by Michael Boyer
Last Updated January 7, 2019
You know that if you are going to cut through wood cleanly and maximize your efficiency on every project that you take on, you need to put some thought into the tools that you use. The higher-quality tools you have at your disposal, the better you can prepare to do the work that you need to do.
There is perhaps no tool that is more confusing to people than the chainsaw. What makes a good one? What separates the good ones from the great ones? I am going to let you in on a secret: there is a chainsaw on the market superior to all the rest.
In this article, I will introduce you to the last and only chainsaw you will ever need to buy, explaining to exactly what it is that makes this chainsaw so perfect for every job. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, this chainsaw will have you cutting like a master!
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.
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.
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:
The majority of chainsaw chains manufactured today come with one of the following two types of teeth.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
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.
Note: Chainsaw chaps should always be worn when using a chainsaw.
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.
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.
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.
The chainsaws models that are compatible with the Husqvarna 531300441 include the 55 Rancher, 460 and 460 Rancher, 455 Rancher, 262 XP, 257, 261 and 359.
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.
It is best suited for higher-powered chainsaws and is thus compatible with 028, 034, 024, 026, 036, MS291, MS270, MS271, MS260, MS241, MS261 and MS290 models.
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.
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.
The manufacturer says that the chain is designed using a unique cutting design technology. This seems to be true based on what many users are saying.
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.
The chain has a 3/8-inch pitch, 0.050-inch gauge, and 84 drive links. With these features, it can fit almost all types of 24-Inch Husqvarna saws.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Chain pitch is the size of the chain, and is defined as the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. Oregon chain is made in several pitches - 1/4" is the smallest, 3/8" is the most popular, 3/4” is the largest. Pitch is important because the drive sprocket must be the same pitch as the chain, and if applicable, the bar nose sprocket. The easiest way to determine the pitch of your chain is to look at the number stamped on the drive link.
Chain Gauge is the Drive Link's thickness where it fits into the bar groove. The gauge of the chain and the gauge of the bar must match. Oregon has several gauges for chainsaws - such as, .043”, .050", .058” and .063". Normal wear can make it difficult to accurately measure chain gauge on a worn chain. Always order by the number stamped on the drive link of your old chain to assure correct gauge.
That depends on a number of factors including what you are cutting. Cutting with a dull chain will cause the chain and bar to overheat from the increased friction, causing the chain to stretch prematurely. Poor quality chain and bar lube (ie. sump oil) will also cause the chain to overheat and stretch prematurely. A new chain can be destroyed in a couple of cuts if rocks, sand, charcoal are hit with the cutters.
That depends on what you are cutting, green or dry timber, and the type of wood. Australia has some very hard timbers such as jarrah, karri and sheoak. Chainsaw chains are designed to cut clean timber. Dirt, sand, rocks, nails and charcoal etc will dull a chain almost instantly. But even if you are cutting clean wood/timber, over time, the chain will eventually dull. It is not uncommon for a skilled chainsaw user to sharpen their chain in between re-fuels. If you have to push down on the saw to cut through your timber then your chain is due to be sharpened.
Saws and Blades
I’m the owner of a carpentry workshop, and prior to that, I was working as a carpenter-for-hire for home remodeling projects. I’ve been very fortunate to always have access to the best tools, such as saws and blades, which has helped me on just about every project I’ve been involved on.
In fact, one project that I’m particularly proud of is when I was able to put these skills to work on the gutting and remodeling of my ranch home. I have taken the time to understand what it is that separates average saws and blades from the very best.
I know that when you are putting your mind to a new project, you want to be sure that you have the right cutting tools available. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously, directing you toward the saws and blades that you can trust.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.
By purchasing products through normal retail channels, we also avoid the risk of a manufacturer sending us ‘juiced up’ models. We review exactly what consumers buy off the shelf.