Chain saw chain questions / recommendations?


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Old 08-14-23, 08:35 AM
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Chain saw chain questions / recommendations?

I have a 14" ryobi gas powered chainsaw I bought a couple years ago, use it minimally - last time was likely a year ago to cut down a dead tree in my yard.

I've had chain saws like that one over the years.

Some questions if you don't mind:
Chains are a consumable, right? They wear out (pretty quick?). Do you sharpen them? Yourself or have someone do it?

Or just toss them?

How long do they typically last? I guess that's hard to quantify - 'days' or years could be the same amount of use. I've heard that dead trees beat up the chains more than live trees? And different woods would be easier / harder on the blades?

I heard that when the chain is sharp, the wood is bigger pieces, when it's dull, the wood coming off are more dust? But when I was cutting down a dead tree this week, the chips would vary - sometimes larger, sometimes more dust / finer pieces

I was looking on Amazon and saw a high rated no-name brand. Reading reviews, someone said something about 'it's not an Oregon but is pretty good. Is oregon the best / one of the better brands of chains?

I thought the pricing below for these was funny. The 1 and 3 pack ARE sold by amazon and the 2 pack is sold by someone else. I ordered the 1 and 3 to see if they all look like the same chain.




 
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Old 08-14-23, 08:53 AM
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Actually I have about 10 chains, some are probably 20 years old. I sharpen my own and save the cost of having them done, . I went through several manual chain sharpeners and finally found a relatively inexpensive electric sharpener that works pretty good, cant recall the name but will take a look this evening.

All of mine are Oregon!
 
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Old 08-14-23, 09:22 AM
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I generally just have one chain per saw and sharpen it as needed. When the teeth get worn down I replace the chain. I usually replace the bar every other chain.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 09:24 AM
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I have always sharpened my own chains. A sharp chain will throw chips. As the cutters dull the chips will tend more towards sawdust.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 09:56 AM
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I have ordered 8Ten brand chain from Amazon and they were pretty good. Good enough that when they got mixed in with my Oregon brand chains I can't tell them apart without looking closely. In use I can't tell which is what brand. So, pretty good for the price (at that time).

I used to do a lot of cutting on my property and would go out with several chains. Instead of sharpening in the field I'd just put on a fresh chain. Then when most or all my chains were dull I'd sharpen them. I have a no-name copy of the Oregon chain sharpener and it makes sharpening quick and easy and does an excellent job.

I have never noticed live or old dead trees dulling chains differently. Hitting dirt or a rock will dull a chain almost instantly. And, hitting a nail will dull one pretty badly though not as bad as a rock.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 10:38 AM
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I have never noticed live or old dead trees dulling chains differently.
I had a tree taken down in the winter and it sat for some time in below freezing weather. Tried cutting the stump down and simply would not cut, the trunk was frozen and steam would come from the cut and dulled the blade almost instantly.

Cutting the limbs didn't seem to be a problem but then read that it was not possible for a tree truck to freeze!

IDK if it was because the trunk was cut or what but it cut fine in the spring.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 10:50 AM
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Dead trees with punky wood can absorb water and freeze, I have seen it before. I don't remember it dulling the chain though.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 11:24 AM
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I thought it would cut like the guys cutting holes in a lake but it was like concrete!
 
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Old 08-14-23, 01:30 PM
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Look up "Pykrete". Basically sawdust frozen in ice but incredibly tough and strong considering it's just sawdust and ice.
 
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Old 08-14-23, 02:43 PM
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Thanks!
 
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Old 08-14-23, 03:55 PM
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And you learn something new every day!
 
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Old 08-27-23, 06:41 PM
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Chains usually last for years. If you are a backyard chainsaw user it will probably last most of your life. Just get the proper file and sharpen yourself. Takes about 10 minutes. Just takes a little practice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-3ia-_knSs
Watch all of his videos and you will be a pro and be well entertained.
 
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Old 08-28-23, 07:18 AM
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I prefer chisel-style chains over chipper-style chains.

I clamp the bar in a bench vise when I sharpen my own chains.
 
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Old 09-03-23, 11:22 AM
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I was sharpening my chains with a Dremel tool with a stone for a chain sharpener. It's kind of easy to end up with uneven sharpening that way, were the saw tends to cut to the left or right. i've gone back to using a file, specifially for the chain. They do wear out, I found that before switching (temporarily) to the Dremel the file I was using was worn way beyond it's usefulness..
 
 

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