Current Articles
Browse Archives
Contact Us
AUF Home
ISA Seal
Get Acrobat Reader

Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 48, Issue 4 — July 2022

Chain Saw Chains: Analyzing Sharpening Options and Practices for Operational Efficiency

Alexander Martin

Abstract: Background: Chain saws are a primary piece of equipment in arboriculture. Sharpening of chain saw chains is important to the chain saw’s continued efficient cutting power. Analyses of chain saw sharpening procedures can influence efficiency and sustainability in arboriculture. Previous research has examined mechanical aspects and variability of chain saw chains; however, a knowledge gap exists regarding sharpening methods relating to operational efficiency. Methods: Chain saw chains retired from operational service were submitted by 132 arboriculture crews from 47 companies across a 6-month period. The research team reviewed 640 chain saw chains to determine whether the functionable lives of the chain saw chains had been exhausted. If the functionable life was not exhausted, the remaining functional life of the chain was documented. To analyze the accounting cost and economic cost of sharpening versus purchasing new chain saw chains, an economic model was created with variables from chain saw chain manufacturers and geospatial data. Results: Of the submitted chain saw chains, 77% (n = 493) were retired before their functional life was exhausted. The mean number of additional times that the chains could have been sharpened was 4.54 more times (s = 2.22). Per the economic model, accounting costs of purchasing new chains were 3.64 to 4.96 times more expensive than sharpening chains in-house. The economic cost of purchasing a new chain was generally 1.83 to 3.74 times more expensive than sharpening chains in-house. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the functional service life of chain saw chains are frequently not exhausted and that purchasing chains has higher accounting and economic costs than sharpening chains in-house.

Keywords: Arboriculture; Business Decisions; Cutter Teeth; Sharpening Techniques; Urban Forestry Management.

Current Articles | Browse Archives | Search | AUF Home | ISA Home | Get Acrobat