern, it must be 15 or 20 years old by now. I have no complaints about it. I would guess I do between 100 and 200 sharpening a year with it.....

  6. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,245

  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,109

    Are you using a round chainsaw file?

    It only takes one two swipes per tooth. I can have a whole chain done in a few minutes.

    Will definaitly have it done by the same you'd have it setup on a bench grinder lol
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,245

    Hey, if the OP is only sharpenin his personal saw, then yeah, a grinder ain't worth it.
    But in a shop environment, you'd be foolish not to use a grinder! If the chain is still on the unit I always clean the bar grooves, oil holes and flip the bar over and de-burr it. Plus you can inspect the drive links and sprocket etc.
  9. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,546

    Yea, unless your are cutting roots :rolleyes:
  10. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Posts: 1,415

    I have been using chainsaws for 25 years and here's my opinion:

    For full- and semi-chisel chains (which you probably have) nothing beats a manual filing job.

    To touch-up the chain in the field, two stokes per tooth with a round file are sufficient. Some people like the assistance of rulers and/or roller guides whilst others are fine doing it freehand.

    To re-shape the chain at the shop, which has to be done every 5 touch-ups or so, you'll need a depth gauge and manual filing guide. A depth gauge is just a piece of metal to flat file the rakers down to spec. A file guide on the other hand is a contraption that keeps your angles (chisel, cross and backlash) and depth of the round file in check while sharpening each tooth. Bench mounted guides are best but very rare whilst a bar mounted guide is also good.

    There are loads of electric grinders out there, but unless you spend $500+ on it, do an inferior job.

    For casual users it is best to do the touch-ups yourself and have the chain re-shaped by a shop every now and then. I think it's only a few dollars per chain.

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