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Chain Mileage-Hand Filing vs Machine Ground

Brushwacker

Brushwacker

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HAND file mostly myself. Grinder is handy for chains already off the saw or badly dulled. Barely concerns me how much material comes off the cutter each time I file or grind as long as it gets sharp and doesn't ruin the temper. A sharp even cutting chain gets the work done and makes it easier on the operator and the chainsaw . I can't seem to get a chain to cut straight in a reasonable amount of time that hit much of a rock so their tossed. Also toss chains that are badly stretched. A good drive sprocket helps a chain last also.
 
Blackbruin

Blackbruin

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I run the same chain on my saws until they go to the point of no return or like last week I slipped and dinged a rock. That one I will take to my guy on his machine otherwise it's a file. I use swiss pfeil files they last longer and are more $$ but sharper than Oregon or stihl files.
Rs or rsc stihl chains for hardwood
And Oregon lgx for softwoods.
I feel the stihl chain is a tad harder and hold up better. By hand I feel they keep their temper. Heavy handed machines take it out I feel...
Plus you can only use a file so many times and it will not sharpen like it did when it was as sharp.
Or guys leave them exposed and they get a little surface rust on the file...chuck the darn thing if it does or soak in vinegar or some coca cola... Rusty files equal dull....

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Blackbruin

Blackbruin

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Depends on the file..
Some last 2 or 3 sharpening some one some 10...very rare for 10.
If it doesnt cut good and "skip" on your first pass it means its dull or loaded with filings.
Clean them, brass file cards work good.
Store them so they dont rust, every couple of teeth I tap the file, if your using a jig or a file guage tool turn the file a little between teeth. Keeps it from dulling all on one side and not the others. Rub them on your Jean's to clean em too every couple of teeth.

Your only gonna get as sharp as the sharpness of your file...

When you push the file it should feel like its cutting, not feel like your running steel on a rock...lol


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spike60

spike60

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To answer Steve's question, I'm sure that hand filing would win out over grinding for longevity.

But there's plenty of other factors. One is how much damage do you need to remove? If the chain is really buggered up, a grinder is probably the better option than filing a chain way back to make it usable. Which brings up the question of how much time will someone spend to restore a rocked out chain? If I bang it up pretty good, I just toss it. Especially if the chain catches something and all of the damage is on one side of cutters. Not worth it to me to spend a lot of time to save a chain; I just grab another one.

I'm good at filing, so I've never considered a grinder for personal use. And I have a lot of saws and like to be able sharpen them without having to remove the chains. I always touch them up before I put them away so they are ready for the next time. Even if they really don't need it, which I know isn't a "mileage minded" way of thinking. For you guys who have a lot a chains for a few saws, then I can see how running them all through the grinder in one clip would be better than hand filing them all at once.
 
steved

steved

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How often do you guys change out your files?
Depends on the files, I got a bad batch of files once and could hardly get one chain sharpened per file...and those were Oregon.

My Stihl file is still going, best file I own...I bought a couple Nicholson but haven't broke those out yet. I bought a batch of generic files through Amazon, and believe it or not; they aren't half bad...

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svk

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I’ve been filing for over a year with my Oregon files and they still bite well on softer chains like Oregon and Tri-Link. I wasn’t happy with the Oregon depth gauge flat file that came with the .025 jig so I bought one from the bulk box at the hardware store that works much better.
 
lefturnfreek

lefturnfreek

Sharpen the chain, chuck chips ...repeat...
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I’ve been filing for over a year with my Oregon files and they still bite well on softer chains like Oregon and Tri-Link. I wasn’t happy with the Oregon depth gauge flat file that came with the .025 jig so I bought one from the bulk box at the hardware store that works much better.
Ya it is not a very good depth guide as it's only and average of 2 teeth, not the proper depth for the tooth your sharpening. I do use the file holders for in the bush sharpening s but I will nudge you to go find a Husky guide as it's for sets the depth on each tooth independently and sets the slope nicely, IMO

Keep on ... Runnin' Loads !!
 

svk

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I don't let them get dull to dull before doing something about it.
Excellent advice, I do the same when hand filing. Usually finish up the tank when it starts to cut a bit slow and as soon as I get 2-3 full chains I’ll file them.
 
steved

steved

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I usually file every tank or two, regardless of performance. The only reason I wouldn't is if I'm cutting something soft/easy such as pine...but Oak and Iron Wood take their toll pretty quick.

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c5rulz

c5rulz

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Excellent advice, I do the same when hand filing. Usually finish up the tank when it starts to cut a bit slow and as soon as I get 2-3 full chains I’ll file them.

I take several saws and all are fueled and ready to go. If one gets dull I often just grab another. When the wood is very dirty, (which is often on cable skidded logs) will hit these with a file.
 
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svk

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I take several saws and all are fueled and ready to go. If one gets dull I often just grab another. When the wood is very dirty, (which is often on cable skidded logs) will hit these with a file.
When I get a saw with semi chisel, safety chain I put that chain off to the side. It’s either sent with a saw that I sell or used for cutting skidded logs. I mostly cut clean softwood but lately have been working a pile of leftovers from a logging operation.
 

svk

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I changed out my 7/32 file today. Amazing difference in “bite”

Also interesting that the 7/32 files seem to wear out much faster than the 5/32 files. Can’t imagine Oregon uses harder steel on their larger chains.
 
Philbert

Philbert

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Same old question that's been discussed many times before? What is 'a sharpening'? Do you count each swipe with a file, whether you need it or not?

Can you compare some ham-fisted shop monkey, with little skill, and less interest, sharpening your chain to filing your own?

Grinding wheels are available in a variety of coarseness grades, although, it can be hard to find the finer ones here in the US. It is possible to lightly 'kiss' your cutters with a wheel, if you are careful, if it is important to you, and if you give a ****.

Chain 'life' can also depend on how long you are willing to run it between sharpenings.

(Hey, I think that this is the same thing I wrote in my very first A.S. post 13 years ago!)

Philbert

Tecomec Grinding Wheels.png
 
James Miller

James Miller

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20190224_143051.jpg I picked up this HSO for a good price a few months ago and thought it would be the end of my hand fileing. This pic shows the only time I used it. Hasn't been plugged in since.
Hand fileing saves time and money.
 
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