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Thread: Chain saw sharpening question

  1. #1
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    Chain saw sharpening question

    I have a grinder for chain saw blades that I got from Northern Tool. It works fairly well but its not as sharp cutting as a new blade.

    Question: Is there a simple tool-file setup or something that is not complicated that will restore a blade to as sharp as store bought ?
    Someone posted a diamond blade for the bench sharpner that is supposed to put a very sharp edge but I wanted to see if anyone else is using them before I buy one.............I saw the utube video on the Oregon Powersharp which seems like a slick thing if it works as well as the video says......anybody using one ??..........Thanks
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 11-07-2011 at 03:34 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Well Dan, I can give you some pointers for how I sharpen my chains. I clamp the bar in a vice most of the time and file with the 'ole round file. I just guesstimate the proper angle and have at it. Wear a glove so that if you slip you won't get cut. The best way to get a sharp chain with a file is by filing into the cutter so that the burr will be at the back of the cutting edge rather on the cutting edge. This is a little harder. the reason is that if the burr is on the cutting edge it will break off right away and dull the edge. The point of the cutter is the most important part of a sharp chain, and does most of the work.so make sure you file the tooth until the point is sharp. Also remember to file down the rakers a few strokes with a flat file. the raker sets the depth of cut for each tooth/cutter. The better chainsaw sharpeners can be set so that the cutting wheel is cutting toward the back of each tooth. So in other words you sharpen every other tooth at about 30 degrees and then swing the cutting wheel around and reverse the motor so that the wheel is always cutting toward the back of the cutter. Most of the machines on the market have motors that only spin in one direction. They work O.K. but a premium sharpening rig is reversible. I have a cheap harbor freight sharpener for the real long chains I sometimes need to sharpen.

    One of the finer points in sharpening is to roll the file into the tooth so that the file pulls the burr down. It takes a bit of practice to get used to.
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  3. #3
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    Dan I have had chains sharpened with a grinder style and didn't like it. I got this one. It is simple and really does a nice job IMHO. When I am going out to get a lot of turning wood or cutting firewood I have about 5 chains that I keep sharpened with it. When my chain gets dull it takes me like 3 minutes to put a sharpened chain on and off I go. Cost $30 and works quite well and got it from Oregan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Granberg Sharpening System.jpg  
    Bernie W.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Weishapl View Post
    Dan I have had chains sharpened with a grinder style and didn't like it. I got this one. It is simple and really does a nice job IMHO. When I am going out to get a lot of turning wood or cutting firewood I have about 5 chains that I keep sharpened with it. When my chain gets dull it takes me like 3 minutes to put a sharpened chain on and off I go. Cost $30 and works quite well and got it from Oregan.
    I've got the same one and I too really like it, works well for me!
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  5. #5
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    Thanks.............I am going to buy one and appreciate the comments............I ordered one but it does not come with a file......how do you know what kind of file to buy ? does it tell you in the directions that come with it ??
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 11-12-2011 at 05:53 AM.
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
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    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mosley View Post
    Thanks.............I ordered one but it does not come with a file......how do you know what kind of file to buy ? does it tell you in the directions that come with it ??
    One more vote for that sharpening guide. I really like mine, and have used it on several different sizes of chain. You need to size the file to your chain. The file diameter needs to be the same as the teeth on your chain. An experienced sharpener will tell you which file you need by just looking at your chain. Otherwise, take your chain to the hardware store and get a file that fits the tooth gullets snugly.

    Also, don't get carried away with filing. Unless you've really screwed up the chain, just three or four strokes per tooth will be all you'll need. After a few sharpenings, you may also need to file the tops of the guides (in front of each tooth) to bring their height down to just below the tops of the tooth. The instructions in your new filing guide will tell you how to do that, too.
    Jim D.
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  7. #7
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    Jim...............thanks
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  8. #8
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    Kiljoy here. I have one of those clamp and file affairs. The file doesn't seem to do anything to the chain. It seems impervious to my sharpening efforts. A friend who does a lot of cutting says he has same experience. Methinks a Harbor Freight power sharpener is in my future. Or continue taking to my favorite sharpening shop.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Kiljoy here. I have one of those clamp and file affairs. The file doesn't seem to do anything to the chain. It seems impervious to my sharpening efforts. A friend who does a lot of cutting says he has same experience. Methinks a Harbor Freight power sharpener is in my future. Or continue taking to my favorite sharpening shop.
    Sounds like you might have the wrong sized file. Your friend does a lot of cutting, but does he do a lot of sharpening?

    I've got something similar to the Oregon jig and once I figured it out, I really like it. I also have the Harbor Freight electric sharpener (couldn't resist a sale price a couple of years ago) but it's still in the unopened box, since the Oregon manual one has kept me going. I'm saving the electric one in case I really hose a chain on embedded rocks or something.
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  10. #10
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    I had the HF sharpener and sold it. I use a good quality round file, and replace it when it gets dull. I have a simple Oregon jig that helps align the file, but is still held freehand. This works much better for me than the HF machine.
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