The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Chainsaws => Topic started by: SawMeister on September 30, 2004, 05:09:32 PM

Title: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on September 30, 2004, 05:09:32 PM
Hello - I am new to this board and have been lurking for the last several days. I sure could use some good recommendations on Sharpening Tools. I just recently purchased a Stihl File Guide and have been looking at the Granberg Bar Mounted File-N-Joint Rig. My buget does not allow for those expensive bench mounted grinders. Although I could buy those handheld electric grinders I have seen offered by both Oregon and Granberg, don't know if they are any good or not. I am asking for sound advice cause I do not want a collection of sharpening systems just gathering dust but want a setup that actually performs well as long as I do my part... Sorry for being long winded!
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Frickman on September 30, 2004, 06:16:13 PM
Welcome aboard Sawmeister! The Stihl file guide, if it is the one the file clamps into, is a good guide. If it is the proper one for your chain it is hard to mess it up. A friend of mine keeps one of those 12 volt grinders in his skidder in case he stones a chain real bad, but he always finishes up with a file. He says that the grinder is a little harder to control than a file when you are using it freehand. Any chain he does this to is relegated to topping and bucking, he puts on a new one for felling.

I just use a file and file handle and have good results. The Stihl brand chain has lines laser etched into the top and side of the cutter showing you the top angle and side hook shape. I just make my file follow those marks and it works pretty good. You really have to make sure you hold the file at the right "height", in other words, you are not pushing it down to far toward the bar or holding it too high to the sky. The Stihl file guide really helps alot with this.

There is one tool I use regularly, and it can fit in your shirt pocket. Husky sells a small flat piece of metal that you use to adjust your depth gauges with a flat file. You simply lay it on the tooth, and the depth gauge sticks up through a hole. You file the depth gauge flush with the filing gauge and you're done. It works better than the Stihl because you adjust every depth gauge for that tooth. The Stihl takes an average over several teeth. It still works OK until you have a tooth filed back more than it's neighbor.

Practice filing saws and you'll never want a grinder. They're nice, but it's hard to carry one in your back pocket in the woods. I kind of like filing because it gives me a break. If I've cut enough wood to need to file I need a rest too.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on September 30, 2004, 06:53:54 PM
Frickman - Thanks for your reply. The Stihl File Guide that I bought for $16.95 sounds exactly what you are describing. It came with a nice pouch that included the Guide with a 7/32nds round file, a flat file for your rakers and a depth gauge the kind that you slide a long your chain. A friend of mine has one of those 12v Oregon Grinders he swears by but the fellow at the local saw shop told me that all you need is a file and a guide and you are set...
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Frickman on September 30, 2004, 07:06:39 PM
If you have a 7/32" file you better be filing .404" pitch chain. Some guys around here use 7/32" on 3/8" pitch chain, but it is really too big. 3/8" takes a 13/64" file at first and then a 3/16" when you get filed back on certain types of chain. What pitch of chain are you using SawMeister?
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Timberwerks on September 30, 2004, 07:40:02 PM
I'd like to hear more feedback on file sizes. Three of my saws use 3/8 pitch and I sharpen those with a 7/32. I tried a 13/64 at first but it seemed to small. Am I causing damage or faster wear to the cutters by using a 7/32? If I am is it to late to go to a 13/64? Does one file size or the other have an advantage when sharpening 3/8 chain?

Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on September 30, 2004, 07:45:53 PM
I am using a 3/8 pitch. The file that came with the Stihl 3/8" File Guide is I believe a 7/32".
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: DanManofStihl on September 30, 2004, 07:47:27 PM
If you want a small lectric one then buy a granberg I love that little grinder it is the best thing to sharpen chains with I like it bettter then the dremel, oregon or the northstar brand. It is awesome the stones are worth spending the extra money on I usually can sharpen 7 or 8 chains before I need to change the stone.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on September 30, 2004, 08:02:02 PM
DanManofStihl - Does the 12v Granberg Grinder come with a depth guide to take down the rakers? Thanks in advance...
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: sawguy21 on September 30, 2004, 09:35:11 PM
Use the same depth gauge as you would for hand filing. I try to touch up my chains frequently so I don't have to spend a lot of time on the grinder. After 30 years, I still won't hand sharpen a rocked chain
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: ivel on September 30, 2004, 09:59:48 PM
i love my file-o-plate --->here's a link to one:

it has a depth guage for the file, a raker gauge, an easy to follow guide for your angle, and a mesuring guage for links.  they are available for 3/8 30 degree and 35 degree and .325 30 and 35 degree [i think].  they really work great as long as you don't have a lot of anti-vibe bumper rakers or that 72V chain with the funny rakers.

Hope this helps,
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: DanManofStihl on October 01, 2004, 04:28:05 AM
Yeah it has a guage to take down the rakers it takes a little time but it will do it. It is faster then hand doing it it really excells at sharpening the chains.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: rebocardo on October 01, 2004, 05:30:14 PM
Someone mentioned the 72V chain, I really like it, but, it is very hard to properly take down the rakers as previously noted.

I use the Granberg guide that costs $24 and had to make some mods to mine to make it better since it is not sturdy enough in my use. Maybe I bear down on the file too hard ...
It is accurate enough and does a good job.

I tried the Dremel attachments and 12v stuff, not accurate enough to get repeatable performance, imo. Though the Dremel is good for a rocked chain or chain that has found a steel object inside a log.

Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on October 02, 2004, 03:00:33 PM
PFERD Tool - Has anybody ever use this niftly gaget? Suppose to sharpen cutters and taken down rakers at the same time.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: MemphisLogger on October 03, 2004, 08:13:41 AM
I use a Pherd guide and love it--gets it all done in one step.

Also, since you flip the round file over in the handle to do each side, it gives me better control sharpening the rightside teeth (my weak side).
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Timber_Framer on October 03, 2004, 12:31:17 PM
Do you have alink where I can find a Pherd guide?
I tried a google seach but came up with a lot of pages that had nothing to do with chainsaws.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: beenthere on October 03, 2004, 03:12:20 PM
Try Pferd for the spelling.
This is one I found.

Hope this helps.   :)
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on October 03, 2004, 06:29:51 PM
This the address to their home page
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Timber_Framer on October 04, 2004, 08:38:26 AM
 :D You know? It's a lot easier to find things if you spell em right!
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Frickman on October 05, 2004, 07:30:54 PM
For years Stihl recomended 7/32" files for 3/8" pitch chain. For the last while they have recomended 13/64". The 7/32" will work, but it does not put enough hook in the cutter. You may also end up cutting down into the rivets on the drive links. The best thing to do is follow the laser engraved lines on the top andd side of the cutter. If you follow them you'll be in good shape.
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: sigidi on October 05, 2004, 09:39:47 PM
Just to add my 2 cents - I was about to ask about sharpening too :)

I've bought a hand file to sharpen and just had a chain sharpenened by a local shop. They used a grinder and most of the teeth came back blued on the tip.
I'm new to chainsaws so was thinking is this a problem with the metal in chains? - I only ask as I know this is a problem with my wood chisels.

I also got a jig with my mill, which you place a file in and lock the jig onto the bar, then adjust the file angle and other adjustments - a bit too complicated to understand yet, it only came with 7 pics for set-up ???
( sharpen jig.jpg )

Any thoughts/comments or help would be great
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: Blake22 on October 05, 2004, 11:53:28 PM
If you go to Oregon Chains web site they have a section you can download & print everything you need to know about saw chain. They explain what all those numbers mean. It gives all the different filing angles & plenty of diagrams.
I've been grinding stumps for 10 years & sometimes I sharpen my saw 2 or 3 times in an hour so I've had some practice. I always use a file & that might be stupid on my part. I'll still listen to any advice from anybody when it comes to sharpening a saw. The information Oregon has helped me & I'm hard headed & think I know everything.

Oh yeah, that file guide jig you showed the pic of works pretty good but it's slow goin. You can get by using it about every 3rd sharpening.  Most important thing of all, keep your saw out of the dirt!! 8)
Title: Re: Chainsaw Sharpening
Post by: SawMeister on October 07, 2004, 07:47:16 PM
I just received a stump vise and the PFERD Sharpening Rig I ordered from Bailey's. I highly recommend the PFERD Setup, I used it and it took about 10 minutes for the first time to sharpen my 24" chain and it did a terrific job. The stump vise is nice to have around too since you can use it in the field and I would imagine that this is old news to most of you veterans but got's to remember I am a newbie to this board....