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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Do yourself a favor with that little Stihl, pay the extra for Stihl gas, yes it is expensive but if you are not doing much cutting then it really does not make much difference. What you will notice is when you don't use it for a few months it will start like you used it yesterday. It has no ethanol to dissolve the carburetor and ruin the fuel lines and filter and comes pre mixed with the proper oil. worth every penny in my mind.

    ^^^^^^^^ This x 100 ^^^^^^

    Or if you use your saw a lot and can get it buy no ethanol gas and mix your own. Never put ethanol gas in the saw and leave it.

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  3. #22
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    "What limits bar length? I don't cut big trees, I'd just like the extra reach." Horsepower limits bar length, but only if you are cutting really thick wood. For long bars and thick wood without extra horsepower, you get a "skip chain" that has less cutters on it per foot. If you just need a longer bar for more reach and not cutting thicker wood, go for it.

    A sharp chain is the key to smooth and safe saw operation. Highly recommend the little cylindrical file stones that go in a Dremmel-type tool. They work incredibly well for keeping a chain sharp. Files work great too, they just take longer.

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    ^^^^^^^^ This x 100 ^^^^^^

    Or if you use your saw a lot and can get it buy no ethanol gas and mix your own. Never put ethanol gas in the saw and leave it.
    I see at Tractor Supply they are selling gallon cans of no ethanol premix 40 or 50 to 1 or straight gasoline by VP Racing. I have not used it but have used thousands of gallons of their racing fuels over the years with no problems whatsoever. I will try VP fuel next summer when my chainsaw and weed wacker.

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    No interest in felling trees, mainly because I don't own any.

    Seems like keeping the chain sharp would help prevent kickback?

    Good tip on chest level.

    Sent via CNC 88HS
    No a sharp chain is even more prone to kickback than a dull one. Kickback occurs when a sharp tooth (or multiple teeth) gets a big bite of wood and then tries to push or pull the saw rather than let the tooth slide through the wood. A couple good ways to avoid this are to make sure your rakers aren't filed too low and to always keep the chain speed up. In other words don't enter the wood at part throttle. Let the saw come up to speed before you touch the chain to the wood.

    Another cause is improper hold on the saw, like leaving your arms and hands too relaxed and not holding the saw with enough support. Most machinists aren't going to have the problem of not holding the saw rigidly enough, that's mostly a problem for fellers with weak arms and hands. Sort of similar to those limp-wristed shooters who get a lot of stovepipes in automatic pistols. That's one reason for the frequent "chest height and below" recommendation. It's hard to hold a saw with the proper support at extended reach, especially above one's head.

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    I had a 3120xp husqvarna the big one 119cc engine, it was great plenty of power and a big bar 32 inch ( can go much bigger ). Lighter than the sthil so much better to use.
    Saw file is a waste of time, just use the file to drop the guides near the front of the tooth if required, but the actual teeth i sharpened with a diamond embedded coating on a mandrel that fitted the Stihl sharpener.
    Any good chain is really hard to file as the teeth are relatively hard, soft teeth easy to file, cheap chain and won't hold the edge.
    Sure you can use normal stones but they loose diameter as they wear so tooth profile changes a bit, the diamond is just great.
    It only takes a few minutes to sharpen and you don't have to take the chain off to do it, its done on the saw.
    here
    Super Sharp -

    it just runs off the car battery 12 volt so anywhere the car is you can use it, best money i ever spent.
    Don't see a link to the diamond stone, they where available in store here and last a long time.

    Mostly i cut firewood for home, just lengths of 5 foot to go onto the saw bench to cut to length it is much better than sawing with a chainsaw no matter what you have.
    The saw was to get it to manageable lengths and manageable size.

    All two strokes now use synthetic oil in the fuel mix and you should see a faint trail of smoke out the exhaust when running, then you know you have the mix about right. To lean and you risk seizing the engine. Ideally make a 5L tin at a time and measure the oil amount correctly not guess at it
    I always ran the higher octane rating no alcohol fuel.

    On the husqvarna you need to change the air filter regularly and wash and reoil it ( special oil ), i had two spares to save mucking around waiting for it to dry etc.
    Once i had done the job i needed to do i cleaned the saw ie pulled the bar off washed the chain in petrol, cleaned the side replaced the filter, gave it a run to reoil the chain and kept it in a bag to it was covered and kept free of any bugs or pests. I also pulled it onto compression so the cylinder was closed to the atmosphere ie ports blocked.
    Husqvarna sell bags to suit their saws.

    Chain resistant chaps are good safety item, but you should not be reliant on them ie take due care with operating a chainsaw, wear earmuffs, safety glasses for the eyes, boots with steel toe protection.

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    Most of the chains I've bought over the last decade or so have a score line on the top of each tooth. Keeping the file parallel to this line makes hand filing so much better. Without this I tend to end up with different angles on the left and right teeth. I really don't like mechanical filing guides. I'll use the Dermel stones for a quick touch up, but any real metal removal will wear them out too quickly. Also, I always clamp the saw in a heavy bench vise to do my filing.

    One of my favorite safety tips is knowing when to quit for the day. When you get tire you get sloppy. When you get tired, don't just push on. Walk away. Tomorrow is another day as long as you don't kill yourself today.

    Surprised no one mentioned falling limbs. A local logger was recently killed by one. Be aware! Once that tree starts to go, weird things can happen. I had the top snap of a dead straight hickory with no limbs remaining. Never saw it coming. The piece that hit my arm was about the size of a baseball bat. The one that would have killed me even with a hard hat landed about 8 Ft away.

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    Yeah dead trees are very dangerous. I had to take one down at the mother in law's house once that was a good 38" in diameter across the trunk. I went around the base of the trunk tapping with a hammer and it was like tapping a sponge. I ended up wrapping chains with the adjusting hooks around the soft part to support it as well as I could then cutting it up higher where the wood was solid. That was a scary one. I always wear a hard hat when taking down a large tree, but it won't help if a 10" branch comes down and takes you out. It's a very good idea to look for any very large weak/ready to fall branches ahead of time and try to remove them first.

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    Get a good carbide chain...like one from here CARBIDE TIPPED, RESCUE SAW CHAIN

    Gonna cost a bit but...they stay sharp and you can cut through wood, nails, steel drums, and cement blocks without hurting the chain.

    We have some on a few saws at the fd, they rip through wood like it's cardboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    Getting an appropriate size cylindrical file and freshening up the chain occasionally will help. You will need to have it sharpened once in a while to get all the teeth the same height and knock down the guide in front of the teeth. As the teeth get lower the "guide" will prevent the teeth from contacting the wood. You will swear that it is dull when the teeth are actually sharp. Do not get to feeling you are safe. I have clipped my jeans more than once after sawing through a limb, letting the saw drop as you let off the trigger will bite you some day. Having 2 chains is a good idea.
    Others may have a lot to offer.
    Plus one on keeping a second chain around.

    What you do with a round file (and you must buy the diameter that fits your chain) is set the saw on a table or bench and do every other tooth the same number of strokes. File a tooth, manually rotate the chain to bring the next one in position and repeat. When you see the tooth with a shiny surface where you previously filed you are done.Once you've done it a few times it goes more quickly than you'd think. Then you reposition things so the teeth pointing in the opposite angle are at a convenient angle to file and repeat. If the depth gauges need to be lowered a small mill file taking one or two passes on each should do. The depth gauges are on all consumer grade saw chains to prevent aggressive cutting that might be too much for a homeowner type. The pros use much more aggressive cutting chains.

    As for safety, I learned on older manual oiler type saws with no chain brake. I was taught to do all cutting where NO body parts are in line with the saw so if it kicks upward or drops downward it can't cut you. As a right-hander I stand with my body slightly splayed to the left so the line of the saw is to the outside of my hip. I always wear boots and sturdy gloves and make sure I'm not out of balance. Practice the motions with the saw off and you'll soon see how it works,

    FWIW I NEVER stand inline with the blade of a table saw either and I'm very careful when using portable saws. A friend in the medical profession says lots of contractors get leg and foot injuries when they put a still running circular saw down and found out the hard way the blade guard jammed in the open position. The blade acts like a wheel and runs the saw over a foot.

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    Another reason not to stand inline with the chain - the chain can be thrown if you don't keep it good and snug. Anything in the line of fire is a soft target.

    Any of you guys use these electric trimming/limbing saws? I just got one on one of those early black Friday deals for $99 since I already had all the batteries. I like it so far but have only done about 2 hours of cutting with it. Not for big stuff but pretty light and nice for little stuff. I've got a Stihl 362 and an Echo 81cc saw I've had for a while (from early 80's maybe?) for bigger crap. Got an old Partner 65cc saw too, R420 I think.

    20201121_155721.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Get a good carbide chain...like one from here CARBIDE TIPPED, RESCUE SAW CHAIN

    Gonna cost a bit but...they stay sharp and you can cut through wood, nails, steel drums, and cement blocks without hurting the chain.

    We have some on a few saws at the fd, they rip through wood like it's cardboard.

    I would not recommend a carbide tooth chain to a homeowner or person not needing it.

    In our volunteer fire department, we use carbide saw chains for roof ventilation cuts - where we have to go through the roof of a wooden structure fast, and we're not going to stop for roofing nails or structural nails. The carbide chains go ripping through common nails very easily.

    But the carbide chains are expensive, and they don't like twisting/pulling abuse. You need to be very careful with how you use them, otherwise teeth break off the chain or the whole chain breaks. In our application, a chain breaking means that two guys on the roof of a building are back to cutting through the roof with axes. I've broken a carbide saw chain on a roof vent exercise, and the cost to replace it, coupled with how it came off the bar (separation coupled with a launch backwards into my bunkers) are why I would not want someone who doesn't need to use them deal with that hazard.

    On our wildland engine saws (which are used to cut down trees, not vent or enter structures), we just have normal chisel-toothed chains, filed for an aggressive cut.

    Carbide saw chains also require a rotary tool to sharpen, and they're a long, slow job to sharpen. I can sharpen a regular chain with a loose round file in about 4 minutes for a 20" bar.

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    Two issues I would add about chainsaws, which I've been using in one form or another since I was 14 years old back in the 1970's:

    - Kickback happens when you contact the upper/top quarter-round of the nose with the work. The saw/bar moves backwards towards the user, then the tip of the chain bar is engaged with the wood, and the tip launches the bar/saw upwards into the user's face.

    In my experience as a EMT and meeting people who had an 'incident' with a chainsaw, my observation is that light consumer saws appear to have more danger of kickback than large, heavy, professional-class saws with longer bars. The small saws are lighter, more easily kicked back, and the shorter bar means that there is less mass in the chain bar to launch up & back into the user's face. I think the smaller/lighter saw also gets lifted above waist level more often, which is dangerous.

    Keep the top part of the tip of the saw out of engagement with the work, especially once you start bringing the saw above your waist.

    - Another source of injury with saws, especially Stihl saws (not limited to Stihl saws, but it especially happens with Stihl saws) is geysering boil-off of the gasoline when opening the fuel tank. When you've been working a Stihl saw hard, as happens in situations like wildland fire interface work, you're sawing, sawing, sawing, the weather is usually hot as Hades, the saw gets wicked hot, and you pull out of the line to re-fuel your saw. You turn the Stihl saw on its side, you get your gas jug, you crank open the saw's gas cap, pull it off and ... WHOOSH, suddenly what gasoline was left in the tank comes boiling/foaming out of the tank. The sudden release of pressure caused the gasoline to flash-boil in a split second, covering you with gasoline.

    There have been wildland firefighters who have burned very seriously as a result of being covered with gasoline from a chainsaw boil-off when the fuel cap was released, and then the gasoline ignited:

    http://www.wildfireaz.com/wp-content...Injury-RLS.pdf

    A USFS training/lessons-learned video:

    Fuel Geysering: Predictable? - YouTube

    The best solution is to let the saw cool off. When you open the gas tank, turn the cap slowly, and be prepared to push down on the cap to keep the gasoline from venting as a geyser.

    - Lastly, in our department now, we no longer use any gasoline containing ethanol in our two-cycle mixes. We have a bunch of two-cycle engines on our wildland engines, not just the saws. We have float-a-pumps and Mark-3's on the engines that need two-stroke fuel. Get whatever gasoline you can without ethanol. It makes your life so much easier when you need a two-stroke engine to start. Some departments in Wyoming are now buying 100LL avgas from their local airports to make sure they don't have any ethanol in their fuel mixes.

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    I have Stihl (044, MS291, MS192TC) and husky 350.
    (Mostly used for before/after the Hurricanes….)
    Anyway, over the years I have tried all kinds of files/holders/sharpening tools.
    Not much luck in obtaining a good cutting chain.
    Then I found this, WOW it is expensive, but my saws have never cut better.
    Timberline Chainsaw Sharpener

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    If you really want over the top,you can get diamond chain.....with actual diamonds....that will cut through brick walls,stonework and concrete......The demolishers prefer them to the big circular saws,easier to handle in tight spaces.

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    My experience, so take it FWIW. I cut 20 or so full cords a year more or less and have been for about 20 years. Mostly hardwoods, elm, ash, maple. I use a Stihl 360, 461, 310, and an old smaller Echo. The only one I've had kick much is the Echo for whatever reason. I've had the others kick enough to set the inertial brake, but not enough to come close to me. I think there is something to the heavier saws, some might say dumb luck.

    I put a chain on and run it until its done. Still full chisel (33RS I think) is pretty much all I use, I've tried others but they don't last as long IMO. I sharpen with a cheapo Oregon brand file holder and round files. I use a cheapo Oregon file plate to set raker height every 4 sharpening or so. Buy a box of round files the right size for the chain and change em when they get dull. They dull fairly quick, the chains have a hard plating on the edge of the cutters that wears the files out. I bought the Oregon guides at Farm and Fleet, not much $$. I order the round files by the box off the internet, I think the last box i bought were save edge brand from Baileys a few years back.

    Its not hard to sharpen chains, a few (or more if you hit something) strokes on each cutter. They are really forgiving for top plate angle. Most chains have a line on the back of the cutter as a guide. Get close to that angle and you'll get reasonable performance. IMO, don't get too worked up about getting all the angles perfect, they just wear out as you use the chain. Get reasonably close and you'll get 90% or better performance. You can tell by the chips the chain throws if you have it right. Big chips with no to little down pressure is good in general wood. Long dead dry solid wood will take more downforce and seems to be harder on chains.

    My chains have cutter lengths that are all over the place. Seems like I always find a piece of fence wire or something along the way and end up sharpening some of the cutters more than others. I have no problem with thrm cutting straight. Chains perform almost as well after a file sharpening compared to our of the box.

    Keep your chain sharp, I've come closer to cutting myself by forcing a dull saw than anything else. Keep the chain tight to avoid throwing it.

    Check the drive sprocket when you change chains. Replace it if its worn, this will help keep the chain tension repeatable. I usually put a new one on every couple of chains at least.

    I run premium with the Stihl oil mix, the premium is no ethanol. I mix 5 gallons at a time and use that in a year or so. No problems with carbs or fuel lines. Like everyone says, stay far far away from the ethanol blends.

    If you are doing blow down or ice broken trees, watch out for whats in tension. I got a good black eye once from cutting through a stressed branch and having it smack me in the face. It was part of a tree top that spilt over with the braches sitting on the ground. The branch was only an inch or so in diameter but had enough tension in it to throw a good hard punch. I've had a few close calls with larger ones too.

    Longer bars are nice but more weight. They take a little more power to pull the chain but should work in smaller wood anyway. Its nice to be able to cut things without having to bend down so far (I'm 6'6"). But, watch out for the end of the bar. I've had the spinning chain pick up a chunk of wood off the ground and lauch it at the jewels at high speed. Do that once and you'll never do it again.

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    Once you get it right count the strokes of the file like 5 strokes each tooth or some such number. With a grinder maybe 1-2 seconds per tooth. File the rakers every 2-4 tooth sharpenings. Do every other tooth so you have the angle correct then switch and do the others at their angles. Do not try to do them in consecutive order or angles get messed up.
    Bil lD.
    Grease the nose sprocket every sharpening.

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    +1 on having a sharp chain, and avoiding hitting rocks, etc. so that it stays sharp. I used to sharpen my saw chains with a file. It was time consuming and I was never really satisfied with the results. I bought a chain sharpener on the recommendation of a friend who worked in a saw shop. What a difference! This sharpener type has a pivoting rotary grinding head. The chain is placed in a fixture that's sort of like a chain bar. The rig has indexing so that each tooth can be drawn into position and locked for sharpening. The head is angled and tilted to grind the correct relief on the tooth. It's actually fun to sharpen chains with it, and I get like new performance from the chain afterwards. Now the file is only used for a quick touch up if I ding a tooth somehow in the field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Another reason not to stand inline with the chain - the chain can be thrown if you don't keep it good and snug. Anything in the line of fire is a soft target.

    Any of you guys use these electric trimming/limbing saws? I just got one on one of those early black Friday deals for $99 since I already had all the batteries. I like it so far but have only done about 2 hours of cutting with it. Not for big stuff but pretty light and nice for little stuff. I've got a Stihl 362 and an Echo 81cc saw I've had for a while (from early 80's maybe?) for bigger crap. Got an old Partner 65cc saw too, R420 I think.

    20201121_155721.jpg
    I bought a Dewalt 60 volt last year because I already had a battery and I just wanted to try it. While no substitute for a real gas saw, it has it's place. This year I suffered a left forearm injury in the spring that delayed my firewood cutting till July and August. First tree was a big dead red oak that had been down for over a year. The Dewalt allowed me to work without earmuffs. This was a big help when it's 90 degrees out. I did all the nuisance cleanup and limb wood with the Dewalt. Probably put my first cord in with that saw.

    Only problem is I killed my older battery. I did get them warm chunking up some 8-10 inch limbs. It was a little over 2 years old and just out of warranty. Won't take a charge now. Research suggests that one of the 15 cells is bad. When I have time this winter I'll crack the case and repair it.

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    Whenever I use a chainsaw, I squeeze my eyes, turn my head, purse my lips, and extend my arms as far away as possible while the terror takes place. I usually sing "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" in my head, if I remember to.

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    One little tip not mentioned is how to tell Visually if the blade is dull and, conversely, how to know when a few strokes of the file has removed enough metal: look for a shiner on the leading tip of the tooth. Hold the saw so that skylight is hitting the tooth and can reflect back to your eye. Light will not reflect from a sharp corner. So take a few swipes with the file and see if the shiner is gone. After you do a few teeth, you’ll have a pretty good idea that so many strokes is about right. There is a natural tendency to delay sharpening. But you’ll quickly see the payoff. I like to use one of those inexpensive battery-powered sharpeners when circumstances allow.

    Denis


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