Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

Success with the electric chainsaw sharpener!

A sharp chainsaw cuts like a dream, zipping quickly through the wood and producing a nice stream of big clean wood chips with no effort on the part of the operator. A blunt one slowly burns and polishes its way through the wood, making dust rather than chips. When they are really bad they cut a curved slot and get stuck after a couple of inches. Chains stay sharp for quite a while cutting green wood, but dry wood will wear the edges quicker and accidentally touching the ground with a running saw can trash the blade in an instant.

I've never had much success sharpening chains with a chainsaw file, possibly because I've only tried to use them after somebody has just accidentally hit a rock or a nail and blunted the teeth far beyond the point where a light touch-up with a hand file is going to do them much good. A few months ago wibble_puppy bought a Faithfull electric chainsaw sharpener; I tried it out on a totally blunt blade that wouldn't cut at all with limited success: afterwards the chain would cut in a straight line but quite slowly with a lot of dust and effort. I read a lot of reviews of different models before recommending the Faithfull machine so I was a bit disappointed with the mediocre results.

I'm currently processing a pile of sticks into firewood so I decided to have another try with the electric sharpener, this time experimenting with different settings and carefully examining the edges under magnification. With a bit of practice I managed to get the blade pretty much as sharp as a new one! I think the trouble the first time I used it was that the instructions supplied with the machine assumed you were using it to touch up a slightly dull blade; this blade needed considerably more grinding to get it back to a good set of edges. Hopefully the next time I'll get away with just giving it a light lick to restore it to full sharpness. My main complaint with the Faithfull machine is that the power switch feels a bit cheap and is awkwardly located.

It's a little thing, but I do so enjoy using sharp tools.
Tags: woodwork

  • Progress

    What I've been up to in the past couple of weeks, in brief: I did a few bits of welding and replacement of steering rack gaiters etc. on…

  • Back home; throat sore

    We rolled back into Burnley last night after an absolutely awesome trip around the Scottish highlands and islands. Lin never broke down, though her…

  • Diabetes etiquette

    muuranker just pointed out this handy diabetes etiquette guide for people who don't have diabetes. Most of the points on the guide…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.