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For hire in your area: sharpen chains by hand

livemusic

livemusic

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The dealers that use automatic chain sharpener machines... do they even touch a raker? And their sharpening might be suspect for sure. I know a dealer who does them uber fast; I doubt his output is grade A. So, wondering... are there people in your area that sharpen chains by hand for hire? I don't know anybody around here but haven't looked. From lots of threads on it, there are people who claim they get a chain filed by hand really sharp! I wonder how you'd even find somebody like that; dealers wouldn't want the competition. Maybe Craigslist but I've never seen an ad for that here. Granted, this is not a big chainsaw state.
 
Ax-man

Ax-man

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Agreed Harley. At my new part time job they want me to sharpen chains on any saw I fix before it goes out. I can understand why they want to do this but personally I don't like to do it even though they have a nice Efco machine but they only have the machine set-up one way and one wheel and won't deviate from that set-up, no matter what kind of chain needs to be sharpened. It just isn't my call and I don't want to rub the owners the wrong way by telling them that different chains need different settings and wheels. It is a pain in the arse for me but I get paid the same no matter what even though I get paid to fix the saw but a so so sharpening job on a beat up chain reflects back to me even though the saw may run great but if the chain just doesn't cut good it is like I did half a$$ job on the saw. I just try to do the best I can with what I have to work with. Oh well that is life in the big city it is what it is.

We don't do depth gauges either for liability reasons . I agree with them on that point and they even have a special machine just for depth gauges but it is just gathering dust. They even have a bar rail grinder in the shop just gathering dust . Why dress a bar when you can sell a new bar to a customer.

Hand filing is an art that most people won't pay for . I have tried that in the past but hand filing for even just $10 bucks which is cheap in my book is too much considering how close you are to the cost of a new chain
 
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farmer steve

farmer steve

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My dealer uses a Franzen sharpener. It does the rakers as it sharpens the chain. He charges $5.50 per chain. If I didn't /couldn't do my own chains I would take mine to him but I handfile mine. I don't think it would be cost effective for Joe homeowner to pay say $10 a chain for handfiling. They probably wouldn't know the difference anyway.
 
Ax-man

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I assume it is because your altering the chain from the way it came from the factory . If someone gets hurt from a chain that is too aggressive your opening yourself up to lawsuit because you altered the chain .

I know a Stihl dealer who got sued because they took a link out of a stretched chain and it broke and the guy got hurt from it. I don't know all the details but the lawyer had a field day with that one. I imagine the same type of scenario could happen with the right lawyer if the depth gauges weren't set just right. It can happen.
 
Ax-man

Ax-man

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Yes I know what your saying . Hand filing depth gauges is different than using a machine . I am a little out of my comfort zone on this one because I have only tried it with my old Foley -Belsaw machine and I didn't get the same results or accuracy as I did checking the depth gauges in the usual way using a file and depth gauge tool. To be honest I think it is quicker to do it by hand verses getting a machine set-up to do one chain . If your doing many chains then yes a machine is probably the way to go .

I am just a die hard hand filer . Using a machine for any of the steps involved in getting a chain super sharp is not so much new to me , just haven't had that much experience at it let alone doing it in a repair shop on other people's saw chain.
 
Skeans

Skeans

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I sure wouldn’t pay anyone to file a chain, how often do they file the same side to side or even straight? Production cutting you need chains that are consistent you can rely on. To doing rakers vs the stretched chain, it’s stretched from material of the drivers that are worn vs a raker which is part of a cutter that is designed to be taken down.


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Philbert

Philbert

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Minnesota
The dealers that use automatic chain sharpener machines... do they even touch a raker?
First address the stereotypes: grinder vs hand filing. I can ruin a chain either way! It's the results you are after, not the method. Biggest problem is if they do not care, or want to take the time on set ups, etc. Depth gauges can be done on both manual and automatic grinders. Local shops around here charge $75 - $85 / hour for service, so at $7.50 / chain, the most they can spend on one is 6 minutes (takes me 10-15 minutes for a good job on an average chain). I can buy a new chain on sale for $8 to $15, so estimate what dealer costs might be, and if they would rather sell you a new loop or sharpen.

So, wondering... are there people in your area that sharpen chains by hand for hire?
What would you be willing to pay? Again, compared to the cost of a new chain? Might find some retired guy who pays himself very little, but hard to find a business that can afford to do the full-service sharpening at what people expect to pay.

You might want to look into some of the mail order sharpening services if you cannot find someone in your area (trying to find the link for a guy who bought 3 Franzen grinders and charges postage one way).

If someone gets hurt from a chain that is too aggressive your opening yourself up to lawsuit because you altered the chain . . . . I know a Stihl dealer who got sued because they took a link out of a stretched chain and it broke and the guy got hurt from it. I don't know all the details but the lawyer had a field day with that one.
Anybody can sue you for anything. If you are in the chainsaw business, you need good liability insurance. Refer to the $75 - $85 shop rates mentioned above.

The Stihl owners manuals tell you to file the rakers so I'm wondering too.
+1

You guys that file your own chains, how long do they last in hardwood? Mine sharp chains don't seem to last as long as think they should!
'Sharper' chains cut faster but dull faster. It's a trade off. Best is to find the angles that work for you, for your saws, your wood, your cutting, and either sharpen those yourself, or find someone who will sharpen to your specifications, rather than to 'default' angles.

Philbert
 
HarleyT

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You guys that file your own chains, how long do they last in hardwood? Mine sharp chains don't seem to last as long as think they should!
Put up some pics of a chain you have sharpened.

They will dull VERY quickly if all of the damage has not been removed.
 
Skeans

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If you’re going to go through all of that Philbert why not just grind them probably a cheaper option with more speed and accuracy. Take a square on my pro sharp a 105 driver takes the same time to sharpen both sides without burning. Round I can’t say since all we do is harvester 404 but 94 drivers of that takes around 7 to 10 minutes depending on how bad they are.


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MontanaResident

MontanaResident

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You guys that file your own chains, how long do they last in hardwood? Mine sharp chains don't seem to last as long as think they should!
I sharpen very often. Half a cord and I'm at it with the files. For me the sharpening is almost zen like. I find it almost therapeutic, where I can clear my head and is part of the equipment maintenance routine.

I have a craigslist ad for chainsaw maintenance and chain sharpening. I am of the opinion that most people just buy new chains after they create enough wood dust to fill a few five gallon buckets. My wood cutting buddy has finally taught himself how to sharpen a chain. Before he started cutting with me he had a collection of about 50 or more very dull chains hanging off nails. I suppose he will eventually get around to sharpening them, but he has recently discovered skip tooth chains and seems to have a new one on the saw every week or so.
 
MontanaResident

MontanaResident

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If you’re going to go through all of that Philbert why not just grind them probably a cheaper option with more speed and accuracy. Take a square on my pro sharp a 105 driver takes the same time to sharpen both sides without burning. Round I can’t say since all we do is harvester 404 but 94 drivers of that takes around 7 to 10 minutes depending on how bad they are.


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Accuracy of what? Sharp is sharp, and some deviation in angles doesn't make a big difference in cutting firewood. Length of the cutters to be uniform is also a myth. As long as the preceding raker is set correctly the cutter will cut independent of the length of the cutter before or following it.

The problem with the grinders is in making the gullet. Lay a straight edge across the side of the chain and you will see that the raker is inboard of the gullet edge. The gullet cuts and the grinders don't make for proper gullet shapes nor are they particularly sharp.
 
Skeans

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Accuracy of what? Sharp is sharp, and some deviation in angles doesn't make a big difference in cutting firewood. Length of the cutters to be uniform is also a myth. As long as the preceding raker is set correctly the cutter will cut independent of the length of the cutter before or following it.

The problem with the grinders is in making the gullet. Lay a straight edge across the side of the chain and you will see that the raker is inboard of the gullet edge. The gullet cuts and the grinders don't make for proper gullet shapes nor are they particularly sharp.
I’ve got bars and enough experience falling timber both mechanically as well as by hand that says different. Ever seen a cut walk or miss a face well cutting one handed?


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