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Why does my saw go dull so fast?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by ga1990, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. ga1990

    ga1990 New Member

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    Are there any tricks to keeping a saw sharp? It seems like my saw goes dull really fast. It seems like I sharpen it, and 10 minutes later, it's cutting like crap again. The bar is getting plenty of oil, is there something else I need to look for? How do you know if your bar is in good condition? Thanks!
     
  2. earache

    earache ArboristSite Operative

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    ga1990, there are many factors as to why the chain is getting dull fast. To answer the bar question, the top and sides of the bar should be flat. The groove should be clean and each side of the groove should be flat. You may have to take a flat file across to make them flat. As far as the chain. You may be putting to steep of an angle on the cutters, which will dull quickly. You're rakers may be too far down, which will contribute to a quick dulling chain. You may be cutting dirty wood. You may be slightly touching the ground with the tip of the bar. Look all of these things over. If you need assistance with chain sharpening and angles, search this site. There is a link somewhere to sharpening, and I thought it was Bailey's. Extremely informative. You may also be using the wrong size file, or you're file is dull, or you're chain may not be as sharp as you think when you are done sharpening. You also need to be aware that if you're chain is out of tune, cutters will be at different lengths and heights, and will have much to do with how long the chain stays sharp, since you are not utilizing all of your cutters, so it will dull more rapidly.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Toddppm

    Toddppm Addicted to ArboristSite

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    But dirt is softer than wood, why would that dull it?


    An actual statement made by a customer of mine:rolleyes:
     
  4. treeclimber165

    treeclimber165 Member A.K.A Skwerl

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    If you quit cutting dirt your chain will stay sharp longer.
     
  5. tony marks

    tony marks Addicted to ArboristSite

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    dirt cant be softer than wood.the edge hits it so fast,just one little dip and sheas usually duller than dirt.does make a fella think tho.:)
     
  6. Grateful11

    Grateful11 ArboristSite Operative

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    Tony and treeclimber couldn't be more right. It seems like it only takes a split second of touching a running saw on dirt and you might well be putting on that extra chain. I assume it's the abrasiveness of dirt also most dirt contain rocks big and small. Sort of like cutting Teak wood it supposedly has silica in it, dulls the crap out of everything.:D
    Grateful
     
  7. ga1990

    ga1990 New Member

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    Earache, thank you for the reply, very informative.

    To the rest, who said I was cutting dirt? That's one thing I pay alot of attention to, I never let my saw hit anything besides wood.
     
  8. Pacific

    Pacific ArboristSite Operative

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    If the wood you are cutting even has a light layer of sand on the bark it will dull the chain ie if your cutting driftwood from a beach it kills your chain the wood is embedded with sand granuals.

    When you bucking wood if the bark has a little bit of dirt or buried rocks in the bark take a axe and chop the bark off it only takes a little pebble you didn't see dulls a chain.

    Inspect the wood before you cut it takes a bit of extra time but sure saves chain wear and tear.
     
  9. Rotax Robert

    Rotax Robert Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What kind of chain? chizzzzzle or chipper....also is it saftey chain (anti kickback=anti cut)

    Curious though, what saw are you running this chain on as well as bar length. not that this is part of your problem.

    earache made many good points but if a chain cuts well on your first cut and you are in clean wood, then your chain should cut reasonably well after a cord or two. which brings to point, do you know a truely good cutting chain from a bad one? no offense intended.
     
  10. Tony Snyder

    Tony Snyder Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would say, if you are correct about keeping it out of the dirt, that you have too extreme of angle under your top plate. Or you have a really poor piece of chain.

    I haven't seen any real poor chain with poor metal in several years, since when we had the likes of Canad, Zip Penn, Disston, and Homelite made chain.

    Also some chain does not stand the heat of grinding with a clogged wheel very well and it will be annealed out to soft. You need a pretty soft wheel (self cleaning) and frequently dressed to grind without burning.
     
  11. ga1990

    ga1990 New Member

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    My saw is just an 18" Craftsman, I just put an Oregan (S62 I think) chain on it. I'll see how long I can make this one last, then work on perfecting my sharpening skills. Thank you for all the great advice.
     
  12. My2cents

    My2cents ArboristSite Operative

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    I find that carrying a wire brush in my back pocket while cuting has made a big difference between sharpenings, especially on deep bark timber that a skidder has worked.
     

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