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Chain Mileage-Hand Filing vs Machine Ground

Skeans

Skeans

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Running the harvesters with 404 we’re seeing more then 20 sharpenings on the grinders at about 1/2 life, one my square saw stuff I’ll see about. 35 to 40 grinds on the grinder. All that said I’ve trued up some chains for friends that file that’s where life is decreased dramatically.


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Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

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I do not think of folks who hand sharpen poorly being able to destroy a chain quickly, but I guess it is entirely possible. I have a friend who cuts with me some times and he does not know how to sharpen. I would guess he can never get more than four sharpen jobs out of any one chain. When cutting pretty heavy I sharpen at least six times in a day and by day three its time to grab another chain. Thanks
 
hedge hog

hedge hog

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Okay let’s assume that a file correctly used makes your hook at 60 degrees (or 40 degrees on a Stihl) and that is forever every time you file it .....
So every stroke you are removing 180 degrees of material assuming your using a guide and if not you might be digging it to the gullet a little deep.
That is a lot of work with a good sharp file.
I tried this several years ago and still practice it today and for some of my customers.
A new chain you been running and on second tank is getting really slow so you pull out your file and go to town and get razor sharp ! And file is the only thing that can!!!!
But it took 2 maybe 3 strokes to do it per tooth it but guaranteed it is sharp !!
I love my grinder and it’s the best thing ever!

what I like to do with any grinder is give my chains that are dull a little more hook than they need.
I started with a 510 Oregon and would set my chains at 55 degrees (they seamed to dull faster in my type of wood) but every tank I would a 1/2 to3/4 light pass with a file and guide and have it razor sharp again.
Because with a guide I was only contacting the top third of the tooth because I ground the gullet further back than what the can reach.
I did this for a few years and when chain were getting close to the end of there lives i was snapping the teeth of because of the extra hook I was applying.
So now I use 57-58 degrees Oregon 41-42 degrees Stihl and it’s the best of both worlds.
I do it for some of my customers too.

And I have customers that will only give my really rocked out chains ( they file a the time til they tear it up) I do notice that sometimes I can get the rocked out but I still don’t have all the cutters at the same angle.

For sure the sharpest chains have ever used is filed but not by much
Super light pass on a grinder with pink stone or CBN wheel will produce a sharp chain


My 2 cents:)


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sb47

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I have only hand filled my chains and over the years my chains last longer and stay sharper longer the better I get at it. I have had a few chains sharpened at a dealer and every time I did they pretty much wasted the chains. I will never waste my time or money letting anyone else do it.
Depending on conditions I can get anywhere from a full tank to as many as 4 or 5 tanks before I need to touch up. The key is to stop before they get so dull that it takes more time and you have to remove so much metal to get them back to like new condition. I file them down till the teeth start breaking off before they wear out.
It's a learning curve you must master over time. You have to learn when to stop sawing so it only takes 1 or 2 passes with the file to bring the edge back. The less metal you have to remove the longer they will last.
 

svk

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I decided to take the plunge last year and start filing my own. I had seen the “file n joint” in action but honestly it’s too clunky for me. I just bought the Oregon file guides for each pitch chain and have been happy. I cut a lot and other than the very first chain I tried (and the aforementioned heavily rocked Stihl chains) I’ve never had an issue getting them to cut great.
 
foeke

foeke

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I live in an area that was bombed by the western allies like crazy (to make sure the russians wouldn't find the hidden weapons and amunition in the forrests if they arrived first) just after WW2.
Every big tree has pieces of grenades in it. Like almost literally all of them.
Our chains don't have time wearing down cutting oak.
My dealer has a theory, every 4 times you grind it, it is worn out, and every 4 chains you need a new bar.
When I grind it myself I can easily grind it 8 or 10 times (those grenade shells are almost pure rust).
Same with the bars. Since I stopped going there, I rarely need new chains.
When I do handfile I just touch it up every hour or so. Naturally you are taking off less than when you even just touch the chain with a grinder.
Don't touch dirt or hit iron/rocks and only touch up your chain and you can keep on going for a week with 1 chain.

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CaseyForrest

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I do a combination of touchups in the field with a stihl 2n1 and then correct angles with the grinder after a day of cutting. Ill rotate chains if I don't get a chance to grind, but I usually stay with 1 chain unless I rock something out.

When I use the grinder, I'm JUST touching the chain.... In 3 years I might be half way through 2 chains? Now thats a combination of 16, 20 and 25" chains.... Probably have 30 cords through them.

Biggest factor is likely the condition of the wood. Dirt and rocks and all that.
 
lefturnfreek

lefturnfreek

Sharpen the chain, chuck chips ...repeat...
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Ya it comes down to amount of damage to operator skill with either tool. I have seen guys destroy chains hand filing and with cheap grinders/poor operation of ...

I hand file 95% of the time but I'm not that patient in the bush so I definitely like to re square a chain 2-3 times with a grinder, which comes to clean or dirty cutting cause I ran 1 3/8th chain in nothing but clean wood to the tune of about 20C or destroyed a chain in an afternoon ....

Sooo now a question, are those teeth blued or am I seeing shiet ??

Keep on .... Runnin' Loads !!
 
Skeans

Skeans

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Ya it comes down to amount of damage to operator skill with either tool. I have seen guys destroy chains hand filing and with cheap grinders/poor operation of ...

I hand file 95% of the time but I'm not that patient in the bush so I definitely like to re square a chain 2-3 times with a grinder, which comes to clean or dirty cutting cause I ran 1 3/8th chain in nothing but clean wood to the tune of about 20C or destroyed a chain in an afternoon ....

Sooo now a question, are those teeth blued or am I seeing shiet ??



Keep on .... Runnin' Loads !!
It’s a little blue it’s harvester chain I’m not going to file it and when you sit down to do 10 to 15 of them at a time you just want to be done by number 8 or 9. I’ll see more bluing certain types of the year I’ve noticed as well in both harvester and saw chain like when the pitch is running really good I’ll see a tooth blue easier then when it’s not.


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lefturnfreek

lefturnfreek

Sharpen the chain, chuck chips ...repeat...
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Ya I hear ya and that’s why grinding can’t be rushed, less material taken at anytime with the least amount of sparking.

If the bar is is in good shape and the chain isn’t rocked out, new file, I can bang off 4-6 chains by hand to 1 off the grinder.

Keep on .... Runnim’ Loads !!
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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I don't keep track, and I only sharpen by hand. My chains last a while so long as they don't eat any rocks (which where I live can happen). The only time I've gotten short life out of a chain is from having to repair some bad damage. I sharpen every 6 or so hours of use or as needed. Buying chains isn't really something I think about a lot.
 
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Skeans

Skeans

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Ya I hear ya and that’s why grinding can’t be rushed, less material taken at anytime with the least amount of sparking.

If the bar is is in good shape and the chain isn’t rocked out, new file, I can bang off 4-6 chains by hand to 1 off the grinder.

Keep on .... Runnim’ Loads !!
It doesn’t take me too long to bang them out the big factor is how tired I am at the end of the day, 6 hours of hand falling it’s a nice relaxer after work but 12 hours of running harvester plus an hour or more each way of driving makes a hell of a day. The harvester chains I’m seeing 20+ grinds per chain before I retire them.


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