Although most people worry more about their chainsaws than the chain on it, the truth of the matter is that the chainsaw chain is the most important part of this tool. It’s the actual part that cuts into the wood, so it greatly affects the performance of the saw. Even the best chainsaw won’t perform up to expectations if it’s equipped with a sub-par chain, and that’s just a fact.
When choosing a chain for your chainsaw, it’s not only important to make sure that it fits the model and size of your saw, but that it’s also made with high-quality components. Towards that end, we’ve found the ten best chainsaw chains and listed them below for our reader’s convenience.
Best Chainsaw Chains – Top List
10Poulan 14-Inch 3/8-Inch Chain (952051209)
This chainsaw chain is designed to fit Poulan 14-inch chainsaws and has a low-profile 3/8-inch pitch to it that provides not only excellent performance and smooth cutting action, but also helps to protect against kickback. It’s a chain that’s part of the Poulan Color Match System, a system that makes it easy for the consumer to match their chain saw, their chain and their saw bar according to their color coding. This particular chain will fit several different Poulan models including 1420, 1425, 1800, 1950, 2000, 2050, 2100 and the 2,300 models. And since it precisely fits these models, it will hold up better than any of the other generic chains available.
9Stihl 26RS 81 Rapid 20-Inch Super Chain
With a .325 pitch and a .063 gauge, this chain makes short work of cutting even extremely tough wood. It’s designed to only fit on 20-inch Stihl Farm Boss Series chainsaws including models 024 through 036 and MS260 through MS291. When used with the appropriate Stihl chainsaw, this chain will cut through both softwoods and hardwood very efficiently. And although it doesn’t off kickback protection like other chains do, it does provide raw cutting power and is appropriate for professional use. It may not be a chain suitable for novice chainsaw users, but it will serve professional users quite well.
8Oregon D70 Advance Cut 20-Inch Chain
Although there are a lot of model-specific chains out there, this model is suitable for many of the chainsaws using a 20-inch Oregon bar. This means that it can fit a number of different Homelight, Craftsman, McCulloch, Echo, and Poulan chainsaws quite well. It’s specifically designed for saws with a motor of 50 to 100cc, and this chain has been heat-treated and chromed for both durability and performance. It has a unique design that provides smooth cutting action, all while minimizing the risk of a kickback. And since it’s been expertly designed for safety and performance, this chain will serve both homeowners and professionals quite well.
7Worx 18-Inch Chain for Electric Chainsaws
This chainsaw chain may only be capable of being used on a few chainsaws, but it still provides excellent results. This chain will only fit Worx WG304 or WG304.1 series electric chainsaws that use an 18-inch chainsaw bar. When used with an appropriate chainsaw, this model does a great job. The one thing that really makes it an exceptional chain is that it’s so inexpensive, it’s cheaper than many of the chain sharpening tools available, so it actually cost the user less to replace their Worx chain than to sharpen the old one. And having a fresh, sharp blade is never a bad thing.
6Oregon Homelite S56 Advance Cut 16-Inch
This chain is not only designed for chainsaws equipped with 16-Inch Oregon bars, but it also meets the kickback performance requirement laid out in ANSI b175.1-2012. This means that this chain will cut through wood efficiently but has less of a chance of kicking back than other high-performance chains. This product will fit a number of different chainsaw models including Craftsman, Echo, Remington and Poulan brand chainsaws, and each chain is engineered for both safety and performance. These chains also feature a special cutter design that provides really smooth cuts each time it’s used. And finally, it has a special design bevel that reduces the vibration received by the operator.
5Oregon S62 Advance Cut 18-Inch
This 18-inch chain fits a variety of different chainsaw models and is engineered to be both safe and to deliver exceptional wood cutting performance. It has chrome plated cutters that wear less than conventional chains, so the operator can concentrate more on cutting wood than on sharpening their chain. It’s also made with hardened rivets that improve the chain’s load bearing capabilities and makes it less likely to stretch. The final feature worth mentioning on this exceptional chain is its LubriTec oiling system which helps to direct chain oil exactly where it needs to go for best performance and chain life.
4Husqvarna H4684 0.050-Inch Gauge Replacement Chain
Although the consumer does have to be careful to buy the correct chain for their chainsaw, this chain does provide some excellent wood cutting power on suitable Husqvarna 24-Inch chainsaws. This chain has a 3/8-inch pitch, a .050-inch gauge and has a total of 84 drive links. It cuts through wood quite easily and doesn’t need to be sharpened as regularly as many comparable chains. Spending less time sharpening chains means that the operator can spend more time cutting through wood. Taking all of its features into consideration, it’s a great chain that’s sure to provide the cutting power that both professionals and DIY tree cutters need.
3Oregon R34 Advance Cut Micro-Lite Chain
There are dozens of different chainsaw chains available nowadays, but there are few that are specifically designed for electric pole saws like the Oregon R34 Advance Cut Chain. This 8-inch chain is designed to fit the majority of Poulan and Remington pole saws, so the operator can trim branches around their home. And although this small chain is designed specifically for pole saws, it has many of the advanced features that this manufacturer makes for their full-size chains. These features include the Lubritec Oiling System, chrome-plated cutters and hardened rivets, and a design bevel that reduces vibration reaching the operator’s arms.
2Husqvarna 18-Inch H30-72 Chain
This low-vibration chain is designed to give the operator the power they need for most wood cutting applications but do it without overly fatiguing the operator’s hands or arms. It’s designed to fit a variety of Husqvarna chainsaws that use an 18-inch chain, including the Husqvarna 41. 45, 49, 51, 55, 336 and 340 models. This chain has a .325-inch pitch, a .050-inch gauge. Although this chain is mainly prized for its low vibration level, it also delivers exceptional performance. This combination of features makes this chain one that should be evaluated by any Husqvarna 18-inch chainsaw owner and sure beats having to sharpen an old chain.
1Oregon S40 Advanced Cut 10-Inch Chain
The number of features which can be found on this chain is pretty impressive. It has a design that ensures it’s a low-vibration chain, hardened rivets for durability and chrome plate on its cutters that increase cutting power. This chain also features a LubriTec Oiling System that ensures that the oil dispensed by the chainsaw gets to where it needs to go for best performance. All of these features come together to create a chain that works well every single time it’s used. This 10-inch chain will also fit a number of different chainsaws including some by Craftsman, Remington, and Poulan.
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Chainsaw Chain Guide
Any heavy-duty garden task that involves cutting can be made a lot easier with a powerful chainsaw and a lot of what makes it work so well is the chain. Without a quality chain, the whole device can lose a lot of its power and not operate as well as it should.
Because there are different types and sizes of chainsaw, there are chains to match each variant. This makes it difficult to find the right one for your needs. This is why we have created the following guide so you can make a sensible purchase and get back to perfecting those hedges.
What To Look For In A Chainsaw Chain
- Size – This is the biggest consideration for most people looking for a chainsaw chain. Get this wrong, and you will be sending it back the way it came. For most people, finding the correct sized chain is as easy as consulting their user manual or looking up their model online. It might be easy to measure your current chain after you have removed it. If the new one isn’t right, it might be too loose to give you the power the chainsaw needs.
- Pitch Tension – The tension of the chain will affect how much the device vibrates. To give yourself the most amount of comfort possible, you want to reduce the vibration which means selecting an appropriate tension. However, this still needs to be matched to the chainsaw for it to work properly.
- Depth – How deep a chainsaw can cut is one of the factors that affect how useful it is. The depth of the gauge will determine how fast it can cut and what types of wood it is able to get through. The deeper this is, the easier it will get through hardwood.
- Low-Vibration – Although the pitch tension and gauge has a lot to do with how much the chainsaw chain will vibrate when in use, some brands are known. for reducing vibration. To make the whole process easier on your arms and to keep you comfortable when using the chainsaw for longer periods, a low-vibration chain is essential. The lower the vibration, the more accurate you can be.
- Anti-Kickback – You want as many safety features as you can get when working with chainsaws and anti-kickback is one of the most common. When the chainsaw is stuck in the wood it can push back against the user. This is particularly perilous when your balance is affected because you are up a ladder but an anti-kickback feature helps to protect you in such a situation from serious injury.
- Easy To Maintain – Some chains are easier to clean and service than others so to prolong the life of your new one, make sure it is easy to clean and sharpened. Some will maintain their sharpness for longer and require less maintenance which is better for anyone who wants to keep things simple.
How Do You Know When A Chainsaw Chain Needs Replacing?
There are a few telltale signs that let you know when a chainsaw chain needs replacing and it all starts when you notice some of the teeth are missing. This will affect how well it works and there is no other option apart from replacing the whole chain. When you notice the chainsaw needs to be forced into the wood for it to cut properly this can be a sign that the chain needs replacing.
Another sign is when the teeth look worn or need constant sharpening. After a period of constant use, the teeth will start to wear away and become smaller until they are no longer effective.
Different Types of Chainsaw Chains
Before purchasing you need to know both the size of the chainsaw chain you need, as well as the type. Here are the most common:
- Low Profile – The most common type of chainsaw chain because they are multipurpose and fit different types of chainsaws well. Although they cut a lot slower than some of the alternatives they are often easier to use and durable.
- Full Chisel – If you are after a chain that will help the device cut faster, this is the type you should be looking at. A multipurpose chain, it requires frequent sharpening so there is more maintenance that comes with buying this type.
- Semi-Chisel – It doesn’t have the sharpness of the previous type it is often favored for stumps and tends to work better with dirt.
- Square Chisel – Often favored by professionals, a square chisel bears a resemblance to the full chisel types but is best used in the hands of those who know what they are doing. Because they are for heavy-duty purposes they tend to dull a lot faster which adds to the maintenance.
How To Look After A Chainsaw Chain
If you find yourself having to replace a chainsaw chain too frequently for your own taste, it might be a matter of maintaining them better. After every use, you should consider cleaning the chain.
Any debris and sawdust should be cleared before you oil the chain to lubricated it and reduce friction which can increase the heat and add to the wearing.
Stick to this as a routine and make sure the chain is sharp before every use.