The chain, along with the engine, is regarded as an important functional part, so it has to be the best chainsaw chain picked up exactly according to the saw model. Remember, when used it actively, it rarely becomes the subject for sharpening or complete replacement. It is better to substitute the old, worn chain completely and remember that when replacing any spare part (sprockets, bars, or chains), don’t forget about the compatibility of the saw elements.
Match the chain according to your goals. If you need more power, it is more profitable to buy a product with 3/8 inch pitch, for low loads – 0.325 inch is enough. The cylinder volume, in this case, is not important. Pay attention to the angle of sharpening – this is useful for further care, repair, or restoration. Choose an angle of 30º for greater productivity, as it more easily copes with heavy loads. However, if you are going to work with the complex processing of wood (if it is raw or frozen), it is better to stop at 10º. The chain length must necessarily correspond to the size of the bar. It can stretch out or sag during the work process, but the issue is solved by simply removing 1-2 chain loops.
The following surveys contain data about the best chainsaw chains on the market and the Buyer’s Guide that is aimed to help you in choosing and operation.
Chainsaw Chain Reviews
Husqvarna 16 Inch Chainsaw Chain 90SG-56 531308147
Proven technology for carefully combining elements ensures low vibration. I really like that the Husqvarna chain is designed so that sawing is done with an optimally balanced cutting angle, fast, soft, and without doing one’s best. It helps maximize operational efficiency. Moreover, it’s easy to install these chains, but it’s important to wear protective clothes while mounting. Due to the provided chain, you can cut tree branches, logs, down trees of both soft and hard species. There is a laser knurling on the entire cutting teeth, indicating the edge wear reducing. It’s easier to purchase the specified Husqvarna chain for chainsaw than to sharpen the old one because the unit is affordable and is a representative of a well-known brand with a positive image. The item is lightweight and can be easily stored in a garage or closet for tooling.
- The cutting tooth of the Husqvarna chains is processed at the molecular level (as indicated by the manufacturer) and is protected by a chromium coating, so it is an enduring product.
- It copes even with 17-inch diameter maple, which cuts without efforts.
- The chains are not seriously stretched during operation.
- It fits only the Husqvarna 137 and 142; all other models are not suitable.
- The chains are affected by the low efficiency of the lubrication system, which leads to forced wear.
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain
Specified Oregon chainsaw chains are suitable for sawing trees and wood. Chains have a high hardness of metal (they are thick enough), which allows you to work with thick hard wood without frequent sharpening. Special design and communication technologies facilitate and improve chain lubrication, which reduces wear not only on the chain, but also increases the bar’s life. The user has to wear protective glasses, as the chains quickly cut small branches, throwing them around the workplace. I really like the vibration damping system due to cushioning protrusions on the leading links. The chain is easily mounted on the saw and really fits declared by the manufacturer models. Its small dimensions (5 x 9 x 1 inches) make it possible to store the object in a closet separately from the saw without taking up much space.
- As the Oregon unit is heat-treated, it won’t be failed even under the heavy load.
- It’s comfortable to use it due to the minimum kickback.
- The links are securely connected and even attempts to break the chain by force failed.
- A longstanding thick wood cutting leads to quick dulling of the saw.
- Some links have an irregular shape and are very different from adjacent elements.
STIHL 26RM3-74 Oilomatic Rapid Micro 3 Saw Chain
This model is made for domestic use and is amended by the low vibration. Branded saw chain withstands high loads and has low recoil. The unit can boast with an especially high cutting performance due to narrow cuts. The chain is supplemented with a system for distributing lubricant and spreading it where it is needed. Special chainsaw chain teeth have small sizes and are made for reliable sawing of soft and hard wood that can be used as lumber or firewood. It’s possible to ensure a long service life of the chain via well-timed refilling the oil tank. The pressure is no longer required when cutting due to the shortened cutting edge of the tooth. It reaches significantly faster-cutting speeds than regular chains. This product can be probably called the best chainsaw chain for agriculture, forestry, and construction with high sawing performance.
- It weighs only 1.4 pounds and can be easily stored just hanging up on the wall.
- The unit is able to work with different wood types mostly without problems.
- It seems that there’s no need to perform excess adjustments while breaking periods.
- The chains can quickly become dull when contact with nails.
- Sometimes it clings to wood and the bar gets stuck.
Husqvarna 24 Inch Chainsaw Chain H4684 531300624
The Evocative Husqvarna product has a significantly reduced vibration level and soft cutting qualities (comparing with other brand products). A special design of the cutting tooth, with a bevel under the “heel” of each tooth and placement with a gap between the bar, provides a decent absorbing effect and reduces the vibration that is transmitted to the bar and hands of the user. The Husqvarna chainsaw chain has a modified drive link, which is responsible for soft, uniform cutting properties. It is a good combination of a light weight (15.2 ounces) and strength because even after the saw was wounded on the ground, there were no damages on the chain. I guess that is possible due to the cutting teeth of the chain are reinforced over the entire surface by a specific coating with increased impact strength.
- It is a good choice for beginners who just learn how to use a chainsaw (due to the reduced vibration and absorbing effect).
- The unit performs brushing, limbing, bucking, and felling different trees.
- It copes with muddy or frozen wood.
- It’s hard to keep the chain clean due to the small bars.
- The Husqvarna product is not suitable for all the models declared on the package (it doesn’t fit 372 XP).
Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain
The chain contains the technology of careful elements connection, which allows not only low vibration and narrow cuts achieving but also the maximum power of the chainsaw engine realizing. The Oregon S56 chain quickly and evenly transfers lubricant to the joints and all its working surfaces of the cutting teeth. It all happens due to the tubules for oil throughput in all drive elements. There are convenient marks on the flank of the cutting teeth for determining the degree of wear and the need for sharpening. I’ve noticed that the unit doesn’t fit the Poulan saws, as it was indicated by the manufacturer. The chain can cut 3-foot tree trunk with ease after successful installation on the bar. It’s better to use the unit for domestic work because it probably won’t cope with constant load and work with thick materials.
- Precise teeth sharpening ensures accurate cutting of soft and hard wood.
- It has a fairly clean-cut surface.
- This chain model is characterized by sharp edges.
- It’s better not to work with a saw for an extended period of time due to the possibility of quick chains dulling.
- The item weighs only 4 ounces and in a case of low tension, it’s possible to lose it.
SUNGATOR 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain SG-S62
The headset is run-in by soaking it for a while in the oil, followed by a short run at idle and adjusting the tension. The SUNGATOR chain is securely fixed and does not fall off the bar. All the fasteners between each part are strong; this allows you to use it for the wood of any diameter. I like the fact that there is an anti-corrosion coating, so it’s possible to store the unit even in the basement part of the house without a fear to spoil it with the rust. It’s possible to take the chain off and keep it, for example, in winter, anywhere in the house due to the small dimensions (5.9 x 3.3 x 1.1 inches) and a light weight (8.8 ounces). As the unit is covered with anti-rust oil, it can be used even under high humidity conditions.
- The assembly quality is decent; all teeth move softly and do not jam.
- This saw chain can also be used with chainsaws from other manufacturers.
- Managing a tool with such a chain is easy and respectively; moreover, the work is performed fast.
- The unit has to be periodically lubricated with special oil with a bad smell.
- Sometimes it heats up and expands, making the user stop the work process.
STIHL 61PMM3 50 Genuine OEM OILOMATIC Chain Saw Chain
The STIHL chainsaw chains are entry-level units with low vibration. The beveled cutter limiter helps reduce shaking – due to it the chain moves soft and the tree slides smoothly from the cutting tooth. Special depreciation protrusions on the leading and connecting links serve the same purpose. There is no idling or sagging after installation, the saw works like new. It isn’t a bad choice for those who use a saw from time to time, or for figured cutting and tree care. I really like that the chain can be sharpened by a round file with a 0.16 inches diameter at an angle of 300 degrees, and a flat file with a small notch – with a limit to the tooth incision. Connecting links will save oil in places subject to stress. It’s strange but the STIHL 61PMM3 can get tangled when stored improperly (usually specified items don’t have such problem).
- The STIHL products can boas with a high cutting performance due to a very narrow cut.
- It has a low level of recoil, which is barely palpable by the user.
- The cuts are precise and even, without torn edges.
- It doesn’t suitable for work with muddy sawing materials (due to the possibility to spoil the unit).
- Chains are not capable of cutting nails.
Widespread Types of Chainsaw Chains
In accordance with the shape of the cutting teeth, there are two basic chainsaw chain types.
The chisel tooth looks like figure 7 with an acute angle between the edges. Chisel teeth are characterized by high productivity and cutting speed. Due to their configuration, they have a small contact area with wood during operation, which reduces cutting resistance. This is a professional option, but it is very sensitive to an abrasive medium and quickly dulls when working with “dirty” wood. Its sharpening requires a clear exposure of all angles and parameters. Semi chisel saw cutters are supplemented with a classic round radius edge, moreover, it’s simple to file them. Square chisel cutters are special units that have square radius edges and grind profiles. The owner has to perform frequent sharpening because such elements quickly become dull.
A chipper tooth has a sickle-shaped profile. The chipper is less effective, since it has a slightly larger contact area with wood, but it is much easier to take care of it. The rounded corner does not come under the influence of minor errors when sharpening. These links are good for working with muddy wood.
There are also carbide chains, which are made of durable and solid material that can be spoiled in the result of a heavy load and sharp blow. These chains are useful in a condition of low temperatures and high humidity but they work slowly and become less sharp after constant use.
Tips on How to Make the Chains Sharp Again
If you are wondering how to sharpen a chainsaw chain, you can use a set of hand tools or a special grinding machine. Professionals do not recommend using the first method frequently, as this can lead to malfunction of the equipment.
- First of all, it is necessary to clean the chain from oil, dirt, and other debris. Pay attention to the length of the upper point, it should be at least 1/4 inch.
- Place the device on a flat and hard surface. It is recommended to clamp the saw bar in a special vice at an angle of 80-90 degrees relative to the surface. The sharpener, in turn, should move at an angle of 15-35 degrees relative to the fixed chain.
- Next, determine the location of the lead torch. As a rule, it is the shortest on the chain.
- Apply a template so that it falls into its slot before sharpening the object. Then bring the file along the cutting surface of the tooth and make light continuous and unidirectional movements with a protrusion of 1.5 inches, parallel to the side edges of the template.
- Turn the tool over in a vice and proceed to sharpening teeth that have the opposite direction from those that you have sharpened before.
- If necessary, increase the distance of the depth gauge. Insert the template and gently grind away what falls under its slot with a flat file.
- At the final stage, lubricate the chain with special oil and check the tension.
Find out the Chain Length: Basic Recommendations
Each saw owner has to know how to measure chainsaw chain, so there are three effective ways:
- Find out the distance from the tip of the chainsaw bar to the point where the bar firstly emerges from the chainsaw’s casing. Such a process can be made via special tape. If you have a fractional or uneven figure, it’s better to round the measurement up. The number you’ve got is the required data (usually it varies from 14 to 20 inches).
- Place the chain on the plane surface. Find the chain’s drive links, which relieve from the lower part of the item. You should count the number of drive links on the chain.
- Check out the number of drive links and the pitch numbers. The total sum of these two numbers ascertains the length you are looking for.
Leading manufacturers indicate in the accompanying documentation the chain length in inches or the number of links. It is recommended to know both parameters before buying.
Important Information about a Chainsaw Chain Tightening
Before talking about how tight should a chainsaw chain be, it is important to outline a few simple rules. Firstly, maintenance must be performed with the engine turned off. Secondly, all the work is carried out after the tool cools down. The fact is that a hot saw chain is longer than a cold chain. If you start stretching it, there will be a risk of tightening and deformation of the guide bar after cooling.
If the saw set is recently installed and has little wear, it is enough to adjust its tension. What are the signs of under tension? The chain sags at the bottom of the guide bar and it moves sideways at the top. This leads to skew during sawing and bar’s haywire wearing out. It’s important not only correctly tight the chain of the chainsaw and get rid of its sagging but also do not overtighten it. The difficult course of the blade in the bar increases the load on the engine and other working components of the tool. Use your hand to spin the chain around the bar. If this process is difficult, it must be loosened.
Ways to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw
While being a specified device owner, he/she has to know how to put a chain on a chainsaw. Here are the highlights to follow:
- Prepare a flat surface on which you will put together the chain and the bar. This will minimize the chance of chainsaw damage or loss of small parts. A bar and the chain have to be laid out on the prepared surface.
- Remove the drive sprocket protection. It is enough to unscrew the winged nut on modern models.
- Turn the tension sprocket all the way to the right at the base of the guide bar. The chain should be installed only in this position.
- Then sequentially impose the chain link by link on the guide’s bar locking groove. Install the chain from the top of the guide, gradually rotate it so that the bar is always on top, and the chain is from below. This will allow it to always be in a stretched state and place in the guide groove without problems. When you perform this step, be sure to wear thick protective gloves because your fingers will touch the cutting edge.
- Put the bar and chain on the drive sprocket.
- Fasten the chain sprocket cover in position. Make sure that all the mounting pins align with the holes. Incorrect installation with distortions can cause extraneous noise or rattling.
- Make sure that the guides “entered” the special mounting groove.
- Check the chain fixation on the chainsaw and on the bar after installation. Everything should be securely fixed without backlash.
Before replacing the old chain with a new one, you may also use the chainsaw chain breaker which breaks the link effectively and removes the unworkable chain.