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Chain Grinder Reccomendations

Magic_Man

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I'm gonna be looking for a chain grinder soon. I've tried my hand at filing for years and well, I suck. Most likely just looking for something basic to do round ground with. Everybody here swears by square, but it's my understanding it takes a special grinder to do that. I know Tractor supply sells a cheap one and northern tool carries a few reasonable priced units as well. Seems to be several models in the middle ground and a few really pricey ones. What's your experiences without breaking the bank, not looking to dump tons of cash on a the best grinder available.
 

Jimmy in NC

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I have a 511a and Tecomec unit. Both are fine geinders. I think any of the knock offs can produce good chain as long as you know what you are looking for in cutter profile and develop good technique.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

Genius

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My first grinder was a NT knock off. At the time it worked for me. Shortly after I got a Silvey 510, after using that thing the NT knock off felt like a piece of garbage.

A few years back I ended up selling the Silvey and NT knock off cause I wasn't cutting or grinding chains anymore.

A year or so back I started selling firewood and doing a lot more cutting, so I had to get another grinder. This time I ended up with a Oregon 511. I like it, it isn't no Silvey, but it works good for me. I would like to get a NT knock off to try again, but mostly as a designated raker grinder.
 

Magic_Man

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I was considering the Tractor Supply Timber Tuff at $149, but I keep seeing the Oregon 510 on sale for $239.00
 
B

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My first grinder was a NT knock off. At the time it worked for me. Shortly after I got a Silvey 510, after using that thing the NT knock off felt like a piece of garbage.

A few years back I ended up selling the Silvey and NT knock off cause I wasn't cutting or grinding chains anymore.

A year or so back I started selling firewood and doing a lot more cutting, so I had to get another grinder. This time I ended up with a Oregon 511. I like it, it isn't no Silvey, but it works good for me. I would like to get a NT knock off to try again, but mostly as a designated raker grinder.

>I would like to get a NT knock off to try again, but mostly as a designated raker grinder

there you go! a grinder for just the rakers. nice :) rakers matter....
 
B

Backyard Lumberjack

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I was considering the Tractor Supply Timber Tuff at $149, but I keep seeing the Oregon 510 on sale for $239.00

what would make u choose on over the other? besides, price...

many hand file! many get great results! I have noted some very expd hand filers... decide on a chain grinder... and say the precision upgrade is noteworthy and consistent...

I am all for consistent precision... :)
 

Magic_Man

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what would make u choose on over the other? besides, price...

many hand file! many get great results! I have noted some very expd hand filers... decide on a chain grinder... and say the precision upgrade is noteworthy and consistent...

I am all for consistent precision... :)
I would probably choose the Oregon because of its long standing reputation and parts availability. I don't know that one grinder is any more precise than the other and that's the kind of feedback I'm looking for here.

I've tried and tried to handfile, that's why I want a grinder. Results I can repeat time and time again.
 
B

Backyard Lumberjack

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I would probably choose the Oregon because of its long standing reputation and parts availability. I don't know that one grinder is any more precise than the other and that's the kind of feedback I'm looking for here. I've tried and tried to handfile, that's why I want a grinder. Results I can repeat time and time again.

I like hand filing. actually enjoy it, knowing the chain will be in pristine cutting condition when I am done. always so nice to cut with a sharp chain... both me and my saws smile.... ;) I think while it is easy, still it's a bit of a challenge... numerous variables to control and manage...
 

CR888

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Hand filing is great if you only need to file one or two chains at a time. If you cut hardwood for hours, a grinder will allow you to get everything done and eat dinner before sleep.lol The knockoff oregon 511 at about $100-150 is IMO the best serious cheap grinder. You need to know what your doing with any grinder or file to get good consistant chain that cuts as you desire. I am yet to hear a valid complaint about the knockoffs, unlike chinese saws and parts.
 

jakethesnake

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image.jpg For thirty bucks it's not even close to a good grinder but for rocked chains beats the *s-word out of a file it's paid for itself I still file usually but I can make a fairly decent chain with it no it's no silvey but if you're not a clutz it will make a good cutting chain I've decided I will own a better one one day but it will get the job done with some very simple modifications it would work better. I can file so I use those principals to help me it's an option anyhow most will bash it as will I when I buy a better one It works
 

Carhartt

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Tecomec makes Oregon grinders. The Tecomec Jolly Star is just the 511AX but red and cheaper. I have the Jolly Star, 511Ax and the Stihl USG. All very good tools. I like my USG mostly. I had a Stihl HOS and that was a nice grinder also. Sold it and wish I wouldn't had.
 

czar800

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My HF grinder work pretty good. I put a Oregon wheel on it and made a few other improvements to it.
 

jakethesnake

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I have a hf one also it's "stock". I file but I use it some when I jack a chain up bad
 

Carhartt

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I have a the Stihl FG 2 also. For the file sharpener it is a nice option. I never cared for the fact you have to remove the file and flip sides when going to the opposite tooth. It should just swivel 180. I would say if I had to make a near perfect sharpened chain that is the tool id use.
I still say if you are a firewood cutter and know the importance of a sharp chain you cant go wrong with the bar mounted Granberg. It will pay for itself quickly. That is if you cant free hand file. I never got any good at it and with all these tools I probably never will.
 

jakethesnake

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It's when you don't have all the extra tools you get good at it
 

jakethesnake

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That sounded a little off I'm not a great hand sharpener. I can make a chain cut like I want it to is all. I never had a grinder or even a guide so for plenty of years I had to teach myself. I sent them out to be sharpened some but rakers weren't adjusted when they came back it just wasn't worth it to me
 

Carhartt

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I believe the raker is just as important as the cutter. I ask each customer, what saw its on, what wood is mostly cut and what there personal preference is in raker depth.
I believe I should take the time to teach myself the art of freehand filing. I may need it someday. I see those fairly long custom chain clamps advertised. I think i cld do it with that. My problem was always the chain sway in the bar when pushing the file past. I guess what im saying is i know what its supposed to look like and do and would think less of myself with less than quality results.
 

jakethesnake

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Agree depth guage is at least just as important. Most of it is in just knowing what the cutter should look like other than that a little practice will get you there. I think I get a hair better every season. I usually cut a lot in the winter not so much right now
 

Philbert

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Back to the original question . . .

Like anything else, you somewhat get what you pay for. If you can swing the $300 - $400 for the full sized Oregon grinder, you will have 'the standard', along with support and a better resale value.

The current model is the 520. You may also find older models still for sale new or used.

If you are not willing to invest that much, your options are: used; clone grinder; mini-grinder. Each has compromises.

Philbert
 

CTYank

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I have a the Stihl FG 2 also. For the file sharpener it is a nice option. I never cared for the fact you have to remove the file and flip sides when going to the opposite tooth. It should just swivel 180. I would say if I had to make a near perfect sharpened chain that is the tool id use.
I still say if you are a firewood cutter and know the importance of a sharp chain you cant go wrong with the bar mounted Granberg. It will pay for itself quickly. That is if you cant free hand file. I never got any good at it and with all these tools I probably never will.

I've used the same Granberg file-guide for about 40 yrs, after trying other, simpler guides. Tried others later. The Granberg guide lets me control angles & height precisely, and make razors with min. metal removal. Out in the woods, one is in my tool-bag, for touch-up every other fillup. Saws & I love it. Free-hand too variable for me- no choice on chainsaw-cutter brushcutter blades.
Got an NT knock-off grinder a couple years back for restoring chains some buds roto-tilled with, and for when I found rock; can be made to give good results with Molemab wheels. Finish job with filing, of course.
 
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