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12v chainsaw sharpeners

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12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:22 pm

I reckon I'm pretty useful with a hand file, which is great for a quick 'polish' on an otherwise reasonably OK chain, but there are occasions when I've 'been gardening' and gone into roots or nipped the ground or a stone or bit of wire and the chain is well blunt. I found last week one side of the chain was far more blunt and despite attempted hand filing the saw kept curving sideways through thick wood. Under those circumstances its difficult to get back to any sort of decent edge, a more drastic 'restoration' is called for to prolong the life of the chain and I've been researching mechanical options.

Rob at chainsawbars.co.uk (he of the Alaskan mill) reckons the quickest best way to sharpen back to a factory edge, particularly when working with long bars is to go for a 12v portable sharpener. Cheapest would be something like a basic Oregon or Granberg at around the £30 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K11rAKksX98

For a more precise rather than hand-held version, there's the Granberg (also known as Sawtune) precision grinder (£60ish), which clamps on to the chain bar. On Arbtalk pro users seem to unanimously say its a great bit of kit which will get the chain cutting like new again. When you've a heck of a lot of old hard oak to go through as I have, you need the best edge possible or else its exhausting. At the end of the next video you can see how an old chain sharpened by Rob with very little tooth left on it is taken back to a really 'new' edge and then goes through thick hardwood like proverbial butter. The grinding stones cost about £2.50 each in packs of three, and each will sharpen a chain about three times, so its about 80p a shout to resurrect an otherwise useless chain. A handfile would do for quick job in between 12V grinder treatments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEdu4u6dnGA&list=UU9K0KfLNH84tuWi2VjlSlCg

Wonder if anyone else has comments or experience of 12V grinders before I probably take the plunge.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby ballibeg » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:48 am

I'm sure you'll get along well with a 12v sharpener if you're good with a file. I'm one for changing chains in the woods and sharpening back in the comforts of the workshop. The 12v maybe quick but that brings it's own problems if you're out of line! Natural progression from a file though if you've mastered free hand filing.

Dave
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:32 pm

From that comment I deduce you are familiar with mechanical sharpeners such as 12V and agree that they are effective in taking back a blunt or damaged tooth quickly, but need to be used with accuracy or else it could lead to a sharp but potentially misaligned and uneven chain. That could be pretty malfunctional, putting all sorts of stresses on the chain, bar and user.

That seems to suggest that when refurbishing a really manky chain the 12V system should be used with some sort of 'guide' system (such as the Sawtune) clamped on the bar to ensure uniform teeth. If used without a guide-rail in the field for a quick routine sharpening it needs an accurate careful eye and not overdoing it.

Makes sense, I think I'll go for it and report back.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby SimonFisher » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:22 pm

Is there any danger with a high-speed rotating grind stone of heating the chain tooth such that it changes the temper of the steel?

How about the Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener?
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:11 pm

I have read on Arbtalk of that happening with the larger 'Portek' type bench grinders, but of course they have a far larger diameter wheels and will consequently probably generate more friction (?). On those the recommended way to avoid overheating was grinding in short bursts, giving a second or two for the teeth to cool, or using the blue rather than pink discs (?). Also the wheels tended apparently to go smooth and users would briefly touch them when rotating with a diamond file just to rough them up again. Overheating isn't mentioned as an issue on Rob's videos and he's usually very comprehensive in his suggestions, so I'm guessing its hopefully less of an issue on the smaller stones of the Sawtune.

The Timberlines are recommended by Radmores, they sell quite a few and the build quality looks solid, a nice bit of kit. Bit of a hit to the wallet though at £159, thats 100 notes more than a Granberg Sawtune if you shop around for one at £59. Both the Timberline and Sawtune are described as getting back to a factory edge and they work on the same principle, both sitting on the bar. You pays your money and takes your chances. I found an ebay seller offering boxes of 25 stones for a Sawtune at £30, which is quite a saving compared to buying them in 3's.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby SimonFisher » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:30 pm

You may recall I tried a Portek and posted a review. I've now got the Timberline and I'm liking it though I have only used it once or twice so far.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Just read the old Portek thread again and there I was flagging up the Timberline. Dare I take credit for pointing you towards it Simon? Do you still tend to use your Stihl 2-in-1 EasyFile most of the time?

I should have followed my own suggestions back in January and got a Timberline when it was £108 for the sharpener and £24 for the carbide cutters. Can't see the justification for the price going up 50% in less than a year, to £159 / £31. Its for sale in the USA for the equivalent of £83. :(

I'm thinking of taking the plunge with a big milling-size Stihl, the 661 or 880, so I might have a word with Radmores and see if they'll chuck in a Timberline as a sweetener- that would just about swing it. :D
Last edited by oldclaypaws on Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby SimonFisher » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:35 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:Just read the old Portek thread again and there I was flagging up the Timberline. Dare I take credit for pointing you towards it Simon?

Yes, that's probably fare. I don't think I'd seen it until you made reference to it.

Do you still tend to use your Stihl 2-in-1 EasyFile most of the time?

No, the Timberline's my primary sharpening tool now. Like someone else who posted in this thread, I tend to carry enough chains to put a fresh one on if necessary when I'm chainsawing, then do the sharpening when I'm back home.
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Re: 12v chainsaw sharpeners

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:55 pm

It seems every Timberline stockist (bar Radmores, at premium prices) and even the US guys are currently waiting on stock. Maybe they've been overwhelmed by demand, or are outsourcing production to our Oriental cousins?
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