Need to sharpen Craftsman 18" 40cc chainsaw (4mm 5/32 file)


Need to sharpen my Craftsman 18" 40cc chainsaw and I've never done it before.
The manual says to use a 4mm (5/32") round file at 25 degrees but it also shows a guide.
Googling, I see utube videos, some of which use the guide and others can't stand 'em; while all seem to use a different guide with a flat file to even out the depth gauges.
Where do YOU guys get your chainsaw sharpening kits and which ones do you prefer?
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I use an Oregon bar-mounted file guide. Once you get it set up the way you want with just the right angles, about 4 or 5 strokes per tooth with a sharp file is all it takes to sharpen a tooth.
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Brent wrote:

I just use a round file and eyeball it.
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You don't need a kit. Go to homedepot and find chainsaw files. Get on the right size. Then go for it. It's very easy but a little time consuming. Do one direction then another. Find a starting and ending point and mark it somehow.
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Use a felt-tip marker to mark the starting/end point. A 5/32 coarse bit in a Dremel style mototool/drill makes it a 5 minute chore at most. You can overdo it so take it easy the first time around. I was amazed at how little effort it took with the Dremel compared to using a hand file. It was as good as brand new.
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wrote:

My brother was an arborist / tree surgeon until he retired. He just used a round file, and used the fewest strokes he could (as I remember) to get it sharp. Steady strokes with the file and feel for sharpness.
He never let the chains get *really* dull. His experience could tell him when it was time to touch up the chain a little bit.
If he was climbing a tall pine he would often sharpen the chain before he went up the tree. A dull saw is as dangerous as a dull knife.
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I have been futzing with mine, and learning a lot. See other threads. I, too, have an Oregon clamp style filer, and once you figure it out, it is quite easy. But I came upon a EZLap stone that is meant to go on their alignment apparatus. But, it chucks up to a drill motor, and by aligning it with the mark on the tooth, and raising it five degrees, you have the same thing as all the other fancy stuff. I am waiting until Thursday, as I have to return it to a town 30 miles away and get the right one. The salesman swore and be damned that 7/32ths was the right size, but it was 3/16". I am interested to see how this one will do. I have an EZLap 2" x 6" diamond encrusted knife sharpening stone that I love. I got a new one this Christmas, the last one I bought in 1974. Seems like they would make stuff that lasts a little longer. Not bad at $22, and you can sharpen a dull knife in two minutes.
Point is, chainsaw sharpening isn't very complicated, but once you learn the basic angles, you can do it in the field with a hand file. And do a really decent job of it. So, concentrate on the angles, and not the equipment, and remember: THERE'S A MARK ON EACH TOOTH THAT GIVES YOU THE PROPER ANGLE. Line up with that, and you'll be pretty close.
Secondarily, watch for rocks, dirt, wire, metal, barbed wire, etc. When you cut a log, it helps to smack it a couple of times with a really big hammer to dislodge sand in the cracks. Do your best to keep the blade out of the dirt. There are a few fine points, but it is relatively simple once you understand the basics.
Also pay attention to chain tightness, oiler providing oil, checking bar oil reservoir level often, bar wear, and turning over the bar every so often to even out wear.
May sound like a lot, but a little tweaking here and there will prevent a full hour shutdown to do it all, and possible damage or premature wear. Steve
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On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 15:16:14 -0800, Steve B wrote:

Interestingly, I knew it was dull because sparks were coming out of the tree limb I was cutting (but there was nothing but virgin wood) and the bottom half of the limb circle was burnt black.
I think the minimum I need, based on your recommendations, is the 5/32" (4mm) round file and a flat file.
I see some don't recommend the jig tool that goes with the round file but what about the jig tool that goes with the flat file?
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If you have a file, you have the tool you need. Place it on edge on two teeth in a row. The top of the raker should be 1/10" below that line. Now, 1/10" is fairly easy to guess. And I always wonder why they make those spendy devices that fit over the rakers out of aluminum. They file off REALLLY FAST. Seems like they'd make them out of stainless or something harder. The height of the raker dictates the aggressiveness of the saw, i.e. how big a bite it takes. So, even if you over do the trimming a little, you will have to use less pressure to cut. It's all a dance, and it can be done with a lot of different variables that all do not have to be minutely absolutely correct for the thing to function.
If you were seeing sparks, you were hitting something metal, or your saw was about to do something nasty.
Steve
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The round file size has to be matched to the chain, that's not something to upsize or downsize. It won't sharpen right, and won't cut right with the wrong size.
The "depth gage" for the flat file is also not optional (for me, anyway).
Glad you can find some Youtube videos. It's nearly impossible to learn except to work with someone in person.
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