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Author Topic: Saw file guides  (Read 573 times)

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Offline D2 Cody

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Saw file guides
« on: July 20, 2017, 04:09:47 pm »
Hi guys, I know this subject has been talked about before but I am looking at getting a file guide to carry in the field instead of free handing it any more. I am pretty decent at free handing with a vise and file but looking for something a little bit more accurate. I think I have it narrowed down to the oregon sure sharp, the granberg file and joint, or a little gadget Bailey's  sells called the timberline sharpener. Oregon always sells good products but I have heard the sure sharp is mostly plastic so I am leaning more toward the granberg with full metal construction and all the positions it has to get angles right the first time. The Bailey's timberline also looks very handy and easy to operate but take special bits I would have to make sure and keep on hand versus the oregon or grabbers that take normal files. Any information or experiences would be great to hear. Thanks again guys.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 02:08:44 pm »
This is what I use:



I've also used this one:



I like the first one better, but that's probably just because I've used it more and am used to it.

I've also used the Stihl 2 in 1 guide and the Granberg file-n-joint. Both worked OK, but are too bulky for my taste, since I like to keep my filing equipment handy when cutting.

I sometimes have to endure the cracks of the "real men" about how I'm using training wheels and that if I "really knew what I was doing" I'd free-hand file. Whatever. My chains cut well, and I'm happy with their performance. If you can do better free-hand filing, have at it.

Occasionally, I'll find someone who is really good at free hand filing. Frequently, I find people who only THINK they are good at it (interestingly these are generally also the ones who feel the need to give me crap about using a guide).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline ButchC

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 09:22:08 am »
I have yet to meet the sharpening widget that doesn't have it's own set of issues and I have tried most of them over the years. The only one I have stuck with is the flat plate style as John pictured. I only use them in the field where I cant put the saw in a bench vise. I dont like the current ones made by Oregon due to the way they hold the file.  Stihl sells a nice one. Yes you still have to keep the top angle by eye but almost every chain has witness marks now and so does the tool. The 10 degree side angle is much less important and easy enough to guess or just file the chain flat and dont tell anyone,, the wood wont know the difference and neither will you.
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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 01:58:49 pm »

I've also used this one:

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)


I've used both of the ones that John posted but I like this one better. It just works better for me as it kind of sets up both angles at once. I have one for .325 and one for .375 chain.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 02:47:21 pm »

I've also used this one:

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)


I've used both of the ones that John posted but I like this one better. It just works better for me as it kind of sets up both angles at once. I have one for .325 and one for .375 chain.

I'd probably end up liking that roller style guide if I just used it enough more to get used to it. One of the reasons I ended up not using it much was the first time I tried it, my file dropped out of the handle (not the fault of the roller guide) and I could not find it - it must have taken a funny bounce and buried itself. With the other style (flat bar that clams on to the file), things don't get lost as easily.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 01:25:58 pm »
Speaking of files, I've recently switched to a 4.5mm file for my .325 chains instead of the standard 3/16" (4.8 mm). An arborist friend suggested that to me saying that he felt it gave the chain a sharper cut. I have used these for a couple of months now and I believe this is true. It's probably a standard trick, but I hadn't heard of it before he told me and now I really like them!

Offline CTYank

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Re: Saw file guides
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 08:30:28 pm »
Been using the same Granberg guide since the mid-70s. Goes wherever I go with a saw. Simple to set up & precise. I've shown some buds how it works: "Where can I get one?" Easy to precisely set depth gauge height too, something you might want to do every 10-20 hrs runtime. Or not.

Only problem I've seen: 3/8" LP NK bars are too thin for it to grab. Got a current-production version for that- problem solved.

Couple "auxiliary tools" that may help:
     el-cheapo NT stump vise until you get used to using it,
     black Sharpie marker to ID first cutter filed, for chains not having #DL an integer multiple of 4.
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