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Author Topic: Chain saw purchase question  (Read 5190 times)

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Offline MRowsh

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Chain saw purchase question
« on: June 03, 2014, 11:51:02 am »
Hello,
I have two Husqvarna chainsaws models 371 and 365. I dropped couple of big pines over last weekend (one of them over 76 years old) the saw was not capable of what I wanted. And yes I had cleaned the air filter!

Anyway, wife is going to buy me a good one for fathers day. I have selected the Stihl model 461 with 25 inches of bar.  I never owned one of them, I need to know for that price ($1099.95 for 25 inch bar) is there anything better for my money?

Appreciate the good recommendations ahead of time.
LogMaster LM2 with Kubota V1305 Diesel conversion.
There is a price for everything in life!!!  No free lunches!
Retired US Army.

Offline JohnG28

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 12:24:27 pm »
That's a pretty nice saw from what I have heard. I haven't run one by my 460 is a great saw with lots of power.
Stihl MS361, 460 & 200T, Jonsered 490, Jonsereds 90, Husky 350 & 142, Homelite XL and Super XL

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 01:16:27 pm »
Quote
I dropped couple of big pines over last weekend

What is a "big" pine? (age doesn't mean anything to describe "big" ;)  )

And "not capable" of what you wanted, isn't very descriptive but may be important to what someone would recommend.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline celliott

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 03:27:08 pm »
Well I've never ran a Stihl 461. I have run a husky 372xp (same power as a 371) The stats sheet suggests the two are pretty close. Both 70cc class saws, the 461 probably has a a bit more grunt at 76cc's. I'm just wondering, if the 371 wasn't capable of what you wanted, if the 461 is a big enough step up in power. Might want to step up to a Stihl 660 or a husky 390xp? Next step up.

I know my 372xp is always capable of whatever I want it to do. But that's subjective to the user, I'd say.
Chris Elliott


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Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 03:53:28 pm »
Is your 365 a 365XP? If yes I would think about sending it to one of the better known saw modders and get a tune up. That would be way more economical with some improvement in performance that might be enough for what you are looking for.

But if you want a saw upgrade I would definately not exclude the Dolmar 7900/7910! That would be an interesting saw for me!

Why not the 461? Because it doesn't have M Tronic! For me that is a deal breaker in that price range.

7

Offline clww

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 05:51:32 pm »
I run a 460 or a 461 six days a week. No noticeable difference between the two cutting trees. Occasionally I run a 25" bar, but normally a 20" with 3/8" skip-tooth chains. The new saws are expensive which is why I keep an eye on the local CL. I got my used (one tree cut) 460 for $500.
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 10:48:06 pm »
Hello,
I have two Husqvarna chainsaws models 371 and 365. I dropped couple of big pines over last weekend (one of them over 76 years old) the saw was not capable of what I wanted. And yes I had cleaned the air filter!
Appreciate the good recommendations ahead of time.
MRowsh. this is so funny , please excuse my brashness. But you have to realize you have 2 perfectly good get r' done saw powerheads........but you have to realize the best accessory for a sharp sawchain is a good reliable high power to weight ratio powerhead :D :)
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline shiggins

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 02:08:15 am »
Wow. Beast saw!  Amazing price difference. Here is Australia it costs 1900. And that's with the 20" bar. Bloody 5!@#%^&*

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 02:23:44 am »
For sure, if you have 2 371's why not drop a little coin into some performance mods by a known good performance shop?  As has been stated, you will save a lot of $$. At least that is what I would do.
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Online Ianab

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 03:45:21 am »
I'm also in the "so what's wrong with the saws you have?" camp.

Like if "do what you want" is cut properly, cos they are old and just plain worn out, Then buying a nice shiny new MS461 makes sense, it's a perfectly good saw.

But if the old saw just wont cut right because the bar is worn or something else minor like that, then fix what's wrong. The MS461 isn't going to be magically better. It's only 5 cc more, which is really not a huge difference. Like your skill at sharpening will make more difference to the actual performance.

Also, technique. I have no issues taking down 36" dia trees with a 60cc / 20" farm grade Stihl. I got a bigger (79cc) Dolmar to handle the big stuff  ;)

Ian

Edit: Of course if you just WANT a new saw, then who are we to argue  ;) :D
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 09:20:44 am »
Quote
Of course if you just WANT a new saw, then who are we to argue

+1
smiley_thumbsup
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Offline celliott

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 09:31:25 am »
Quote
Of course if you just WANT a new saw, then who are we to argue

+1
smiley_thumbsup

I think that's probably the case  ;D

AND if that is the case, I would still recommend the OP step up to a bigger class saw to make sure it's capable of what he wants  :) Get a husky 390xp  ;)
Chris Elliott


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Offline Oliver1655

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 03:38:39 pm »
If you want to use a 25" bar, Great, get one for the 371. 

I have a Stihl 08s, stock, 56cc, I run a 25" bar with .404 / 63 gauge semi-chisel & square cut chain for falling / bucking large trunks & while it is a little slower, 7,000 rpm in the cut, I have no problems with dropping 48-50" trees.   

As others have stated, a sharp chain, let it feed it's way in, & you should have no problems.

If you really feel you need to step up, go with a 395 or equivalent.  Make the step worth the effort.
John

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Offline MRowsh

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 02:56:28 pm »
Outstanding responses. I am glad I made some one laugh.

I have this chain sharpner:
http://www.harborfreight.com/electric-chain-saw-sharpener-68221-8346.html

Is it normal for a chain to looses it's sharpness after dropping 4 trees?  3 oak, and one big pine. The pine is over 2 feet wide cut.

1.  Of course lack of experience can have a lot to do with my thoughts!! 

2.  Also I just wanted a German made saw. 

And now;  I got one. Without using it yet,  I believe it is much better saw than those I have, of course this is just my opinion without any testing and evaluation. Just the way it is together to include the owner's manual!! I also got 3 bars (2 25 inch and one 20 inch) and 8 chains ( 6 25 inch and 2 20 inch) . Hope these last for the next 5 years.

With respect to rebuilding the old ones for more power; please provide information to who is the one.  Or, for some one who is mechanically inclined ; what parts and where I should order them from?

Again, thanks for all interesting responses.  God bless you all.
LogMaster LM2 with Kubota V1305 Diesel conversion.
There is a price for everything in life!!!  No free lunches!
Retired US Army.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 03:07:53 pm »
Quote
Is it normal for a chain to looses it's sharpness after dropping 4 trees?  3 oak, and one big pine. The pine is over 2 feet wide cut.

Not normal for a chain to become dull after 4 trees.. but it will become less sharp. Diameter does not have much to do with it. I touch up the chain with a file after each fill of fuel and oil.

If the chain even touches dirt, it will lose sharpness rapidly and to the point it needs to be sharpened if you want good cutting.

No one laughing at you. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2014, 04:13:51 pm »
The new Stihl will be a fine saw, no worries there. Have fun using it  :)

But as for the chain getting dull? In clean wood you would expect it to last longer than that. But if you touch the dirt, or there is dirt or grit in the bark of the trees, then you can dull it in seconds. And the same will happen to the new saw. OK some chains are grinding patterns do stay sharp a bit longer because of harder steel and a different cutter shape, but what I'm saying is the make and model of powerhead wont really affect things.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2014, 05:04:38 pm »
Outstanding responses. I am glad I made some one laugh.

I have this chain sharpner:
http://www.harborfreight.com/electric-chain-saw-sharpener-68221-8346.html

Is it normal for a chain to looses it's sharpness after dropping 4 trees?  3 oak, and one big pine. The pine is over 2 feet wide cut.

1.  Of course lack of experience can have a lot to do with my thoughts!! 

2.  Also I just wanted a German made saw. 

And now;  I got one. Without using it yet,  I believe it is much better saw than those I have, of course this is just my opinion without any testing and evaluation. Just the way it is together to include the owner's manual!! I also got 3 bars (2 25 inch and one 20 inch) and 8 chains ( 6 25 inch and 2 20 inch) . Hope these last for the next 5 years.

With respect to rebuilding the old ones for more power; please provide information to who is the one.  Or, for some one who is mechanically inclined ; what parts and where I should order them from?

Again, thanks for all interesting responses.  God bless you all.
@MRowsh,

There are quite a few well known out there. Names would be Dozerdan, blsnelling, Mastermind, tlandrum, etc. You might not find them all here but there are also other forums where you can find them.

And you might see some threads by them where you can make up your own mind about their work.

And I have a similar grinder and am also happy with the results. Not perfect but completely usable.

7

Offline JohnG28

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2014, 05:06:15 pm »
Yeah, if the wood pulled sand or dirt into the bark you can dull the chain just felling a few trees.  Touch up the cutters with a file quick like every so often will help. Let's get some video of that nice new saw cutting!  8)
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2014, 10:03:24 pm »
Pine which likes to grow on sandy rocky soil tends to have dirt grit in it's bark near ground level.
Spruce and balsam fir are usually always have clean bark with the fact they grow mostly in mossy terrain.

Cutting clean timber like spruce can actually hone a sharp chain sharper with a polished gullet and cutting edge.
I've seen that after steady cutting in a 8 hour day logging spruce.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline MRowsh

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2014, 09:32:10 pm »
Yes, I checked, the is sand imbeded into the barks where I have placed the cut. I cut very close to ground. I am trying to get as much wood as I can! And there is a price to pay.

I was not healthy enough to use the chain saw today, but I sharpened up the other two saws, and cleaned up the air filters.  Here is a picture of them.

 

 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2014, 09:53:49 pm »
Looks like you keep them cleaned up good and they look in great shape.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline John R

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2014, 11:06:21 pm »
Hello,
I have two Husqvarna chainsaws models 371 and 365. I dropped couple of big pines over last weekend (one of them over 76 years old) the saw was not capable of what I wanted. And yes I had cleaned the air filter!

Anyway, wife is going to buy me a good one for fathers day. I have selected the Stihl model 461 with 25 inches of bar.  I never owned one of them, I need to know for that price ($1099.95 for 25 inch bar) is there anything better for my money?

Appreciate the good recommendations ahead of time.


That's a good price, you will really like that saw.
John


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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2014, 12:30:53 am »
Keep in mind, the chain on the saw often matters more than the saw itself. You can have all the power in the world, but it doesn't matter squat if the chains not properly sharpened. There is no set time how long a chain should stay sharp, when it's dull and not self feeding through the cut, the chain needs work.
Andre.

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2014, 12:41:05 am »
Keep in mind, the chain on the saw often matters more than the saw itself. You can have all the power in the world, but it doesn't matter squat, if the chains not properly sharpened.

Very true, and if your are sawing dirty wood, and the chain stops cutting after 4 trees, you should be sharpening it after 3. Then it only needs a couple of strokes with a file on each cutter. Do that in the field with a file and guide. Only takes a few minutes, and as you are only taking a tiny amount off with the file, your chain will last much longer. If you use the dull chain until it practically wont cut, the edge will be badly rounded over, and you will need to grind away a lot more metal to get a good edge back.

Keep the grinder to occasionally true up the chain angles in case your filing isn't 100%, or you actually do hit a rock and the chain needs some serious work.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2014, 12:55:00 am »
Keep in mind, the chain on the saw often matters more than the saw itself. You can have all the power in the world, but it doesn't matter squat, if the chains not properly sharpened.

Very true, and if your are sawing dirty wood, and the chain stops cutting after 4 trees, you should be sharpening it after 3. Then it only needs a couple of strokes with a file on each cutter. Do that in the field with a file and guide. Only takes a few minutes, and as you are only taking a tiny amount off with the file, your chain will last much longer. If you use the dull chain until it practically wont cut, the edge will be badly rounded over, and you will need to grind away a lot more metal to get a good edge back.

Keep the grinder to occasionally true up the chain angles in case your filing isn't 100%, or you actually do hit a rock and the chain needs some serious work.

Ian

Good post. However we need to stop with all the 1 tree 3 trees stuff. Sharpen the chain when you see the working corner reflect light and obviously if the chain doesn't self feed and pull nice big chips.

MRowsh, do you know about setting the depth gauges? If not you're chain will never cut, even if the tooth itself is perfectly sharp. The two Husky saws you have should pull a 25" bar and chain well in any type of wood. If not something is up with the saws, the chains on the saws, or the operator.     
Andre.

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2014, 01:46:04 am »
Agreed. I'm just using that as an example, that you need to resharpen as soon as the chain looses it's edge. Not when it wont cut any more.  Having a close look at the cutters is the best way, once you see that chrome layer start to round over, reach for the file. Or just getting a feel for the saw, and thinking "Hmm, it's not cutting quite so well, time to touch it up"

So I agree, it's not after "x" trees, it's when it's needed. If that's 1 tree or 100, so be it. On a bad day it might be 1/2 way through a tree   >:( :D

Ian
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2014, 03:46:36 am »
Agreed. I'm just using that as an example, that you need to resharpen as soon as the chain looses it's edge. Not when it wont cut any more.  Having a close look at the cutters is the best way, once you see that chrome layer start to round over, reach for the file. Or just getting a feel for the saw, and thinking "Hmm, it's not cutting quite so well, time to touch it up"

So I agree, it's not after "x" trees, it's when it's needed. If that's 1 tree or 100, so be it. On a bad day it might be 1/2 way through a tree   >:( :D

Ian

Not long ago I put a new Stihl RS, 105 DL chain on my 7900. As soon as I set the saw in a log, I hit nail and the chain jumped off the bar. I called it a day after that.
Andre.

Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2014, 08:05:25 am »
I know that feeling cutting at a stump with a brand new 24 Stihl chain. Hit, what I presume, a rock, refilling and cutting a few inches next to the previous cut and of course same rock.... You just have to listen to the signs....

 ;D

7

Offline MRowsh

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2014, 08:57:24 am »
Yes I do check the depth too, and file it properly.

This is a good tool, but tis guy does not mention anything about the depth!



This chainsaw sharpner I think is one of the best I have seen so far.  I did not buy it yet, because I have one Harbor Fright electric sharpner and one 12 Volt DC powered one, but I have to file the depth after finishing the sharpening.  This tool does both at the same time.

http://www.amazon.com/STIHL-EASY-CHAINSAW-CHAIN-SHARPENER/dp/B00HY90LAE/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1402232055&sr=8-15&keywords=stihl+chainsaw+sharpener

Thanks for all the good tips. Appreciate it.
God keep you all safe and sound!
LogMaster LM2 with Kubota V1305 Diesel conversion.
There is a price for everything in life!!!  No free lunches!
Retired US Army.

Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2014, 09:15:26 am »
I find the timberline sharpener way out of hand pricewise. And have seen many resell their unit. It is a good idea but fo that money I can buy a bunch of other filling equipment. Further I have yet to see an independant cutting comparison of one chain with a timberline and another with a simple file. I highly doubt the, even if they exist, minimal differences will ever be noticeable in real life.

7

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2014, 09:36:56 am »
Yes I do check the depth too, and file it properly.

This is a good tool, but tis guy does not mention anything about the depth!



This chainsaw sharpner I think is one of the best I have seen so far.  I did not buy it yet, because I have one Harbor Fright electric sharpner and one 12 Volt DC powered one, but I have to file the depth after finishing the sharpening.  This tool does both at the same time.

http://www.amazon.com/STIHL-EASY-CHAINSAW-CHAIN-SHARPENER/dp/B00HY90LAE/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1402232055&sr=8-15&keywords=stihl+chainsaw+sharpener

Thanks for all the good tips. Appreciate it.
God keep you all safe and sound!

If you're using the HF sharpener, I highly doubt the chains you sharpen are worth anything. Even with the better grinders there's a pretty big learning curve. When you finely learn to set the grinder up properly, the edge a file produces is still far superior. Not only is a badly sharpened chain inefficient, it can kill as saw quicker than one would ever think.
Andre.

Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2014, 09:51:56 am »
If you're using the HF sharpener, I highly doubt the chains you sharpen are worth anything. Even with the better grinders there's a pretty big learning curve. When you finely learn to set the grinder up properly, the edge a file produces is still far superior. Not only is a badly sharpened chain inefficient, it can kill as saw quicker than one would ever think.
Sorry disagree! I also use a HF clone and my chains are sharp. Of course the file will improve on that. Will have to make a video in the next few days.

7

Online John Mc

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2014, 09:57:50 am »
As far as when to sharpen, my favorite quote on this comes form a Game of Logging instructor:

"You don't sharpen a chain because it got dull, you sharpen it to keep it from getting dull."

His point was, if you are doing the former, you waited too long to sharpen (assuming you didn't hit a rock or something).
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Offline pwheel

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2014, 10:00:21 am »
I've found that a Stihl MS440 (70cc, same power class as a Husky 371/372) will cut 36-42" pine with no issues. For Oak & other hardwoods, 20" bar max. Sharp chain with correctly-filed rakers is a must.
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2014, 06:19:17 pm »
7 I've seen the reviews of that grinder on other sites. The angles are all over the place, the arm has a ton of flex, the stone wheel doesn't cut well and the list goes on. I had a $400.00 Oregon 511AX grinder at one time. First thing I did was check the angle markings for accuracy, they were off and I recalibrate them. I also had to shim a few things to take the play out. If I had to guess our ideas of what a sharp chain is, are quite different. Unless you're filing 50 chains a day all a firewood cutter needs is a few good files.     

pwheel I must disagree with you as well. A 70cc saw should pull a 24" bar through any hardwood on the face of the earth, with relative ease. If not there's a big problem somewhere.

John your quote was spot on, and is sums up my philosophy.   
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2014, 09:01:23 am »
Andyshine77 - I think I probably read some of those same reviews. I thought I had put a post in this thread about seeing some fixes that people had done for the less expensive grinders, but for some reason, it's not showing up.

One of the problems with some of the less expensive grinders is that you end up with a good bit of variation, especially when you compare the left handed cutters to the right handed ones on a chain. The chains were certainly coming out sharp, but the variation was causing troubles. People were putting in shims and washers to take out some of the slop and reduce the variation in angle from one side to the other. It apparently made a significant difference. You still had to be more careful with the cheap grinders than with the high end ones, but it did make an improvement.  Unfortunately, I can't find those posts now.  It may have been on a different website.

John
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2014, 09:08:57 am »
On the Timberline sharpener:  I've never tried one (or even seen one in person). I get good results with my hand file and the Oregon guide that the file snaps in to. Better results than what I get off the grinder at 3 different shops I've tried (and these are REAL chainsaw repair shops, not the local hardware that gave some kid 15 minutes training on a chain grinder). THe grinder does OK, but the hand sharpened chains seem to have a bit of an edge (no pun intended) over the machine ground chains.

I'd like to try the Timberline sometime... but not enough to go out and buy one. The timberline is expensive compared to hand filing tools, but cheap compared to a good grinder It would be interesting to compare the speed and end results to hand filing or grinding to see where it stacks up.

I do know that there is no way to get the 10˚ "down angle" on a Timberline sharpener that you get by lowering the handle on a hand file.  I wonder if that sacrifices much in how the chain cuts (at least on chains that recommend using that 10˚ down angle.)
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Offline 7sleeper

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2014, 11:44:31 am »
7 I've seen the reviews of that grinder on other sites. The angles are all over the place, the arm has a ton of flex, the stone wheel doesn't cut well and the list goes on. ....If I had to guess our ideas of what a sharp chain is, are quite different. Unless you're filing 50 chains a day all a firewood cutter needs is a few good files.     
....
I never made any comment on the contrary. Yes the arm has flex and yes the angles are not precise to a single and the stone isn't perfect. Absolutely correct. But no one in the world is going to tell me that any firewood cutter is more precise over 66 or 72 dl with the file without any type of permanently mounted rig. Further I understand the love for precision but there are even more threads on other sites about the optimum angle for the cutter. This is an endless debate because there is no one answer. So if my right hand cutters are at 28 and my left had cutters at 32 I seriously doubt that any major downfalls for a firewooder will ever be noticed. And I am always talking about the firewood gathering guy, not a pro in any way.

I don't know what your criteria is but my criteria is are nice chips cumming out yes or no!? If yes sharp chain if no dull chain. That is my criteria.

And I agree that a file is usually enough for most sharpening chores. For me it isn't enough because when I go to my BIL and have his bunch of chains hanging by the nail in my hands that haven't been sharpend since ages and all they produce is more or less dust, then I sure am happy with the unprecise el cheapo grinder that takes away enough material so that all I do is a few passes with a file to make the results better/perfect. The same is for me on rocked chains. Refiling them is just a pain.

7

Offline MRowsh

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2014, 12:31:09 pm »
Has anyone used one of these files yet?

http://www.amazon.com/STIHL-EASY-CHAINSAW-CHAIN-SHARPENER/dp/B00HY90LAE/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1402232055&sr=8-15&keywords=stihl+chainsaw+sharpener

According to Stihl sales, it is the best he has seen so far.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2014, 12:50:03 pm »
They all will do the job, and depending on who is doing the talking and what their experiences are, each will have a favorite tool and method.
And no surprise that a Stihl sales rep would say "best seen so far". ;)

Just need to know when to file, when the teeth are sharp, and what works best for you to get them that way.

I've recited my experience, and my different choices... from the setup of a grinder (never felt the chain was really sharp, tho it would cut), the dremel diamond stones, the Oregon file gauge and holder that clamped to the bar, the various file holders that would rest on top of each tooth, file only, and now the Husky 2-roller guide which I like the best of any of the previous. Prolly not for everyone.
But I don't think the teeth could be any sharper, even considering the expensive Timberline (I think the time spent sharpening would be about 4-5 times longer than the Husky system).

Good luck with your search.
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2014, 04:59:42 pm »
So if my right hand cutters are at 28 and my left had cutters at 32 I seriously doubt that any major downfalls for a firewooder will ever be noticed. And I am always talking about the firewood gathering guy, not a pro in any way.

7 -  I'm not saying the Hf grinder is worthless. As I stated, with care it can work. I brought up the angle variation since the poster mentioned that his saw was wanting to cut in a curve. Filing the left side differently than the right is one thing that can cause a saw not to cut straight.
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2014, 05:30:26 am »
Some of the cheap grinders are off 10 or more degrees, not just a few here or there. That makes a big difference. Then you add inexperience and you'll get people coming here saying my saw doesn't cut worth a hoot, I need a bigger one. With the small wheel weak motor, and evening else, I will go ahead and say the HF grinder is useless. Sorry that's my opinion. Like I said I've used the better more expensive grinders, and even then it's hard to get a proper edge if you don't have proper guidance.
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2014, 10:10:53 am »
Being a "saw filer only" I can't comment on bench mounted grinders seeing I never owned one.
But I do own this handy 20 volt cordless model which I keep in the pickup to bring a rocked out chain back to square again on my stump lowering saw .......then I finish with the hand file.

  

 
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Offline MRowsh

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2014, 12:17:30 pm »
One gentlemen diagnosed my issue correctly. Sand and dirt in the bark!  I have been cutting very close to ground to save as much wood as I can. And as I said, after dropping 4 good size trees had to get the back up chain saw.  Now I have two back up chain saws.  So, no need to take time and resharpen.

The HF grainder/sharpner works good for me, and cuts as straight as it can be when I cut. I never ever mentioned anything in that regards, I guess each reflects to it's own experiences and assumes others have done the same.

On weekends I got only few hours to work on my land, so I do not really have time  to sit and spend 12 minutes to resharpen the chain, and I have the means to purchase more than one chainsaw, that is the reason I have 3.  So, at nights after supper is over, if I got any energy left, I do sharpen the chains and get them ready for the weekend if weather allows me to do maximum of 3 hours of cutting.

And yes, hand filing provide the best results.
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2014, 04:16:11 pm »
One gentlemen diagnosed my issue correctly. Sand and dirt in the bark!  I have been cutting very close to ground to save as much wood as I can. And as I said, after dropping 4 good size trees had to get the back up chain saw.  Now I have two back up chain saws.  So, no need to take time and resharpen.

The HF grainder/sharpner works good for me, and cuts as straight as it can be when I cut. I never ever mentioned anything in that regards, I guess each reflects to it's own experiences and assumes others have done the same.

On weekends I got only few hours to work on my land, so I do not really have time  to sit and spend 12 minutes to resharpen the chain, and I have the means to purchase more than one chainsaw, that is the reason I have 3.  So, at nights after supper is over, if I got any energy left, I do sharpen the chains and get them ready for the weekend if weather allows me to do maximum of 3 hours of cutting.

And yes, hand filing provide the best results.

What work for you, works.  :)

Do keep in mind, having a properly cutting chain can save hours, so to me the 5 to 10 minutes it takes to sharpen one, is time well spent. Now taking extra chains is a different story, that's what I do as well.     
Andre.

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2014, 05:29:20 pm »
The HF grainder/sharpner works good for me, and cuts as straight as it can be when I cut. I never ever mentioned anything in that regards, I guess each reflects to it's own experiences and assumes others have done the same.

My apologies, since I'm the one who got us off on the "cutting on a curve" tangent. That's what I get for following and responding to several threads at the same time about chainsaws not cutting properly.  The "not cutting straight" comment must have been from somewhere else, and I confused the threads when responding.

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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2014, 05:30:01 pm »
One gentlemen diagnosed my issue correctly. Sand and dirt in the bark!  I have been cutting very close to ground to save as much wood as I can. And as I said, after dropping 4 good size trees had to get the back up chain saw.  Now I have two back up chain saws.  So, no need to take time and resharpen.
So I wonder who that gentlemen is? :D

Only being able to fell 4 good sized trees before sharpening doesn't sound right, even with some sand in the bark.......unless your cutting on a sandy beach ???
I think you may be filing too low into the cutter's gullet making too much hook in the side plate making a weak thin cutting edge. Reduce the angles a bit and you'll sharpen a lot less and not need those 2 backup saws.
Seems you may be sharpening for quick cookie cutting cuts
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Offline JohnG28

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2014, 11:49:27 pm »

So I wonder who that gentlemen is? :D


Ian?? ???  :D
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Offline CTYank

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2014, 02:07:50 am »
Couple of points of interest.

If tree bark is dirty where you're going to cut, you can remove that bark with an axe or draw-knive. Longer-term you could use semi-chisel chains rather than full chisel.

Is the source of the problem at the b&c end, not the power-head? Seems so. Then, I'd find better use of $1100. And, see to it that the power heads are fully ready for duty.

Months back, bud & I did a side-by-side with HF grinder (his) and $100 NT Oregon-clone grinder (mine). Not meaning to ruffle any feathers, but we both concluded that at any price, the HF grinder was a waste of space, and effort. It was pretty simple to get consistent results, with min. metal removal, with the NT. The HF was random, suitable only for removing rocking damage.

Regardless, a properly-filed chain is preferable to ground. Period. IMHO, the simplest, most consistent way to file saw chain is with Granberg's guide. Conducive to removing min. metal. Depth gauges are trivially simple to set with a flat file in that guide.

Being a cussed Yankee, I'd tend to direct my hard-earned bucks toward the most cost-effective solutions, to get the best yield. No shelf-queens, please. They work up to their potential, or they gone.
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2014, 02:35:58 am »
Yank that was an excellent post. I think you hit the nail on the head.

Far too often people try to compensate for chain sharpening incipience with more power. I can cut nearly anything with my 346 and a good chain.

If possible, could some of you using the HF grinder take a couple clear pictures of one tooth freshly sharpened on the grinder?
Andre.

Offline barbender

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2014, 09:57:01 am »
I have one of the HF grinders. I used it on a rocked chain, once. I repeat, once ;)
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2014, 12:04:41 pm »
Trouble is todays saw chain is coming from the factory pre ground with excessive sharp angles, cuts like blazes but doesn't hold a good edge like it used to. 
Here's a pic of 3  chains, the top chain is my latest 100 ft roll and as you notice the excessive sharp angles.
Last 2 bottom chains are from about 20 years ago, the middle chain is near perfect in fast cutting-good edge holding angles. The last chain will hold the best edge but not cut so fast.
 

 
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2014, 12:17:50 pm »
Lately the tooth lengths are all over the place, because of that the depth gauges aren't at te right hight as well.
Andre.

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2014, 05:49:58 pm »
To add to my last post here is a pic of my latest Oregon chain as I showed earlier and below it a Stihl skip chain from about 10 years ago.
From what I remember Stihl was the first with the radical factory grinds with the excessive "hook" in the side plates, then Oregon followed suit.
Notice this Stihl chain is the old style pre- comfort chain without the "C" and with even material below the toe and heel of the cutter. The new style Oregon with the "Anti-Vibe" and 1 barbed arrow between the rivets shows the lower cutter heel with less material beneath it. The cutters then are suspended with a gap between the heel and guide bar...this clearance is like a shock absorber reducing vibration in the kerf.

If the old generation engineers saw these radical angles in the sideplates they would probably flip.

 

 
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Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2014, 06:47:23 pm »
WOW I haven't seen off the reel chain with that much hook. That won't stay sharp long. Do you think it's intentional or simply poor quality control?
Andre.

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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2014, 08:51:14 pm »
WOW I haven't seen off the reel chain with that much hook. That won't stay sharp long. Do you think it's intentional or simply poor quality control?
I think it was intentional. With fewer professionals running saws in the last 15-20 years and the rise of the internet, so much discussion revolved around who's better and cuts faster.....Stihl or Oregon?

Also back in the day when the pro market took a lot more of the saw chain market, the pro users were able to properly file a new chain which at the time came off the reel with fairly blunt angles.

Todays casual user or arborist  ;D can have a quick cutting chain right at the start for a short time. Then when it's time to sharpen with the file the aggressive hook holds the file in place easily for the less experienced filer and after a few sharpenings the sideplate angles will be reduced significantly thus making a normal good cutting chain.

Now for the few top professional users today they wouldn't be running this round ground chain.....only the square ground chisel bit chain would be in order. 
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2014, 08:43:33 am »
I've been rather dismayed to see the excessive hook in the chains of the roll or out of the box (I generally use Oregon chain, but I've seen it on others). This came about as they were promoting the "sharp right out of the box" chain. Not only does the edge not last worth a darn, it's really "grabby", making bore cuts a problem at times (the bar tip wants to jump around, even after I've cut a "pocket" for it to sit in). 

Where I really notice it is when boring through the face of the hinge on a small backward-leaning tree to make a slot so the wedge doesn't bottom out against the back of the hinge when driving it. If the bar jumps due to the grabby chain, it starts chewing into what little hinge I've got left.

The other thing I've noticed is that the rakers tend to come set way to high -- sometimes as little as .010" below the tooth. I assume this is some attempt to make up for the grabby hook on the chain.

I wish they'd go back to old profile. With that excessive hook, they've wasted a at least a couple of sharpenings by taking that extra metal out of the gullet. Yeah, it might cut like a bandit right out of the box, but it doesn't last. In the end, it take longer to cut any volume of wood, since you have to stop and sharpen earlier.

I'd write a letter to Oregon, but I have the feeling my time would be wasted. They're convinced that aggressive profile is bringing in customers - and I guess it probably does: if you don't sharpen your chains (or aren't very good at it), it's easy to say "I put a new chain on my saw, and man what a difference."  In fact, with either the old profile or the new one, I found I could get a better cutting chain (that still would last more than a few cuts) by touching up even brand new chain with a hand file before using it.
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2014, 03:28:10 pm »
John, well said.
With the latest Oregon LGX chain I showed earlier the side plate hook fits a 1/4" round file perfectly . I tried filing with 1/4" files with no down pressure until the hook was reduced significantly and with 1/10 the diameter of the file above the cutting edge. But trouble was I was running out of gullet and switching over to the 7/32" file became a real chore trying to follow the 1/4" file contour..
So now on the first sharpening I just take a 1/16" or so off the cutting edge with the flat file or with my cordless angle grinder and then follow up with the 7/32" file.

Yes I think your right about the "sharp out of the box" marketing .....just to bring in more sales with less regard to durability.
It's been a while since I talked to my old friend Gary Walrath who is a long retired Oregon field engineer. I'd like to ask him his thoughts on the route the industry has decided to go......but I'm sure he's enjoying retirement on his acreage in eastern Washington state and I wouldn't want to bother him. :laugh:

When I last talked to Gary he said the company was doing less and less field testing which is not a good thing for product research and development.
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2014, 07:01:47 am »
HolmenTree -  I haven't tried the trick with the flat file. I'll have to give it a shot.

I've never been all that great at freehand filing, and that extra hook just seems to want to suck the file down too low. Maintaining "up" pressure against the hook on the tooth just doesn't seem to work for me. So I generally use one of those Oregon guides that clips on to the file. Even with that, the hook sometimes wants to wedge in between the file and the guide if I'm not careful.

If you ever do catch up to Gary, I'd be interested in what he has to say. Sometimes it's fun to weigh in on how things have changed after retirement... at least it's generally a lot less stressful than doing so while still employed.
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2014, 06:32:00 pm »

 On the side of too much hook  is little , no or negative hook.  I've gotten chains in here that were sharpened at saw shops with negative hook, the guy I sharpened them called a couple days later and told me he couldn't believe how much time he was wasting trying to cut with them.  Steve
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Re: Chain saw purchase question
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2014, 09:23:44 pm »
I've seen a lot of badly sharpened saw chain. Even some of the pro's who make a living with a saw are "lazy hand filers", I've seen back slope in the cutter side plate angles from not putting enough down pressure on a free hand file. Then they would file the depth gauges down to .040-.050-.060 to compensate for the poor cutting back slope. :D
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