How To Choose A File For Sharpening Chainsaw Chains

Do-it-yourself chainsaw sharpening
Sharpening the chainsaw chain with your own hands The chain tooth planes the wood like a plane, and the thickness of the chips is adjusted by the height of the limiter. Intense sawing results in rapid dullness

Chain teeth parameters

To achieve optimal cutting properties, the tooth blades are angled. The back of the tooth falling back at an angle forms the posterior angle of the upper blade. This angle is needed to cut the upper blade into the wood.

The backward tapering blade of the tooth forms the back angle of the end blade. This angle is needed for side cutting of the chips.

The edge of the end blade forms a rake angle with the sliding surface of the cutting link. The rake angles for different types of chains range from 60 ° to 85 °.

The back angle of the top blade refers to the backward tilt of the top blade.

This angle is measured relative to the sliding plane of the cutting link and, depending on the type of saw chain, ranges from 50 ° to 60 °. The top blade is the main blade and the back corner of the top blade. This is the most important corner. The clearance angle of the upper blade is difficult to measure, and the correct value is obtained by observing other prescribed values.

The sharpening angle or entering angle is obtained by measuring from the top cutting edge at right angles to the guide bar.

The sharpening angle can be changed, depending on the application. Rule of thumb: the larger the sharpening angle, the higher the cutting performance when cutting non-frozen softwood. Reducing the angle of sharpening when cutting frozen and / or hard wood contributes to a smoother saw blade and less vibration. However, sharpening angles greater than 35 ° and less than 25 ° should be avoided (except for rip chains where this angle is 10 °).

The rake angle, sharpening angle and upper blade angle change during sharpening. These angles have a decisive influence on the cutting performance of the chain. Be sure to observe the prescribed values.

A depth gauge is located on each cutting link in front of the tooth blade. The difference in height between the top edge of the depth gauge and the front edge of the back of the tooth is defined as the distance of the depth gauge.

The depth of penetration of the upper blade into the wood (chip thickness) and thus the productivity depends on the distance of the depth gauge. The distance of the depth gauge is set depending on the chain pitch and type of execution. Normally, it should be 0.5-0.8 mm, more often 0.6 mm. High values ​​will lead to an increased tendency of the chainsaw to kickback, too much grip and chain vibration. Low values ​​lead to a drop in performance. Since the distance of the depth gauge decreases with each sharpening of the saw due to a decrease in the upper edge of the tooth, the depth gauge also needs to be filed periodically. After 5-10 chain sharpenings.

General rules for sharpening chainsaw chains. Chain sharpeners

The round file holder has a mowing line that can be correctly positioned in relation to the chain. The holder fits onto the sharpened tooth in accordance with the line orientation. In this case, the insert itself rests on the upper edge of the tooth and the depth gauge, and the file is located under the cutting edge.

The use of a holder ensures that the file will fit to the tooth at the correct height. There are different holders for different pitches of the saw chain. The correct choice of holder, combined with the correct file diameter, ensures that the file protrudes over the back of the tooth by 1/5 of its diameter. Use only special saw chain files.

Before sharpening the chainsaw chain, it is advisable to secure the bar. When sharpening, it is necessary, keeping the position of the holder and pressing the file to the sharpened edge, to make several (2-3) turning movements away from you. Do not try to press too hard on the file, the movements should be smooth and measured. Rotate the file regularly to avoid one-sided wear. All other teeth are sharpened in the same way. It is more convenient to first sharpen the teeth in one direction, then change the position and do the same with the teeth in the other direction.

When sharpening all teeth, file the same number of strokes at the same pressure. This will result in the same tooth length. All cutting teeth must be of the same length. Different tooth lengths cause uneven chain running and cracking. If the length of the teeth is not the same, all cutting teeth must be filed to the length of the shortest tooth.

After several sharpening of the cutting teeth, the depth gauge is ground. To do this, a template is superimposed on it so that the limiter falls into the slot, and the tip protruding from the slot is grinded with a flat file.

The principle of using a different set for sharpening chainsaws is no different from the first, although its design is different.

A round file is also used to sharpen the cutting tooth, and the depth gauge is used to sharpen the depth gauge. Flat. A special template provides parameters for sharpening both cutting teeth and stops. In the first case, it is superimposed on the chain in such a way that it falls into its slots. The file, placed on the template and brought under the cutting edge, rests on the guide rollers. The direction of movement of the file must be parallel to the lateral edges of the template.

When sewing the stopper, the template is applied so that the stopper falls into the slot, near which it says SOFT (for soft wood) or HARD (for hard wood). As in the case of the first tool, the file is seamed with smooth, even movements of the flat file away from you.

DIY chainsaw sharpening

The chain tooth planes the wood like a plane, and the chip thickness is adjusted by the height of the stop.

Intense sawing will quickly dull the chain. Several sharpenings may be required within one day. The problem is aggravated by the fact that the tooth quickly dulls when it meets the ground. It is enough to hook the soil with the tire once or twice, and the work can be stopped. The shavings become fine and the saw stops going deep into the wood.

The sooner dull teeth are sharpened, the less material needs to be removed during sharpening, as a result. The service life of the saw chain is longer. Determining the moment when sharpening is already required is quite simple. An important feature is the feed force. A properly sharpened chain is pulled into the cut with just a little pressure. If, on the contrary, the chainsaw is forced to cut by an increased feed force, then the teeth are dull. A dull chain can also be recognized if only small chips fly out of the cut instead of coarse, thick chips.

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In this situation, the chainsaw must be sharpened urgently. Do not cut with a dull or defective saw chain. The consequence is high stress in the body, high cyclic load, poor cutting results. In addition, this means reduced productivity, high fuel consumption and increased wear on all parts of the chainsaw.

Chainsaw chain sharpening machines

Stihl produces two versions of hand-held machine tools. Stationary FG 2 and mobile FG 1 mounted directly on the tire. There are analogues of lesser-known companies, comparable in price with the simpler devices described above.

The working part of these devices structurally resembles a bow saw, into which a round long file is inserted instead of a saw blade. FG 1 and FG 2 not only sharpen chains, but also straighten them, adjusting the length of the top edge of all teeth to the same size. On the smallest tooth, which is taken as the control one. A rather complex configuration mechanism allows you to set all the necessary parameters. Sharpening is done with 2-3 movements, after which they proceed to the next tooth, keeping for it all the settings that were made for the control tooth. This ensures the same sharpening parameters for all teeth. When sewing the stopper, the round file changes to a flat file.

Simple and convenient to use electric chain sharpener for chainsaws. It has an adjustment system that allows you to set the chain at the desired angle and bring the disc exactly to the sharpened edge. There are machines that automatically clamp the vice when the disc is lowered onto the chain.

Chainsaw chain file diameter

The diameter of the chain saw file is very important in the selection process. An incorrectly selected file will damage the chain and cause problems during the sawing process. The saw can get stuck inside a tree, break off, and damage expensive tools.
The diameter directly depends on the chain pitch. When sharpening, 4 main sizes of diameters are used, corresponding to their step:
Step ¼ “- diameter 4.0 mm;
Pitch 0.325 ″. 4.8 mm;
Pitch 3/8 ″. 5.2 mm;
Pitch 0.404 ″. 5.5 mm.
For some types of chains, files with a diameter of 3.2 mm are also used.

How To Choose A File For Sharpening Chainsaw Chains

Different diameters of files for sharpening chainsaw chains

How to choose a file for sharpening a chainsaw chain

Most users are wondering: how to choose a file for sharpening a chainsaw chain. The answer to it is complex, since implies a lot of options. But the most correct way is to pay attention to the chain pitch. The size (diameter) of the cylindrical file depends on it. But besides it, the second is also required. Flat.
Two files are used to sharpen different parts of the same link. If we consider the process in more detail, the saw tooth of the link, namely the end and upper blades, is sharpened with a cylindrical file. Use a flat file to cut the depth gauge. It is important that both files can be purchased as a set with a set of templates and a hook for cleaning the saw and bar from the saw set. Some manufacturers of chainsaws and their electric chain analogues even produce similar kits themselves.

Different types of saw chain files

Stihl chainsaw sharpening files Stihl

There are different files for sharpening Stihl Stihl chainsaws on the market. Despite the external differences, they are all proprietary. Some of them are accessories for sharpening machines and are sold in packs of several pieces. They have no handles and are therefore inconvenient to use without a base. Files sold individually can be packaged or sold individually. There are 2 options for them. With and without a sharpening template.
In addition to files, Stihl also produces a range of accessories:
filing gauges;
sharpening mandrels;
templates (holders) of different types;
The filing gauges are designed to check the depth of sharpening, clean grooves and check corners by hand.
The mandrel is a plate with guides applied on it, indicating the angle of sharpening of the link. By moving in accordance with the guides, it is easier to maintain the correct degree of the angle. It is attached with magnets to a metal rail.
The clamp works on the principle of a holder and allows you to sharpen the cutting and limiting teeth of the link in one step.

Stihl chainsaw files

Chainsaw chain file

  • How to choose a file for sharpening a chainsaw chain
  • Chainsaw chain file diameter
  • Stihl chainsaw sharpening files Stihl
  • Correct sharpening of the chainsaw chain with a file

The cheapest way to sharpen your saw is to purchase chainsaw file and do it yourself without any help. However, this scenario implies a lot of nuances. You need to know how to choose a file, what characteristics are worth focusing on, learn the cutting technique, and, in the end, have patience, sharp eyesight and firm hands. The last three factors are indispensable, because without them it is impossible to sharpen the correct file with a file.

Chainsaw chain sharpening files

Correct sharpening of the chainsaw chain with a file

It is easiest to start sharpening directly on the bar, but some manufacturers oppose this, citing various arguments, and recommend removing the chain from the device and securing it in a vice. But this is extremely inconvenient, because After sharpening each link, the chain must be dismantled and reinstalled.

If, nevertheless, the sharpening of the chain takes place directly on the saw, the tire can move on the weight under the pressure of the hand with the file, therefore it is necessary to install a stop for the tire from the opposite edge, for example, a block of wood. It is important to clean the chain from sawdust, grease and debris before sharpening. This will make the job easier.

Sharpening the saw chain correctly with a file

Begin sharpening from the sharpened tooth itself. It is on it that all the others will be aligned. If the tooth is broken, it must be replaced by riveting the chain with a special machine and installing a new element of the appropriate size and type. After the element is selected, start sharpening. The file is moved straight away from you along the semicircular edge of the saw tooth, resting with the template against the edge of the adjacent chain link. In this case, it is necessary to observe the parallelism between the file and the plane of the surface on which the saw or vise is installed, as well as the angle of the guide indicated on the plate template.
Thus, all chain links are processed in turn through one, i.E. Only those that are on one side of it. At the end, they go to the other half of the links and do the same operation, but at the opposite angle, also indicated on the guide in the template. After completion, the file for sharpening the chainsaw chain is set aside, and the chain is swept with a brush, eliminating metal shavings.

Chainsaw chain sharpening file. We select the right

When actively working on trimming dead wood or expanding the area of ​​the personal plot, a chainsaw must be in the home workshop. Chainsaw teeth even from a trusted brand (for example, Stihl) wear out periodically, and therefore need high-quality sharpening. In the absence of special devices, a properly selected file for sharpening a chainsaw chain will help to cope with this problem.

What is included in the sharpening kit?

In the absence of a special machine, you will have to get by with a file for sharpening the chainsaw chain (more precisely, not one, but two). A special template is also required, with which you can check the current value of the sharpening angle. Thus, the basic set of sharpening equipment includes:

  1. Round file with a section diameter of 4.5. 5 mm.
  2. A holder with special positioning lines, with the help of which the tool can be positioned with the required accuracy on the upper edge. The holder is supplied with a section that rests on the surface of the cut depth stop.
  3. A flat file that sharpens the limiter itself.
  4. Hook that removes the sawdust generated during the sharpening process.
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It should be noted that manual sharpening is effective only when the signs of dullness of the chainsaw are installed very quickly, and the wear is relatively small. Otherwise, more complex and expensive specialized machines will be required. Manual machines of the FUG size range are also suitable for working with the teeth of Stihl-180 chainsaws. Their advantage is that it is possible to sharpen high-quality teeth, the wear of which turned out to be sharply uneven.

External signs of bluntness of a chainsaw tooth

Among the most popular chainsaws are tools of the Austrian company Stihl, in particular, Stihl-180 (to be precise, Stihl MS-180-14 ”). You can cut off branches with such a chainsaw, and cope with branches of medium diameter. A power of 1500 W quite allows it. Despite the high-quality steel, which the specified brand (we do not consider Chinese fakes!) Uses to make teeth, self-sharpening will require skill and time.

You should pay attention to the following external signs of a dull cutting chain:

  1. A tapered section has appeared on the working corner of the tooth.
  2. When moving from the working corner to the upper face, the radius rounding is visually distinguished.
  3. At the moment of initial feed, even with a relatively low intensity, the penetration of the working edge of the tooth into the thickness of the wood is performed with great resistance.
  4. At the stage of steady-state cutting, the chain of the chainsaw begins to vibrate, and the noise level of the chainsaw increases markedly.
  5. When sawing in the longitudinal direction, the cut surface has rough tears and wood chips. The chips themselves become much smaller in size.

A trial test is carried out on dryness, and in no case on wood with high humidity. The sharpening frequency depends on the main cutting direction. If it is performed mainly in the axial direction, then sharpening will have to be done much more often.

How do I find the right chain file sizes?

The main difficulty is to determine the size of the round file, because the work performed with a flat tool is much easier. For Stihl saw teeth, the upper end of the file should protrude 20% of the working angle to the surface of the working corner. However, you should also remember about the pitch of the saw chain, which is usually taken as 0.325 inches.

The next step in the selection is to clarify the length of the round file. It depends on its size. GOST 1465 establishes five numbers for this tool, but only No. 4 or 5 are suitable as a file for sharpening a chainsaw. Files No. 4 have a working length of 200 mm, and files No. 5 have 250 mm and 300 mm. With an increase in length, the amplitude of hand movements of the worker increases, therefore, the quality of the direction of the file along the tooth increases accordingly. Therefore, a longer file is better for sharpening.

In addition to the length, it is important to correctly determine the type of incisions available. They can be serrated or serrated. Notched ones are better for sharpening, because otherwise the cutting angle fluctuates in a wider range of values ​​(70 ± 10 0), which is unacceptable for processing a chainsaw tooth.

As a file material for sharpening a chainsaw chain, it is worth taking U13 or U13A tool steel in accordance with GOST 1435. Other options for sharpening with chainsaw teeth are not suitable.

The domestic tool industry produces a special size range of Zubr metal files, which are designed specifically for manual sharpening of chainsaw teeth. The price of the required tool numbers ranges from 300 to 350 rubles.

Sequence of operations when sharpening

High-quality sharpening of teeth assumes strict adherence to the following rules:

  1. A file for sharpening a chainsaw should be placed strictly perpendicular to the direction of movement of the saw teeth in the vertical direction, and at an angle of 15. 20 0. In the horizontal direction. The latter is controlled by a holder.
  2. The round file in the mouth of the tooth must be located slightly above its edge (for file No. 5 it is about 1. 1.5 mm).
  3. A holder is installed on the tooth, the mowing line of which will show the exact direction of movement of the file in the horizontal plane.
  4. After several strokes of the file, the sharpening surface is covered with magnetized chips, which should be immediately removed with a hook.
  5. Sharpening begins in the direction away from you, without applying unnecessary efforts: the notches should gently enter the metal of the tooth. It is recommended to make several movements, then turn the file 20. 30 0, so that the wear of the notches occurs more evenly.
  6. It is recommended to sharpen “through the tooth”: first, sharpen the teeth in one direction, and then in the other.
  7. The pressure on the file during sharpening must be constant, as well as the number of reciprocating movements along the sharpened tooth.

When sharpening the depth gauge, proceed as follows. A template is applied to the delimiter. When the slot of the limiter enters the groove of the template, set the height of the worn area, which is removed with a flat file. The template is installed on one of two sides. Hard or Soft, which corresponds to hard or soft wood.

Sharpening will be easier if the tire of the chainsaw is clamped in a locksmith’s vice. The intervals between sharpening can be increased by timely checking the correct tension of the chain, monitoring the condition of the limiter, regularly lubricating all moving elements, and periodically replacing the drive sprocket.

Chainsaw chain sharpening template

When purchasing a chainsaw, it is advisable to acquire a special template (see Fig. 3), with which you can easily set the optimal values ​​of the tooth angles. With its help, the values ​​of the rear angles of the upper and end blades are controlled, as well as the leading edge angle (it is indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions, and can vary within 65… 80 °).

It is especially important to use a template to estimate the value of the clearance angle of the upper blade. This angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain is very difficult to determine otherwise, but meanwhile it must be maintained within rather limited limits. From 50 to 60 °.

Measurement of the sharpening angle is performed by determining the angle between the upper cutting edge and a line perpendicular to the chain guide.

The angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain can be changed, depending on what kind of work will be done. With an increase in the hardness of the wood, its value should be lower. In general, it is considered the optimal value of the angle 10. 12 °. With a longitudinal cut, and 25. 30 °. With a cross cut.

Figure 3. Appearance of the template for sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw

Sharpening can be performed manually using a round file with a working diameter of 4. 5.5 mm, or on a machine. In the first case, it is extremely important to correctly position the tool in relation to the sharpened tooth. The upper edge of the working part of the file is approximately one fifth higher than the upper edge of the tooth. The tool is positioned perpendicular to the chain axis, and at an angle of 25. 30 ° to the upper edge of the tooth

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One round file is not enough. You will need a flat file to sharpen the limiter, and a hook that removes the resulting sawdust to clean the work area. There are also special holders on sale, on which the mowing line is graduated with the direction of movement of the file relative to the axis of the chain. As seen from Fig. 4, the holder can be installed on top of the tooth and rest on its upper edge. Since the height of the holder is adapted to a certain chain pitch, it should be selected in relation to chainsaws of specific models and brands.

The minimum required set in order to obtain the correct sharpening angle of the chain by hand is shown in fig. Five.

Figure 5. A set of sharpening tools and accessories

First, the teeth are sharpened in one direction, and then in the other. Start with light pressing of the tool away from you, gradually increasing the load. During sharpening, the round file is periodically rotated along its axis.

Chainsaw chain sharpening angle. How to choose the right one?

Even the popular Stihl does not last forever: once the teeth of a chainsaw wear out, which is easy to determine by the nature of the chips formed. With a blunt cutting edge, the chips are small, because the working edge does not cut, but crumples the wood. Naturally, the effort expended by the operator increases dramatically. It’s time to sharpen the saw. How to do this correctly. Choose the optimal technology, establish what angle of sharpening the tooth should be and how to check it?

External signs of a blunt cutting edge of a chainsaw tooth

Recall that the chainsaw tooth has a complex configuration (see Fig. 1), which also depends on the direction of movement of the chain. It has two working edges: the lateral one, which is located perpendicular to the axis of movement of the links, and the upper one, located at a certain angle to the direction of the chain movement. In addition, a limiter is provided on each tooth, the parameters of which determine the height of the removed chips. Since the main cutting effort falls precisely on the working angle, then all subsequent work with the tool will depend on which angle to sharpen the tooth.

Figure 1. Functional parts of the chainsaw tooth and their appearance

Before starting long-term work with a chainsaw, she needs to inspect and perform test sawing, as a result of which:

  1. Visually establish the presence (or absence) of a tapered section adjacent to the corner of the tooth, as well as radius curvature on it. The main signs of bluntness (see Fig. 2).
  1. Check the feed force at which the tool runs stably, with a fast cut. For sharp teeth, the initial moment of penetration of the tooth into the wood occurs quickly, and without significant material resistance.
  2. Find out the presence of chain vibrations during a steady cut. If they are noticeable, then the teeth must be sharpened.
  3. Inspect the appearance of the just cut end (especially if the tool is used for ripping). If there are rough chips and dents, the chainsaw chain must be sharpened.

Sharpening angles and configuration of the chainsaw tooth

The cutting edge of a tooth is characterized by the following parameters:

  • Width;
  • Thick;
  • Sharpening angle.

In addition, each model of the tool has its own tooth pitch, the value of which for household and semi-professional models is associated with the power of the chainsaw, and the torque that the drive develops. For example, for rip sawing, the pitch is taken less (for example, 0.325 inches). In this case, the productivity of work will decrease, but the required effort will be significantly lower. The upper values ​​of the steps for household chainsaws are extremely rare, mainly when felling trees with a large trunk diameter. In this case, the motor power should not exceed 2500 W.

The thickness of the cutting edge for most chainsaw manufacturers is set the same, and equal to 1.3 mm (there are also edges with a thickness of 1.1 mm, but, firstly, it is extremely difficult to sharpen them at home, and, secondly, such links are extremely are of little use: they can only be used for cutting thin branches).

The height of the chain profile can be either 0.625 mm or 0.762 mm, moreover, in the vast majority of cases, it is a low profile that is used for household power tools. When sharpening the limiters, this parameter is very important, because with a decrease in the height of the above-permissible values, the vibration of the tool increases during operation, although the quality of the cut remains satisfactory. Therefore, you should not get carried away with reducing the height of the limiter when sharpening a tooth.

The angle of sharpening of the chainsaw chain depends on the main purpose of the tool. For cross cutting or ripping. Since the resistance of the wood is always noticeably higher when ripping, the edge of the tooth must be very sharp. It is recommended to do it in the range of 6… 12 ° (for comparison. With the prevalence of cross-cut. Up to 25… 30 °). Naturally, in the first case, sharpening should be done more often, and especially carefully, since an unacceptably small angle of inclination of the tooth contributes to its rapid chipping during the operation of the chainsaw. This is especially important for links that are made of structural alloy steels containing silicon and manganese, for example, 40KhGS or 35KhGSA.

Mechanized sharpening on the machine

Sharpening on the machine is much more convenient, and does not require high qualifications of the performer. Such machines have an electric drive and are equipped with special grinding wheels.

For a household workshop, it is worth purchasing compact units that do not take up much space during storage, and are suitable for quick and high-quality sharpening of chainsaw chains from different manufacturers. Such units should operate from a stationary power supply with a voltage of 220 V, have a low power consumption (up to 100 W) and be easy to install on a circuit.

When choosing a machine, you need to pay attention to its following technological characteristics:

  • Possibility of processing teeth with different thickness of the upper edge and different chain pitch;
  • The ability to adjust the sharpening angle, within the limits specified earlier;
  • Availability of replaceable grinding discs;
  • Constant value of the cutting width.

The design of the machine is simple, and includes a drive motor, a shaft with a seat for a sharpening disc, a handle with controls, a device for attaching the machine to a chain. Adjustment of the pressing force on the sharpened element is provided by a spring clamp. Modern models of sharpening machines are equipped with a differentiated clamp, which provides for the self-centering of the product on the machine. For the convenience of work, there is a measuring scale on the clamp body.

Optionally, the machines can also be equipped with a miniature electric lamp that illuminates the working area, as well as a hydraulic booster that makes sharpening easier.

Safety of work is ensured by a folding safety guard.