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For hire in your area: sharpen chains by hand

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by livemusic, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Huskybill

    Huskybill Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Grinder collection how many? Age? Pics?
     
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  2. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    I buy new chains constantly but I make my own now.
    I get in a hurry and dont have time to run to my breaker/spinner or fiddle with filing. So I get a collection of chains that are dull.

    I hand file everything.
    Ever shop I have ever had grind my saw just does not pull chips like when I hand file.
    Even new chain doez not compare to a good hand filing job of full chisel on a 395xp.

    Last shop I took a couple 32" chains to ruined them both.
    He hit them too hard and too fast for me to bother fixing them with a hand file.

    Sharpening chains is a spare time thing.

    If I am on a job making $250 an hour and business is running me ragged then no way will I waste the time to file.

    The biggest mistake I have seen shops make is they swing the saw and force it into the tooth which is what the last amateur did.

    The blade gives and walks around the tooth literally making it duller than a butterknife. When you are hot and sweating like crazy trying to hurry and put on your fresh chain from a shop that has been brutalized, it really makes me yell and cuss a lot.

    Such is not conductive to business.

    The single greatest thing I can say for speed and frustration prevention is to hit the chain with 2-4 strokes of a hand file every couple tanks even if it doesnt seem dull. Though this is not something I practice every day.

    If I have a sharp chain on the job then its going on and the old will be filed at my leisure.

    Sometimes my leisure becomes never.
    I have 50 chains on my wall that need their teeth sharpened for the first time.

    I cant imagine anyone wanting to hand file a 36"chain at a cost effective rate.
     
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  3. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    Damn... Thats over $1500 in chains from a shop!

    I can buy another 395xp for that price.

    The new saw would come with a new chain though and it would find its way to my wall of "leisure".
     
  4. Huskybill

    Huskybill Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I used the grinder and just kiss the teeth. I watch others use a grinder there goes 1/4th of the life of the chain. Four grinding its done. I hand sharpened till I got the hang on it. I don’t trust anyone grinding my chains.
     
  5. Justsaws

    Justsaws Addicted to ArboristSite

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    6 or so, 1950s through 2017, no pics. Couple of Windsor (Oregon511 rebrands), Bell, Foleys, Homier(similar to Harbor Freight), Timber Tough(511 knock off), couple oddballs, bits and pieces. I have had the opportunity to use many different ones. The are a couple more that I would like to own.

    The Bell is the best of the group by far, lots of adjustments, reversible, moderate speed and torque very smooth, it was also the most expensive. The Foleys are second, adjustable, sloppier overall machines, small grinding wheels, slow speed. The Windsor’s do fine just not very adjustable, tighter overall machines than any of the foleys, faster, considerably more torque. The Timber Tuff is very close to the Windsor’s not reversible though and not sure it would hold up with heavy use, the Homier can put an edge on a chain however not adjustable or reversible, sloooooow, low torque, tiny wheel, limited wheel type and quite flexible. The Foleys can put a very nice grind on the cutter however the operator has to pay a lot more attention to the process than using the Bell or the Windsor’s.

    I was never willing to pay the typical asking price for the various grinder brands that start with the letter S. The main difference between the “high end” grinders and the rest is the tightness, power and overall rigidness of the machine especially in the swing arm, pivot and chain location and clamp. How close to the same spot can it get the wheel without the operator having to pay attention to the pull and then as the wheel wears away how equally can the machine position the wheel in both sides of the cutters corners while grinding from the outside edge in.

    Most of the places that I am familiar with that sharpen chains use a variant of the Oregon 511.
     
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  6. Justsaws

    Justsaws Addicted to ArboristSite

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    In reference to the OPs first post...

    Yes there are people locally that will hand file a chain for a price. I have met a couple of those people, I have not met any of the customers. I do not think the people offering the service are swamped with business, maybe making “beer” money type of thing.

    Kind of along the same lines as the folks sharpening handsaws, which again you kind of owe it to yourself to do it yourself. If you think you are pissed when somebody ruins what is relatively cheap chain, handsaws can take it to a whole different level.
     
  7. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    PA.
     
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  8. Skeans

    Skeans Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I had one for on my hard hat for walking out in the brush to get to the harvester it worked great for a while till it didn’t the rechargeable battery gave up the ghost before a full summer.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Cliff R

    Cliff R Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Every single saw I own gets a good cleaning after every outing, chain sharpened, bar roller nose greased, fueled up and ready for the next time I need it.

    When I say "chain sharpened" above 9 out of 10 times it will only require a few light strokes with a file to get it back to razor sharp again. I can't imagine removing the chain and taking a grinder to it unless I hit a nail or stuck the bar in the dirt half a dozen times. Grinders just remove too much material for my liking, but they are a good asset when you do hit a rock and "hose" the chain and need to get all the teeth back to the same length quickly.

    Touching up the chain after each tank of fuel is something I've been doing for decades. Might seem to some like a little "overkill", but the saw will produce more work with less fuel, and you woln't find yourself "pushing" it to make cuts, it will pull itself into the wood and take less operator effort to get the job done.

    An "old timer" I used to cut with told me decades ago: "if you ever die and go to heaven don't get reincarnated as a chainsaw"! They are by far and above one of the most abused pieces of equipment on the planet!.......Cliff
     
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  10. JeremiahJohnson

    JeremiahJohnson Redneck Chainsaw Repair

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  11. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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  12. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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    The 18650 battery is widely used. I have had one of those TacLights, using the same battery, now for 3 years. I put it in the recharger about once every 6 months.
     
  13. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Interesting.

    I have accumulated a number of grinders (and file guides, etc.), due to an interest in sharpening, but do not have much experience outside of the Oregon/Tecomec variations, and the HF style cheap grinders that I played with for that thread. The 511A was a significant investment for me, and I was never tempted to buy some of the older, heavily used, Bell or Foley style grinders when they showed up on CraigsList for the same amount of money as one of those. Also don't have the room. There are guys who really seem to like their STIHL USG or Silvey grinders. And, of course, square grinders are their own world.

    Spent a fair amount of time getting consistent with the ones I use, but maybe I would get spoiled if I tried some of the others!

    Philbert
     
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  14. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    I have had rational conversations with guys who use chains once, then replace them. One made a similar business case for the cost of time spent sharpening, and another said he preferred factory fresh edges. Both of these guys then sold their 'used once never sharpened' chains on eBay or CL: their net cost being comparable to what they might pay to have someone sharpen the loops. A local saw dealer periodically has a quantity of similarly used chains for sale: from what I understand, they have a customer who has worked out a 'trade in' arrangement with them.

    There is skill in using a grinder, just as there is in using a file. Shops often grind to default angles, unless told otherwise (and maybe despite being told otherwise!). If someone provides me with specific angles, or better yet, a few links of a hand filed chain that they like, I can try to match that. Some guys like to give a ground chain a pass or 2 with a file afterwards for a 'final edge'. All of those details take more time than production grinding, which brings us back to the OP's initial post.

    Philbert
     
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  15. president

    president Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You would appreciate the quality build,smooth operation,
    and consistency of the USG ,once the learning curve is
    achieved.The USG is expensive,german made,and puts an
    absolutely keen edge on all chain
     
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  16. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    I don't sharpen chains for hire. A problem I see is that those that don't hand file at least a little bit between tankfulls likely run their chains until they are duller than seven hells.

    Those are not the kind of chains that I want to sharpen.

    IMO, one of the greatest benefits of hand filing is doing it on the saw and keeping a chain cutting in it's upper performance range.

    I also own a USG and Stihl's square grinding attachment. A rare piece evidently.
     
  17. president

    president Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How,s the square grind work out with it
     
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  18. CR888

    CR888 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I love the 'single use' chain fellows, good chain (i.e Stihl, Carlton, Oregon etc) is pretty darn expensive in Au. Making good friends with a manager at a big tool hire company can be a good chain trap. I bought 150 loops of N1 Carlton 55dl for $300 and 60 loops of Stihl RM .325 @$5 per loop. All chains were used once, needed sharpening but were a fraction of new retail price. I'd rather be well equipped with good chain tools breakers, spinners, grinders etc than pay $5-800 per 100ft roll of chain. I never buy chain when I desperately need it, I get it when the good opportunities arise.
     
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  19. Jethro 2t sniffer

    Jethro 2t sniffer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That's the issue I have with mates bringing me there chains to sharpen can use up a file on 1 dam chain re shaping every cutter and then all the rakers too takes ages and then watch them plow it through the dirt on the 1st cut cos he's not used to it cutting properly hahaha
     
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  20. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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    Yup, people that don't sharpen, wait til the chain is totally hosed. Maybe they figure that they get more for their money in waiting and let the sharpener make a miracle. Hate to be their dentist. :eek:
     
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