Whats the easiest to learn chain sharpener

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Just a quick addition - the most useful thing I have learned (after 25+ years not doing it) is to clamp the bar in a vise when sharpening. In a vise, both hands can be on the file, and the file will travel in a straight line. I used to balance the saw on the bench, and hold the file with one hand while supporting the bar / tooth with the other. NOWHERE near as effective, and the file would flop all over the place.

I like to clamp the bar in the vise with the saw upside down. I prefer it that way, as I am facing toward the saw and don't have to file over the powerhead. (In the field, I keep the saw right side up using the stump vise)
In my opinion there is no other way to sharpen a chain effectively. Screw the vice into a log or stump find a comfortable position to file get it done go back to work. When the vice is secure into a stump put the bar in a balanced position or not too far one way or the other making it difficult to reach both hands on the file then proceed. No one can sharpen quickly with out a vice. For those learning wear gloves to prevent skinned knuckles. Thanks
 

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Philbert

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the most useful thing I have learned (after 25+ years not doing it) is to clamp the bar in a vise when sharpening. In a vise, both hands can be on the file, and the file will travel in a straight line.

Saw this set up in a friends disaster response trailer last week…. “Vise in the field”
Agreed. A stable chain is easier to file accurately than a moving one.

@Howard Justice you might like this Wilton hitch vise for field filing:
90BF6409-FAE1-4C76-90F1-7085937EE836.jpeg

I started a few threads on stump vises, and will try to link them here.

Philbert
 

Philbert

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OK, here are links to several (!) threads, related to clamping a guide bar when filing a mounted chain, or specialized chain filing vises for chains off the saw.

They do not include a couple of ‘field expedient’ methods I have used:
- boring a slot through a trunk (or large round) to support and stabilize the saw by the guide bar; and
- ‘noodling’ a groove, about half the height of the guide bar, to similarly hold the saw while filing.

Philbert






 

Howard Justice

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Thank you Philbert! Would be eager to see more of these and any links?
The Oregon stump vise we have won’t stay put. Legs not long enough and after few mins wobbles loose? Even after pounding w heavy 3 Lb hammer. Stays secure in green oak better than other logs.
Maybe new thread topic? Best stump vise?
 

Philbert

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The Oregon stump vise we have won’t stay put. Legs not long enough and after few mins wobbles loose? Even after pounding w heavy 3 Lb hammer. Stays secure in green oak better than other logs.
Maybe new thread topic? Best stump vise?
Lots of threads on this ('Search' via Google gets better results than using the A.S. search feature). This is just one of many:

In my experiences, stump vises can work well in end grain (i.e. a 'stump'), but not well in side grain (i.e. the side of a log). I have used a variety, including Oregon, STIHL, Tecomec with the chain stop, Echo, 'no-brand', etc. It is possible to 'beef them up' if needed:

IMG_1088.jpg
This is a modification someone on 'another site' made for me (I don't have welding capabilities) - not my original idea, but I supplied the parts and he did the heat work.

IMG_0272.jpg
The noodled log, mentioned earlier.

Sharpening Stump Plunge.jpg
Filing chain with guide bar plunge cut into a large round:
Bore cut in; work the saw back-and-forth a little to loosen up the slot; file some cutters; move the chain around a little; file some more. Make it any height you want.

If you are working with volunteers at a site, you might want to set any of these up at a 'sharpening station', where you also keep supplies, gear, files, Gatorade, etc.

Philbert
 

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This is my setup for sharpening in the field. Harbor freight clamp on vise bolted to a piece of angle iron, welded to some 2" Sq tube. My firewood trailer has a receiver welded on the tongue, and I normally use it there. This pic was in Kentucky doing cleanup at the end of December. I made a quick extension out of some scrap I had on hand befor I left so I could get the vise out past the tailgate. All bolts are 1/2" because a 19mm scrench fits them. I added wooden vice jaws and a block of wood at the bottom to keep the freshly sharpened chain from falling onto the steel guide rods when I open the vise up.

On my last truck, I bolted a frame on the tailgate. The frame had 1/2-13 holes tapped in it to accept the plate that my bench vise is mounted on. I switched to this other setup because the 8" Vice on my welding bench was getting to be too heavy to move all the time :)

Oh, and after a few decades of sharpening with round files (and getting pretty good at it), I've decided that the timberline is the easiest sharpening tool to learn. :)
 

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Howard Justice

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Lots of threads on this ('Search' via Google gets better results than using the A.S. search feature). This is just one of many:

In my experiences, stump vises can work well in end grain (i.e. a 'stump'), but not well in side grain (i.e. the side of a log). I have used a variety, including Oregon, STIHL, Tecomec with the chain stop, Echo, 'no-brand', etc. It is possible to 'beef them up' if needed:

View attachment 967339
This is a modification someone on 'another site' made for me (I don't have welding capabilities) - not my original idea, but I supplied the parts and he did the heat work.

View attachment 967340
The noodled log, mentioned earlier.

View attachment 967342
Filing chain with guide bar plunge cut into a large round:
Bore cut in; work the saw back-and-forth a little to loosen up the slot; file some cutters; move the chain around a little; file some more. Make it any height you want.

If you are working with volunteers at a site, you might want to set any of these up at a 'sharpening station', where you also keep supplies, gear, files, Gatorade, etc.

Philbert
Esp like the plunge options! Neat idea!
Screw vise is most interesting! I guess tubing compresses and stops wobble or rotation?
 
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I have tried many files & dremel setups but only make powder or sawdust after sharpening a chain, I need the EASIEST, dummy proof way to sharpen a chain. All my chains are 3/8 pico or low profile, I have been looking
at Stihl 2in1 sharpener, seems to be easiest to learn. Does anyone have a opinion on easiest to use chain sharpener?
I have found that the easiest sharpener is at the reputable dealer that has 1 employee that only sharpens chains. jmho :cool: OT
 

fields_mj

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I have found that the easiest sharpener is at the reputable dealer that has 1 employee that only sharpens chains. jmho :cool: OT
For the person who only runs 2 or 3 tanks of fuel through their saw each year, this is probably true. That person won't have the opportunity to sharpen often enough to get good at it. For the person who heats their home with firewood, it takes longer to get out of the vehicle, go inside, drop the chains off, and walk back to the vehicle than it does to actually just sharpen the chain. I've never been able to walk into a store of any kind and be back in the vehicle in less than 5 minutes. It's normally at least 10, especially if I have to speak to someone. Throw in the fact that you have to repeat the process to pick the chains back up again, and the fact that you have to take the chain off the saw, reinstall another one, and I'd estimate that even if you're rotating through 4 different chains, it's still faster to sharpen them yourself. Not to mention the fact that you get a better edge, and a heck of a lot more life out of your chain. Realistically, if you run your saw enough to warrant having 4 chains for the saw, then you're wasting a lot of time and money if you're not sharpening your own chains.

The other issue with your logic here is that you assume that the "reputable" dealer has a highly skilled technician who, after years of working through his/her apprenticeship program, has finally attained the job title of "professional chainsaw sharpener." Dealers make money selling new saws, and it's VERY rare they can afford to pay any of their technicians a decent wage. If they are lucky, they've stumbled across an older guy who's retired and who's looking for something to do. Even that guy doesn't want to spend all day sharpening chains because it aggravates the arthritis in his hands and wrists. For the overwhelming majority of the dealerships, they provide the service because it's expected of them, and it gets delegated to the lowest guy on the totem pole who would otherwise be pushing the broom.

To each their own. Not trying to tell anyone how they should do something. Just make sure you have all the information so you can make the best decision for you. ;)
 
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For the person who only runs 2 or 3 tanks of fuel through their saw each year, this is probably true. That person won't have the opportunity to sharpen often enough to get good at it. For the person who heats their home with firewood, it takes longer to get out of the vehicle, go inside, drop the chains off, and walk back to the vehicle than it does to actually just sharpen the chain. I've never been able to walk into a store of any kind and be back in the vehicle in less than 5 minutes. It's normally at least 10, especially if I have to speak to someone. Throw in the fact that you have to repeat the process to pick the chains back up again, and the fact that you have to take the chain off the saw, reinstall another one, and I'd estimate that even if you're rotating through 4 different chains, it's still faster to sharpen them yourself. Not to mention the fact that you get a better edge, and a heck of a lot more life out of your chain. Realistically, if you run your saw enough to warrant having 4 chains for the saw, then you're wasting a lot of time and money if you're not sharpening your own chains.

The other issue with your logic here is that you assume that the "reputable" dealer has a highly skilled technician who, after years of working through his/her apprenticeship program, has finally attained the job title of "professional chainsaw sharpener." Dealers make money selling new saws, and it's VERY rare they can afford to pay any of their technicians a decent wage. If they are lucky, they've stumbled across an older guy who's retired and who's looking for something to do. Even that guy doesn't want to spend all day sharpening chains because it aggravates the arthritis in his hands and wrists. For the overwhelming majority of the dealerships, they provide the service because it's expected of them, and it gets delegated to the lowest guy on the totem pole who would otherwise be pushing the broom.

To each their own. Not trying to tell anyone how they should do something. Just make sure you have all the information so you can make the best decision for you. ;)
Geeeeesh! All that for a post that was simply trying to be humorous. But then, some people wouldn't know humor if it hit um upside the head. Just saying. OT
 

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...No one can sharpen quickly with out a vice. ... Thanks

I can. I've used 'em, but never formed the habit. Your hands do the filing, not the vice.

If you are pushing so hard on the chain that you are forcibly needing a vise to hold down the saw, I'd like to suggest that you buy some sharper files, sharpen more often, and quit getting the chain so dull you have to work that hard to keep it sharp.
 

ATH

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I can. I've used 'em, but never formed the habit. Your hands do the filing, not the vice.

If you are pushing so hard on the chain that you are forcibly needing a vise to hold down the saw, I'd like to suggest that you buy some sharper files, sharpen more often, and quit getting the chain so dull you have to work that hard to keep it sharp.
One of the loggers I work with finds a smaller diameter tree and plunges the saw in (ripping cut/upright/parallel to the trunk - not like he's cutting it down) at about stomach height and uses that to hold his saw while he sharpens. He's pretty efficient at it!
 

ATH

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Lots of threads on this ('Search' via Google gets better results than using the A.S. search feature). This is just one of many:

In my experiences, stump vises can work well in end grain (i.e. a 'stump'), but not well in side grain (i.e. the side of a log). I have used a variety, including Oregon, STIHL, Tecomec with the chain stop, Echo, 'no-brand', etc. It is possible to 'beef them up' if needed:

View attachment 967339
This is a modification someone on 'another site' made for me (I don't have welding capabilities) - not my original idea, but I supplied the parts and he did the heat work.
.....
I was going to buy a stump vice to do this. I was thinking I'll take out one of the bolts that holds the bed liner on the tailgate and use the same threading for a bolt on the end of the vise. That would make it easy to put it in and take it out. Then I found this vice for $13 at Lee Valley

I'll drill through the center of this and put a bolt in that will go into one of those same holes on the tailgate. (I'll make so I can tighten with the scrench - alter the head if needed).

Thanks for the inspiration. I've been wanting something simple to hold the saw more steady on the tailgate and think this will work great.
09A0520-chain-saw-filing-vise-f-0008.jpg
 

Howard Justice

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One of the loggers I work with finds a smaller diameter tree and plunges the saw in (ripping cut/upright/parallel to the trunk - not like he's cutting it down) at about stomach height and uses that to hold his saw while he sharpens. He's pretty efficient at it!
Thx. Will try that!
 

sundance

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One of the loggers I work with finds a smaller diameter tree and plunges the saw in (ripping cut/upright/parallel to the trunk - not like he's cutting it down) at about stomach height and uses that to hold his saw while he sharpens. He's pretty efficient at it!
A bit hard on the trees.
 
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