The ability to sharpen chipper blades is a great skill to have, since doing a lot of chipping and shredding wears down the blades quickly. Sharpening chipper blades may seem like a straightforward task, but there are a few important things to know before undertaking this project.
Step 1 – Sharpen Often
Sharpening chipper blades often can extend the life of the blades and the chipper machine. Sharp blades require less power from the machine. If a chipper blade becomes too dull, much of the blade itself will have to be removed during the intensive sharpening process. This type of occasional, intensive sharpening will greatly diminish the life of the chipper blades, so short bursts of sharpening maintenance when needed are best. After 6 to 8 hours of use is usually a good time to sharpen most chipper blades. You should also be able to tell if blades need sharpening by the way they are cutting and the size materials they put out of the chipper machine. Chunky pieces instead of chipped pieces will indicate a need for blade sharpening. Many chipper machines will slow down or stop altogether when blade sharpening is necessary.
Step 2 – Use Proper Tools
It is important to use the proper tools when sharpening chipper blades, because the wrong tools can permanently damage your chipper blades. A typical grinder or grinding belt is a poor choices for sharpening chipper blades since the blades are made of high-carbon steel. These types of sharpening materials can cause the chipper blades to overheat, damaging the blades and diminishing their overall life. A professional grinder can be a good choice for sharpening, though it is still important to pause occasionally, making sure the chipper blades are not getting too hot. Another choice is hand sharpening with a wet wheel. In this case, diamond whetstone will probably get the job of sharpening done the fastest.
Step 3 – Sharpen Entire Sets
Sharpen all the chipper blades at the same time, even if only one appears to be dull. This practice will keep all of the blades balanced with each other. Be sure the chipper blades match each other and come from the same set so they maintain the same distance and balance, and maximize chipping efforts. Before returning the chipper blades to the machine, you may want to use a wire brush to clean the area where they attach. This will also maintain balance and efficiency to make sure they are most effective.
Step 4 – Do not Over-Sharpen
Take care not to sharpen the chipper blades too much, since this practice can cause the blades to break. Sharpening past an inch will likely cause problems for the chipper blades, as with other common machinery knives. If you are unsure about how much sharpening should occur for maximum benefits, you may want to seek the advice of a professional.
With the proper tools and know-how, the ability to sharpen chipper blades will save time and money and keep your chipper machine running at maximum efficiency.