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Thread: HELP. Need a new chainsaw chain. Stihl MS180

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Good point. I didn't even look at the picture. When I change a chain, it's because the teeth are mostly gone from getting dull, and being sharpened. The cutter can get down close to about 1/8 to 3/16's long.

    If you're going to run a chain saw, you need to know how to sharpen a chain. I sharpen at least every couple of tanks of fuel. It's much easier on your arm if each tooth needs 2 or 3 strokes of the file, than if it gets dull enough to need 7. That chain probably needs 7 strokes per tooth. Any time someone, including some who run a saw for a living, their chain is dull enough to need 6 or 7 strokes per tooth. It always amazes me how many people, who run a saw for part of their living, aren't so good at sharpening a chain.

    A sharp chain is much easier on the operator too. You have to fight a dull chain, and it's hard on the saw too. I try to never let the chain hit the ground, but if it does, the chain gets whetted the next fill up.

    I learned how to sharpen a chain, before I ever tried to sharpen a handsaw. The feel for the file learned on a chain made the switch to a handsaw pretty easy.

    If you are right handed, sharpen the right cutters first. If the left cutters are sharp, and your hand slips sharpening the right cutters, it's Very easy to slice a knuckle.

    On a chain, you push straight back into the curve of the cutter, as opposed to sharpening a handsaw where you mostly push down. Tighten the chain first, before sharpening it.

    If you have to take one somewhere else to get it sharpened, you might as well not bother running a saw. Even the guys that ask me to sharpen their saws, who run one for their living, try to sharpen themselves, but just aren't so good at it. They usually get the angle different on each side, and get the cutters different lengths. The Stihl chains have a little indicator groove on each tooth, that shows you the angle.

    After several sharpenings, the depth gauges need to be lowered. There are gauges for different depths, that sit on the chain, and limit the depth a file can cut them down. They make special depth gauge flat files, with no teeth on the edges, so they won't cut the cutting edge of a tooth.

    That .043 gauge chain takes a 5/32" round file. Depth gauge clearance is .025.

    Here's a video of me running a hot rodded 92 cc saw. The 180, which I also have a stock one of, is a 32cc saw. This saw in the video is pulling a 10 tooth sprocket. The chain is a well used Oregon 72EXL, with the depth gauges lowered to .035. I don't push one hard. Just clearing some blow down trees off our trails. This was a 10, or 11 inch Silver Maple. A little embarrassed with the chain pinch, and no tan at the end of Winter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2cdN53BxGs

    I didn't know what we were going to run into that day, so I took the 180, and the 066. The pile of brush you see at the first of that video is the limbs cut off that tree with the 180. It's a nice little limbing saw. The old WRX makes a fun farm vehicle.
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    Last edited by Tom M King; 06-24-2021 at 5:45 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen L King View Post
    Why not just have the chain sharpened. There is a lot of life left in those cutters.

    I have sharpened it in the past. Have been clearing out a fence line and for some reason they dont do well with chain-link fence.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    He has a nice existing Stihl chainsaw and is s looking for replacement chain, Lowell.

    The Stihl is a nice size saw but I had it to the dealer twice not long after purchase. They had to put bigger jets in to keep it running but now foul plugs. Have to keep a spare on hands. Also had a Stihl weed trimmer that was hard to keep running.
    I am an Echo fan but purchased a Stihl just because I liked the overall size vs the like Echo model. Have an Echo weed trimmer that around 10 years old and never a problem other than a spool replacement
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    5,794
    It sounds like that dealer didn't know what they were doing.

    One thing I have found with my 180, is that it clogs the spark arrester screen pretty quickly. I think maybe every half gallon of fuel, or so. The screen is in the outlet of the muffler. There is a single screw holding it in. Take it out, hold it with an old pair of pliers, and heat it red hot with a propane torch. Once it cools, the gunk has turned to ash. Rub it between fingers of an old glove, put it back in, and it should run fine. They have to be able to breathe out as well as breathe in.

    Larger jets don't make sense for that saw. I would expect it to foul plugs.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    The Stihl is a nice size saw but I had it to the dealer twice not long after purchase. They had to put bigger jets in to keep it running but now foul plugs. Have to keep a spare on hands. Also had a Stihl weed trimmer that was hard to keep running.
    I am an Echo fan but purchased a Stihl just because I liked the overall size vs the like Echo model. Have an Echo weed trimmer that around 10 years old and never a problem other than a spool replacement
    That's strange...my Stihl 290 (farm boss) has been utterly reliable for a couple decades. Even if I haven't used it for many months, it doesn't take much to get it started for the first time and after that, it's one pull. It's never needed professional service and the only thing I've replaced has been the bar from time to time as well as chain.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    289
    Boy, Dave,

    You'd think chain saw would cut chain link. They just don't make them like they used to.


  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    They sell chains as well. It does not take much time to shop at Home Depot and Lowes.
    They both sell top quality merchandise, and if they don't have what you're looking for
    they will order it.

    Houston is a big place and sometimes you can save time at the BORG.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
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    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That's strange...my Stihl 290 (farm boss) has been utterly reliable for a couple decades. Even if I haven't used it for many months, it doesn't take much to get it started for the first time and after that, it's one pull. It's never needed professional service and the only thing I've replaced has been the bar from time to time as well as chain.
    Stihl has a plant in China now and the older homeowner-type saws don't have as many or any parts from Quingdao on them. https://en.stihl-qd.cn/stihl-qingdao.aspx

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    57,420
    Peter, that's not unusual for any company at this point...supply chain and manufacturing is global. But I'd certainly be annoyed if something like this wasn't generally reliable for sure, given the price points.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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