how many times can you use a chainsaw file?

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  #1  
Old 08-25-09, 09:45 AM
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how many times can you use a chainsaw file?

I don't have much success hand sharpening my chainsaw. I was curious how many times you can sharpen your chain before you need a new file. Obviously there are all kinds of factors involved. It seems that I can ony use a file two or three times, but this seems ridiculous. What are your experiences?
 
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Old 08-25-09, 05:29 PM
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Well I guess there are quite a bit of factors that may need to be considered.

The most common reason for short file life however is improper use. Files only cut in one direction. If you drag a file back and forth when using it, it's life will be shortened quite a bit. When sharpening a chain, always move the file from the inside of the tooth to the outside, pull the file out at the end of the stroke and reinsert it for the next stroke.

Quality of the file should also be considered.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
When sharpening a chain, always move the file from the inside of the tooth to the outside, pull the file out at the end of the stroke and reinsert it for the next stroke.
I apologize for asking but what is the inside of the tooth as opposed to the outside of the tooth?? I would like to understand what you said.
Steve
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:19 PM
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The outside is the cutting edge and the inside is closest to the bar.

Bud
 
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Old 08-25-09, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 2ndgencamaro View Post
I apologize for asking but what is the inside of the tooth as opposed to the outside of the tooth?? I would like to understand what you said.
Steve
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
The outside is the cutting edge and the inside is closest to the bar.

Bud
What he said...................................
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-09, 07:56 AM
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I was raised in the Mo. Ozarks where people [including my uncles and brother] often make a living with their saws. Took me a long time to learn to sharpen a saw. I am still not real good. But, I know this, angle is everything. If you're not at the best angle, your using up chain and file to no avail. Plus, like previous posts the file only cuts forwards so backwards is again using up chain and file. Plus, you don't want your fingerprints [oils] on the file, will hasten rust. Try someone who knows what they are doing to sharpen your saw [where you can see ! ]. I often tend to over sharpen a saw. That cuts down on life, and as a result, more money. Patch
 
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Old 08-26-09, 11:07 AM
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Proper use of the file is important as mentioned above, but I think quality of the file may be your problem. Don't expect a $2.99 "tool bin special" file to last anywhere near as long as a good quality properly hardened file that might cost you $15 or more. I still have and use files that belonged to my grandfather and they are over 50 years old. Storage of a file is important too, they sould never be stored where they are banging into other files (dulls them up) My new files get reinserted into the plastic sleeves they came in, my old ones have homemade cardboard sleeves when I am done with them.
 
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Old 08-27-09, 07:41 AM
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Just throwing a 2 cents worth. I used chainsaws practically forever and was taught by a fellow that ran a saw mill in Southern Iowa how to sharpen those things and about everything he said went along with what our ag instructor in high school had to teach.

The interesting thing is the direction of the file travel when sharpening the tooth (which they also applied to sharpening a knife or just about any cutting tool - knives, mower blades, drill bits, etc.). This was to go from the cutting edge to the inside.

The logic behind it was to clean off the roll around and loose edge on the cutting edge of the blade/tooth or whatever.

When you use a chainsaw file it does make more sense to push from inside to outside with hand moving on the safe side of the cutting edge, especially with the design of the file - but an interesting difference.

And that's a great tip about not storing files together, Joe. I'm guilty of violating it.
 
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Old 08-27-09, 08:17 AM
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It does make sense to sharpen blades and knifes like you describe. I attended a class specific to chain saw chain given by Oregon chain, they explained in detail how to hand sharpen a chain.

Below is an excerpt from their instruction guide for sharpening saw chains.

Always inspect your chain prior to sharpening. Check for the following:
- Bent or burred drive links
- Broken cutters or tie-straps
- Loose rivets or broken rivet heads

If broken parts are detected, take it to a servicing dealer for replacement of parts or replace the entire chain. The following steps will help you correctly sharpen (with a round file) an OREGONŽ saw chain:

1. Be sure to have the correct size file and file guide.
2. When hand filing it's important that 1/5, or 20 percent, of the file's diameter is always held above the cutter's top plate. Using the correct file guide is the easiest way to hold the file in this position.

3. Keep the correct top-plate filing angle line on your file guide parallel with the chain. Many cutters have a guide mark stamped near the rear edge of the top plate that can also be used as a guide for filing angle.
proper file direction while sharpening chain saw chain
4. Sharpen cutters on one side of the chain first. File from the inside of each cutter to the outside. Then turn your saw around and repeat the process for cutters on the other side of the chain.


5. If damage is present on the chrome surface of top plates or side plates, file back until such damage is removed.

6. Keep all cutters equal. Start with the cutter with the most damage and hand file all cutters back equally.


Note: Do not file or alter the tops of kickback-reducing bumper tie straps or bumper-drive links, except on 33SL, 34SL and 35SL chains. Only on 33SL, 34SL, and 35SL will the bumper tie straps be filed down while the cutter depth gauges are filed.

This and more information is available at their website.
 
  #10  
Old 08-27-09, 08:25 AM
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It makes more sense to do as they describe it just from supporting the chain in the bar and holding the teeth. Actually to do it from the outside of the tooth to the inside, I always held the file backwards to accommodate that way of doing it.

I'm not sure how the Oregon people address that roll over in the tooth edge. But just because of the way a chainsaw file is made I would suspect that is how most instructions would go.

We're a little backwards in Southern, Iowa anyway, 30Y, we always saw up the tree, then cut it down.

Oh there was another little deal on sharpening blades (nothing to do with chainsaws). It has to do with the embedding of the microgrooves in the blade by the sharpening stone/file. For instance on a mower blade, you would sharpen the blade at an angle from the outside to the inside since the grass would try to move to the outside against the blade.

On a knife, though, if you wanted to cut with a back and forth motion, you would drag the blade on the sharpening stone at an angle from point to base on one side and from base to point on the other side.

That was my second two cents - about all I'm good for.
 

Last edited by marbobj; 08-27-09 at 09:08 AM.
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