sharpending chain saw chain?

has anybody tried the self-sharpening kits for chain saw chains? It looks like some kind of bracket to hold the blade, and a hand file to sharpen it. I bought a cheap McCulloh chain saw and the chain got dull after only a couple hours of use, and i bought a new chain, but this one got duller even faster. perhaps it's an oil flow problem...dunno.
So i don't know if it should take both chains to a sharpening shop, or if i should go buy an expensive high quality chain (which brand?), or if I should buy the hand sharpening kit?
Thx,,,paul
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if you buy the proper sized round chain file to match your chain and an angle guide, think you'll find it amazingly easy to sharpen with some online searching for how to instructions. HomeDepot under ten bucks probably will get the file and guide.

looks
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Do you need a vice to perform this sharpending? I assume you do, but my small garage is not currently equiped with one, this may be a reason to get one!
thx..paul

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Krystonia5 wrote:

I'm an old retired machinist so I may have a *slight* edge but I figured out how to use the file and did it without a bench in about 20 minutes. Mark a starting point and go one direction, repeat in opposite direction.
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F.H. wrote:

Slight edge? How about a big edge or just capability. Depends on the person whether or not one can ever do it without a vise. I never could find a way to hold the saw and file a straight line in over 20 years of getting firewood. Out of desperation finally bought one of those temporary blade holders that you pound in a stump for those times that I found a piece of granite in a log and needed to sharpen in the field.
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you dont need a vise old leather gloves might be nice or a chunk of towel to hold the chain/bar as you file, cutters can cut if you slip.

small
online
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Most people have to hold the file at both ends to maintain the proper angles, so unless you have three hands one needs a vise. Some can do it one-handed but not likely a newbie.
bumtracks wrote:

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Krystonia5 wrote:

Yes, otherwise you can't hold the blade steady and you get rounded cuts. The loggers can use just a round file and no vise, but you can't and neither can I.
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Keeping your chain sharp is a necessary chore if you use a chain saw. You have two choices. Learn to sharpen one yourself (it isn't that hard) or take the chain(s) to a shop and pay them to sharpen them.
A couple hours use is not out of line for needed a touch-up. There are no "high quality" chains that will last much longer especially in the hands of a beginner. You can get for high bucks chains that are carbide tipped but even they don't last forever.
Harry K
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Krystonia5 wrote:

No matter how expensive the chain is, if you use it, it's gonna get dull. Go online and learn how to sharpen with a hand file or, as I do, with a rotary tool (dremel) and guide and be prepared to take it to a professional once in a while for sharpening. Dull chains make hard work out of chain sawing and can be frustrating and dangerous.
Steve 41N
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Krystonia5 wrote:

First, becoming completely dull in two hours is a little radical and has nothing to do with oil. Sawing in dirt? One piece of quartz between a log and the bark will ruin your day in about 15 seconds.
Self sharpening kit? You just mean a hand sharpening kit. Consists of a round file and a flat plate that shows the angle to use.
You put the blade in a vice with the chain free to move and take a couple of strokes on each tooth. Do one side and then do the other side. Should have instructions with the kit. Hints: go slow and run the file from the inside to the outside sharp edge. Clamp the blade about 4" from the end and file teeth directly above the clamp, file one tooth , move the chain, file next tooth (skip the toot that files the opposite way) until you have move the chain one complete revolution, then shift position and file the other teeth. Confused? read the instructions with the sharpening kit.
My technique which may not be the best is to take two full strokes with moderate pressure and one stroke with light pressure on each tooth. Be sure to keep the file at the same angle through the stroke, each stroke (see line on top of the flat file holder,) and for every tooth.
You should be able to cut a cord of soft wood into 18 inch lengths with one sharpening. Hardwood less, totally dry wood even less, with dirt way less, hit a rock and nothing more.
You can buy fancy electric sharpeners, but I suggest you by the file, flat holder, handle kit first and try it. The first time may take 15-20 minutes, the next times less. You will always be ahead stopping to sharpen a dull chain than continuing.
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You should make friends with another saw owner who knows how to hand file chains. They need filing after an hour or so of use. Just part of owning and using a chain saw. Taking your chain to the shop gets expensive in a hurry.
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Christopher A. Young
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IF you have a Dremel tool, you can just buy the sharpening bits. If not a dedicated chain sharpening tool is pretty cheap to buy. I used hand files and it is slow. Now with the dremel I can have a like new chain in 5 minutes. Also next chain buy a Stihl chain even if you have a non stihl chainsaw, they seem to last longer than the Oregon chains..
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where would one buy the dremel attachment and what is it called? thanks

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Dremel chain saw sharpening kit at Home Depot or any hardware store. It has an angle attachment in the kit. I just buy the right size honing stones seperate and do it by hand, its easy. There are several stones so you have to get the correct size. Look in your owners manual for size.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Krystonia5) wrote:

The Forestry site on About.com has a great list of links about chainsaws.
http://forestry.about.com/od/chainsaws /
A sharp chain is safer and easier to use. Learn how to sharpen one with a correctly sized round file and angle guide. It is easy. Setting the blade in a vise makes it much easier.
A bit more difficult is setting the correct depth on the rakers with a flat file. For folks that don't do this often a professional sharpening or new chain every so often may be the way to go.
How can you tell if a saw is sharp - chips instead of saw dust. A well sharpened chain will cut quickly, cleanly and not pull to one side.
Whenever you use a chainsaw, seriously consider safety equipment. Eye/face, ear, and leg protection at a minimum - especially for the unskilled. Proper safety equipment may cost more than you saw, but it's cheaper than a trip to the emergency room. I rarely see a professional logger wearing chaps that don't have at least one cut in them.
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Clear Cut wrote:

Vice is essential for a beginner.

You won't need to do that until you have sharpened it many times. Filing the rakers down is no problem. But if you are new and something strange is happening, get a new chain, or have a professional file it. Depending on size a professional sharpening may cost more than a new chain.

Long slivers is sharp, short slivers is getting dull, sawdust is very very dull. Pulling to the side or cutting a curve can happen with a sharp chain and may well mean the bar needs to be filed. Or it may simply mean the teeth on one side were filed sharper than the teeth on the other side. It's important to sharpen both sides evenly.

Safety equipment or not, the most important safety features are to keep both hand on the chain saw, know where you are walking, and put it down when you are the least bit tired.

Not intending to take anything away from what you said, Clear Cut, but just amplifying.
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I suspect you may have bitten into some dirt. That can dull the chain in no time flat.
(Krystonia5) wrote:

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Sharpening a dull chain is an art. Take it to a shop and pay the ten bucks to have it professionally done or you will likely burn out the saw. Oil passage is prob blocked, saws need frequent clean and adjust (after every hours use?) Dull saws kill peep up here in the Northwoods, be carefull out there. Remember to count your fingers and toes after each and every use!
(Krystonia5) wrote:

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You don't know anything about chainsaws do you?
FANatic wrote:

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