Question: How do you properly sharpen a saw chain with a "square ground
cutter"? (This is flat filed as opposed to round filed.)
The chain with these square ground cutters is Stihl RSLFK, RSLK, or RSLHK.
( http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/types.html )
Do you just use a flat file and free-hand (without any guide)?
I found some information on this at the Oregon saw-chain web site. It says;
"Only use files specially designed for square-ground chisel cutters,
available from your chainsaw dealer." [Double-Bevel, Hexagon, and "Goofy".]
This was on the last page of the following link...
Anyone know where to buy these files online? Or which type of file is best
Comments/Opinions on saw chain which is "square ground" -vs- "round ground"?
Just based on your questions, it appears you're not terribly experienced
with chainsaws. If I've read too much into your questions then I guess you
can ignore everything else I have to say and accept my apologies. If
however, you are as unfamiliar with chainsaws as your questions make it
appear, then my immediate advice is for you not to screw around with square
Sharpening any chain requires a certain amount of practice in order to get a
good cutting profile. It's certainly more than just hitting the cutters a
few licks to sharpen them up. It's not rocket science by any means, and
anybody can certainly develop the skill to do it, but it does require an
attention to what you're doing, and understanding of what you want to do and
of course the most important part - a practice at achieving that desired
goal. Square cutters are a lot harder to cut properly and offer nothing to
the fellow who isn't cutting very large diameter trees with huge saws. You
just can't get into wood cutting enough on a casual basis to warrant going
to a square chain. They rely on a critical angle between the top of the
cutter and the side and slight variations - which are easy to end up with,
will really screw up the cut.
Do yourself a favor and just stay with the chain your saw came with.
The chain the saw came with *does* come (from Stihl) with square ground
cutters. It is a Stihl "RSLFK" (full skip) chain for a Stihl MS-460 and a 32
inch bar. This chainsaw will *only* be used for bucking large diameter logs.
(I have a smaller chainsaw with round filed cutters which I use for the
I do have experience with the round filed chains, but not with the square
I have read on the internet that a square ground chain has a bit of
additional cutting speed, and that is important to me as the logs I am
cutting are quite large in diameter. So worth the investment in learning how
to sharpen the chain for square ground if it is worth it - cutting speed
Although the chain came with square ground cutters, I do have the option of
filing them with a round file and no longer having square ground cutters.
I have a friend who has been a logger for 15 years and he says he prefers
round filed, although other loggers prefer square ground he says.
I told him I wanted to try the square ground for awhile, then file them with
a round file and see which I prefer. (And I should learn something in the
Just wanted some additional feedback on which is better and tips on
sharpening. Also where to get the special files online if possible.
"Mike Marlow" wrote in message
Years ago, I read about the difference between "chisel" and "chipper" and
Chisel had square teeth, and chipper had rounded corners on the teeth. From
the end, chisel chain looked like a 7, and chipper chain teeth looked more
like a ?.
The chisel chain was supposed to be faster cut.
The cutters on my chain look like "7's". Following are all the different
variations of saw chain you can get from Stihl...
1 = 1/4"
2 = .325"
3 = 3/8"
4 = .404"
6 = PICCO (3/8" Extended)
Gauge (on drive link)
1 = .043" (1.1 mm)
3 = .050" (1.3 mm)
5 = .058" (1.5 mm)
6 = .063" (1.6 mm)
0 = .080" (2.0 mm) (Harvester Chain Only)
P = PICCO
R = RAPID
C = Comfort (Low Vibe Version)
D = Duro (Carbide Tip)
DS= Duro Special (Carbide Tip)
M = Micro (Semi-Chisel)
S = Super (Full Chisel)
1 = Triple-Humped Tie Strap
2 = Triple-Humped Tie Strap
3 = Single-Humped Drive Link
F = Full Skip
H = Semi Skip
L = Square Ground
K = Classic Cutter design
N = Narrow
S = Special
Number of Drive Links in Reels
3/8" PMN 1640
3/8" P 1640
Various Stihl Cutter Types...
Stihl Saw Chain Identification...
Here are the different Oregon (brand) saw chains available...
Professional .325" Pitch Chains...
Professional 3/8" Pitch Chains...
Professional .404" Pitch Chains...
Narrow Kerf Chains...
Go to arborist.lawnsite.com
That is a professional and semi professional forum although anyone is
welcome. Search the "chainsaw" forum for filing info. You will find
more than you really want but will find what you need. It will also
give you on-line sources for chainsaws/tools/etc.
Baileys.com (I think that's right) is one off the top of my head.
Thanks. I found what I was looking for by searching that forum. The first
link below says...
Q: Is a square ground chisel chain really better than a round ground chisel
A: Yes, if cutting performance and efficiency are what you are after. Square
ground chisel chains perform 10% to 15% better. If maximum stay sharp
ability and ease of filing are your objective, the answer is: no.
Maintenance of square ground chisel saw chain...
Also baileys.com had a bottle of booze on it!
Is this the site?
"Harry K" wrote in message
Yeah, that's it. Sorry about that.
The Arborist site is one awesome resource. I hope you sign up and
join in some of the discussions. Asbestos pants might be required in
some of them. You would probably enjoy looking through some of the
Don't bother unless you are a professional. I wound up with a square
chisel chain by accident once. Loved the way it cut. Could not file
it by hand, dealer had no way of sharpening it. We converted it to
round file - just use a round file and the usual angles.
I hang out in a professional arborist/logging forum. Even the
professionals have a very hard time learning to file square cutters.
Angles, pressures etc. are critical.
Not quite answering your question directly, but you might want to take
a look at the carbide tipped chain. I didn't realize they still made
that chain. I used to use that type on a bow bar with an 80cc
McCoulloch SuperPro when I was doing high volume firewood harvesting.
The carbide chain takes a lot of horsepower but even with dirty trees
and the occasional rock strike, stays sharp all season.
If I were doing any wood cutting at all nowadays, I'd have another bow
The one I use is somewhat wider and more squared off than this one.
The difference in fatigue at the end of the day after using a bow vs a
regular bar is remarkable. When felling a tree with a bow, one stands
behind and to the side of the tree and simply pushes the saw in. For
delimbing and bucking, one can remain fully upright and let the weight
of the saw do the work. And because the bar is so narrow, it rarely
gets pinched and wedging is rarely necessary except when felling to
direct the fall.
I see in googling that the usual panty-wetting types scream about
safety. I can't see any difference. Any chainsaw is dangerous in the
hands of an incompetent.
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
Thanks for the site - haven't looked - but have now - have a 192-T Pico chain.
Just found out tonight on the page - under the model page - there is a recall.
Really nice 6.6# saw for high and light work.
Have a 20" for the big stuff. :-)
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
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