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Author Topic: Narrow Kerf  (Read 7000 times)

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Offline Ward Barnes

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Narrow Kerf
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:08:43 PM »
Howdy Folks:

Has anyone tried the Woodland Pro Narrow Kerf chain and bar?  On the surface it sounds like a good idea, however, I was wondering if the narrow kerf would lead to more pinched bars/chains in the cut and would the narrower bar be as strong as a regular bar?

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
7 year old Stihl MS 390.  New Stihl trim saw MS 250.  Kubota BX 2200 tractor.  2005 F150 4X4.
Dull chains cause accidents.  Accidents cause shorter life spans.
You don't sharpen a chain when it gets dull.  You sharpen a chain to keep it from getting dull.

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 10:32:52 PM »
No increase in pinched bars, reading the wood is the same for any bar. The NK bars are lighter and more flexible, so yes, if you get rough with them they will bend easier. I've been using them for 6 years and never bent a bar.

The last time I looked the only NK bars that were available were for small mount Huskys. I note the listing of your saws in your post and didn't see a saw that they could go on. I remember that someone offered a NK bar for Stihls years ago, but I haven't kept up with it. Have you found a distributor of NK bars for Stihls?

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 10:48:55 PM »
I'll be darn, I see that Bailey's has a 'universal mount' 18" NK bar. It doesn't look like it would be a direct fit onto your 390 (and it is not listed for it), because the bar stud groove is narrower, plus there may be a few other problems

I put a Husky 20" NK bar on my project 029 and I had to turn down the shoulder at the base of stud for the bar to fit. I also had to rework the bar adjuster and use the screw from an adjuster on a 026 and make the adjuster a 'front' adjuster. The standard bar adjuster on the 029 won't clear through the narrower groove on the bar, so you have to go to a front adjuster. I also had to reposition the oil feed groove on the face of the saw and reposition the oil hole on the bar.

I had the Husky bar and chains sitting on the shelf in my shed, so I decided to 'upgrade' the 029 (390 topend). However, you may find the NK project more work than you want. You should check with the distributor about compatibility before you purchase.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 11:26:32 PM »
Here I'll do a little advertising for our sponsor Bailey's, narrow kerf bar for Stihl 024 to 660.
http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdetail.asp?item=WPNK+18+SS50&catID
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 11:32:44 PM »
I got my Bailey's flyer in the mail today with the narrow kerf offered by WoodlandPRO.  My only concern is that a few have stated that Stihl makes the best chains so not sure I'd want to switch from them.  I don't have enough experience with Stihl to know if that is true or not.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 12:13:47 AM »
Stihl does make top quality sawchain alright, why they don't make a NK .325 is a mystery to me, must be a patent issue with Blount/ Oregon . They make about every other kind of chain available even their latest master piece a wee tiny 1/4" extended pitch" chain called 71PM 3
 

  
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 12:28:13 AM »
I've tried the Woodland Pro NK and it has a 35 degree top plate angle and a sharper bend in the cutter. For softwoods I expect it could be a good chain. However, all I seem to cut is dirty, dry Ozzie hardwood. The Woodland Pro looses it's edge much faster than the Oregon VP95/Husky H30. The VP95 has the same top plate angle and curvature as standard .325. However, the cutters are only 1mm thick versus the standard's 1.25mm.

I'm going to try filing the top plate to 30 degrees and see if I can get the chain to keep an edge longer. The cutter on the Woodland Pro looks like it has some potential with the sharper corner and the clipped outer edge of the cutter, but for now I use the VP95.

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 12:33:21 AM »
Another thing about NK. The reason that it is recommended for 0-50cc saws is because of bar wear. The bar rails are thinner and wear faster.

Turn your oiler all the way up if you use NK, especially if you are going to use it on a 64cc saw.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 12:40:13 AM »
You shouldn't have to run the NK on a 64cc saw Terry,just run regular standard .325. I only run NK on 50cc [346, 550XP] and under including my little Husky 338XPT.
Oregon improved the 95VP by now making a 95VPX which is what I use. The Woodland Pro NK is rebadged Carlton which is a good quality budget chain.
Keep an eye on your side plate angle, too much hook will dull real quick.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 01:02:56 AM »
I can get the VP95 out to about 85% of the diameter of the file and still get great longevity. I don't know what the Woodland Pro will go to, the edge on a stock chain only lasted one tank on a modded 50cc saw I have. Like I said, I cut some pretty rough wood.

The VPX was suppose to cut 15% faster than the old VP chain. I bought a few loops to compare. When my VP95 got dull I switched to a new loop of VPX95. It cut about the same as my dull VP95. I put a proper hook on the chain and it came alive. The VPX chain has a bit different bumper, but other than that it is the same for cutting speed.

The reason I'm using the NK on my 64cc MS029 is because it is a project saw, a 'sleeper' to mess with my mate's heads. Here's some simple math - NK is suppose to make a 40cc cut like a 50cc saw - OK, that is a 25% increase.

If you add 25% to a 64cc engine - that equals 80cc.

This beat up old 029 is running a 9-pin with 5.6 degrees of cutting angle. It is a real hoot to use. By the time I finish modding this thing, I think it will become my 'go-to' saw.

Regarding the cutting angle. This is important regarding NK chain. Since the chain is designed to be used on small saws, the cutting angle is less than 4 degrees. IMO NK is terrible out of the box. I use the Husky roller guide for the NK VP95 chain. It puts a good hook on the chain and you can drop the rakers down to 5.6 degrees on the softwood setting and 4.2 degrees on the hardwood setting. The raker plate is also progressive - I very much recommend it, even if you are going to use the Woodland Pro chain.

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 02:55:27 AM »
I've used both 95VP and WP 20NK extensively. I haven't used 95VPX, so I won't comment on it. WP 30NK is longer lasting and better cutting chain than 95VP could ever hope to be. The teeth are longer and a little taller, so you get more life from the chain. 20NK also seems to hold an edge longer, and simply cuts more efficiently. I believe the taller tooth helps clear chips better, which helps efficiency IMHO.

Right now I'm using Stihl .325 RS. The teeth on that chain isn't full size like 3/8 RS, so it does help reduce drag, and my 353 and 346 both cut better with that setup. 
Andre.

Offline Terry Syd

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 05:45:51 AM »
Andy, what are you using to sharpen or how are you sharpening the WP 20NK, I need some advice on that chain. As I said, it hasn't worked out in the wood I cut, but maybe I need to do something different.

I do think it has some potential for faster cutting and I'd love to be able to run it on the project 029.

Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 11:27:21 AM »
Hello Terry!

Actually you are correct that Stihl doesn't make 325 NK chain but they make PS3 chain!!! PS3 is a 3/8 picco/hobby full chisel chain that is getting a continous growing fan base over here. They even have a "Tuning kit" that consists of 1x bar + 2x chain + 8 pin ring. So that might be an option for you. A lot of guys using the 261 are buying these and are very happy!

7

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 11:35:18 AM »
I've used both the "normal" and narrow kerf bar/chain combos on my stihl 009's. The narrow kerf definitely cuts faster and with less power, but the bar tips are so thin that one good pinch can really mess them up. Also bend really easily. ;D :(
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 01:37:07 PM »
The NK setups are very useful on most saws below 50cc (and on the weaker 50cc saws). However, I have found them not to be very good on the stronger 50cc saws, like the NE346xp. The main disadvantage is that there aren't any chisel chain availiable.

Regarding those (Taiwan made?) WP bars, I have read some quite negative reports about the quality - but the Husky NK bars I have used have been OK.

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Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 01:51:35 PM »
I have used the Oregon 95 and Husqvarna H30 chains, and have been happy with them on my 353, using 16 inch and 20 inch bars. I have a loop of the Woodland Pro/ Carlton chain, and one of their bars, but have not run them yet.

Interesting to note that Oregon recommends filing/grinding theirs at a 10 degree 'up angle' even though it is not a full chisel chain. The exact angles will vary with what you are cutting (30/55/0, .025 is my default).

To me .325 narrow kerf chain falls in between 3/8 low profile and full sized .325. The recommended displacement limits on all of these chains is partially due to the lighter, thinner components which will not hold up to higher torque.

And, yes, the thinner bars are easier to bend. But that is less of a problem for smaller saws used for limbing and light bucking.

Philbert

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 02:47:37 PM »
The 95VP(X)/H30 has a narrower corner than regular semi chisel, but it still is semi chisel.

I agree with most of what Philbert posted above, but usually start with .030 on the rakers, and let the progressive raker guide increase it as the cutters are filed back.  :)
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 04:00:36 PM »
Andy, what are you using to sharpen or how are you sharpening the WP 20NK, I need some advice on that chain. As I said, it hasn't worked out in the wood I cut, but maybe I need to do something different.

I do think it has some potential for faster cutting and I'd love to be able to run it on the project 029.

I use a normal 3/16 file in a Stihl file guide. I know many don't like these guides, but I love them. I always angle the file up, but not 10 I find 5 works well. I also like 25 on the top plate and the normal .025" on the gauges. Pretty basic I know, but it works for me.
Andre.

Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 05:27:28 PM »
Okay, here is one of those 'issues'.  Even though Oregon and STIHL recommend a 10 'up angle' for some chain, they specifically recommend that their file holders only be used at a 0, or level position. 

This is because the file holders position the file depth correctly and are guided by the top plate of the cutters.

To file at a 10 up angle you need to freehand file, or use a guide such as the Granberg, which accommodates the vertical angle.

Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 05:35:10 PM »
Okay, here is one of those 'issues'.  Even though Oregon and STIHL recommend a 10 'up angle' for some chain, they specifically recommend that their file holders only be used at a 0, or level position. 

This is because the file holders position the file depth correctly and are guided by the top plate of the cutters.

To file at a 10 up angle you need to freehand file, or use a guide such as the Granberg, which accommodates the vertical angle.

Philbert

That makes sense. I'm pretty good at free hand filing, round and square. I simply find the results with the guide quite good, and it seems to save me time, especially in the woods.   
Andre.


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