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Author Topic: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)  (Read 279 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« on: October 04, 2020, 07:17:59 AM »
So the neighbor behind me heard me out cutting in the swamp yesterday and after I finished skidding I heard him fire up his brand new MS-170 his buddies gave him as a wedding present last year. First time for him.
Of course I walked up to say 'hi' and see how they are doing. He was bucking some downed stuff, ash. They just bought a small woodstove, so their adventure is beginning. ;D
Anyway, I asked him if he had a file to sharpen his saw and the other stuff. He didn't and figured that chain would last a while since it was brand new. Well yeah, but.... :D.
Anyway, he's a nice guy and I thought I would give him a lesson on sharpening when he is ready. SO I looked at the saw to see if I had the right file and raker gage. Now I am confused.
I don't do 'stihl' or 'pico' or 'mini-micro', so maybe you guys can help me out.
It's a homeowner saw MS-170. Stihl says the stock chain is a '3/8 PMM3' According to their codes, "P" means Pico, "MM" means 'Mini-Micro' and I am not sure if that is the same as Pico. Is mini-micro something special in a pico? I think the '3' means it is a single humped drive link. It is 3/8 pitch and .043 gauge. Obviously, it's a green chain. I do know it takes a 5/32 file (I hate those).
I can't teach him to sharpen they way I sharpen mine, I use a Husky roller guide and I am sure they don't have one to fit this Stihl chain. SO I was going to suggest the Stihl '2 in 1' sharpening tool for ease of learning, but I am not sure which one is right for him and this chain. It also seems they are not easily available.
Can any of you give me some insight on these tiny chains? Is it a Pico, or is an MM a different animal? Will it take all the pico sharpening aids? What would be a better chain for this saw?
The reason I asked him about sharpening in the first place was I saw all the dust coming out. I figured it was dull, but the saw wasn't overworking and it was cutting. The chain also looked good and sharp. Stihl says something about this chain cutting small fine chips or something like that. Maybe this is the design?
Can somebody learn me up on these?
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 07:32:26 AM »
looks like micromini refers to .043 gauge, but is otherwise the same as regular pm. Any tool made for pm should work with the mini variant.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 07:44:26 AM »
You're just trying to make this worse. :D What is a 'PM'? A Pico Mini? What is the difference between that and and a micro mini? Speak English man! ;D
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 07:53:46 AM »
P=picco or 3/8lp, M=semi chisel, S=full chisel(not applicable here), MM=MicroMini, or .043 gauge. That's a modification of the previous which are .050 gauge. Confusingly, they also use "picco" to refer to 1/4" pitch, but that doesn't apply here.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 08:12:20 AM »
OK, so all this marketing nonsense aside, any leads on a sharpening rig for guy not familiar with chainsaws? my questions still remain. Does Stihl make a 2 in 1 for this chain?
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2020, 08:17:40 AM »
This should do it for a 2in1...

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/accessories/chain-saws/2in1file/

If the selector isn't set right, you'd want the 3/8 picco

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 08:32:25 AM »
This should do it for a 2in1...

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/accessories/chain-saws/2in1file/

If the selector isn't set right, you'd want the 3/8 picco
As I said, they are 'not available' according to their page.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2020, 08:36:48 AM »
My page says $40.50. Dunno. Pferd makes them for Stihl, so if you found the Pferd system somewhere, it would be the same thing.

Offline Mad Professor

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 10:59:00 AM »
For the neighbor the 2 in 1 file holders should be a good place to start.  It will set the rakers when sharpening and the only thing he can screw up is the top plate angles.  I've used the Pferd type on milling chains to try to keep the rakers even

Ask him if he has a bench vise.  If not show him ways to hold the bar/saw when filing.  A stump vise might be a good idea.

I guess tensioning the chain, cleaning the bar/clutch area, and flipping the bar every few sharpenings could be part of the 1st lesson.

Offline Gramps

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2020, 01:15:17 PM »
This should do it for a 2in1...

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/accessories/chain-saws/2in1file/

If the selector isn't set right, you'd want the 3/8 picco
As I said, they are 'not available' according to their page.
That selector is store specific.  The store is listed at the very top of the page display

Offline Hickory Bow

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Re: Stihl 3/8 MM3 chain = Pico Chain? (MS170)
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2020, 03:12:12 PM »
Amazon carries the Stihl sharpener you are interested in...

Amazon.com: STIHL 2 in 1 Easy File Chainsaw Chain Sharpener 3/8" P: Garden & Outdoor


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