The Right Tools for the Job Part 2: Chainsaw Sharpeners

Many agree that the most important tool in the shop is the technician himself. However, what keeps a well-trained technician performing their best and providing high output are the tools at their disposal.

"The most important thing in the shop is the service technician," says Scott Fore, president at Heftee Industries. "It's critical to the operation and profitability of the service department that you have the very best technicians you can get and equip them with the tools they need to make money for you."

The tools you need for the job vary depending on what pieces of equipment you specialize in. A chainsaw sharpener offers technicians a quick and easy way to get a quality sharpening for the customer.

A sharp tool

If your shop works on chainsaws, chances are you are going to want a type of grinder or sharpener. A quick and efficient grinder can save technicians time and increase their billable hours.

"The Franzen sharpener is very simple to use," says Jed Elkins, sales manager for Stens. "You can pick your setting in only about 40 seconds, put it on and walk away. It automatically sharpens and you can feel confident it will have an out-of-box cut when you return."

Anybody in the dealership can be trained to use the sharpener. Having other staff perform the sharpening tasks in their downtime keeps the technician free to work on more intense repairs.

The sharpener can slow work as a sales tool, attracting customers when stored in a visible but out-of-reach location.

"Dealers should put it in a location the customers can see it and experience its 'wow factor'," says Elkins. "When a customer comes in and watches it run that is invaluable time they are spending in your store looking at chainsaws and browsing other equipment when they would otherwise be dropping it off and leaving."

Dealers should place impulse buys like safety glasses, oils, files and things that pertain to chain sharpening near the machine.

The more the merrier

Dealers with more than one shop or that are located in a large chainsaw market should have more than one sharpener to increase the benefits. It really depends on your individual needs and how much you could benefit from the timesaving tool.

"We have several dealers that have more than one," says Elkins. "When it comes down to putting more than one in a location, it ultimately boils down to speed and productivity."

Having more sharpeners also allows technicians to keep the machine at certain settings for a chainsaw that is common in the shop.

"You might have one customer who is bringing in a lot of 3/8-inch bars and another that is bringing in a lot of 3/25-inch bars," explains Elkins. "You don’t want to change your settings. You can have two guys trained on it moving like clockwork the entire time."

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