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Thread: honing in on better sharpening on the stihl

  1. #1

    honing in on better sharpening on the stihl

    On the second stumpy now and bit of a different approach hoped to just cut the roots above the ground and stump and all maybe 3" or whatever below the ground and leave it. Last one I cut roots then got under it and one 8" root I could not do as no sawzall and chainsaw having a hissy fit that day so I left it and I ripped the stump out with the truck.

    When i started to chainsaw the stump took seconds before hitting stones inside the trunk and and. Re filing seemed impossible so I found i had one new file left. That taught me all my files were junk other than the new one.

    The new file working had to file back about .030 to get past damage from the stones. Got it sharp enough and it worked though its got a mind to go right a bit. since ive sharpened 3 times or so after hitting stones. I did a perfect bookmatched stone the other day. To bring back the .030 to get to sharp I needed 70 - 100 strokes 100 really to 90 percent sharp. It cut well enough.

    What made the difference is I took the rakers for anti kick back way low. So it grabs more of course and that is helping with stump work which is not like easy cross cutting stuff that is down laying in front of you. What I find and hoping you guys can tell me is how many strokes are we getting from stihl files? MS 250 and think its 3/16" I swear after the 100 strokes the file is on its way out. Are there better quality files than these? some other brand Nicholson or double cut or or. I can believe this dull so quickly but they do. Normally to touch up a chain id be 3-5 strokes or maybe bit more and its very sharp., this because im doing this abusive work im toasting the chain so much filing is major. still I cant believe how fast these files dull.

    Second thing learned is from the extra strokes and pressure im making a burr on the back of the tooth. Always though filing would do this and it does this being major so took a flat file and took those burrs off. First cutting today was excellent till I hit stuff and sharpened and back to work that done maybe 3 times and made good progress on the stump.

    Ive borrowed a sawzall for now till mine are repaired and or new one. always have back up of tools and machines not so on sawzalls.

    This stump im cutting roots maybe 2 1/2" apart cross cut then snap the chunks between with the pry bar. This pry bar is amazing I can hand fire it into roots like a speer then push it to the side and snap chunks out. It works better than an axe in some ways.

    After that ramble what can you tell me about files and the process. Past never mattered as it was touch up. this is different work. when this is done the chain will be done but thats fine. I just cant believe how fast these files go dull so wonder if there is better. I also find I used up the first front half then turned it around backwards to use the other part pulling it towards me instead of push. It worked very well but same story I was making it dull too fast.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Millstone, NJ
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    1,759
    When I ran a stihl I lent it out a lot(big Mistake). I had to either tune it or pay to get it tuned up and working and always needed it sharpened or a new blade. I would generally get a new blade and have the shop sharpen old one for $10 or so. I wasnt getting the spares back from whomever was borrowing either so I quit that saw and donated it to the family. I now have Milwaukee and the blades are less than $10 each. I have broken down alot of wood over the last 2 years and i'm still on first blade. Its not the best way to do it but its working and im sure I can get a quicker cut if I sharpened but havent bothered.

  3. #3
    My ability to file the saw with good results improved greatly when I started wearing the Opti-visor while filing. I am going to rent a stump grinder soon. I have sworn off of using the chainsaw on roots and stumps. I have taken several trees down by un-earthing the rootball. Having an 80 foot tall lever attached that weighs many tons pops the stump right out of the ground.

  4. #4
    I found Pferd and Vallorbe recommended on the Arborist site. I ordered some Pferd files from Amazon, will see how they work. In your situation it might be worth investing in a chain grinder.

  5. #5
    Pferd makes good files IMO, I don't think you'll be disappointment.
    There are also little file/bits you put in a drill to sharpen but i have no experience with using them.
    https://www.acehardware.com/departme...ce=1&gclsrc=ds

    Once again, I find myself in the, I can hand file a saw chain but I don't really like to.
    A sharpening machine gives me a consistent grind for every tooth. Well worth the price if you do a lot of cutting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    5,049
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    Pferd makes good files IMO, I don't think you'll be disappointment.
    There are also little file/bits you put in a drill to sharpen but i have no experience with using them.
    https://www.acehardware.com/departme...ce=1&gclsrc=ds

    Once again, I find myself in the, I can hand file a saw chain but I don't really like to.
    A sharpening machine gives me a consistent grind for every tooth. Well worth the price if you do a lot of cutting.
    Agreed. And to take it one step farther I buy chainsn 6 at a time so I only have to change the setup once. I sharpen all 6 at the same time. I use a cheap Harbor Freight, works fine for me.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    Agreed. And to take it one step farther I buy chainsn 6 at a time so I only have to change the setup once. I sharpen all 6 at the same time. I use a cheap Harbor Freight, works fine for me.
    I have at least 2 sharpened spares for each saw. If I dull one somehow, I swap chains and diagnose/sharpen later in the comfort of the shop.

  8. #8
    thats a good approach Larry. For all past work ive just sawed and done fast touch ups after a tank of gas or two and kept them very sharp. This is different story as its grunt work with embedded stones and some clay than that type of work. A number of chains would be good and faster for sure.

    I read about files and saw several names mentioned. I might have read they have different and better files from Stihl around 2019 but have to check that. For sure the gas and oil cap are better than what I past had though took a dealer to admit past had issues.

    Will get some time today so will sharpen the Axe blades for a borrowed sawzall. Im trimming candles on white pines so bouncing around on work.

    I read a post that said if you overheat the chain it will case harder. Doesnt fit my brain. For sure i overheated smoke was blowing off the chain a number of times on the first stump. I remember filing and the file seem to be just gliding and not cutting. Ive chalked that up to my old chains being dull. My understanding is if I overheat stuff that its going to make the steel softer? is that not correct. Seeing how the original files seemed to be just glancing off the teeth maybe the teeth did get harder. still the new file seemed to bite compared to the others then it seemed to dull pretty quickly.

  9. #9
    You can, in theory, lose the temper on the teeth if you get them hot enough, though I have no idea what temperature that is. Just because something is smoking doesn't mean it's hot enough to change the steel in the teeth.
    Pretty much any OEM Stihl product is of a good quality. You can often get the same results form less expensive brands, that's up to you.
    A new file does make a world of difference
    Be safe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I buy the Pferd files by the box. I wouldn't be surprised if they make the ones for Stihl. Stihl chains are hardened more than any others that I know of, so they will dull a file quicker but also last longer between filings. I hit each tooth 2 or 3 strokes almost every time I fill the tank up. No way would I do 100 strokes. I don't know how long a file lasts, but when it stops throwing shavings it's done.

    I file with one hand and use the whole length of the file, starting on the little smooth end. Same with handsaws. I see a lot of people using 2 or 3 inches of a file.

  11. #11
    2 or 3 will bring it back to sharp if you are just working. Stumping im removing .030 - .050. Thats why so many strokes. today about 30 strokes to remove about .020

    Chain cut excellent. Rakers way down past proper. It grabbed and pulled more which helped me plunging into the stump. got the second part of the main trunk cut and cross cuts on a bunch of roots. Hope to get some time tomorrow get it done. Will sharpen sawzall axe blades tonight and the chain again. Only neg on the chain if sharpened one side more as its not staying straight when it cuts and that leads to the blade binding.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I like one of these for dealing with stumps. If I have one or a few to get rid of, I'll rent a mini-excavator.
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    Last edited by Tom M King; 06-12-2024 at 9:30 PM.

  13. #13
    Now thats cheating. One night I looked at two huge types of machines that stump. one of them had jaws and was so strong he just grabbed the stump and it broke it right down the middle and lifted it out then he did the other side. The other one pulled the roots on four sides two digs then pulled the main stump out one piece. I said you were the guy with the machines and you keep proving me right with more. Nice.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I like one of these for dealing with stumps. If I have one or a few to get rid of, I'll rent a mini-excavator.
    For real! A Cat D9 is also excellent. It helps if a big hole where the tree used to be is part of the plan. My mini excavator is super mini. It is a tiny 3 point hitch, PTO driven, Yanmar.
    I still love my Pulaski Axe. It is still shiny. Don't tell my Dr. I still swing it. I am looking forward to renting the stump grinder. Those stumps are mower killers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    9,354
    I think that first one is a Cat 320 with a thumb. If the ground is soft it can lift a 2' one straight up. If the red clay here is hard and dry it might take some digging and pulling. That one comes with an operator for $1200 a day. The little one is $265 a day if you can go get it and carry it back on your trailer. I think they get around $200 for delivering it. I don't own either one of those.

    I got a lot of work out of that 320 in a day though. I just got him to get the stumps out of the ground and I spent two days hauling them a few hundred yards to a place I have to dump them with the tractor. He also dug up and piled up my compost for me that day.

    I wanted to pull as many roots out from under that little building as I could, so I used the weight of the tree to help do that. I didn't dig up the roots on the building side of that stump and it worked pretty good.

    edited to add: A Cat 320 excavator weighs 25 tons. The 35 mini excavator weighs about 6500 pounds, I think. You have to have somewhere to park and unload a semi truck with a lowboy trailer that disconnects from the truck to unload and load the 320.
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    Last edited by Tom M King; 06-12-2024 at 10:04 PM.

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