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Chainsaws Discuss chainsaw makes and models, pros and cons. Get advice on maintenance and day to day usage.


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Old 13-04-12   #1 (permalink)
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chain damage

Forgive me if this is a silly question, but it will settle an argument between me and my mate...

does cutting trees which are covered in moss or mud blunt or damage a chainsaw chain?
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Old 13-04-12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

Any mud will act as a grinding paste and take the edge off your chain teeth.
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Old 13-04-12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

Moss will collect sand and grit that is blown in the wind and this will blunt the saw.
Even bark collects grit and sand, sawmills normally pressure wash butts before sawing.
Many mills have a seperait blade that removes bark in front of the main blade.
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Last edited by skyhuck; 13-04-12 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 13-04-12   #4 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

Thanks for the replies.

I understand the grinding effect of mud or moss but am I right thinking that would only happen over a period of time.

It wouldn't blunt the chain the first time you did it.
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Old 13-04-12   #5 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

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Originally Posted by hot logs View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I understand the grinding effect of mud or moss but am I right thinking that would only happen over a period of time.

It wouldn't blunt the saw the first time you did it.
By the time you'd felled the first one, it wouldn't be cutting as well on the second, whether you ccould actually notice it or not depends on just how muddy/gritty it is and what you consider to be blunt.

We've been on some birch round a lake recently where it was dulling off and stretching chains enough to need to fettle it before you had ran a full tank through.
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Old 13-04-12   #6 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

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Originally Posted by hot logs View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I understand the grinding effect of mud or moss but am I right thinking that would only happen over a period of time.

It wouldn't blunt the chain the first time you did it.
Good thread... But disagree ^

If you wind your bar through a clump of mud on a piece of timber (so much so that mud contacts well with every cutter) it will take the edge of it - first time in my opinion, others may beg to differ though.....

Test it if your bored one day - use a low powered saw as the lack of grunt will make it easier to define between cutting speeds - im sure youll have to push harder through the bars to make it cut as quick after wading through mud - a change in sawdust will be visible too after a while.

A tiny fleck of mud / moss will still make a difference but probably not noticable, especially is using a saw with some decent power.
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Old 13-04-12   #7 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

It's a tricky question with no definate answer.... if it is just moss and some mud then it will turn a sharp chain into a very dull one over a number of cuts so although you can cut through it every time you do will be taking a bit of edge of the chain.

But it also depends on how your chain is sharpened - a perfectly sharpened chain and raker combo will be far more durable/long lasting then incorrectly sharpened one.

Also chain speed - I've experimented cutting through dirty wood with an old chain and slow chain speed I've found is much less damaging to the chain.... I suppose if the chain is hitting grit and sand harder it is more damaging - my experience anyways....

But a shorter answer is that running a saw through moss will not dull a chain instantly (unless there is grit in it - in that case it would!)
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Old 13-04-12   #8 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

Even different clean wood will make a difference . Oak will dull a chain sooner than , say poplar . Any kind of soil will take the edge off sometimes quicker than you think . As soon as the chip becomes dust you are forcing a dull chain .
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Old 13-04-12   #9 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

Short answer, yes.

Depends on the circumstances though, moss won't dull it as much as dust, dust not as much as dirt etc, but even different types of moss can cause different degrees of damage. No good on species I'm afraid, but thin, wispy feathery mosses will only cause a very gradual dulling, probably not noticable after one tree, thicker heavier mosses can cause an instantly noticable effect.

Felled the edge off a quarry last year to allow for expansion, sharpening all the time, trees were full of muck from previous blasting. Outsides were filthy, just about made you cringe putting the saw into them, but even cleaning them off the first couple of inches of wood were noticably dirty.
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Old 13-04-12   #10 (permalink)
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Re: chain damage

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Originally Posted by Stubby View Post
Even different clean wood will make a difference . Oak will dull a chain sooner than , say poplar . Any kind of soil will take the edge off sometimes quicker than you think . As soon as the chip becomes dust you are forcing a dull chain .
Pine trees off sandy heaths seem to collect sand in their bark, you'll notice the spark as you cut through in dull light, converslly cut smooth barked species like hornbeam or beech coppice on wealden soils and even cutting a bit of clay inclusion doesn't dul, them much.
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