Saw Chain Rocks!
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training
Imagine with me for just a moment a situation at your work site that happens easily and way too often to chainsaw operators. You cut through a limb or log near the ground, maybe on a rock or a paved area, but you miss calculate and you pass through the wood and cut right into the material below- Dull chain right? Powerfully Dull!
It happened to me during a training demonstration in north Georgia a few months back. I put together a great plan to take down a tree that was most likely on an old home site. The tree had a boxwood type woody plant growing around it. I began to clean around the tree so I could begin the notch cut. In the first cuts in the brush, a rock jumped up and hit my saw chain. Have you ever seen rocks jump? It’s happened to me a couple times over the past thirty years of saw operation (lie- a hundred times).
No the rock didn't jump up but it did show up in the wrong place and I dulled terribly ever cutter point on one side of the chain. Immediately I realized the situation wasn't conducive to completing the tree fall and I had to stop and sharpen before moving on. By the way, as a trained professional I told the group exactly what the problem was as I pulled out my sharpening tools from my work vest. "Someone must have hit something with my chain the other day!" That's always a good way to substantiate the pause in action and quickly apply blame. I hoped no one saw the sparks from the rock I had just carved into. Oh, that's comical isn't it? Maybe now but not then, and how often that happens as we clean up debris with a saw.
I recently experienced something right before my eyes and in my own hands that during my career others have attempted but didn't quite make it come together. That connection being a rock and a saw chain that's positive and productive to chain saw applications. Here are the findings that rocked me.
I took a small chainsaw and cut through a six inch log in about four and half seconds. Then I took the saw and ran the tip into a concrete composite walkway and tried to cut. The time slowed to over thirty seconds in the next cut (it still cut better than many chainsaws in the field but it was rocked). I then clamped a device over the end of the bar, started the saw, ran it up to full speed and pushed the end of the device against the log for about 5 seconds. Turning off the saw, I removed the clamshell like device, restarted the saw and returned to cutting four to five second rounds again. Yeauh, that's what I said! I sharpened the chain in 5 seconds.
The new chain is an extended pitch 3/8 chain much like most of you have on your smaller cc chain saws. The cutter is completely different though, it sharpens from the top of the cutter instead of underneath the top. It looks like a short, short cutter but you have to understand that the tooth length is vertical and not horizontal. Most chains and onboard sharpening systems that I have tried over the years were or seemed to be slower cutting and most of all very aggressive when you consider reactive forces. The use of the tip in plunge cut techniques using the nose of the bar was virtually impossible. This chain meets ANSI tests and is designed to run on a multitude of chain saws on the market.
This product will be sold as an accessory kit to fit your smaller chain saw and will be under $100 (actually way below $100). The kit includes a guide bar, saw chain and a stone sharpening device that goes into the bar tip clamshell device. When the chain life is complete, about a dozen sharpening’s, you only replace or purchase a new chain and it will come with a new sharpening stone. You simply reuse the clamshell device for many sharpening’s, like forever. In this process I think you will also be amazed at the life increase in your guide bar when you always run sharp chain.
This chain cuts fast, smooth and bore cuts are very doable. I was overwhelmingly impressed!
You can take this system to the woods, around the town, your backyard or even up a tree and you are always a few seconds away from a sharp-- properly sharpened saw.
By the way, if your spouse or significant other has a strong desire for diamonds for their birthday, anniversary or upcoming special occasion gift- you can have your stone and hit it too, so to speak. Invest in diamonds and sharpening power at your local Oregon® Saw Chain and Accessory Retailer.
Find out more about this great new accessory for your chain saw (maybe Pole Saw?) and diamonds at www.PowerSharp.com .
The Oregon® PowerSharp®! It Rocks!