Are these dealer sharpened chains OK?

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chipper1

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I'm not as big a believer in "Get the Gullet" as I ought to be. There is a video that shows the cutting with and without the gullet, and it is pretty convincing. Yet yours are pretty much the poster boy of "This is what the Gullet looks like". Side plates do cut and the gullet you have is not going to do any cutting.

You can very safely remove the gullet with a small file (5/32" will work fine) and not touch the existing top and side plate sharpness. If you would, do a timed 3 cuts before and after and share here.
Link to the video.
I'm a believer in properly sharpening a chain.
Getting the gullet is an overly used phrase. While I'm not against getting it, for most of the cutting I do it's not a big deal and only needs to be cared for when the ledge created gets longer(maybe 1/8) as it starts to stick out as far as the kerf and begins to slow the chain a bit.
The side plate cuts, the gullet doesn't.
I prefer a larger file when filing the gullet ledge out on 3/8 chain as it doesn't hang up on the point at the front of the ledge ruining files and causing the file to jump around more which could damage the cutting edge/side plate. When hand filing on a newer chain in the summer getting the gullet is another process such as discussed, but in the winter or on a chain that's been filed back a bit I just use a larger file (7/32) and get the gullet and the cutter in one step and when cutting frozen hardwood I'll even use a 1/4 file. If its a newer chain for green wood in the summer I will leave a small portion of the ledge to help hold my file up as it's easier to file one handed that way when I don't have a good setup for two-handed filing(it's easier to pull it up into the cutter when using two hands).

Sure wish I had a way to get some good quality pictures.
 

huskihl

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Link to the video.
I'm a believer in properly sharpening a chain.
Getting the gullet is an overly used phrase. While I'm not against getting it, for most of the cutting I do it's not a big deal and only needs to be cared for when the ledge created gets longer(maybe 1/8) as it starts to stick out as far as the kerf and begins to slow the chain a bit.
The side plate cuts, the gullet doesn't.
I prefer a larger file when filing the gullet ledge out on 3/8 chain as it doesn't hang up on the point at the front of the ledge ruining files and causing the file to jump around more which could damage the cutting edge/side plate. When hand filing on a newer chain in the summer getting the gullet is another process such as discussed, but in the winter or on a chain that's been filed back a bit I just use a larger file (7/32) and get the gullet and the cutter in one step and when cutting frozen hardwood I'll even use a 1/4 file. If its a newer chain for green wood in the summer I will leave a small portion of the ledge to help hold my file up as it's easier to file one handed that way when I don't have a good setup for two-handed filing(it's easier to pull it up into the cutter when using two hands).

Sure wish I had a way to get some good quality pictures.
Back the tooth stop and depth stop off a quarter turn and get the gullet, Billy.
Easy peasy :clap:
 

chipper1

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Back the tooth stop and depth stop off a quarter turn and get the gullet, Billy.
Easy peasy :clap:
Yep. He also likes his boat I think he calls it.
He knows what needs to be done and how to do it, he likes to take a long walk around to get to the point.
He's getting a lot of good info out there, unfortunately many take the info and run with it as if the info without the ability/ experience is enough, it's not.
Many of the chains I get on used saws I'll run thru the grinder starting at the front and moving to the back grinding out the gullet, why waste files and my elbows when I can use the wheels lol. I have a pile of chains on the bench right now, its a mess, really need to clean it up.
 

Okie294life

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At best I can only do a half-assed job sharpening my own chains so once in a blue moon I treat myself by dropping a few chains off at the local power equipment dealer for (hopefully) a better job. This last batch I took to a place I've never used but was assured their tech has a machine he uses. I picked them up today and was putting one back on a bar when the tooth just didn't look right. All the teeth on 3 chains are like this - mostly squared off, no undercut area underneath the top of the cutter. Is this what I should expect?



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That’s horrible pretty much took half life off the chain. Get you a 3n1 stihl or pfered sharpener they take the guesswork out of sharpening and do a great job with no experience necessary
 

huskihl

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Yep. He also likes his boat I think he calls it.
He knows what needs to be done and how to do it, he likes to take a long walk around to get to the point.
He's getting a lot of good info out there, unfortunately many take the info and run with it as if the info without the ability/ experience is enough, it's not.
Many of the chains I get on used saws I'll run thru the grinder starting at the front and moving to the back grinding out the gullet, why waste files and my elbows when I can use the wheels lol. I have a pile of chains on the bench right now, its a mess, really need to clean it up.
I filed a chain a few times at a gtg this winter. First I’ve filed in a few years. The grinder makes quick consistent work of old chains that weren’t kept up
 

chipper1

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I filed a chain a few times at a gtg this winter. First I’ve filed in a few years. The grinder makes quick consistent work of old chains that weren’t kept up
I should bring the 5 gallon bucket and the pile on the bench to you :p.
It's kinda funny, I haven't used a round grinder since the last time someone needed a rocked chain fixed in the summer. I did up a nice square chain on the simington a couple weeks ago and I'll be touching up another for a video sometime next week.
Been mainly hand filing round and I've gone thru a good number of chains and files in the last yr. Can't wait to get set up in the new barn, I have a 12x24 section in one of the lean tos that will be mainly for saw/chain work.
 
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That chain looks like a kids first day at the hardware store sharpening chain without any instructions, here kid sharpen these chains, kid says I never did that before, boss says it's easy just grind on the tooth some and it's good to go, kid says ok because that's his only option. My dad once got a chain back from hardware store with only the left or right cutters sharpened, the chain cut sideways like crazy.
 

Hermio

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At best I can only do a half-assed job sharpening my own chains so once in a blue moon I treat myself by dropping a few chains off at the local power equipment dealer for (hopefully) a better job. This last batch I took to a place I've never used but was assured their tech has a machine he uses. I picked them up today and was putting one back on a bar when the tooth just didn't look right. All the teeth on 3 chains are like this - mostly squared off, no undercut area underneath the top of the cutter. Is this what I should expect?



IMG-0020.jpg
IMG-0023.jpg
Awful! As I said in another thread, these are two-way chains now; they cut equally well in forward or reverse.
 
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At best I can only do a half-assed job sharpening my own chains so once in a blue moon I treat myself by dropping a few chains off at the local power equipment dealer for (hopefully) a better job. This last batch I took to a place I've never used but was assured their tech has a machine he uses. I picked them up today and was putting one back on a bar when the tooth just didn't look right. All the teeth on 3 chains are like this - mostly squared off, no undercut area underneath the top of the cutter. Is this what I should expect?



IMG-0020.jpg
IMG-0023.jpg
So called Tech! Ridiculous!
 

super rube

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That’s horrible pretty much took half life off the chain. Get you a 3n1 stihl or pfered sharpener they take the guesswork out of sharpening and do a great job with no experience necessary
First off. Run only husqvarna xp saws. Invest in a chain sharpener that does the tooth and raker at the same time. Master it. YouTube will help with that. Then purchase a super jolley from tecomec and master it. You’ll never be proficient at hand filing unless you do it on a regular basis. Just filing during firewood season isn’t enough. Most dealers only grind as a courtesy and not to get rich. And electric grinder of any kind will ruin chains if you’re too aggressive with it. Dealers can’t feed the wheel into the chain at a slow speed and make money. Learn to do it yourself. But for a part time sawer of wood I’d say the grinder at home is the best way to be consistent and it’s quite fun too.
 

Hermio

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First off. Run only husqvarna xp saws. Invest in a chain sharpener that does the tooth and raker at the same time. Master it. YouTube will help with that. Then purchase a super jolley from tecomec and master it. You’ll never be proficient at hand filing unless you do it on a regular basis. Just filing during firewood season isn’t enough. Most dealers only grind as a courtesy and not to get rich. And electric grinder of any kind will ruin chains if you’re too aggressive with it. Dealers can’t feed the wheel into the chain at a slow speed and make money. Learn to do it yourself. But for a part time sawer of wood I’d say the grinder at home is the best way to be consistent and it’s quite fun too.
If you make sure to get all cutters even with the Pferd or Stihl 2 in 1, you will get a good sharp chain. Since I don't always manage to get both sides done symmetrically, I do take the chains to a sharpener to true them up once in a while. But go to a store that does it well, which is not the one you just used! I am lucky that my local Ace hardware store does a decent job for $8. My local Stihl dealer, from whom I bought my MS500i for $1180 (a steal for that Stihl!) charges $18, so I don't go to them. I also have a machine shop a bit further away that does a very precise job of filing and jointing for $12, so I go there when I want the best results. They also can swage and grind the bar, which can double or tiple its life, for about $18. In terms of cutting speed, though, the hand filing with the 2 in one beats the factory chain fresh out of the box and the Ace hardware grind. The machine shop grind might be about the same as the 2 in 1. So, my New Year's resolution should be to improve my skill with the 2 in 1 so as to keep it all even.
 
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I've posted this before.

To get a really good cutting hand filed chain you must:
1. Know what a sharp chain looks like
2. Be able to see what you are doing
3. Practice, practice, practice....
4. Rakers, just as important

1 Compare to a factory chain. Notice the top plate, angles, hook, side plate, gullet, etc.
2a Wear some reading glasses, if you are over 40, or just want to see close up details better
2b Get some light on the subject. I wear a head lamp, get close, and use the spot lamp feature
3. A couple of strokes after each cutting session or after each tank is not just practice but keeps it all fresh
4. Get a good progressive raker gauge. Husqvarna is the best I've used.

Lastly if you make a mistake, it will be small, so just file away the mistake.
Give yourself time to do this. Early Sunday morning, a fresh cup of coffee, some elevator music in the background, etc.
 

GrizG

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Not quite as bad, but freshly "sharpened" from a dealer :rare2:.


Amazing what a little filing can do.

When I see videos of small saws being run with dull chains I cannot help but think that the vast majority of folks who have those saws run them with dull chains... Supporting that, my son sells Stihl and Husky equipment in a business that caters to professional, industrial, governmental and homeowner customers. The vast majority of their homeowner customers don't sharpen chains. Rather they buy a new one when the old one barely cuts. With that in mind I'd be leery about buying even a "like new" saw from a homeowner as it's probably been forced to cut more often than not.

The fall before the pandemic hit I hosted a Game of Logging 1 course. This was some years after I took the course, had cut down and/or up thousands of trees, and had sharpened my chains by hand 100s of times. Outside of a kid to whom I had given some introductory training, all of them had used chainsaws for 20+ years. I lent the kid one of my saws, PPE, and other gear for the course. Looking at the condition of the other saws folks brought to the course I was surprised to see how bad the chains were... even amongst those who sharpened their own. The trainer looked over each saw and commented on issues... chain brake not functioning, air filter clogged, chain dull, burred bar, etc. As he approached the kid I heard him say quite loudly, "That's a sharp chain!" That prompted everyone else to compare theirs to mine... and from there the trainer showed the group how to sharpen. The kid went through the motions but didn't get to see a transformation... 😉

That said, I'm not infallible... I showed up to co-teach land trust volunteers how to remove fallen trees from the land trust's trails. The other trainer is an arborist. As far as the land trust is concerned any felling needed was to be left to folks like my co-trainer and I. Anyhow, I was running late and grabbed one of my saws without checking it over. To my chagrin I happened to grab the saw that I had "just sharpened" but with which I had also "just sawn through a nail." The teeth and rakers looked freshly sharpened but that saw wouldn't cut as every tip was mashed a bit when you looked at it closely! Of course being a very basic beginner's class I didn't have any extra chains, saws, or sharpening tools with me... :mad: I always have a couple saws with me when I'm out cutting so after I hit the nail I had simply used another saw to finish the small job. Where things went bad is I neglected to resharpen the damaged chain... Learned my lesson that day! 🤣

The students brought their own saws which were almost all battery powered homeowner grade saws... the perfect tool for their needs. True those saws don't cut like an MS261, but the vast majority of what they'd be doing could be handled with a few cuts so any time disadvantage was a non-issue.
 

GrizG

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That chain looks like a kids first day at the hardware store sharpening chain without any instructions, here kid sharpen these chains, kid says I never did that before, boss says it's easy just grind on the tooth some and it's good to go, kid says ok because that's his only option. My dad once got a chain back from hardware store with only the left or right cutters sharpened, the chain cut sideways like crazy.
I took a 12 pt. cross cut saw in for sharpening one time and when I got it back it had clearly been run through the grinder. The only problem was that the tips themselves still didn't come to a point... They did it again for free but it cost me another two weeks and another trip to the store. I started sharpening my own handsaws after that... it's not that difficult but I hadn't done it before!
 

chipper1

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When I see videos of small saws being run with dull chains I cannot help but think that the vast majority of folks who have those saws run them with dull chains... Supporting that, my son sells Stihl and Husky equipment in a business that caters to professional, industrial, governmental and homeowner customers. The vast majority of their homeowner customers don't sharpen chains. Rather they buy a new one when the old one barely cuts. With that in mind I'd be leery about buying even a "like new" saw from a homeowner as it's probably been forced to cut more often than not.

The fall before the pandemic hit I hosted a Game of Logging 1 course. This was some years after I took the course, had cut down and/or up thousands of trees, and had sharpened my chains by hand 100s of times. Outside of a kid to whom I had given some introductory training, all of them had used chainsaws for 20+ years. I lent the kid one of my saws, PPE, and other gear for the course. Looking at the condition of the other saws folks brought to the course I was surprised to see how bad the chains were... even amongst those who sharpened their own. The trainer looked over each saw and commented on issues... chain brake not functioning, air filter clogged, chain dull, burred bar, etc. As he approached the kid I heard him say quite loudly, "That's a sharp chain!" That prompted everyone else to compare theirs to mine... and from there the trainer showed the group how to sharpen. The kid went through the motions but didn't get to see a transformation... 😉

That said, I'm not infallible... I showed up to co-teach land trust volunteers how to remove fallen trees from the land trust's trails. The other trainer is an arborist. As far as the land trust is concerned any felling needed was to be left to folks like my co-trainer and I. Anyhow, I was running late and grabbed one of my saws without checking it over. To my chagrin I happened to grab the saw that I had "just sharpened" but with which I had also "just sawn through a nail." The teeth and rakers looked freshly sharpened but that saw wouldn't cut as every tip was mashed a bit when you looked at it closely! Of course being a very basic beginner's class I didn't have any extra chains, saws, or sharpening tools with me... :mad: I always have a couple saws with me when I'm out cutting so after I hit the nail I had simply used another saw to finish the small job. Where things went bad is I neglected to resharpen the damaged chain... Learned my lesson that day! 🤣

The students brought their own saws which were almost all battery powered homeowner grade saws... the perfect tool for their needs. True those saws don't cut like an MS261, but the vast majority of what they'd be doing could be handled with a few cuts so any time disadvantage was a non-issue.
Yep, it shows up on small saws for sure, but also on larger saws.
This one was sharp, but needed the rakers set, with a progressive guide of course.

 

sonny580

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I have always sharpened my own chains. I use 2 grinders here---one set only for rakers and the other one has different wheels for my different size chains. Out in the weeds, I lightly file between tanks of gas IF needed. I usually never take gas oil or tools with me when I go cutting. --- I gas/oil up 6 or more saws and run each one til its out of gas or oil, then let it rest while I run another one out. Its a lot easier on the saws and also I get some runtime on all 42 saws keeping them in running shape.
 
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