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Hand filing is for beginners?

RED-85-Z51

RED-85-Z51

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I can always tell what customers of mine handfile their chains. Complaints of rough cutting, leaving a coarse face in the cut, being boggy, pulling to one side...so on.

With a grinder...every tooth is the same dimension, same angle, same depth. Sure you use a file on site to touch up a chain if needed but, they sure cut smooth after a good grind. It sucks to see so many people that grind wrong. Ive got a customer with an MS290 with a 20" bar i put on an archer chain for him. He cuts 3 tanks of gas and brings it to me to grind about every 3 days. Ill get at least 15 grinds out of it before we retire it and thats with him touching it up between tanks...you just kiss the cutter and sweep the gullet, barely any heat and just a light spark. I get chains in from other shops and the cutters are blue, nicks in the straps, half the cutter gone and it was only sharpened once.

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SEAM

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Most of the chains I use are second-hand from auctions and cost me just a few bucks a loop (luckily a lot of users don't know sh.. about chain maintenance). Also, I don't mind if a few teeth are shorter than the others when hand-filing as the longer ones will catch up over time. To me the most economical way to use up a chain while making it last.
Matching the length of all teeth to the shortest tooth is a waste of material imho... However, I do understand that a grinder is a very time-efficient tool for people that get paid for sharpness by time ;)
 
Bob Hedgecutter

Bob Hedgecutter

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Most of the chains I use are second-hand from auctions and cost me just a few bucks a loop (luckily a lot of users don't know sh.. about chain maintenance). Also, I don't mind if a few teeth are shorter than the others when hand-filing as the longer ones will catch up over time. To me the most economical way to use up a chain while making it last.
Matching the length of all teeth to the shortest tooth is a waste of material imho... However, I do understand that a grinder is a very time-efficient tool for people that get paid for sharpness by time ;)
Agree, there is no need at all for every tooth on any chain to be the exact same top plate length- but the raker should match the corresponding cutter. ;)
 

SEAM

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Agree, there is no need at all for every tooth on any chain to be the exact same top plate length- but the raker should match the corresponding cutter. ;)
That's what hand-filing is all about. Doing each tooth individually and adjusting raker height (depth) according to tooth height whenever necessary. With a grinder there is no way to do that.
 
Skeans

Skeans

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I get that but who has 12 full chains on saws at one time?
You don’t carry spare chains with you? Or do a weeks worth at once? Running the harvesters we can go through 15 in less then a week and I’m sure not going to hand file one of those especially on the head.


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Philbert

Philbert

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Sure you use a file on site to touch up a chain if needed but, they sure cut smooth after a good grind. It sucks to see so many people that grind wrong.
Yep. It ain't the grinder that 'ruins' a chain, it is the operator that 'ruins' the chain, using the grinder as their weapon. I can 'ruin' a new chain with a file in 3 strokes or so, if I am determined. In fairness, the instructions that come with most grinders are . . . inadequate. Took me a long time to figure stuff out, and I try to share that with others, if they are interested.

Most of the chains I use are second-hand from auctions and cost me just a few bucks a loop . . .
I have picked up a number of loops for 50 cents each at estate sales, usually after they have sold the saw(s) that went with them. Sometimes free. Having a spinner / breaker set means I can be less picky about DL count.

Matching the length of all teeth to the shortest tooth is a waste of material imho...
Helps the chain cut smoother: equal cutter height (saw 'jointing') and side projection / kerf width (saw 'setting'). If that does not bother you, than it is not an issue.

Ok, so a bit of an exaggeration. But you can eliminate the vice step, for one. Just sharpen on the bar...
I like a chain that is held solid, so that I can control a sharp file with both hands, and not have to deal with rocking / moving cutters. That said, in the field I sharpen / touch up on the bar, but I like it held securely, like with a stump vise, or by boring into, or slotting a log, to hold it. I don't like assuming some yoga contortion to hold it.
IMG_0271.jpg

This Tecomec stump vise works nice:

Philbert
 
holeycow

holeycow

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Sep 9, 2011
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2,675
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Alberta, Canada
I can always tell what customers of mine handfile their chains. Complaints of rough cutting, leaving a coarse face in the cut, being boggy, pulling to one side...so on.

With a grinder...every tooth is the same dimension, same angle, same depth. Sure you use a file on site to touch up a chain if needed but, they sure cut smooth after a good grind. It sucks to see so many people that grind wrong. Ive got a customer with an MS290 with a 20" bar i put on an archer chain for him. He cuts 3 tanks of gas and brings it to me to grind about every 3 days. Ill get at least 15 grinds out of it before we retire it and thats with him touching it up between tanks...you just kiss the cutter and sweep the gullet, barely any heat and just a light spark. I get chains in from other shops and the cutters are blue, nicks in the straps, half the cutter gone and it was only sharpened once.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
so the other shops are buffoons, your customers are morons, and you are a genius!
Yay! :clap:
 
toadman

toadman

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I file mine anywhere... sitting on the toilet, truck, dining table, bed, floor, even in the rafters once... as long as I can sit, set the saw head on both sides of my lap and bar upright across my legs, & I have a file & depth gauge-I'm good.
I don't even use a file handle 90% of the time... But I'm not as picky as some of you likely are on every stroke, just the final product.
 
jrider

jrider

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Nov 14, 2011
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You don’t carry spare chains with you? Or do a weeks worth at once? Running the harvesters we can go through 15 in less then a week and I’m sure not going to hand file one of those especially on the head.


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I usually have 10-12 chains that I swap out
 
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