File Sizes for Sharpening Chain

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Fellin Feller

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I have a Stihl Ms400 with a 20" bar, the chain is 3/8" RS3 size. I guess the recommended file size is 7/32. Will this always be the correct size even if i use chains from different manufacturers?
What would happen if I use a different size file, either too big or too small?
 
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That's what I use for Husqvarna and Stihl chains for sure. I'm pretty sure I've used that size on the Oregon chains also. But they seem to work great for Husqvarna and Stihl tho. Side note, the Stihl brand files seem to work much better than the Oregon or Husqvarna files... Just my opinion and findings.
 
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I have a Stihl Ms400 with a 20" bar, the chain is 3/8" RS3 size. I guess the recommended file size is 7/32. Will this always be the correct size even if i use chains from different manufacturers?
What would happen if I use a different size file, either too big or too small?
Stihl recommends a 13/64” file for their full size regular 3/8th chain. About everyone else recommends 7/32” for their full size regular 3/8th chain. Keep-in mind 3/8th low profile is different, but that is not what you have on your MS400.
 
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Actually it is not, very little difference though. 1/64” different. I’m sure you can use a 7/32” file on Stihl 3/8th chain, but the OP asked about recommended size and 13/64“ is simply what Stihl recommends.
True, he did. Yes very little.. I feel like Stihl did that so you buy their files. But yes, you are correct.
 

EastCoastSawGuy

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It pretty much is, I would go with the 7/32, and when you said if you got new chains for it would it be different? There should be numbers on you bar that tell you the pitch, gauge and number of drive links, so all you need to do is get a chain (I would recommend getting a stihl OEM chain) all you have to do is tell your loval dealer those numbers, or even better yet, take the bar into them and they will match it for you.
 

Harmon

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the maths say 14 / 64 would be 7/32. Though i am no expert. I have generally used stihl 13/64, though usually on oregon chain. 7/32 you kind of have to waller things out on that first sharpen.

And initially I thought it silly when i read post here about getting a smaller file as you got back to the witness mark, but I tried using a 3/16 on some mostly worn out (0.050, 3/8) chain and it made a difference in getting a nice shape of tooth.
 

Fellin Feller

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It pretty much is, I would go with the 7/32, and when you said if you got new chains for it would it be different? There should be numbers on you bar that tell you the pitch, gauge and number of drive links, so all you need to do is get a chain (I would recommend getting a stihl OEM chain) all you have to do is tell your loval dealer those numbers, or even better yet, take the bar into them and they will match it for you.
It would not be a different size, only a different brand of chain.
 

ammoaddict

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the maths say 14 / 64 would be 7/32. Though i am no expert. I have generally used stihl 13/64, though usually on oregon chain. 7/32 you kind of have to waller things out on that first sharpen.

And initially I thought it silly when i read post here about getting a smaller file as you got back to the witness mark, but I tried using a 3/16 on some mostly worn out (0.050, 3/8) chain and it made a difference in getting a nice shape of tooth.
Yep
7/32---14/64
13/64---13/64
3/16---12/64
5/32---10/64

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

arborist

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I have a Stihl Ms400 with a 20" bar, the chain is 3/8" RS3 size. I guess the recommended file size is 7/32. Will this always be the correct size even if i use chains from different manufacturers?
What would happen if I use a different size file, either too big or too small?
To save you time and trial and error. Use the following and only the following:
1. Stihl chain.
2. Stihl files.
3. In your case use the 7/32.

I've tried other brands chains over the years and when I used stihl chains, I never bothered with anything else. They hold their edge far better than Oregon or husky chains and you need their extra hardened files to file them. When I have tried another brand a time or two again, over the years, I was always disappointed. I've been running only stihl chains now for, I dunno at least 15 to 18 years I guess. It didn't take me too long to try them on my huskies, due to having a nearby Stihl dealer. It was probably just dumb luck and I was working nearby and looked in there to see if they'd have a chain for my husky. I'll never bother with another brand chain. Stihls are the absolute best.

The reason you want to go up a size file is because it sharpens not just the cutter side edge, but the top part of the cutter too at the same time in same stroke and you'll get a sharp, factory like cut. ;)

Here's a simple little photo I grabbed off the net. See the little circle I added in red? If you use the called for size, your file will just fit down inside and get the main part of your cutter nice and sharp no problem but if you don't go back and take another stroke while holding upwards on the called for file, you wont hit that part I circled, see? That's why you'll never get that same "brand new chain" feeling while cutting again, even if you (eventually, once you file the chain a few times) bring your rakers down or get a nice perfectly sharp cutter again. If you miss that step, she'll never feel like factory new again. So two options to hit that; pull up a stroke or two on the called for file size to hit it, or cheat and use a size up, in your case (and mine, with my 372xp) use a 7/32 and while sharpening, the oversize file will hit them both. The side and the top and you can regain that factory, brand new chain cut!


Chainsaw-components.jpg


For us 372xp guys, it's easy. Just remember to grab a 7/32 for that 372. :D
 

can

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Would ut be easier if we use mm? 7/32=5,5 mm and 13/64=5,2mm. I know that most of you folks are from USA and that I am used to the metric system, but Quiet honest I think the metric is easier to understand, but maybe I am just simple minded.
 

Harmon

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for many of us it is too late, i convert the metric to fractional inches to think about it, but there may be hope for the children. Maybe too much ethanol in my fuel has made the elastic parts of my brain harden up.
 

buzz sawyer

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To save you time and trial and error. Use the following and only the following:
1. Stihl chain.
2. Stihl files.
3. In your case use the 7/32.

I've tried other brands chains over the years and when I used stihl chains, I never bothered with anything else. They hold their edge far better than Oregon or husky chains and you need their extra hardened files to file them. When I have tried another brand a time or two again, over the years, I was always disappointed. I've been running only stihl chains now for, I dunno at least 15 to 18 years I guess. It didn't take me too long to try them on my huskies, due to having a nearby Stihl dealer. It was probably just dumb luck and I was working nearby and looked in there to see if they'd have a chain for my husky. I'll never bother with another brand chain. Stihls are the absolute best.

The reason you want to go up a size file is because it sharpens not just the cutter side edge, but the top part of the cutter too at the same time in same stroke and you'll get a sharp, factory like cut. ;)

Here's a simple little photo I grabbed off the net. See the little circle I added in red? If you use the called for size, your file will just fit down inside and get the main part of your cutter nice and sharp no problem but if you don't go back and take another stroke while holding upwards on the called for file, you wont hit that part I circled, see? That's why you'll never get that same "brand new chain" feeling while cutting again, even if you (eventually, once you file the chain a few times) bring your rakers down or get a nice perfectly sharp cutter again. If you miss that step, she'll never feel like factory new again. So two options to hit that; pull up a stroke or two on the called for file size to hit it, or cheat and use a size up, in your case (and mine, with my 372xp) use a 7/32 and while sharpening, the oversize file will hit them both. The side and the top and you can regain that factory, brand new chain cut!


View attachment 968894


For us 372xp guys, it's easy. Just remember to grab a 7/32 for that 372. :D
I would like more gullet on the cutters in this pic.
 

copen

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Would ut be easier if we use mm? 7/32=5,5 mm and 13/64=5,2mm. I know that most of you folks are from USA and that I am used to the metric system, but Quiet honest I think the metric is easier to understand, but maybe I am just simple minded.
Yes, it is easier, at least in this case. Far fewer numbers to deal with than with fractions.
Sometimes simple is gooder. 🥴🍻
 
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It’s really about how much hook your looking for an aggressive or mild hook . That example pretty good not aggressive but not mild right in the middle
 

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