A chainsaw is a must-have piece of equipment in your home. This tool will help you accomplish various activities such as tree felling, pruning, bucking and limbing. It will also help you harvest firewood and cut firebreaks when suppressing wildfires.
The chain is one of the important components of the best chainsaw. That is why it is important you use the correct chainsaw chain for the right use.
That said, there are tons of chainsaw chains in the market today. Purchasing the best chainsaw chain for your application may seem to be a challenge if you are a first-time buyer. In fact, if you conduct a quick search online, you will find a lot of options and a wealth of information to consider when buying a chainsaw.
To eliminate the hassle from buying the best chainsaw chain, we have come up with a detailed article which we are sure will answer most of the questions you may have about chainsaws and the buying process. In the first section, we have recommended the best brands of chainsaw chains that you can consider buying. In the second section, we included a detailed chainsaw chain buying guide. Just read on to learn more.
|Drive Links||Bar Length|
|Husqvarna H30-72 (95VP)||3/8||0.050||72||18|
|Husqvarna H80-72 (72V)||3/8||0.050||72||20|
|Husqvarna H4684 Saw Chain||3/8||0.050||84||24|
|Oregon S52 14-Inch Chain||3/8||0.050||52||14|
|Oregon D70 Vanguard||3/8||0.050||70||20|
|STIHL 26RS 81||3/8||0.063||81||20|
Husqvarna H30-72 (95VP): Best for Professional Users in Demanding Conditions
Husqvarna has proven to the world that it is not only good at making effective chainsaws but also good at designing high-quality replacement chains. You can use this chain on Husqvarna chainsaws and products from other companies. It is a good choice for small to medium size tasks in any working conditions. It can work well for homeowners and for professional users in demanding conditions.
This chain tends to cut down trees and branches on vibration and helps minimize any risk of kickbacks. The teeth can stay sharp for a very long time so long as they are oiled regularly. We recommend this chain because its price is fairly reasonable compared to other options on the market today.
Husqvarna H80-72 (72V): Best for Large Diameter Wood
This chainsaw chain from Husqvarna was designed with power and fast cutting in mind. The manufacturer says that these two attributes make it one of the best options for cutting wood or trees with large diameters. With its 050-inch gauge and 3/8 inch pitch, this longer chainsaw chain cuts thick trees and large diameter wood without any hassle.
The Husqvarna 531300441 is also designed to provide greater performance. Many homeowners and professionals prefer this model because of its effectiveness in cutting thick trees and large diameter wood without the effects of kickback and vibration. This chain is also recommended for amateur users as it is easier to handle compared to other chains.
Husqvarna H4684 Saw Chain: Best for Almost All Types of Jobs
Not all the chainsaw chains on the market today are able to move and cut faster. Besides, many chainsaw users prefer a chainsaw chain with minimal kickback and vibration. This is where the Husqvarna H4684 Saw Chain comes in. This chain has sharp teeth which cut wood for several hours without the need for sharpening. In addition, this is a longer chainsaw chain with a clean cut. So, you don’t have to worry about clearing debris and chips from the cutting areas.
Moreover, this chain can be used by all types of users, both amateur and professional. It is also best for almost all types of jobs. In fact, the shape and design of this chainsaw chain make it easier to use. They also allow users to achieve any cut they want.
Oregon S40: Best Fit for Most Chainsaws
This chainsaw chain fits Poulan, Craftsman, and Remington brands. Besides its versatility, the Oregon S40 10-Inch Chain is a hard chrome and hard-treated chain. This design ensures precise, fast and smooth cutting. It is equipped with a notched bumper drive link which enhances good chip flow and minimizes kickback.
Its engineering and design adheres to safety standards, and it provides high performance and reliable quality. The high performance is due to the sharp double corners of the teeth. This chain is tough and sharp thanks to the latest technology.
This replacement chain also comes with four symmetrical tie straps that make it easier for you whenever you want to join the chain loops.
Oregon S52 14-Inch Chain: Best for High Rate Chip Flow
If you have a 14-inch chainsaw brand, this is one of the replacement chains you can consider. Even if your chainsaw model is small in size, this chain can make it perform like its bigger counterparts. The Oregon 14-Inch Chain produces smooth cuts, clears away debris and chips and minimizes the potential risk of kickbacks.
This chain is made of hardened steel with teeth that stay sharper and stronger for longer use. This is a replacement chain that was designed not only for efficiency but also for durability thanks to its high amount of chrome which makes it corrosion resistant. With these features, it can last for several years with proper use and maintenance.
Oregon D70 Vanguard: Best for Very Minimal Vibration
The Oregon 20-Inch Vanguard is a new invention in the chainsaw chain industry. The performance of this chain from Oregon is beyond compare. This is due to the attractive design which enables it to perform better compared to other chains on the market today.
This chainsaw chain has very minimal vibration and does not make any high noise when in use. It is able to cut different types of wood for a long time without any problems.
Some of the chainsaw chains on the market today have problems with stretching. This is not the case with the Oregon 20-Inch Vanguard. You won’t experience many problems when strengthening it, and those you may face while using this chain are repairable.
The Oregon 20-Inch Vanguard chainsaw chain is compatible with all types of saws mentioned on the packaging. In order for this chain to fit perfectly on your chainsaw, you will need to adjust the tension before installation.
STIHL 26RS 81: Best for Higher-Powered Chainsaws
The STIHL 26RS 81 Rapid Super is reduced vibration and an extremely fast-cutting chainsaw chain. This chain’s tie strap and cutter design reduce kickback and vibration levels significantly during operation. The fast cutting performance is due to the sharp square-cornered cutters that reduce friction during operation. With this cutter, you are guaranteed an exceptionally clean and smooth cut when cutting frozen or hard wood.
This chain also has improved cutting and plunge-cutting efficiency. It cuts faster but requires regular sharpening and maintenance for it to continue to perform well.
This chain is ideal for industry and forestry activities such as tree felling, limbing and bucking. They are designed for trained professionals with extraordinary cutting needs.
Chainsaw Chain Buying Guide – All the Details You Need to Know
Here we explain what a chainsaw chain is, how it works, who uses them, questions to ask when buying a chainsaw chain, factors to consider when choosing a chainsaw and other important information you need to know about these chains.
What is a Chainsaw Chain?
A chainsaw chain is a set of sharp teeth attached to a rotating metal chain connected to a guide bar. This is the component of a chainsaw that actually cuts through trees and branches. Usually, the main function of a chainsaw chain is to cut the wood as deeply and quickly as possible; however, it is an added advantage to you if each individual tooth of a saw chain does not cut too deeply into the tree or branch. If a chainsaw has a tooth that cuts too deeply, the chances of it getting stuck in the wood or striking you back during use are very high.
How Does a Chainsaw Chain Work?
The power head provides power which rotates the metal chain at a fast speed. When this chain is rotating at a speed, it effectively and efficiently cuts trees and branches, and accomplishes other tasks such as tree pruning, bucking and limbing.
Parts of a Saw Chain:
- Sharp metal teeth-The sharp metal teeth are the most important part of a saw chain as they perform the actual cutting. They are usually made from high quality and durable chromium-plated steel alloy. Most chainsaw chains manufactured nowadays normally alternate between left and right facing teeth.
- Drive links- This component of a chainsaw joins the metal teeth together. Their ultimate role is to carry a special lubricant around the tool’s guide bar and as well as to engage with the head power’s sprocket in order to transfer power from the engine’s motor to the metal cutting chain.
Types of Chainsaw Chain Teeth
The majority of chainsaw chains manufactured today come with one of the following two types of teeth.
- Full chisel teeth: These teeth have sharp angled square corners. These corners can be sharpened to different edges to cut trees and branch fibers very easily and quickly.
- Semi-chisel teeth: These have rounded corners. Their design makes them less sharp compared to full chisel teeth. However, these semi-chisel teeth can maintain the required level of sharpness even when splitting hard wood or cutting through frozen or dirty wood.
How to Choose a New Chainsaw Chain
Because chainsaw chains are available in different varieties with different features, it is important for you to consider all aspects before making a purchase decision. Some of the important aspects you need to consider include the type of wood you want to cut, the condition of the wood, the desired cutting result, dimensions of the chainsaw and the specs of the chainsaw chain itself.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a Chainsaw Chain
- Will the chain actually fit the chainsaw?
When purchasing a chain for your chainsaw, the first question to ask yourself is whether the chain will actually fit the chainsaw exactly. A chainsaw will only work with saw chains of a specific pitch, gauge, and length. For efficient operation and safety, the chainsaw chain gauge you choose must exactly match with the gauge of the guide bar. If your tool already has a chain, you need to purchase a replacement chain with the same pitch, gauge, and length as the original one.
- What are the dimensions of the chainsaw chain?
The dimensions of the chainsaw chain also play an important role in choosing a tooth arrangement for your needs. If you are shopping for a full skip or semi-skip saw chain, make sure the chainsaw’s guide bar is at least 24 inches long. Many users prefer this type of chain because they can work on longer chainsaws and consume less power during operation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Chainsaw Chain for the Job
- Gauge: The gauge is the thickness of the saw chain’s drive links. Don’t confuse this terminology with depth gauges, they mean two totally different things. Most chainsaw chains have gauges ranging from 0.05 inches to 0.063 inches. To ensure efficient operation and safety, the chainsaw chain gauge you choose must exactly match the gauge of the guide bar. If you choose a chain that is too thick, it will not fit on the chainsaw’s guide bar. On the other hand, if you choose a chain that is too thin, it will not fit tightly on the edges of your chainsaw.
- Pitch: This is the average distance between any two rivets. In a chainsaw chain, all rivets don’t have the same distance. This chain’s pitch is therefore calculated by measuring the distance of three or more rivets and dividing the result by the number of rivets considered. In fact, most chainsaw chains on the market today have a pitch of 0.325, 0.375, or 0.404 inches. However, there are specialized brands with a pitch of 0.75 inches.
- Length: The length of a chainsaw chain is measured by calculating the number of drive links. You need to choose a chainsaw chain with an appropriate length in order for it to fit perfectly on your chainsaw’s guide bar.
- Tooth type: This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best chain. Chains with full chisel teeth are a good choice for soft clean wood. They have sharp angled square corners which can be sharpened differently to cut trees and split wood fibers very effectively and quickly. Their only problem is that they tend to degrade quickly when used to split dry, frozen and hard wood. Semi-chisel teeth are a better choice for abrasive or very dirty tasks.
- Tooth arrangement: The type of tooth arrangement to choose depends on the type of wood you want to cut. Full skip and semi-skip chains have a greater amount of space between teeth which allows debris and chips to clear out from the cutting area. They, therefore, work best when cutting through large trees or dirty tasks. Choose chains with fewer teeth or less space between teeth for tasks that requires less cleaning of chips and debris.
- Type of wood to be cut: When you are shopping for the best chain for your chainsaw, it is also important to consider the type of wood to be cut and the desired smoothness of the cut. For fine sawdust and smooth cuts, chains with a full complement of teeth will work perfectly for you. On the other hand, if you want to leave rough edges and produce thick sawdust, semi-skip and full skip chains are a better choice.
Caring for a Chainsaw Chain
A chainsaw is potentially one of the most dangerous tools in your homestead. In fact, most of its dangers come from the rotating chain and the sawdust the tool produces. Accidental contact with the rotating chain can cause serious cuts or even death. Keeping the chain sharp, lubricated and clean maintains efficient performance and helps to prevent potential accidents.
- Lubrication: Keeping the chain lubricated when the equipment is in operation can be a challenge because the lubricants fly off due to the high speed. To overcome this challenge, you need to mix the chain oil with a special adhesive. This adhesive ensures that the oil remains on the chain while the chain is rotating. If you don’t have enough money to invest in chain oil, ordinary motor oil can be used instead. The only problem when using motor oil is that it is watery and tends to fly off quickly. The oil must, therefore, be re-applied regularly for efficient operation.
- Sharpening: It is very important to keep the chain’s teeth sharp at all times for efficient performance. If the teeth become too blunt, it will take more time to accomplish your task. Blunt teeth also increase the risk of dangerous kickback. Make sure you have an electric sharpener or mechanical sharpening stone to sharpen the chains when they become blunt.
- Chain covers: A sharp chain is likely to cause an injury even when the chainsaw is not in operation. It is therefore important to cover the chain with a special chain cover to prevent such injuries from occurring. A plastic scabbard is recommended during transportation or storage to prevent bodily injuries and keep the teeth sharp.
Besides the engine, the second most important part of any chainsaw is the chain. When shopping for a replacement chain for your existing chainsaw, you need to factor in the type of wood to be cut, the desired smoothness and the dimensions of the guide bar. It is also important to consider the pitch, gauge, and length of the chain itself. Purchasing the right product for your equipment and that task you need to accomplish will maximize efficient performance and helps prevent potential accidents.