How to make a ripping chain

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Ripping chains are a really helpful accent for chainsaw milling. As with many different issues, there are two methods of getting your self a ripping chain: purchase or DIY.

This text is in regards to the DIY route: I’ll inform you methods to flip an everyday chainsaw chain right into a ripping chain. Print brief, an everyday chainsaw chain could be transformed right into a primary ripping chain just by re-grinding the tooth to a decrease 5…10 diploma angle and resetting the depth gauges. Ripping effectivity of the chain can additional improved by turning each second cutter pair into scoring cutters.

Studying: make a ripping chain

Subsequent, we are going to first take a look at methods to produce what I name a primary ripping chain by making the sharpening angle change. Then, I’ll inform methods to make an improved ripping chain which incorporates scoring cutters.

Geared up with this info and customary chain-sharpening instruments, it is possible for you to to show your cross-cutting chain right into a ripping chain in lower than half-hour.

Fundamental ripping chain

Crucial modification wanted to show an everyday chain right into a ripping chain is altering the sharpening angle of the cutters (tooth).

Whereas common chains optimized for cross-cuts have a sharpening angle of 25 to 35 levels, a a lot decrease angle between 5 to 10 levels is perfect for ripping.

What you want:

  1. Common (cross-cutting) chain. The chain doesn’t must be new or of any particular sort, however should suit your noticed and bar.
  2. Powered chain sharpener – any sort with an adjustable angle is OK. (Regrinding is approach too sluggish manually.)
  3. Grinding compound (optionally available)
  4. Flat recordsdata
  5. Raker submitting information

Step 1: Re-grind cutters

Sharpen all of the cutters (tooth) on the chain to a ten diploma chopping angle. To do that:

  1. Set the sharpener to a ten diploma angle
  2. Comply with device-specific sharpening process
  3. Goal for a quick grinding course of and use a grinding compound
  4. Bear in mind PPE: glasses, gloves, and earmuffs
Grinding a series to a 7.5-degree sharpening angle utilizing a DIY sharpening jig for a Proxxon IBS/E rotary instrument, and

Word that you’re going to take away a whole lot of materials from every tooth – attempt to nonetheless maintain the grinding time brief to keep away from heating the tooth greater than essential. If doable, use a grinding compound like Koolgrind.

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Regrinding the cutters takes a while and persistence, however quarter-hour ought to be sufficient even for a first-timer.

Step 2: Reset rakers

Subsequent, reset the depth gauges or rakers in entrance of every cutter. That is finest executed manually utilizing a flat file and a submitting information.

The correct depth gauge setting is .025″ to .030″, which is constructed into the submitting guides. The depth gauge adjustment course of is actually the identical as after every regular chain sharpening:

  1. Decide a submitting information supposed in your chain pitch
  2. Place the information on a raker in keeping with directions (depends upon information sort)
  3. File the raker tip flush to the information
  4. Repeat for every raker within the chain
  5. For guides: costume the forefront the horizontal the rakers parallel to the service mark

(The pictured Husqvarna submitting information has the right tilt built-in.)

Resetting the raker lowers ensures that the cutters can take an honest chunk even after you’ve gotten reground them (whichs them a bit).

Submitting the rakers with a correct information is fairly quick and mustn’t take greater than 5 minutes.

Why the decrease sharpening angle?

The decrease top-plate angle of round 10 levels reduces the facet pressure on the cutter that tries to splay the chain.

Substantial facet pressure is required in cross-cutting to push the cutter facet plates and shoulders into the wooden fiber – thus the 30 or 35 diploma sharpening angle.

However in ripping, the highest plates of the cutters are doing the heavy fiber-cutting work, a lot much less facet pressure is required. Aspect pressure is the truth is counter-productive in ripping because it causes the cutters to splay an excessive amount of, resulting in a ripply floor end and unnecessarily extensive kerf.

Improved ripping chain

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With a bit extra effort and time, you’ll be able to nonetheless enhance the fundamental ripping chain by turning each second cutter pair into scoring cutters. Scoring cutters are notably helpful with very extensive cuts or low-powered saws.

Scoring cutters are primarily normal cutters with a half-width high plate. They’re constituted of common cutters by grinding some materials off the highest plate.

What you want:

  1. The fundamental ripping chain from the final step – this serves as the place to begin.
  2. Angle grinder or a rotary multitool (Dremel) with a cutoff disc.
  3. (Grinding compound)
  4. (Marker pen)
Each different cutter pair marked for grinding to make scoring cutters.

The grinding is finest executed with an angle grinder with a skinny cutoff wheel. A Dremel or related rotary multitool with a troublesome cutoff disc can be used for the aim.

With sufficient care, the grinding could be executed handheld. When doable, nonetheless, mount the angle grinder or Dremel on a instrument stand or connect a easy jig to make the method simpler and extra repeatable.


  1. Maintain the chain on the bar
  2. Mark the cutoff strains halfway by the highest plates of each second tooth pair (see picture)
  3. Lower every of the marked high plates. Attempt to make every minimize quick to keep away from pointless heating.
  4. Bear in mind PPE: glasses, gloves, and muffs. Take into account a full-face masks for this sparking however detailed work.

Reducing the scoring tooth is sort of quick and takes lower than 10 minutes.

Slender scoring cutters on a completed ripping chain, adopted by full-width “clearing” cutters.

Why is that this executed?

Scoring cutters assist the chain run lighter and stabler and provides your noticed a neater time in ripping cuts. Having scoring cutters as each second cutter pair permits every cutter to take just one/4 of the complete kerf width.


Some instruments I like to make use of in making ripping chains are listed within the desk beneath. The desk consists of hyperlinks to Amazon ( is an Amazon Affiliate. As an Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases.) Some notes:

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  • A bench grinder is the quickest and most correct instrument for regrinding if you wish to make investments a bit.
  • The cordless Dremel is useful because it each regrinds and cuts tooth (even within the forest); the Dremel information is a essential accent although not the very best for ripping chains. (I’m engaged on adapting my extra correct Proxxon jig for Dremel and possibly publishing one thing on that.)
  • Choose the grinding stones and raker submitting guides in your chain dimension (most saws OK for milling run a 3/8″ chain).
  • Dremel EZ cutoff discs are handiest for trimming the tooth into scoring cutters, however any will work. Want Dremel to the angle grinder, although – you want the accuracy.
Powered grinders:Grinding stones: Flat file & raker information: Cutoff wheels:

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