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  #1  
Old 01-20-2018, 11:45 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Default Chainsaw Chains - How Many Sharpening Cycles?

Hey Everyone

I know there are a lot of variables involved, but how my sharpening cycles do most of you typically get before you decide to toss one?

My mix of wood is probably 40% Popple, 40% Pine, and 20% Ash.

I'm thinking I get 4 total cycles (factory plus 3 home sharpening).

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kachad View Post
Hey Everyone

I know there are a lot of variables involved, but how my sharpening cycles do most of you typically get before you decide to toss one?

My mix of wood is probably 40% Popple, 40% Pine, and 20% Ash.

I'm thinking I get 4 total cycles (factory plus 3 home sharpening).

Thanks!
Donít know really but often I go well beyond half of the tooth. My wood is all oak and hickory.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:59 AM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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The original chain that came with my little Stihl has been re sharp 3, maybe 4 times and is pretty well worn again now. I keep it as one to use where I am likely to mess it up a bit rather than a chain in better shape. When I'm felling timber I try to cut stumps one firewood length above the lowest I can harvest. Change chains and cut the last length with a not as good chain. All this on my own property, so I have time to be fussy with that.

I have 2 re sharp chains that I use for most wood cutting once the timber is down, and one new chain for a spare. And the rough cut chain for a total of 4.

I have tried to do re sharp myself and like trying to re sharp a knife, I'm no good at it. Just never got the knack to be successful with the DIY of that.

I use a chain until it is still cutting, but obviously poorly. Change and put the dull one on my safety board to transport to town. The shop I go to is very good at re sharp so far, and very reasonable price.

One maintenance tip I got from an old bushman is to keep the cover over the sprocket exceptionally clean. And to use a wire or thin gasket scraper, putty knife, with a sharp corner to clean the groove in the bar. By cleaning often and using a little kerosene for solvent I have many more hours on the original bar than usual. I use the lighter grade bar oil year round.

My saw isn't that big, considered a "home owner" size. Making it light and easy to handle, but still big enough to do all I need. It is exceptionally powerful for its size.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:16 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Donít know really but often I go well beyond half of the tooth. My wood is all oak and hickory.
Thanks, that got me to thinking - I really don't actually know how far should I be taking it back. I didn't know about this "witness" mark that is there for a person to know when to toss the chain.

So I took my last chain out of the chain-scrap pile, and couldn't find a witness mark (Oregon chain). So I looked at my Husq chains, and they have one.

The mark indicates that you can take it all the way back until it's about a 45 degree from the trailing corner of the cutting tooth.

That last chain has at least two more cycles on it, before it gets close to that angle.

Cool. Thanks for the research prompt.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:28 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Originally Posted by Tim Horton View Post
The original chain that came with my little Stihl has been re sharp 3, maybe 4 times and is pretty well worn again now. I keep it as one to use where I am likely to mess it up a bit rather than a chain in better shape. When I'm felling timber I try to cut stumps one firewood length above the lowest I can harvest. Change chains and cut the last length with a not as good chain. All this on my own property, so I have time to be fussy with that.

I have 2 re sharp chains that I use for most wood cutting once the timber is down, and one new chain for a spare. And the rough cut chain for a total of 4.

I have tried to do re sharp myself and like trying to re sharp a knife, I'm no good at it. Just never got the knack to be successful with the DIY of that.

I use a chain until it is still cutting, but obviously poorly. Change and put the dull one on my safety board to transport to town. The shop I go to is very good at re sharp so far, and very reasonable price.

One maintenance tip I got from an old bushman is to keep the cover over the sprocket exceptionally clean. And to use a wire or thin gasket scraper, putty knife, with a sharp corner to clean the groove in the bar. By cleaning often and using a little kerosene for solvent I have many more hours on the original bar than usual. I use the lighter grade bar oil year round.

My saw isn't that big, considered a "home owner" size. Making it light and easy to handle, but still big enough to do all I need. It is exceptionally powerful for its size.
Thanks for the tips.

That's a good idea about using older chains for certain applications. I use my smaller chainsaw for clearing and cleaning, which can be hard on the chain- so I will just put up a few more nails in the shed and keep the oldest useable chains on those nails.

I keep a couple of files when working on my property, and have hand-touched them up. It helps, but I haven't picked up the full skill of hand filing. I'm sure it's just like knife sharpening - takes a lot of time to become an expert.

Thanks for reminder on cleaning the sprocket area and bar channel. ... .
... not very good at that.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:42 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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The number of sharpenings depends some on how you sharpen. If you do it regularly and by hand, you can get a lot of life out of one, but if they are machine-sharpened, 3 or 4 times is about all you can expect.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:48 PM
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Tim said

Quote:
One maintenance tip I got from an old bushman is to keep the cover over the sprocket exceptionally clean. And to use a wire or thin gasket scraper, putty knife, with a sharp corner to clean the groove in the bar. By cleaning often and using a little kerosene for solvent I have many more hours on the original bar than usual.
I agree . The every time before I go to cut I completely clean the saw- bar grove. Oil hole , engine cooling vanes and around sprocket and especially inside and the air screen. Another spot that can get clog is the spark arrested screen. An air compressor is perfect for all this. I also rotate the bar. If the bar wear and get a sharp edge that doesn't mean it's worn out. Just lay it flat and file it off. I think to many people change bar or mess with engine when 9 out 10 problems are the chain.

Concerning how far you sharpen . I don't have any issue with going well past the witness mark- as long as you make sure and do the rake. Am sure Oregon wants to sell chains.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:42 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Each fall I buy two new chains, $22.

Iíll sharpen my own 4 or 5 times and change chains. By the time I an done with the second chain Iíve cut my firewood for the year. I figure $22 a year isnít bad. Now I do cut cottonwood which is soft, and Iím cutting dead trees with almost no limbs, so itís almost like cutting power poles, which means I donít have to do a lot of limb cutting, which saves on the chains.

I will sometimes get some Maple, especially after a wind storm, but it is the softer Maple, so itís not too hard on chains either.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:04 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Thanks for all the replies, Gentlemen. I will absorb and put into practice.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:26 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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hard to say, maybe 4 heavy filing and half a dozen touch ups on average. usually I sharpen everything myself (had an article in bwh that I wrote on sharpening with a hexagon file gauge). usually a touch up is very light, just 1 or 3 passes with the file, heavy filing is when it takes a significant amount of filing to sharpen, happens if I hit a rock (happens sometimes bucking or when cutting a stump level with the ground), some unseen wire can do it, or some really old dead elm which is like sand paper. also anything that was skid such as slabwood (dirt on the bark).

I usually don't throw out a chain until I have filed it back so much that the teeth are breaking off, but i also file the rakers so that they are matching the teeth (not enough filed and the teeth barely cut the wood, too much filed and they take too deep a bite). people who go to logging competitions like really old chains with almost the entire tooth filed back because they take bigger chips out and the actually works faster (for speed competitions). though i rarely get a saw filed back that much.

i normally use total brand chain but they have been poorer quality lately, i get them filed half way back then a rivet tends to break or a link. usually after about 400 hours of use, a few times i changed the broken links but then another breaks, i got one chain that's been repaired a dozen times, but after that one i stopped fixing them when they were breaking that old and just replaced them with new ones (so i toss them out at half teeth filed back now after a link breaks, used to get as much as 700 hours out of a chain but then around 2013 they started breaking at 400 hours). i think it has to do with the manufacturing process and the quality of the metal in the chains they make, still there are few people who would be using the same chain for over 500 hours so its probably fairly rare for people to have them break like this (one saw that i bought in 2009 probably has well over 7,000 hours on it and has cut 1000s of cords of wood, a jonsered 2152c)
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