How to correctly sharpen the chain of the electric saw. When to do the work?
Selecting, tensioning and sharpening an electric saw chain
The saw chain is an important functional part that sooner or later has to be sharpened, repaired or completely replaced with a new one. In order to do this correctly, you need to take into account the design and other details of the machine.
You should know that there is no difference between chains for petrol and electric chainsaws. For both types of tools, the circuits are made of the same materials and are mounted on the bars, the same for both electric and gasoline units. To choose a chain for your electric saw, you need to consider several parameters. Some of them must match the specifications of the installed bar.
The size of the chain
This parameter always corresponds to the tire size of your machine. If you buy a saw chain smaller than the size of the bar, then you will not be able to put it on. Also sawing equipment which is larger than the guide bar cannot be tensioned properly on the guide bar. In both cases the power saw cannot be used. It is customary to indicate the dimensions of the sawing equipment in inches and they may have the following values: 10″, 12″, 13″, 14″, 15″, 16″, 18″ and higher.
Determined by any three chain rivets. In the illustration below, the letter “a” shows exactly this distance, which is measured in inches.
Chain pitch can have the following values: 0.325″, 0.375″ и 0.404″.
Pitch with size 0.375″ is often written in fractions as 3/8″ (3 : 8 = 0.375), not to be confused with the number 0.325.
Please note: the higher the pitch of the chain, the more power the saw’s motor has to offer. On amateur and semi-professional machines of 1.84 kW are installed in 0.325″ chain pitch. Such a tool can be used for sawing thin branches and trimming limbs, as well as for construction work, such as trimming boards. A chainsaw with a 3/8 blade pitch (requires a motor power of approx. 2.94 kW) can already cut down thin trees and medium boards. Accessories with 0.404″ (motor power from 4.41 kW and above) used only on professional equipment and designed for jobs of any complexity.
Drive link thickness
Thickness of shank (also called drive link) is a very important parameter when selecting accessories for your electric saw.
In order to choose the right sawing attachment for the machine, the shank thickness has to be matched to the bar groove width. Thicknesses can have the following values.
- 1.1 mm (0.043″), 1.3 mm (0.05″). This accessory is used for light-duty applications and on small electric saws. The shank has a pitch of 0.325″.
- 1.5 mm (0.058″). Chains with this shank thickness have a pitch of 3/8″. They can withstand considerable loads and are installed on semi-professional and household machines.
- 1.6 mm (0.063″), 2 mm (0.08″). Tires and sawing equipment with these values are only used for demanding, high-capacity jobs on professional equipment.
Number of links
The number of links (shanks) determines the length of the tool. Choosing accessories, you can rely on either the length or the number of links. Different manufacturers may indicate only the number of cutting elements in the product description, so it does not hurt to know both information.
Type of cutting links
There are 2 types of cutting elements in configuration: chipper and chisel.
A chipper cutter is a sickle-shaped cutter with a large contact area with the material. Sickle-shaped tines increase the load on the machine’s engine and are not very good at cutting. But, thanks to this shape, the teeth can easily cope with dirt and their dressing does not require any special precision.
A chisel-shaped tine profile resembles the number “7” and is popularly referred to as a “seven”. Tools with this tooth profile are characterized by fast cutting speed and cutting quality and are mainly used on professional machines. It is quite difficult to sharpen a tool with chisel blades in everyday life, because even the slightest non-compliance with the sharpening angles negates all the advantages of a chisel blade profile.
Cutting teeth material
When selecting a chainsaw accessory, ask what material the cutters are made of. Chains with chromium-nickel, alloyed steel cutters are good for cutting soft wood. Tools with alloyed steel cutting elements are not suitable for cutting frozen, dirty or hard wood. cutters with tungsten carbide tips that are more resistant to wear are used for these applications.
Cutting depth and productivity depends on the height of the pick profile. The higher the profile of the cutting tooth, the deeper it sinks into the material. Teeth with a low profile height will remove finer chips during cutting. The penetration depth of the cutter into the material is adjusted by grinding down the stop on each cutter.
There are 2 types of chains by profile height:
This information can also be found in the instruction manual of the machine (the types of accessories applicable to this saw model are indicated). This trick is useful if you sharpen the teeth yourself. Both high profile and low profile chains are used on professional machines, but only low profile chains are used on residential machines. High-profile chains are high-performance tools. But they do increase vibration and tool aggressiveness.
In order to reduce the aggressiveness of the chain, the designers have a little tricky: a high chain pitch results in a low profile cutter and vice versa, a lower pitch results in a higher profile cutter. This technique allows the machine to cut material efficiently and with less aggressiveness at the same time.
In this video, you can get acquainted with the process of sharpening, the most popular ways and tools used for this.
A man who has a chainsaw in his household, should know how to sharpen the chain of a chainsaw with his own hands. There are several ways to sharpen:
- Sharpen with file (the most common sharpening method, t.к. enables you to sharpen the tool on-site at the place of sawing work.)
- Sharpening with a special machine (this method is used in service centers, but can also be used in private households)
- Sharpening with an angle grinder. Some skill is needed for sharpening with this method. the most common method of sharpening, t.к. It is difficult enough to sharpen with an angle grinder correctly.
1 way. file
First thing you need to sharpen chain, or tweak it a little, is a special file.
Two kinds of files are used for sharpening and dressing saw chains. First, it is a round file with the diameter corresponding to the diameter of the rounding of the working edge of the sawtooth.
For sharpening saw chains of household tools, circular files with diameter of 4, 4,8 mm are used, it is conditioned by the fact that they have small tooth. For professional models more powerful chains with big tooth are used and accordingly files with diameter of 5,2, 5,5 mm are required.
In order to grind correctly it is not enough to grind only cutting edge of tooth, it is necessary to make adjustment of cutting depth limiter. If it is not done, the chain will not cut into the material to the required depth that will noticeably reduce the speed of work and just as in a situation with a dull chain can lead to overheating of the saw engine because of insufficient load on the engine. This job is done with a flat file.
It is worth remembering that the use of blunt chain, can lead to overheating of the engine and the formation of galling on the cylinder.
The first step in straightening a saw chain is to put the machine on a flat surface or table. In forest conditions a big-diameter log would be good for this. Then it is necessary to inspect the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After the inspection, it is necessary to set the brake to the working state, thus blocking its movement on the tire.
The chain must be tensioned while sharpening with a file.
It is advisable to put a support under the guide bar, for example a log or a piece of twigs of a suitable diameter, or special clamps are available from sharpening tool manufacturers to hold the guide bar in place when sharpening the chain.
STIHL chain clamp
To sharpen the chain, move the file from the inside out. The file should be parallel to the special marking on the chain. This mark is applied by the chain manufacturer to indicate the standard sharpening angle.
The tooth to be sharpened, should be located approximately in the middle of the bar, it is necessary for the convenience of work, in the process of sharpening it is necessary to move the chain on the bar, not forgetting each time to set the brake in the working position.
Work on sharpening the chain on a chainsaw, it is necessary to carry out with gloves from a rough material, otherwise it is easy enough to injure yourself, t.к. The cutting surface of the teeth is very sharp.
Ideally, the manufacturer recommends that the file is applied equally to each tooth, but in practice this is not always possible, because.к. the teeth have varying degrees of damage to the working edge.
To facilitate sharpening the saw chain with a file, special holders with marked angles can be used. Markings are not only made for standard cross-cutting, but also for cutting lengthways.
Holders are also handy if you are not experienced enough in sharpening. Experienced craftsmen do not use holders for sharpening, and can only use special devices supporting the file.
Another device designed for sharpening is the manual saw chain dresser. It uses a regular file as a sharpening tool, which can be independently replaced. The machine is mounted directly on the bar, it also has the possibility of adjusting the angle of sharpening a tooth and a special stop that holds the sharpened tooth.
A manual sharpening machine, perfect for beginners. Along with the electric models of sharpening machines, the manual one has its undeniable advantage in the form of a low price. Depending on the manufacturer of the manual machine their appearance may vary, but the principle of operation is the same in all.
The depth of cut is corrected by means of a flat file, so that there is a difference between the upper cutting edge of the tooth and the height limiter.
As you can see from the drawing the depth limiter is being cut so as to bring the clearance value to the factory value. Below you can see the table with basic values of both angles and clearances for the most common types of chains.
As a rule, the gap is corrected by using a special die. It is set on the chain during sharpening, after which the depth limiter is ground.
For a better understanding of what a chainsaw is and how it works, it is desirable to know how it is arranged.
By the way, it would be more correct to call the cutting tool of a chainsaw a saw chain.
The first saw chains were born at the beginning of the twentieth century. The designers did not rack their brains, they simply mounted teeth on the chain, which quickly lost their performance. In appearance, they resembled those on handheld wood hacksaws. Sharpening such a chainsaw caused great difficulty. But it was not until 1947 that repeated efforts to develop the perfect saw chain were crowned with success.
This chainsaw has an L-shaped cutter. Modern chains are, in fact, the direct ancestors of this design.
If during work the cutting speed began to decrease, the chain saw in the hands of the master begins to “walk”, then most likely the saw chain has lost its performance, that is blunted and it is necessary to take measures to restore them.
Business service: sharpening tools
Have you ever wondered how much it costs to sharpen scissors, an axe, or a saw chain. Let’s answer right away. such a service can cost anywhere from 20 to 100. Then another question arises: Does it make sense to open your own workshop??
Let’s take a closer look at this business. It is clear that here the entrepreneur earns not from individual large deals, but from the turnover. Consequently, such a workshop can only be profitable in cities and towns where there is a large private sector, which means that many tools are used, including electric and gasoline-powered saws. Let’s specify. you should offer the widest range of services: the workshop should be in the machine for sharpening manicure scissors and equipment for repair and restoration of professional tools.
Necessary tools in the workshop:
- Electric grinder with a set of special attachments;
- Automatic machine for sharpening chains of electric and chain saws;
- Clamps and vise of different sizes;
- A set of locksmith tools, measuring instruments;
- Locksmith furniture for equipping the workplace;
- Special lights;
All equipment for such a workshop can cost up to 1 000. In addition to the expense item should include utilities, rent and taxes. In this case, your monthly turnover in the city, with a population of 150-200 thousand people could be about 1 500 monthly.
From our point of view, the most attention should be paid to the maintenance of chain electric and chain saws.
Thus, if your city is not highly competitive in this segment of the business, it makes sense to open your own business and make money on sharpening various tools.
The template for sharpening a chain saw
To significantly simplify the procedure, it is recommended to purchase a special template, due to which the procedure of setting the required angle is greatly simplified. Such a tool allows you to check the index of the rear corners of the conical and upper blade, as well as the cutting edge leading edge.
Specialists point out that the most important thing is to use the template for checking the rear angle. This is due to the difficulty of changing this indicator, while it must be maintained in a strict range.
A fairly common indicator can be called a chopping angle, which also varies depending on the task at hand.
Too high hardness of the material determines the necessity of reducing this parameter. Experts state that the optimum value ranges from 10° to 12°.
Files for sharpening
The first thing you need to sharpen your saw chain or dress it up a bit are special files.
Two kinds of files are used for sharpening and dressing saw chains. First, it is a circular file with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the rounding of the working edge of the saw tooth.
For sharpening saw chains in a household tool, round files with a diameter of 4, 4 are used.8 mm, because they have a small tooth. For professional models stronger chains with bigger tooth are used and accordingly files with 5.2, 5.file for sharpening 5 mm.
It is not enough to sharpen just the cutting edges of the tooth, it is necessary to make adjustments to the cutting depth limiter in order to sharpen it correctly. If it is not done, the chain will not cut into the material to the required depth, which will noticeably reduce the speed of work and just as in a situation with a blunt chain can lead to overheating of the saw motor because of insufficient load on the motor. This work is done with a flat file.
Description of sharpening process with files
The first step in sharpening a saw chain is to put the tool on a flat surface or a table. In forest conditions, a log of large diameter is good for this work. Then it is necessary to inspect the saw chain for any defects, it can be cracks, completely broken off teeth. After the inspection, you must set the brake to the working state, thus blocking its movement on the bar.
The chain should be taut while sharpening with a file.
It is desirable to put a support under the bar, it can be a log, a piece of branch of suitable diameter, or producers of sharpening tools have special clamps for holding the bar during the sharpening of the chain.
The chain should be sharpened by filing from inside to outside of the tooth. The file should be parallel with the special marking on the chain. This mark is applied by the chain manufacturer to indicate a standard sharpening angle.
Sharpened tooth, should be located approximately in the middle of the bar, it is necessary for the convenience of the work, in the process of sharpening need to move the chain on the bar, not forgetting each time to set the brake in the working position.
When sharpening a chain on a chainsaw, you must wear coarse gloves, because otherwise it is easy to injure yourself.к. the working surface of the teeth is very sharp.
Ideally, the manufacturers would advise to make the same number of file movements for each tooth, but in practice this is not always possible, i.e.к. the teeth have different degrees of damage to the working edge.
To facilitate the sharpening of the saw chain with a file, special holders with marked angles can be used. The marks are not only for the standard crosscut but also for the longitudinal cut.
Holders are also handy if you do not have enough sharpening experience. Experienced sharpeners do not use file holders for sharpening, they can only use special devices that support the file.
Another device designed for sharpening is a manual chain sharpening machine. As a sharpening tool, it uses a regular file, which you can replace yourself. The machine is mounted directly on the bar, has an adjustable sharpening angle and a special stop to hold the tooth being sharpened.
A manual sharpening machine, perfect for beginners. In addition to the electric sharpening machines, the manual model has the undeniable advantage of low cost. Depending on the manufacturer of the manual machine, their appearance may vary, but the principle of operation is the same for all.
Correcting the depth of cut is done with a flat file so that there is a difference between the top cutting edge of the tooth and the height limiter.
As can be seen in the illustration, the depth stop is resharpened to bring the clearance value to the factory setting. See the table below for the basic values of the angles as well as the clearances for the most common chain types.
As a rule, the gap is corrected using a special die. It is installed on the chain during sharpening, after which the depth limiter is ground.
Electric sharpening machines
For sharpening large quantities of chains electric sharpening machines are used as a rule in service centers or production plants. Depending on the manufacturer, machine design may vary, but the principle is the same.
Saw chain is fitted into special guide rail, which is assembled on swivel base and has special locking device to hold sharpened tooth. The clamp is able to move horizontally. At an adjustable angle to the sharpened tooth is an electric emery, which is activated by the operator by pressing the start button. The depth of the burr and the angle at which the sharpening is made can be adjusted. The sharpening itself is done by the operator. The chain is sharpened with a special sharpening wheel, which can be changed if necessary.
How to sharpen a chainsaw chain
Sharpening a chainsaw chain is a procedure that gardeners and professional woodcutters regularly encounter. 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 the chain, you need to understand the basic principles of its construction and operation. You cannot just sharpen a chain by eye, you need to know the basic characteristics of the chain and its components.
The chainsaw chain consists of three types of links made of high-alloy steel:
- Cutters. basic chain elements. A distinction is made between right- and left-handed, which are arranged alternately, with their cutting edges above the plane of the bar. The tooth design includes a kerf depth limiter.
- Drives (shanks). serve to transmit torque from the gasoline motor to the chain via 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 elements of the chain is the cutting tooth, which plunges into the wood and removes shavings. 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 setting in relation to the limiter is 0.025″ (0.65 mm) or 0.030″ (0.75 mm).
Long life of any chainsaw depends on proper care and use, including the chain saw. The good performance of the latter affects the performance of the device and its productivity parameters. Failure to sharpen in a timely manner can cause some problems with the saw itself. Most often it is:
- Curved cuts;
- Heavy loads on the saw, resulting in increased wear on the parts of the unit and therefore a reduced life span of the entire unit;
- Increased fuel consumption.
If the saw produces fine, dusty chips and the saw itself sinks into the cut with great force, then the target is dull.
There are other signs of a dull chain:
- The speed of the tool has decreased;
- Uneven and sharp sawdust is formed;
- You have to put a lot of effort into cutting the wood;
- The chain is loose or has become slack.
The chainsaw chain can quickly become dull for the following reasons:
We Sharpen & Tighten Up Our Makita Chainsaw
- If you work with the saw too often;
- When the operator presses hard on the saw while sawing;
- If the chain is made of poor quality metal or if the steel has not been properly heat treated;
- When frequently sawing raw or resinous wood;
- When sawing hardwood trees such as: oak, birch, cherry, acacia, elm, ash and others;
- If the chain is blocked by sand or stones;
- If the chain is not properly sharpened or has insufficient tension during operation.
The device of all chain saws is similar, so the algorithm of actions when removing the chain will be the same:
- First put on protective cotton gloves to prevent cuts by the cutting teeth.
- Remove the protective cover from the chain saw and lay it on its side on a flat surface.
- With a socket wrench of the right diameter, unscrew the fixing nuts that hold the body and bar, remove the top cover of the body.
- Now slide the guide bar all the way down to the sprocket, thus loosening the chain, and remove the working elements from the fastening bolts.
- Disconnect the chain from the bar.
How do you know if a chain is blunt??
There are several signs that tell you that a chain is not working at the moment:
- Requires more physical effort for the same action.
- Stretching chain.
- Feeling vibration when operating the tool.
- Uneven sawdust, which in addition becomes more like dust.
The chain can also become blunt for several reasons:
- Improper handling.
- Coming into contact with objects that are too hard, such as rocks.
- Working too much and for too long.
Grinding with angle grinder
This method is less common. Reason: there are higher safety requirements. But some saw users use it. To sharpen the chain with an angle grinder, the guide bar must be clamped in a vise so that the chain can move freely with the saw brake released. The following steps are performed:
- The reference tooth (the first one to be sharpened) is selected.
- Brakes the saw in operating position.
- Turn the angle grinder on, start sharpening. It is important that the wheel on the angle grinder was sharpening, not cutting.
The disadvantage of this sharpening process is that it is very difficult to maintain the right angle of edge. Equally important, there is a risk that the angle grinder’s disc will damage the eye of the link fastening, which can result in the chain breaking during the sawing process.
The best Chainsaw Chain sharpening video ever
Sharpening with the angle grinder is quite possible, but should not be abused. Better to use the manufacturer’s recommendations and use only certified chain sharpening machines. it will save time and money. Grinding the chain is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. Even if for the first time you get a bad job, don’t get upset. Rest assured that in time you will acquire the necessary skills.