Grinding the chain of a chainsaw with a file on their own hands
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain quickly and carefully without dismantling it
The saw chain of a chainsaw can be sharpened in a workshop (the price of the service from 250) or with their own hands in the presence of special devices. But what can you do when the tool is blunt on the sawmill or in places where there are no sharpening machines or workshops?? In this case you can use diamond tipped tips and get your chainsaw working again quickly and without too many problems yourself, knowing a few simple sharpening rules.
The use of diamond tipped tips for sharpening chainsaw saw chain links is not only attractive because of its simplicity and efficiency. Sharpening tips also provide a gentle sharpening process by removing a minimum layer of metal from the cutting tooth compared to an emery or angle grinder. It allows more re-sharpening cycles and thus a longer service life before the chain wears out completely.
If you continue to work with a dull saw chain you will need to use more physical strength on the tool, the cutting performance will drop, the engine will overload, the fuel consumption will increase, and the overall life of the chainsaw will end catastrophically fast. That’s why the chain must not be sharpened too much.
Sharpening teeth with diamond tipped attachments can be done without removing the saw chain from the guide bar, which not only shortens sharpening time at the logging site, but also provides some comfort. But be sure to put the chain on the brake.
For convenience, first sharpen the left and then the right teeth, or vice versa. The burr is placed between the cutting edge of the tooth and the kerf at an angle of 25-30 degrees in the horizontal plane and perpendicular to the chain in the vertical plane.
When sharpening, the spike should be slightly elevated above the tooth and rotate towards it. This method is good because it doesn’t burn out tooth stinger and doesn’t weaken it like it happens during grinding with an emery or angle grinder with their high revolutions.
By the way, instead of an electric screwdriver you can use a drill or boring machine with a speed of up to 2000 rpm. But the utmost care is required, because metal removal is intensive.
Because the height of the tooth decreases with each sharpening of the chain, it is necessary to resharpen the kerf after 2-3 sharpening cycles with a flat file or a diamond file.
Parameters of chain teeth
Here are the basic components of the cutting link:
In order for the tooth blade to do its job effectively, it must be given a certain angle. The back angle of the top blade is needed to cut into the wood. The back angle of the end blade is necessary to cut the chips from the side. The cutting edge along with the sliding surface forms a front angle. It can be between 60 and 85 degrees. There is also a back angle. it represents the slope of the upper blade to the back. the most important is the rake angle of the upper blade. It is difficult to change, and the values of the other parameters must be exactly the same in order to form it.
When choosing the angle of sharpening, the following rule must be observed: the larger it is, the more effectively the saw can cut soft wood. A small angle will be more useful when working with hard or frozen wood. The angle can vary from 25° to 35°. The foreend angle, sharpening angle and top blade angle change during sharpening.
If the chain needs to be sharpened, there are three ways you can sharpen it:
You will need a hand tool. two files (round and flat) and a holder. The size of the flat file doesn’t matter. you need it to work with the file jig. But the right diameter of the file for sharpening depends directly on the chain pitch. You can see the degree markings on the file holder. Use the file holder to hold a round file and set the correct sharpening angle. To understand what angle you need, you should use a measuring tool. You need to determine the angle of the cutting edge in relation to the tire. This value can be between 25° and 35°. It is best not to overstep these limits. The only exception: Longitudinal saws with a sharpening angle of 10. 15°.
To sharpen the chain by hand, follow these steps:
- Clamp the bar in a vise.
- Place the holder on the chain. The file should already be set in the tool holder. Locate the arrows on the tool bar and position them parallel to the bar.
- Check the angle at which the chain is to be sharpened. Optimal range is from 25 to 35 degrees. Some experts advise reducing this range to 28-32 degrees. If you can, try to work within this range.
- When sharpening, work in forward direction. Memorize how many times you run over the surface of the first tooth, and sharpen each tooth the same amount.
- The top edge of the file should protrude 1/5 of its diameter beyond the tooth boundary. Vertical file angle should be 90° to the chain. Horizontally, angle according to the chain.
We recommend sharpening the teeth that face in one direction first, and then move on to the other side. This will speed up the sharpening process and help bring the file movements into automatism. It is best to find the most worn out tooth at once, and use it as a guide when adjusting the others.
Using a file is a good method, but lack of experience can cause the saw to wiggle. This will negatively affect the tool and the quality of work. To avoid this problem, you can use special templates.
Use of templates
Templates are devices that are adjusted to certain parameters of the chain. They allow you to work with a certain degree of sharpening and inclination, providing a high degree of accuracy. Use a template for each tooth. It is moved along it with rollers. The only thing to remember is that each jig is adapted to work with a certain type of chain. If you use several different chains, you will need a different template for each chain.
Templates are very popular among people who work professionally with a chainsaw. They allow a considerable reduction in sharpening time and produce a good quality of sharpening. Templates are great for use by people without much experience in sharpening chainsaw chains and help not to spoil the chain.
Sharpening on a sharpening machine
Using special equipment allows you to sharpen the chain simply and quickly, achieving maximum accuracy. Every chain sharpening machine is equipped with accurate measuring tools and scales. The disadvantage of this method is that it is expensive. Not everyone can afford a sharpening machine at home. As a rule, the purchase of a chainsaw chain sharpening machine can pay for itself only with frequent use or in the workshop.
What sharpening tools are available?
To begin the work, you need to stock up on tools, which are divided into two types.
A set of tools to sharpen the saw’s teeth:
- A flat file, which you learn to use in your high school crafts class. Use it to mill the depth stop.
- A circular file of a certain diameter, necessary for shaping the cutting tooth. It comes with an extra tool, the holder with lines that tell you how to hold the tool in relation to the chain. A holder is placed on the saw tooth with respect to the guide lines, the file position is under the cutting surface.
- A template that is used to straighten and maintain parameters.
- A hook is needed to remove sawdust from the chain.
Sets of various equipment can be purchased at a specialized store
Metal sharpening templates to help calculate the depth of sharpening
Manual and electric machines
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain, if the cutting edge of the tooth has absolutely lost its shape due to prolonged work? Files can also be used, but this would be unproductive and time-consuming. The best option. the use of machines, and here you have to choose, because the machines are different. manual and electric.
STIHL Manual chain sharpening machine
Before sharpening, you set the parameters and the processing is much faster than with files: each tooth only needs 2-3 sharpening strokes. Electric machines are also difficult to set up but work quickly and accurately.
An electric tool saves a lot of time, but not everyone is willing to pay a lot of money for it
Basic rules and order of sharpening
Design and shape of the teeth
First of all, you need to understand the structure of the chain tooth, which is subject to sharpening. The tooth slices the wood like a planer. STIHL Manual chain sharpeners are very complex and have an unusual double cutting edge. one flank and a slightly bevelled top edge. The tooth stop, the height of which varies, regulates the thickness of the chip. Of course, it is much harder to sharpen such teeth than for example with a kitchen knife.
The chain saw tooth is sharpened in a more complex shape than other sharp objects that have to be sharpened
It is important to set the chain at the right sharpening angle for the chainsaw chain. It is clear that it is difficult to work with just one file, so there are various auxiliary tools that can help you keep accurate sharpening parameters. Such kits are sold with chain saws and also separately.
The chart shows the inclination angles to be observed during sharpening
When sharpening, it is necessary to choose the right position of the tool. The round file is not chosen by chance. because of the rounded shape of the inner contour of the tooth. The edge of the file should be 20 % of its diameter above the cutting surface and the choice of diameter is influenced by the pitch length of the chain (usually between 4 mm and 5,5 mm). The order of working should be correct: first you work the cutting teeth, then the limiter tooth.
Sharpening the cutting teeth
The question arises: how to sharpen the chain so that all teeth are uniformly flat and sharp?? This is made easy by a metal block that is slipped over the chain. It is set in a precise position. following the arrows with the ends of the arrows pointing in the direction of the chain movement. The main pressure is applied to the leading edge, respecting the slope angle which relates to the chain pitch.
Care must be taken to use the same number of strokes for each tooth. The teeth are sharpened one by one: one on the left side, the next one on the right side, and so on. For ease of operation, the bar is clamped in a vise and then machined through the tooth on one side, then the same on the other.
During sharpening, the device must be held at a certain angle
Grinding the limiter
The work is regulated by the template, to the level of which the limiting tooth should be ground with a flat file instead of a round one. The “S” position is for soft wood, “H” for hard wood. If you do not use a template, you can get a wrong, low cut, from which the efficiency of the saw will decrease dramatically.
While sharpening the limiter, the protruding portion shown in the photo is worn away
You can learn something useful here
Proper saw care. timely sharpening of teeth, cleaning, lubrication. extends tool life and increases productivity.
How to correctly sharpen a chainsaw chain on a chain sharpening machine
It is much faster and more precise to turn a chain on a machine than by hand. Many different electric chain sharpeners are available on the market. Household units are compact, operate from 220 V mains. They easily change abrasive wheels and can be easily adjusted to different chain parameters: tooth pitch, top edge thickness, sharpening angle. All sharpened cutting edges are identical. The process is fast.
Electric chain sharpener for chainsaws
The main part of the machine is an electric motor, on the shaft of which a sharpening disc is mounted. Controls are located on its handle. Includes clamping mechanism for securing the machine to the chain. A spring clamp adjusts the pressure force on the item to be sharpened. The differentiated clamping allows the workpiece to be self-centering in the machine. For the safety of the work there is a tilting safety guard.
Electric chain sharpening machine
Saw chain is installed in a special rail mounted on a turntable. A retainer holds the tooth to be sharpened with the electric grindstone mounted at a pre-set angle. The operator switches on the motor and controls the plunge of the disc
Manual chain sharpening machines
There are devices designed for sharpening, but without an electric drive. These are manual machines for straightening saw chains. An ordinary file is used as a sharpening tool. The machine is mounted directly on the bar. Special stop, holds the tooth to be sharpened. Sharpening angle can be adjusted.
Stationary machine shown in the photo, in which the sharpening disk is rotated by means of a crank through a reduction gear. The saw chain itself is clamped in a bench vice. Machine has a base that can be bolted to a table.
Manual chain saw chain sharpening machine
Machine for sharpening chainsaw chains: selection criteria, design features, technical and operational characteristics of the equipment, the principle of operation of manual and automatic devices, review of popular models of sharpening machines.
tips on how to sharpen a chain saw chain with your own hands
Safety requirements must be strictly adhered to when working. Always wear gloves made of coarse material so as not to injure your hands, because the working surface of the teeth is very sharp.
If the sharpening technique requires removing the chain, it is not recommended to apply excessive force to the threaded fastener during reinstallation. It is best to use a limb-calibrated electric screwdriver to tighten the bar mount screws.
Experts recommend a way to improve the strength and wear resistance of chains, which is known as “stabilizing the internal structure of metal”. To do this, the new bar is heated in an oil bath for one and a half to two weeks at a temperature of 55-65ºC. Use proves the effectiveness of this technique.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain
Chainsaw chain sharpening is a procedure regularly encountered by gardeners and professional woodcutters. In this article, the master plumber will tell you how to restore the damaged teeth of the saw headset, and quickly return it to its previous working condition.
To understand how to properly sharpen a chain, you need to understand the basic principles of its design and operation. You can’t just sharpen a chain by eye, you need to know the basic characteristics of the chain and its components.
A chainsaw chain consists of three types of links made of high-alloyed steel:
- Cutters. basic elements of chain. A distinction is made between right- and left-hand cutting edges, which are arranged alternately; their cutting edges are located above the plane of the bar. Tooth design includes saw blade depth limiter.
- Drive (shanks). serve to transmit torque from the gasoline engine to the chain through the drive sprocket. This feature extends sprocket life and gives the chain a more stable hold on the bar.
- Connecting. connects the shanks and cutting teeth of the chain.
One of the main chain elements is the cutting tooth, which plunges into the wood and removes chips. The tooth depth limiter determines the thickness of the wood chip and limits the depth of penetration into the wood.
Depending on the type of chain, the recommended parameters in relation to the limiter are 0.025″ (0.65 mm) or 0.030″ (0.75 mm).
The long life of any chainsaw depends on proper care and use, including the chainsaw headset. Good performance of the latter affects the performance of the device and performance parameters. untimely sharpening may cause some problems with the saw itself. The most common ones are:
- Curved cuts;
- Heavy loads on the saw, resulting in increased wear and tear on the parts of the device, and hence a reduction in the life of the entire device;
- Increased fuel consumption.
If the saw produces fine, dusty chips and the saw plunges into the cut with great force, it is a dull chain.
There are other signs of a dull chain:
- Tool speed is reduced;
- Uneven and sharp sawdust is formed;
- The force required to cut through the wood is too great;
- The chain is stretched or has become slack.
A chainsaw chain can quickly become dull for the following reasons:
- If you work with the saw too often;
- When the operator presses hard on the saw while sawing;
- If the chain is made of low-quality metal, or if the steel has been improperly heat-treated;
- When frequently sawing raw or resinous wood;
- When sawing hardwood trees such as: oak, birch Karelian, cherry, acacia, elm, ash and others;
- If the chain meets an obstacle in the form of sand or stones;
- If the chain is not properly sharpened or has insufficient tension when working.
The design of all chain saws is similar, so the chain removal procedure will be the same:
- Wear protective cotton gloves first to avoid cuts from the cutting teeth.
- To remove the protective cover from the chain saw and place it on a flat surface on its side.
- Using a socket wrench of the right diameter, unscrew the fixing nuts that hold the body and rail, remove the top cover of the body.
- Now you need to slide the bar all the way down to the sprocket, thereby relaxing the chain, and remove the working elements from the mounting bolts.
- Disconnect the chain from the bar.
How to grind with an angle grinder
Now to the question of how to sharpen the chain with an angle grinder on a chainsaw. Quite a common variant, but still has its own characteristics.
In general, sharpening the chain of a chainsaw, carried out with his own hands using an electric tool in the form of an angle grinder. a task not simple. The reason is that here you need to be very accurate and precise. Restrictors are not used. Hence the peculiarity.
First secure the angle grinder with a workbench or table. It is desirable to be at the disposal of a reliable clamp. After locking, check that the power tool will not vibrate strongly. If there are vibrations, you need to reinforce the structure.
Sharpening technology requires running the teeth on an abrasive wheel mounted on an angle grinder.
The danger of this method is that the shaft with the sharpening disc (wheel) rotates very quickly. the load is transmitted to the chain. A sloppy movement can cause injury to the craftsman. So be very careful.
An angle grinder used as a sharpening tool has several weight drawbacks at once:
- It is difficult to control the thickness of the removed layer, and everything depends on the accuracy of the master;
- When sharpening with an angle grinder, mistakes are made much more often than with a file;
- If you are careless, you can cut the connecting lugs that hold the links.
In addition to fixing the angle grinder on the machine or table, you can use an alternative method. In this case, the chain is mounted still, and it is brought to the angle grinder, held in his hands. But it usually reduces sharpening accuracy even more.
Now you know how you can sharpen a chain from a chainsaw with an angle grinder.
Using the machine
Experts agree that it is better to use a special electric sharpening machine to sharpen chains from chainsaws. It can be used to achieve factory precision.
To learn how to properly sharpen the chain from your chainsaw on the machine, you need to follow these steps:
- Insert the chainsaw into the hole provided;
- Loosen the chain clamping screw;
- set the sharpening level, based on the table or the condition of the bluntest tooth;
- Grind one tooth one after the other, reversing the polarity on the sharpening machine;
- or work the teeth one by one (right and then left) so as not to reverse the polarity;
- After sharpening, apply machine oil to the chain saw.
That’s it, the procedure is complete. Minimum time and maximum precision.
How to properly sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands
The sharp blade on the chainsaw not only saves strength and equipment from wear, but also makes it safer to use. In addition, blunt chains will not cut straight. Here are a few tips for sharpening your own chainsaw chain.
Determine chainsaw chain size. You will need to purchase a special tool. or a sharpening stone or file for your saw chain to help straighten the teeth. Since there are several sizes of teeth, the sharpening stone or file you choose should be of the right diameter. Standard sizes are 3/16, 5/32 and 7/32 inches in diameter.
Clean the chain thoroughly. You can use mineral spirits or industrial strength degreaser to remove oil, dirt and debris. Do not apply an excessive amount of cleaner to the engine or other parts as some of these products can harm the plastic housing or other parts.
Check the chain for damaged or severely worn links and teeth. An individual cutter may be chipped, broken, or bent, making the chainsaw dangerous to use. There is a rule of thumb: the tooth blade (the flat surface on top of the cutting teeth) should be at least 1/4 inch long. If they are so worn that they have become shorter than this length, there is a risk of breaking during operation. Any chain that is damaged, loose, or badly worn should not be used.
Set the saw on a firm surface or clamp the blade in a vise. The saw must be positioned steadily and the blade must be firmly secured to ensure safety and accuracy. The best option is to clamp the blade in a vise so that the chain can rotate freely.
Choose the lead cutter as the starting point. It will be the shortest pick in the chain. If all cutters are the same length, you can start at any point. The important thing is that you file each cutter so that the blade of the tooth on top of each cutter is nearly the same length. Then each one will cut the same amount of wood as it passes through the kerf. It may also be helpful to mark the first tooth with a little paint or a permanent marker to know the location of the first point.
Place the file in the notch at the front of the cutter. This is the slanting tooth on the front of the flat surface of the chain link. It should fit perfectly over the face of the cutting plate, and the top 20% of the file’s diameter should protrude over the tooth.
Hold the file at the same angle at which the cutter was sharpened to begin with. The angle should be 25 or 30 degrees (check the chain saw’s specifications). Some chains may have a flatter angle. In either case, it is important to adjust the chain angle to what it was originally. Some teeth are marked as tips.
Rotate the file moderately across the face of the pick to remove metal shavings. There are different opinions as to what direction to go with the file, but usually you will be working from the short side of the corner towards the long point. This should make the cutting surface smooth.
Work every other tooth from the starting point along the chain in a similar manner. As you move from tooth to tooth, rotate the chain by hand so that the tooth to be worked is on top of the bar.
Turn the saw over and continue cutting the unaffected angled prongs in the opposite direction. Watch the length of each flat tip of the cutter. Some manufacturers suggest measuring with a caliper so the saw “bites” off equal pieces as it cuts, but if you have a good eye, that’s all it takes to get a good result.
Check the clearance of the depth stops, the curved hook that forms the links between the picks. The cutting edge of the depth stops should be lower by about one-tenth of an inch than the cutter. They can be used to control the amount of wood the cutter removes with each pass. A special tool that is placed on top of the blade can be found at chainsaw suppliers or construction stores. If the limiter is too high and needs to be filed, this tool will protect adjacent teeth while you mill the limiter.
Grind any stops that are in the way of the cutter (in other words those that are too high) using a flat file (may not be needed unless you’re working with defective chain).
Lubricate the chain, check the tension and then you can use the chainsaw again.
There are helpful tips for getting your chainsaw sharpened quickly and efficiently. General recommendations:
- At first, it is required to run the headset at a low speed, this allows the lubricant to get on each element of the bar;
- The chain must be energized, loosening it can cause injuries, especially when using a power tool;
- It is recommended to have your chainsaw set after every use and to check carefully the condition of the teeth before you start sawing;
- timely oiling of each bar element, which not only improves the woodworking process, but also reduces the load on the rotor and motor.
The depth of cut, the condition of the cutting edge and the limiter should be checked after 3-4 sharpenings. It is advisable to consult the template for the specific headset model.
Sharpening chainsaw chain is an essential part of your work with this tool. Tooth sharpness affects performance and safety while sawing. To dress the cutting edge of the bar, you can use an electric or manual machine, at home it is easier to use a file. You should take into account the peculiarities of the specific model of the headset, measure each element with a template.
How to choose a chain saw chain sharpening machine?
To choose a machine for sharpening chainsaw chains, you need to study a few important characteristics. These include:
- power. each electric sharpening machine is equipped with a motor that is powered from the mains. It is best to buy machines with higher power. These devices have a solid working life and easier to bear significant loads;
- The speed of the standard spindle. this parameter influences the recovery speed of the headset. In practice, the higher this characteristic, the faster will be sharpening. For infrequent, but regular use, the machine is suitable with a spindle speed of about 3 thousand. rpm. For constant intensive use, it is better to choose machines in which the spindle is able to rotate at speeds ranging from 4800 to 7500 rpm;
- Diameter of the wheel for sharpening the headset. the range of use of the machine depends on this parameter. Machine for sharpening chainsaw chains, in which the regular circle has a diameter of up to 105 mm, can be used in the household. There are also machines, which are equipped with a disc diameter of up to 400 mm. This equipment is mainly used in large machine shops;
- additional options. among them the ability to rotate the standard head for grinding stands out. By turning the part in different directions and changing the sharpening angle, the saw’s owner is able to evenly sharpen the blunt teeth of the saw headset.
Having studied all these characteristics, the owner of a chainsaw will be able to buy a suitable machine, which will make it possible to quickly restore the worn headset at home.