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Saw Chain for Hardwoods

Ron660

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I cut mostly hardwood, oaks and hickory, for firewood and wanted to know is there a "better" type of chain and sharpening angle used for only hardwoods and not softwood? I know they will all work but I was wondering is there a certain type of chain (full comp, semi-chisel, or full-skip) that fits the following for "better"?
1) stays sharper longer in green and dry wood
2) life of the chain lasts longer
3) also best sharpening angle for cutting hardwood. I think the factory angle is 33 degrees when I round file. I'm not referring to square-ground chains. Also, the raker height?
 
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Ron660

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Semi chisel will last almost double unless you cut metal.
Any preference on brand? Carlton, Oregon, Stihl? Do you happen to know the coding or name or semi-chisel of these brands? I've been using Oregon LGX full-comp on my 036.
 

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.404 Chipper chain semi. Won't win a cookie race but in certain conditions it can be the highest production choice. Running the most suitable chain for the task is more important than any particular chain type IME. As for filing/grinding, knowing how to tune and detune a chain for conditions is just as important. I find in many chain threads, there is as much or more misinformation punched out than useful proven facts. Best practice in one part of the globe can be almost useless in another. Many variables, knowing why to do what when is what really counts & that won't come from time spent on forums. Part of being a good sawyer is about being able to adapt and change according to conditions one may face. That requires many different chains and filing/grinding techniques.
 

Ron660

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Semi chisel will last almost double unless you cut metal.
Would you recommend factory angles on semi-chisel for long lasting cutters? I'm not concerned with the fastest angle just one that will stay sharp longer?
 

mdavlee

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30 degrees is a good angle. They'll last so much longer. Its not as smooth as square or as fast though. Just have to play with angles and tilt to decide what you like with it.
 

Ron660

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30 degrees is a good angle. They'll last so much longer. Its not as smooth as square or as fast though. Just have to play with angles and tilt to decide what you like with it.
I think I saw ripping chain angles at 10 degrees. Ever use that angle?
 

mdavlee

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Only for milling.
 

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Some hickory bark is brutal on chains. What type do you have? It's definitely semi chisel wood. It can knock the coner right off full chisel in one cut.
 

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Wish I could run one of your filed semi chains Mike. I've tried it multiple times (semi-chisel)and just don't like the cut performance I get. I use LGX and RS with great success in all I cut which is 98% hardwoods (6-10 cord per season). Oak, Maple, Hickory, Ash.... and more recently 54 apple trees. Cuttin' conditions have been clean, I have to admit. I've only lightly touched up my chain twice in all 54. And this is 3/8 round filed on a ported 57cc.
 

Ron660

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Some hickory bark is brutal on chains. What type do you have? It's definitely semi chisel wood. It can knock the coner right off full chisel in one cut.
Hickories are Mockernut and Pignut mostly. I haven't seen to many Shagbark. Hickory is definitely a denser wood than Red Oak. But Live Oak is denser than Hickory.
 
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mdavlee

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I run semi on some saws just so I don't have to touch up. It's nice in a wood pile with dirt and who knows what all else on the logs. If it's chisel I square file it. 30° top plate with the file lower for more hook can get real close to round chisel speed.
 

Ron660

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I run semi on some saws just so I don't have to touch up. It's nice in a wood pile with dirt and who knows what all else on the logs. If it's chisel I square file it. 30° top plate with the file lower for more hook can get real close to round chisel speed.
I need to send you a pic of my square-ground filing one day to see if I'm close to the right angles.
 

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junkman

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I think I saw ripping chain angles at 10 degrees. Ever use that angle?
Sharpening like ripping chain will last longer ,but be a little slower ,the stronger can make the outer corner ,the longer the chain will last ,

Since i have started using .404 i have not had to sharpen as much as i did with 3/8

.404 sharpened 15-20 degrees across the top is a good work chain ,that cuts good and lasts ,i used to get 2-3 tanks before a touch up ,i can go a few days now before i feel need to change the chain as long as do not hit a rock ,even a little dirt on the log does not seem to kill the edge ,at least the clay dirt around here .I run this chain on my 440 hybrids and 660 .
 

Ron660

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Sharpening like ripping chain will last longer ,but be a little slower ,the stronger can make the outer corner ,the longer the chain will last ,

Since i have started using .404 i have not had to sharpen as much as i did with 3/8

.404 sharpened 15-20 degrees across the top is a good work chain ,that cuts good and lasts ,i used to get 2-3 tanks before a touch up ,i can go a few days now before i feel need to change the chain as long as do not hit a rock ,even a little dirt on the log does not seem to kill the edge ,at least the clay dirt around here .I run this chain on my 440 hybrids and 660 .
What are the factory angles of most square-ground chains? I've bought a few Oregon and Stihl square-ground chains in the last few years. They definitely stay sharper longer than round chisel 3/8.
 
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