I always have to taking my chains into the shop to get sharpened and I fell like they are doing a crappy job. I've been looking around online at the many different sharpeners and have some questions. Why do all the radial style grinders vary so much in price? assuming you get what you pay for, how much for a good one? I also saw a different type of tool here: [HYPERLINK@www.timberlinesharpener.com]
has anyone tried this one?
I haven't used or even seen the Timberline one so I can't comment. Why the difference in price? Some of it will be build and some of it will be name.
I have an Oregon sharpener that I'm happy with. I bought mine used at an auction for $50. An new one is about $350. With that you'd have a sharpener that will stand up to years of use in a commercial environment. One where you are sharpening chains as a business or someone logging or running a firewood processor. The cheapest that Baileys ( http://www.baileysonline.com/ )has is $90. I don't know if you'd be happy with it or not.
The cheapest you can buy will most likely be from Harborfreight. I've never been even a little happy with their electrical equipment. The most important thing is that there is no end play to the shaft of the grinder, because if there is, trying to get a chain sharpened right is almost impossible.
It also takes practice to sharpen a chain on one of them.
I usually use just a file. In most cases it's faster to file the chain on the bar than it is to take it off and run it through the sharpener. It takes a little practice to get a chain even from side to side. What helps a lot is that most chain has a guide line scribed on it. It takes even more practice to fix a chain that is messed up. The secret to filing a chainsaw chain is
to do it before the saw gets real dull. It's much easier to touch it up that it is to recover a severely dull chain.
If that is the root you want to try, a file is a dollar or so and I'll try to post some pointers.
The most important thing to do regardless of what tool you use is to find the most messed up tooth sharpen that one and then sharpen the rest to match that one. That is most likely what the shop isn't doing.