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  1. #1
    Super Member daugen's Avatar
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    Kubota L5740HSTC, Massey Ferguson 2615

    Default are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Need to take my spare chain in to get sharpened and the dealer has a new automatic sharpener, just load up the chain, and it goes about its business advancing the chain and sharpening. 7 bucks I think.
    But do these automatic ones take too much material off? A hand file can be used gently, those automatic ones seem to take a preset amount off no matter what.
    I'd like to think that after three sharpenings I'm not going to need to buy a new chain...
    What are your experiences? thanks Drew
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long solid bucket grapple, TNT, CA forks and stump bucket, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mowers, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2014 JD X750 diesel garden tractor, 1968 Cub Cadet 125 under renovation, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter, ETA heavy duty rake and blade, Northern Tools 55 gal orchard sprayer, tow behind 8hp Little Wonder blower,

  2. #2
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Never had a chain sharpened by one, but I dont like grinders of any kind for the same very reason. The fact that they make ALL teeth the same length by shortening them ALL back to the length of the worst one. I dont like that.

    With a file, everything is individual. I only remove what is needed to get a sharp cutter on each INDIVIDUAL tooth. IE: Some teeth take 2 strokes, others 3, and some 4 or 5. Every few sharpenings I adjust the rakers accordingly.

    So sorry I couldnt help with the direct question, but I think the results would be similar to a hand operated grinder in the amount they take off.
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  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    I've done just a very little bit of touching up chain saw chains with a file, but used to take mine to a pro to sharpen them. Of course one dealer actually returned them worse than when I took them to him. And then a guy in the sharpening business only (chain saws, hand saws, knives, scissors, pizza cutters, etc.) showed me what that dealer did wrong. But I'm going to very seldom need to sharpen one anymore and I'm wondering whether anyone has any experience and anything good or bad to say about the A679-02 Dremel Attachment. Seems that it ought to do the job quickly and easily, but how well would it do?
    Bird

  4. #4
    Super Member daugen's Avatar
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    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    There was some dirt on the back of a log I didn't see and my nice wood chips started mixing in with sawdust, so i knew I had dulled the chain. I've never sharpened a chain, and actually know people who just buy new ones when the chain gets dull. That sure seems wasteful to me, but I don't have the confidence in getting it right myself. So if, like Bird has asked, there's a good sharpener out there that won't eat up half the cutting edge, i'd be interested too.

  5. #5
    Super Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Sharpening a chainsaw chain by hand ain't rocket surgery nor is it tree science...oh wait, maybe it is a little bit of tree science ...but it's not hard to do and with a little practice you will soon find you can do it. Surely there's lots of how-to-do-it sites on the web to give you a few starting pointers.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    California Ky.
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    CK 30

    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    There was some dirt on the back of a log I didn't see and my nice wood chips started mixing in with sawdust, so i knew I had dulled the chain. I've never sharpened a chain, and actually know people who just buy new ones when the chain gets dull. That sure seems wasteful to me, but I don't have the confidence in getting it right myself. So if, like Bird has asked, there's a good sharpener out there that won't eat up half the cutting edge, i'd be interested too.
    I use the electric one you can buy @ H.F. they work very well and the least you take off the better just hit it lightly at 30 degree. They are cheap to, $29.00 on sale alot.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Another reason I dont like the grinders is that you have to take the chain off also.

    If you are interested in doing it yourself, there are basically options

    1. Free hand file
    2. Granberg file guide style
    3. Dremel attachment
    4. Grinder

    I dont like 1 because I am not consistent enough everytime, and because option 2 is just as fast for me

    I dont like option 3. Dont really know why, cause I have tried it, I just always end back at two. I dont think the dremel gives as good of a sharpen.

    I dont like 4 for reasons I already mentioned.

    Do some research on the 2-4. There is pleanty of reading. They are all in-expensive. Just got to find what you like. the granberg jig is like hand filing, only with a clamp on jig that holds the file at the right angle.

    As mace said, it aint rocket science. And I actually kinda enjoy it.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    KIOTI DK45S

    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    But do these automatic ones take too much material off? A hand file can be used gently, those automatic ones seem to take a preset amount off no matter what.
    I'd like to think that after three sharpenings I'm not going to need to buy a new chain...
    What are your experiences? thanks Drew
    I use a electric grinder as part of my outdoor equipment repair business. first thing is the teeth are ground to all the same length, If the same shop does all of your sharpening, not intermixed with hand filing they will all stay the same length. If the guy doing the sharpening is paying attention and knows how to adjust the sharpener there is absolutely no reason to take off more than you would if you were hand filing your chains. If done properly you should get several more sharpening than 3-4, more on the order of 7-10, with an electric sharpener.

    Where I run into problems is where people hand file and get the angles all messed up, or real long teeth mixed with really short teeth. The other area that I see from time to time is severe damage due to hitting foreign material, requiring excessive removal of metal to get rid of the beveled cutting edge or side plates, leading to short chain life.
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  9. #9
    Super Member deerseeker001's Avatar
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    International 2500a with Loader

    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    i also have that one from harbor freight and it works great,wish i had bought one years ago.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    JD 5105, IH-Case 255, JD 3038E

    Default Re: are automatic chain sharpeners too hard on a chain?

    Have an attachment from Oregon that fits on the bar. Set the 2 angles based on the chain type and manually sharpen each tooth with the proper size file. With the attachment, the angles don't vary as it does just free-handing the sharpening. Takes maybe a minute to setup on the bar and does a real nice job. Gives you a chance to inspect each tooth too to see if there are any chips or problems that need corrected. Seems like most people wait too long to sharpen a chain. Needs sharpened way before you think it does to keep a good saw going. Should only take a few strokes on each tooth most of the time.

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