Chainsaw chain sharpening: on the machine and by hand Who else, if not a gardener, knows how important it is to have always working equipment at hand. Especially when it comes to
Chainsaw chain sharpening: on the machine and manually
Who else but a gardener knows how important it is to have always working equipment at hand. Especially when it comes to a tool on which the speed of work and a high-quality final result depend.
In this article we will tell you how important it is to carry out timely maintenance of consumables such as equipment such as a chainsaw. If you often use this device, then you need to be prepared for the fact that the chain headset will require regular sharpening. Because it is this process that allows you to achieve the best performance, without loss of power and excessive fuel consumption.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain?
So that you can ensure the proper condition of your gasoline saw, it is enough to know when, how and with what tools you can sharpen, so that the sawing process is as efficient and safe as possible.
How to determine the state of a circuit?
When it comes to sharpening a chain, there are no exact guidelines. It depends on the intensity of the use of the tool. However, it is also impossible to specially wait for the moment when the saw stops working efficiently. It is very important to pay attention to early signs of bluntness.
First of all, you need to make sure that the chain is securely fixed. If, when cutting wood, you notice that you are applying more force than before, then the tensioner is most likely unable to provide the correct operating tension. In this case, the chain is slightly stretched or sagged.
Pay attention to the quality of the chips. Ideally, it should be light, uniform and about the same size. With poor sharpening, the chips have a fine fraction of a dark color and with an abundance of visible impurities in the structure.
Sometimes you may notice that the chainsaw is leaning to the side, which is also a reason for sharpening.
How to sharpen a chainsaw correctly?
To learn how to sharpen correctly, it is enough to follow a few simple rules and have the necessary set of tools with you. Since the tooth of the chain is a complex geometric shape, this operation may seem quite complicated, but this is only at first glance.
Each tooth of the saw headset is represented by two cutting edges lateral (vertical) and upper (horizontal), which has a bevel at a certain angle and is directed in the direction of the chain movement. Chip size and productivity depends on the depth gauge, which is located on each cutting tooth and serves to determine the maximum immersion of the cutting edges in the wood. They are sharpened only if necessary, as a rule, when you notice that the distance between the teeth and the separator has decreased significantly.
Tools for sharpening chains at home
You can sharpen the chainsaw chain in two ways using a set of hand tools and a special mechanical or electric sharpening machine. Naturally, the first method is the most popular. However, professionals do not recommend using it very often, as this can lead to rapid wear and tear and disruption of the normal operation of equipment.
If you still prefer this method, then in your arsenal should be such devices:
Round (cylindrical) file for sharpening cutting teeth.
Flat file for filing the depth gauge.
Template for ensuring rational sharpening parameters.
Hook for easy removal of sawdust, dust and other debris from the chain.
Construction gloves to protect hands from unexpected cuts.
To fix the chain at home, you must use a round file of the appropriate diameter:
For chains with a groove width of 10.3 mm and a 3/8 pitch, a file with a diameter of 4 mm is suitable.
For chains with a groove width of 1.6 mm and a pitch of 3/8, a file of 5.2 mm
For chains with groove widths 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 mm and chain pitch 0.325, files with a diameter of 3.8 mm, 4.2 mm and 4.8 mm can be used.
If you are starting this process for the first time, then it will not be superfluous to watch the cognitive, where experienced craftsmen share useful tips and gradually reveal all the secrets of successful sharpening.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file, and what rules must be strictly observed so as not to harm the tool
First of all, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the chain from oil, dirt and other debris. Inspect the blade carefully for damage, worn links and teeth. If flaws are found, its further use is dangerous for work. You should also pay attention to the length of the upper tip, it should be at least 1/4 inch. If the sharpening is shorter, then there is a high probability that the tooth will break in the process.
Correct positioning of the device on the work plane is very important. It should be a flat and solid surface. For high-quality performance of the operation, it is recommended to clamp the saw bar in a special vice. This will not only allow the blade to move freely, but also to maintain the correct angle of inclination. The chain should be in a vise at an 80 to 90 degree angle to the surface. The sharpener, in turn, should move at an angle of 15 to 35 degrees relative to the placed fixed chain.
The next step is to determine the location of the leading torch. It is usually the shortest on the chain. If you are not observing it, then you can start sharpening from any blade. For convenience, mark with a marker the place where your work will begin.
Before sharpening the chain, place the template so that it fits into its slots. Then move the file along the cutting surface of the tooth and make several light movements with a protrusion of 3-4 cm, parallel to the lateral edges of the template. The direction of the file must be continuous and directed in one direction only. Moderate circular motions can be made to remove the resulting metal shavings. It is also important to keep the same number of strokes for each tooth. In the process of work, in no case should you rush. At this stage, it is very important to adhere to accuracy, care and accuracy.
Flip the tool over in a vise and move on to sharpen the teeth that are in the opposite direction to the teeth you sharpened before.
If necessary, increase the distance of the depth gauge. Place the template and use a flat file to carefully grind off what falls under its slot.
Finally, lubricate the chain with special oil and check the tension.
Also on sale you can find such a set for sharpening, which consists of a flat file, a gauge template for sawing the limiter and a round file placed in a special metal plate (holder) with engraved fishing lines.
When sharpening the chain with these tools, the cylindrical file with the plate should be positioned on the teeth in accordance with the indicated lines. The holder, in turn, rests on the top of the tooth and stop, and the file under the cutting edge.
To control the cutting depth limiter, a filing gauge is used, which contains special shaped slots. It is fixed on the cutting tooth and, using a flat file, that part of the stop that protrudes from under the surface of the gauge is grinded.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain on a machine?
If you don’t want to sharpen the chain by hand, you can use a manual or electric sharpener. The most popular, of course, is network technology.
The electric machine has a solid base, a movable upper part and fixing components consisting of a fixing screw, a set screw, and a set wedge with a chain holder. The base of the case is represented by one start button, a depth stop and a scale for setting the angle and sharpening level. An abrasive grinding wheel is used as a working component. For the most convenient use, there is a handle and special protection elements.
The main advantage of the electric machine is that it has a certain system of settings, making it possible to place the cutting blade at the correct angle and bring the disc to the sharpened edge with maximum accuracy. Each tooth is sharpened separately, the user only moves the chain along the holder. There are also models that automatically clamp the vice when lowering the disc chain onto the tooth.
The procedure for sharpening is more than simple:
Place the saw head into the machine with the links towards the blade.
Find the shortest tooth on the chain. This will be the main reference point for determining the level of sharpening.
Set the required machine settings. Lower the circle to the shortest tooth, then, without changing the settings, go to the next one.
At the end of sharpening, blow out the headset and treat it with oil.
To ensure that the sharpener will serve you as long as possible, after each use blow out the mechanism with clean compressed air and lubricate with machine oil.
As for the hand-held machines, they are shaped like a ray saw, but instead of the saw blade, a cylindrical file is used. The use of such a device has several advantages. Firstly, all the working edges of the chain set are sharpened exactly the same. Secondly, the file moves at a given angle and the likelihood of even a minimal deviation is completely excluded. The required sharpening parameters are set by the user independently before starting work.
You can buy a machine for sharpening chainsaws on our website, where a large selection of equipment of this type is presented, each model is described in detail, all technical characteristics are given.
How to tension a chain on a chainsaw
After you have sharpened, do not forget to make sure that the chain tension is correct. A saw head that sags may come off the tire or get stuck in the wood during operation. Padding also badly creates excessive stress on the engine.
Therefore, it is very important to control the chain tension and, if necessary, make adjustments before each start of work with the power off. The process of tensioning the chain is not difficult, all that needs to be done is to follow the correct sequence of actions, which is prescribed in the instructions for each tool.
First, loosen the fasteners on the chain saw cover that holds the saw headset. Then insert the screwdriver key into the corresponding groove, and carefully rotate, while pulling the chain. A couple of turns is enough. To check the tension, pull the chain by hand at the bottom of the bar in the direction of travel. If it does not move, then the fastener is too tight and needs to be slightly loosened. Ideally, the sliding of the blade should be smooth without snags and excessive sagging.
Important! Under no circumstances should the chain be tightened or replaced while hot, as after cooling it tends to contract again. Doing so can cause permanent deformation of the guide bar and damage to the motor. Wait until the moment of complete cooling, and only then proceed with the adjustment.
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 another set for sharpening chainsaws is no different from the first, although its design is different.
A round file is also used for sharpening the cutting tooth, and for sharpening 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 device, the file is seamed with smooth, even movements of the flat file away from you.
Do-it-yourself 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 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.
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.
General rules for sharpening chainsaw chains
Chainsaw sharpening angles and tooth configuration
The cutting edge of a tooth is characterized by the following parameters:
- 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 (eg 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 manufacturers of chainsaws is set the same, and equal to 1.3 mm (there are also edges with a thickness of 1.1 mm, but, firstly, they are extremely difficult to sharpen 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 during operation increases, although the quality of the cut remains satisfactory. Therefore, you should not get carried away with lowering the height of the limiter when sharpening a tooth.
The sharpening angle of the chainsaw chain depends on the main purpose of the tool for crosscut or rip sawing. 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 612 (for comparison with the prevalence of cross-cut up to 2530). 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.
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 6580).
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 a rather limited range of 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. As the hardness of the wood increases, its value should be lower. In general, the optimum angle is 1012 for rip sawing, and 2530 for cross cut.
Figure 3 Appearance of the template for sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw
Sharpening can be done manually using a round file with a working diameter of 45.5 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 2530 to the upper edge of the tooth
One round file is not enough. A flat file is required to sharpen the limiter, and a hook that removes the resulting sawdust to clean the work area. There are also special holders on the market, 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 Set of sharpening tools and accessories
First, the teeth are sharpened in one direction, and then 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.
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 a 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:
- Visually establish the presence (or absence) of a conical section adjacent to the corner of the tooth, as well as the radial rounding on it of the main signs of bluntness (see Fig. 2).
- 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.
- Find out the presence of vibrations of the chain during a steady cut, if they are noticeable, then the teeth must be sharpened.
- 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.