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Sharpening a saw is no different than sharpening a knife. Learn how to do it by hand without the non-essential doodads, and you'll always have that skill. It's far from hard. A high-quality proper size round file, file handle, and a pair of gloves (or can of Band-Aids), and you are set. Pay attention to maintain the factory angle, count your strokes, same number on each tooth. Don't drag the file backwards, lift it and make the next forward pass. Tap the end of it on the bench briskly every so often. Replace it when it's worn out. After you've sharpened a chain multiple times, look at it closely. Are the teeth on the right longer than the ones on the left (or vice-versa)? Pretty easy to let happen, it's easier to bear down on one side, and the teeth get shorter. Pay more attention in the future, maintain the same pressure on each side. The saw won't cut straight if the teeth aren't the same length on the right and left side.
A smaller saw, like my MS260, can be sharpened in 5-10 minutes, longer bar, 15 minutes.
It's worth taking the time to learn how to do this yourself, it's not difficult at all. One thing I left out, if you have a bench vise handy, by all means, clamp the bar in it, makes everything twice as easy. If not, still not difficult at all.
L.
 

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Kerosene will cut the gum from some trees and the pitch from pines . Been feeding my family for years with a tree company I owned . I use cheap oil in oiler and used to use used oil when a lot was being used . Chains stretch and I only use non kick back chains . Not cheap .
 

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Discussion Starter #45
If you use a chain saw often enough, lots of spare chains go with the territory. This OP is geared for the suburbanite Griswold---one or two spares maybe all they have with other things having priority on the ol' the prepping budget.
 

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The only thing I would add to L.E.'s excellent post would be to file the rakers when needed.
Pedro.
 

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The only thing I would add to L.E.'s excellent post would be to file the rakers when needed.
Pedro.
I glossed over that, Pedro, thanks.
 

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Kerosene will cut the gum from some trees and the pitch from pines . Been feeding my family for years with a tree company I owned . I use cheap oil in oiler and used to use used oil when a lot was being used . Chains stretch and I only use non kick back chains . Not cheap .
Bar oil is far better than regular oil or used oil. It has additives that are sticky, and resists being flung off the speeding chain.
 

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I do not cut a lot of pine trees.

Kerosene will cut the gum from some trees and the pitch from pines . Been feeding my family for years with a tree company I owned . I use cheap oil in oiler and used to use used oil when a lot was being used . Chains stretch and I only use non kick back chains . Not cheap .
And gum is not an issue when I do. And if chain stretch is an issue for you. Then I would suggest that you upgrade to a saw that has adjustable tensioning.
 

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And gum is not an issue when I do. And if chain stretch is an issue for you. Then I would suggest that you upgrade to a saw that has adjustable tensioning.
I think they all have adjustable tensioning. And, all chains stretch. First, when they're new, and after that if the continue to stretch a lot they're worn out. This is exacerbated by running them hard, on tough tasks, usually when the oiling isn't doing it's job. Plugged up, or not working correctly. Heat builds up, hard on bar & chains both. Of course, there's also always the chance that your chain was just too long to begin with, in which case you'll just run out of adjustment as it stretches.
 

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I would have thought that they all had adjustable tensioning as well.

I think they all have adjustable tensioning. And, all chains stretch. First, when they're new, and after that if the continue to stretch a lot they're worn out. This is exacerbated by running them hard, on tough tasks, usually when the oiling isn't doing it's job. Plugged up, or not working correctly. Heat builds up, hard on bar & chains both. Of course, there's also always the chance that your chain was just too long to begin with, in which case you'll just run out of adjustment as it stretches.
But I got the idea that perhaps this was not the case from another post. Otherwise how would you even change chains? As for pine trees. when I do cut them on occasion. I try to cut them in the winter time. If it is cold most of the sap will be in the ground, and thus less mess. An old guy that I used to buy wood from before I retired and had time to cut my own told me that if you cut pine when it is below freezing it is even good to use for firewood.

It will burn fast and hot but you do not get the creosote build up that one would normally get if you burn pine that is cut in the summer.
 

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Kerosene will cut the gum from some trees and the pitch from pines . Been feeding my family for years with a tree company I owned . I use cheap oil in oiler and used to use used oil when a lot was being used . Chains stretch and I only use non kick back chains . Not cheap .
I am certainly going to give that a shot. Does the kerosene get mixed in the oilier or is it applied on the bar and sprockets?
 

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I too have a couple of spares in my field saw box. Just the cost of doin "business ".

Also use leftover motor oil. It works.
 

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Cityboy GONRA's "occasionally user" chainsaw knowledge isn't much. But hava little experience:
Learned that cheep Big Box Bar Oil may not be tacky enuf - damages equipment. >>> Get Name Brand Bar Oil ONLY! <<<
Also, for us occasional users, forget your Fragile Male Ego and get a Girly Start (windup spring pull) Stilhl MS 251 C-BE.
Use their (expensive) canned fuel too - REALLY saves "ethanol problems"!!!
Get a Harbor Freight electric chain sharpener.

Above verks for me and has saved/stopped ENDLESS [email protected]#$%^&* problems...
 

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Most of the gas stations around here now have a non-ethanol pump.
 

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Now this "non Ethanol" description is interesting in and of itself.

Most of the gas stations around here now have a non-ethanol pump.
I queried the owner of a local fuel depot on this. A young man that I generally consider to be fairly honest as I have known him for quite some time. My question to him was why do they label this fuel as "non Ethanol" fuel as opposed to labelling it Ethanol free fuel. It might stand to reason that since they currently label these poisonous soft drinks as being "sugar free". Why do they not Label gasoline in the same fashion?

His reply to me made a lot of sense. As he suspected that the gasoline dispensed as such may not be entirely Ethanol free. These corporations will sell you down the river any way that they can. Make no mistake about it.
 

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An even better label would be "real gas".
I noticed the other day that the pumps now all have stickers with the Federal, State, and local taxes listed. I always shake my head at the idiots who bad-mouth evil 'big oil' and their egregious profits. The government makes about 7 times as much, and does far less.
 

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Kero in oil . Don't leave gas in any motor for very long . ethanol; eats rubber. Sometimes while cutting big stump's an oil can for extra oil can help. Fiscus ( rubber trees and some pines can really gum up a saw.
 

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Yeah. At great expense, the wife and I only use the "Ethanol free" pump in town for all our cars, yard tools, etc.

We might be getting screwed (maybe there is some Ethanol)...but I'm kinda old school. Just want gas. Not interested in any fancy, earth-saving additives...which are just a fancy way of saying, "We watered down your gas for your convenience...and our profit. Thank you."
 
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