All about chains for power saws: how to choose, correctly replace and sharpen
Among the useful things stored in the back room of the economic owners of suburban areas, you can always find fixtures and devices for cutting wood. This can be a jigsaw, a hand saw, a convenient electric saw or a powerful unit that runs on liquid fuel. Any of the “helpers” requires certain work skills and attentive care. For example, owners of an electric-powered tool need to know what chains are for electric saws, whether they are difficult to change on their own and whether the file is suitable for correct sharpening.
Logging in large volumes or serious construction work on the street require the purchase of a more powerful tool - chainsaws. However, if you occasionally need to fix the fence, repair a house or saw a few logs, then an electric saw is an ideal tool. It is convenient to use in confined spaces - inside the house, in the barn or utility room, as well as on the site if there is a power source nearby.
What other benefits does the power tool have? It does not require time to prepare the fuel mixture and cuts more accurately than gasoline counterparts. Minus one - sparing use. You have to get used to the interval sawing of wood. This means that after 40 seconds of operation, a “respite” of approximately 20 seconds is necessary for the saw.
So, if you are already the proud owner of an ergonomic, convenient power saw, get ready to have a closer look at the device, replacing and sharpening the chain - the main dynamic part.
Before choosing an electric saw, read the information about the overheat protection system. The life of the protected motor is much longer, and the productivity is higher
How to choose the right chain?
The chain, along with the engine, is the most important functional part; therefore, when used actively, it is often subject to repair, sharpening or complete replacement. It is better to replace the old, worn chain completely, and for this you need to know some selection rules:
- When replacing any spare part (sprockets, tires or chains), you need to remember the compatibility of the elements of the electric saws, that is, purchase parts only from the manufacturer: for example, a Makita chain is required for a Makita electric saw.
- Pick up a chain depending on the goals. If you need more power, it is more profitable to purchase the product in increments of 3/8 inch, at low loads, 0.325 inches is enough. The cylinder volume in this case does not play a role.
- Pay attention to the angle of sharpening - this is useful for further care, repair or restoration. For greater productivity, choose an angle of 30º - it is easier to absorb large loads. However, with complex processing of wood (if it is raw or frozen), it is better to stop at 10º.
- The chain length must necessarily correspond to the size of the tire. In the process, it can stretch out, sag, but the issue is solved by simply removing 1-2 links.
Of course, it is necessary to consider the method and material of the cut. For example, for a longitudinal cut it is better to choose a chain with a small angle of sharpening. Productivity will be less, but the service life will increase significantly.
One of the indicators of chain selection is the step that is usually measured in inches. This is the spacing between rivets divided by two. Now there is a unified designation system and generally accepted standards - 3/8, 0.325 and 0.404 inches
Chain Tooth Parameters
The elements of the chain - the teeth - have differences that are important to consider when acquiring a chain for certain jobs.
Each part of the tooth has its own purpose. For example, the upper face of the tooth, which is often called the scapula, tapers at the back and forms the angle of the end blade. It is necessary to cut chips
The sliding surface and the inclination of the end blade form a rake angle, which has various options - from 60º to 85º. Correct the angle of the upper blade, as well as the rake angle, during sharpening. Each of the elements, in particular, its size and degree of sharpness, affect the cutting ability of the electric saw.
It is impossible to adjust the tilt angles to arbitrary parameters, there are proven standards that must be followed depending on the type of circuit and its functional purpose.
The angle of the blade forms the optimal cutting properties when cutting the chain into the wood layer. On the inside there is a sharpening angle - 10º or 30º, which can be changed if necessary
The clearance angle is 50º or 60º. This is the most important angle, but it is quite difficult to measure, and it is also difficult to adjust if you do not observe the other values.
The depth gauge distance affects how thick the chip will be. It depends on the type and purpose of the chain and is 0.6-0.8 mm. The limiter also requires adjustment and grinds, but much less often - after 5-8 sharpening
Self-changing saw chain
Companies that produce electric saws do not prohibit replacing a chain with their own hands, on the contrary, they often complete new products with instructions for repairing and replacing individual parts. Start by buying a new chain.
We check the chain for compliance, that is, we study its characteristics: length (depends on the tire), step size (relative to sprockets), drive link thickness
One of the common designs of budget saws is with lateral tension. To change the chain, perform the following steps in turn:
- we move the protective shield, while lowering the brake;
- turn the control tension screw with a screwdriver, unscrew the nut, thereby weaken the tension;
- remove the cover;
- we separate the tire with a chain from an asterisk;
- remove the old chain from the tire, install a new one in its place;
- perform actions in reverse order.
We tighten the chain smoothly, without jerking. Finally we pull it after closing the plastic cover with the screw and nut.
There are modern keyless chain tensioning systems, but many craftsmen prefer the traditional side-chain tensioning, which is somewhat problematic, but proven and reliable.
Modern models of electric saws have the so-called wing nuts for operative chain tension. Thanks to this element, the replacement process is faster - and this is important for large volumes of work. Lowering the brake, unscrew the nut and remove the cover. Slightly pushing the tire back, remove the old chain, put on a new one - first on the sprocket, then along the entire length. Then we put an asterisk in place, we twist a nut. We turn the tension wheel in the direction indicated on the housing and finally tighten the “lamb”.
The last step is to check the chain tension. It should fit snugly on the tire with the brake released, but spin under manual action. For a more effective check, it is recommended to drive the saw at low speeds
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Correct Sharpening Technology
It is naive to think that a saw will always work as effectively as on the day of purchase. Wood, even malleable and soft, is a fairly strong material that causes gradual blunting of cutting surfaces. After a certain period, which largely depends on the activity of using the tool and the quality of the wood, the chain becomes dull and its sharpening is required. If the teeth are not sharpened in time, they will lose their shape, become unusable and it will no longer require repairs, but a complete replacement - and this is economically unprofitable.
Do not miss the moment!
Certain intervals between repairs do not exist. Sharpening is usually required when signs of dulling begin to appear. One of the main signs is a change in the size and appearance of the chips. Due to the violation of the sharpness of the cutting edge of the teeth, it becomes shallow and darker than usual, and sometimes resembles dust.
Experienced craftsmen can determine the need for sharpening not by the characteristics of sawdust, but by the operation of the electric saw. In the process of cutting unusual vibration appears, which in the future can cause destruction of the sprocket and wear of important components
If you suspect, carefully inspect the chain itself. On sharp parts there should be no chips, radii, damage, and the shape of the cutting edge should remain the original. If you notice the slightest violation in the configuration of the teeth - the chain needs to be sharpened.
In a blunt tooth, the cutting edge is grinded in two directions: in the front of the scapula and along the side cut line. During sharpening, it is necessary to correct the shape of the entire cutting part
What do professionals advise?
Residents of large cities face a choice: it is possible to sharpen the chain of an electric saw in a service center or to sharpen it yourself, using special tools. Owners of power tools from small towns and villages do not have such an opportunity, therefore, despite the complexity of the process, it is better to learn how to repair chains with their own hands. But independent sharpening has its own plus - saving money.
The cost of sharpening one tooth with editing the limiter will cost 100-120 rubles, however, most service centers place orders only with a minimum amount of 5000 rubles or more (calculation is based on the number of teeth of the entire chain)
The advantage of professional sharpening is high quality work. The chain is removed from the tire, pulled onto a special machine, set the angle of sharpening and each tooth is corrected in turn. Sharpening accuracy is determined in tenths of a millimeter.
Can I sharpen a chain with a file?
Many skilled craftsmen do just that - at the very first symptoms of blunted links they take a file and correct the angle of the cutting edge. However, any tool does not fit, you should stock up on a special kit, which includes at least four necessary devices:
- flat file for depth limiter correction;
- round file with landmark lines;
- mandrel for determining the angle.
For sharpening, the chain is left on the tire, and the tire is fixed in a vice. The file should match the teeth in diameter.
A tool for manual sharpening a chain of an electric saw can be purchased at a construction supermarket, the average cost of one set is from 300 to 900 rubles
When using a round file, make sure that it protrudes only 1/5 of the sharpened part. It is recommended to mark the first tooth, so that you do not accidentally wrap it in the second round. The movements should be rhythmic and precise, not randomly, but only in one direction.
After several sharpenings, the limiter should also be processed, which will lose its shape over time. The gauge is applied to the edge, the end side to the stop. If the stop is noticeably beyond the caliber, it should be trimmed with a flat file. The tool position is perpendicular to the tire.
During sharpening, follow the movement of the file, which should be at an angle of 90º with respect to the tire. Try to remember the amplitude and number of movements so that all the teeth of the chain are sharpened equally
The teeth of the chain wear unevenly, so you will come across the fact that they have different heights. In this case, you should find the most sophisticated element and navigate it
The quality of work by eye cannot be determined; it will be known only after a trial cut.
Correct sharpening on the machine
It is impossible to constantly use the file to correct the cutting edge, since inaccuracy and uneven grinding lead to rapid wear of the chain. Even if your hand is full, and the sharpening process seems quick and easy (and it takes from 6 to 8 hours), try using a machine - a more efficient device.
All machines for sharpening chains are divided into manual and electric. Hand tools - an elementary design that looks like a frame or a jigsaw. For manual operation, it is necessary to firmly fix the tire with a chain (it is not necessary to remove it from the saw) in a vice, and then process each tooth one by one. Compactness, light weight and ease of transportation make it easy to carry the device over long distances, if necessary.
Manual machines have a simple design and low cost - from 850 to 1700 rubles. The best manufacturers of manual grinding equipment are Oregon and Champion
When buying the second option - an electric model - you will definitely need a power source, which means that it is impossible to sharpen away from the outlet. But the quality of work will be an order of magnitude higher, in addition, power plants have a set of useful functions:
- work with different types of chains;
- depth and pitch correction;
- exact formation of the limiter;
- setting the desired cutting angle.
Before work, you must carefully study the instructions and make a test sharpening on 1 tooth. Then set the parameters for the first tooth so that all of the following elements correspond to it. This ensures the same sharpening of all the teeth, therefore, good performance and high performance.
Remember that chainsaw chains also need sharpening. You can do this yourself: tech / kak-zatochit-cep-benzopily.html
How to extend the life of the chain?
And finally, a few tips for those who prefer to work more and less to repair, replace and sharpen chains. Remember that the electric saw is designed to work with wood, so in no case use it to cut products from other materials. Make sure that there are no foreign objects in the wood that can spoil the teeth of the chain, for example, nails, bolts or metal staples. Even a small steel carnation may render several teeth unusable, and as a result the entire chain will have to be replaced.
The ideal material for cutting is dry wooden logs, boards or bars that do not exceed the length of the tire in width (diameter). To cut a huge trunk into several girths, use an industrial type gasoline saw
In order not to accidentally "screw up" the saw, use special high supports or "goats" and make sure that the tire and chain do not come into contact with the ground. The cut should be carried out freely, without "snacks", if the teeth do not grab the wood or the tire moves with difficulty - it is time to grind. Be sure to observe the interval mode - let the electric saw rest. Lubricate the mechanism in time and make sure that there is no overheating.
It is also necessary to store the power saw correctly: tech / kak-xranit-instrumenty.html # i-13
Compliance with a few simple rules will increase the service life of the electric saw and allow you to realize many interesting plans.