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best bench grinder for sharpening chains?

Philbert

Philbert

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When I first started grinding, I put a brand new chain on the vise.....to me the 55 degree angle matches up to the new chains angles better.....
I learned that '30/60/0' was the 'default' setting for most chains. In recent years Oregon has recommended 55 degrees.

There might be some differences between cutters on different brands of chain as well.

Some differences might show up in a laboratory setting, but it as noticeable in the field. So unless someone is very specific, just pick something and run with it.

Philbert
 
Khntr85

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Yes, a guy just has to find his own "recipe"....

I sure can see why they started recommending 55.....if anyone actually looks at the top plate face angle, it's very easy to tell that it is steeper than 60 degrees.....as a matter of fact so is stihls chain.....

I have learned to grind a little deeper into the cutter also, works for me anyway....there is a fine line of to deep or to shallow!!!!

Does any one have a picture of the machine Oregon and Stihl use to profile their chain.....I would like to see their "set-up"....

Here is a vanguard chain I just got back to working order tonight....used the CBN wheel...
IMG_2035.JPG
 

JTM

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Yes, a guy just has to find his own "recipe"....

I sure can see why they started recommending 55.....if anyone actually looks at the top plate face angle, it's very easy to tell that it is steeper than 60 degrees.....as a matter of fact so is stihls chain.....

I have learned to grind a little deeper into the cutter also, works for me anyway....there is a fine line of to deep or to shallow!!!!

Does any one have a picture of the machine Oregon and Stihl use to profile their chain.....I would like to see their "set-up"....

Here is a vanguard chain I just got back to working order tonight....used the CBN wheel...
View attachment 560813
What's the deal with that raker/depth gauge? I've not seen that before.
 
Khntr85

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What's the deal with that raker/depth gauge? I've not seen that before.
Lol, this is oregons van guard chain....it has the strangest raker you have ever seen.....I got 3-loops of 3/8 vanguard in a batch of saws I bought a while ago....they have been hanging in garage for awhile....well I seen them while I was grinding one day, so I said hell with it, I am goin to make these chains cut good.....sure enough they gut GREAT....I had to take ALOT off of the rakers to get them to cut....

The cutters themselves are regularl full-chisel cutters....
 
hedge hog

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I tried something different on a rocked out chain tonight
It looked to be a 3-4 pass with a light touch up pass so in short a lot of work

I set the top plate angle to 20 degrees and took all the damaged corner off this chisel chain in one pass then did a pass at 30 degrees to get it back to standards
Worked flipping great
Sorry no pictures this time because I didn't think it would work


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Khntr85

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I tried something different on a rocked out chain tonight
It looked to be a 3-4 pass with a light touch up pass so in short a lot of work

I set the top plate angle to 20 degrees and took all the damaged corner off this chisel chain in one pass then did a pass at 30 degrees to get it back to standards
Worked flipping great
Sorry no pictures this time because I didn't think it would work


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Well now this is nice to hear!!!!!

Glad to hear you tried something different.....also seems like it works......I will have to give it a try on a bad chain sometime...
 
hedge hog

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Well now this is nice to hear!!!!!

Glad to hear you tried something different.....also seems like it works......I will have to give it a try on a bad chain sometime...
I haven't got my cbn wheel for .325 so when I was set up at 20 degrees I use a .404 wheel instead ( have two for rakers) of wearing on my .325 wheel

But again it really work great!


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Khntr85

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Nice, I still use the stone wheels....like you I use them a lot of time on a really bad chain, saving wear on the CBN wheel......if they do as many chains as they say I probably don't need to worry about wearing them out, but I do sometimes....nothing lasts forever!!!!!!
 
Thomas Venditto

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I wanted to wake this thread for some up-to-date info. I'm a homeowner guy with a few saws and I want to get into grinding. I primarily run Oregon LGX chains on my workhorse saws. Price is a consideration, but I'm not overly concerned because I'll likely have the unit for the rest of my life. Additionally, I enjoy working with good quality tools. I plan to get the diamond wheel from the get-go. I'm considering going to carbide chains in the future as well.

Amazon has the Oregon 520 for $266. I thought that was surprisingly cheap.
Bailey's has the Tecomec and MAXX units for the high $300s.

What's the latest info? Is the Oregon still a go-to model? Still made in Italy?
Is there any reason for me to fork over the extra $100?

Thanks in Advance,
TomJV
 
Philbert

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Tecomec makes (most of) the Oregon grinders. Oregon versions sometimes have additional features, such as grinding wheel compensation, and Oregon support. On the 520-120 Oregon introduced a new chain clamping vise that applies pressure from both sides; I believe that the 'comparable' Jolly Star grinder still uses the self-centering vise that was used on the Oregon 511AX - this worked fine for most individual users, but some higher volume shops wore these out (search for 'Oregon 511AX' for details).

The MAXX grinder has automatic chain clamping (like the hydraulic Oregon and Tecomec grinders) and has additional head angle adjustment, allowing both R and L cutters to be ground from the outside in - something that is important to some guys. The MAXX grinder has received modest reviews here on A.S. over the years - I have never tried it personally.

If money is not a factor, I would choose the Oregon 520-120. On a budget, I would look at the Tecomec Compact grinder on eBay. All are better quality choices than the 'clones'.

Just my opinion.

Philbert
 
Ult1mat3X

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I've been at sharpening my saw chains for 30+ years. (how hard can it be really?) Never really got it right until I checked in with my friend a really good tree surgeon and my mountain guy chainsaw dealer a few years ago.
They both file by hand. PERIOD. And they both gave me about the same instructions.
Warbler gave a clear explanation how to do it.

My tips (many have already been stated)
I got MUCH better when I started using a vise to hold the saw by the bar.
Alternately you can remove the chain, adjust your vise to that it's just slightly wider than the chain drive teeth, drop the chain in. Clamp and file the teeth that are in the vise, loosen vise, move chain, clamp vise, repeat. This works well for a badly worn chain.

KEEP the box the chain came in so you know it's exact file size and filing angles. I'm always amazed how much tooth angles differ.
The simple file guide is very helpful to get the angles right. It doesn't have to be perfect!!! Close is really good enough. I've got a chain that's supposed to be cut at 25 degrees. My guide has a line at 30 degrees. I guesstimate 25 and it works fine.

You can use a chain until the teeth are nearly gone. Much to my surprise! I took a worn chain to my mountain guy to buy a new one and he kinda laughed, put it in his vise and sharpened it...by hand. It worked fine.
Some chains have an engraved diagonal line across all the teeth. When the tooth gets that short it's finished. Otherwise, keep sharpening it.

When a tooth cutting edges are completely bright, you're done with that tooth. Remember, there are two edges. The obviously curved vertical edge and the not so obviously curved horizontal (usually also angled) edge BENEATH the flat top of the tooth. On a really dull chain it can take some work to get that edge sharpened evenly. You need to hold the file so that both edges are cut at the same time and therefore same angles.
Some chains have engraved diagonal line across all the teeth. When the tooth gets that short it's finished.



Do NOT file both directions. Only cut in the forward direction. Press file not hard against the tooth so that it contacts both the vertical and horizontal cutting surfaces, run it forward as straight as you can, move file away from tooth and pull it back. Repeat. Learning this motion takes some effort. I find that laying the file guide flat on the angled top surface works well. Remember it doesn't have to be perfect. Press the file rearward against that surface so you cut both at the same time.
File all teeth to the same length. Approximately is good enough. This gets harder the more times the chain is sharpened.

I had a well used chain that I'd managed to get a large difference in tooth lengths. I measured with calipers and found the shortest tooth. Then sharpened all the rest to be close to the same length. That took a long time. Chain is great now.

Take a quick test cut. If the chain isn't cutting good chips do it all over again. Now, all the teeth are bright, so how do you keep your place? I mark the top of the first tooth I sharpen with magic marker.

Quickest way to dull a chain? Hit the dirt or rock for even 1/2 second. Another good way is to let it get loose on the bar.
Whenever I put a chain back on the bar I find have have to re-tension it after only a couple of minutes of cutting. Don't run it loose.
If I'm in the field and the chips are getting smaller, I'll do a quick sharpen right there. If the chain is in good shape it only takes 5 - 10 accurate file strokes to get the edges sharp again. You can test sharpness with your finger. With a little practice you can tell the diff between sharp and not.

One more thing.....If your chain jumps the bar (keep it tensioned properly stoopid...don't ask me how I know) the drive teeth are almost certain to get burred. You won't be able to push the chain along the bar by hand because it will hang up on the nose wheel or the drive sprocket. You usually can't see the burrs but you can feel them with your fingernail. It's slow work but with a sharp medium coarseness flat file you can carefully file the burrs off. Even 1 burr will stop your chain from running.
I always make sure than when properly tensioned I can push the chain all the way around with my fingers.

Files have a finite life. Replace often.

It's quicker and much cheaper to sharpen your own chain than to drive down to the chainsaw store to have them sharpen it or to buy a new one.

Poor eyesight may make properly sharpening your chain impossible.
 
Philbert

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I've been at sharpening my saw chains for 30+ years. (how hard can it be really?)
Welcome to A.S.!

Lots of good information on hand filing, but not what the question was in this thread.

I use a grinder to clean up a lot of chains that were poorly hand filed by others: random angles (multiple), different right and left cutters, focus on the gullets, etc. As well as chains that were heavily damaged by rocks, debris, etc. It is also much faster when I have a bunch of chains (10-20 loops) to sharpen at a time.

Lots of ways to sharpen; everyone has to find something that works for them.

Philbert
 
blades

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55 degs. coming into the tooth would leave an awful thin top plate edge along with a really deep gullet, maybe that was just for the Pico size chains? Personally I run with the head set at 65 - 70 to minimize the depth of the gullet but still keep the sideplate behind the cutting edge. Also allows for a bit stronger cutting edge ( similar knife vs axe) . Also run 25 deg. across top plate. This leaves the corner point on a full chisel tooth a bit stronger than 30 or 35. Once that point goes south, chain will not cut worth squat any more. a long needle stye point will not last very long-
little project for a customer- close to 100 chains in that wash tub, some were sharpend before, so far ( some 80 chains worth ) not a single chain has had an adjustment to the depth gauges by any previous sharpening attempts.
 

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Philbert

Philbert

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Oregon recommends 55° for a lot of their chains, but that might be based on speed versus longevity. A big advantage of sharpening your own chains is that you get to choose!

http://en.oregonproducts.com/pdfs/GrindingAngles.pdf

little project for a customer- close to 100 chains in that wash tub, some were sharpend before, so far ( some 80 chains worth ) not a single chain has had an adjustment to the depth gauges by any previous sharpening attempts.
!!!


Philbert
 
hedge hog

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At any degree less than 60 when you file in the field with a top angle guide you’re file has less contact with gullet area and is more aggressive on the upper part of the tooth.
I run at 58* just for that reason
One to two strokes every tank of fuel and stays sharp til I hit rocks or barb wire


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