There are so many power tools in the market. The choices are endless for the friendly woodshop enthusiast. And if you happen to fall under the same category, it might be why you are reading this article for one of the most powerful tools in the hardware business; chainsaw chains.
Chainsaws chains can be quite intimidating in terms of their intricacy as well as their steep price. So, finding the best one could be quite a hassle.
Fear not, because I have rounded up all the information you need to know to find the best chainsaw chains for you.
So, let us get started.
Types of Chainsaw Chains
Before you invest in a power tool such as a chainsaw, you need to educate yourself on all the parts that make it up. In this case, the most crucial part is the chains.
Keep reading to find out the types of chainsaw chains available in the market. This is to make the process of you choosing the best chainsaw chain simpler.
- Low Profile Cutters
The most versatile of all chainsaw chains are the low profile cutters. They are versatile in the sense that they fit into a handful of the most commonly used chainsaws. This makes it extremely popular among users and also makes it the most sought after chain type in the market.
They are very long-lasting, and using them is a breeze, which makes it great for beginners. The only drawback is that they have a low speed in terms of cutting. Also, the best type of wood for this kind of a cutter is softwood stands.
- Semi Chisel Cutters
Similar to the first type mentioned on this list, the semi-chisel cutters, however, last even longer without misfiring or wearing out. Their performance is also identical to that of a full toolchain but much better.
- Full Chisel Cutters
If you are looking for a chain that will get the work done faster than your usual chainsaw cutters, then the full chisel cutter is for you.
Their unique feature of having square-shaped edges and round grinding will save you lots of time in the woodshop and get you creating multiple projects in one go!
- Square Chisel Cutters
If you are a professional woodshop worker and are looking for a high profile chain for your chainsaw, then the square chisel cutter is the perfect contender.
Although they require a lot of maintenance, they perform pretty fast.
Top 10 Best Chainsaw Chain Reviews
Any woodworker involved with hardcore wood cutting projects requires a top-notch chainsaw chain. The following is a breakdown of the best contenders in the market.
01. Husqvarna 18” H30-72 Chainsaw
Let us start off with one of the most popular chains on this list; the Husqvarna pixel saw chain. It is so popular that it has its own nickname, Husky. Besides their impressive reputation, the Husky is also pretty well known for its sleek design.
Of course, as with any other chainsaw chains, this chain also only works best with chainsaws of the same brand.
The great thing about this particular product is that you can work on a project for hours on end without having to stop frequently to sharpen the teeth. So the efficiency is quite high on this one.
Not only are you saving time, but you will also be saving money in the long run as you will not have to replace the chain quite as often. With an impressive pitch of 0.325-inch and a gauge that measures 0.050-inch, you can be sure to cut your way through the softest of wood with ease and stability.
Even if you are not a professional woodworker, but like to dive into the world of the woodworking, this product comes as a great beginner’s tool. It is easy to use, and it works its best when used on DIY or home improvement projects, which are usually small or medium in size.
Another reason why this incredible device is very well suited for beginners is that it is super affordable.
02. Oregon D70 Chainsaw
Oregon chainsaw chains are widely known to be one of the most excellent chainsaw chains in the power tool market world as they are claimed to be made by one of the world’s best chain producers. It will cut through any type of wood with its full chisel, as smooth as butter.
You will not even notice the type of wood you are cutting with it because it cuts so easily. This chain caters well towards professionals and commercial based users.
One of the most impressive features of this particular chain is that it has the ability to minimize vibration. This will give you the benefit to work without any sort of distraction from the machine itself as well as giving you the control you need to carry out your cutting.
Low vibration is also an excellent safety measure for a powerful tool such as a chainsaw. A powerful tool, indeed; it can definitely tolerate the strength of hardwood.
With regards to safety measures, this chain has been designed in such a way so that it is able to protect the user form any commonly occurred accidents. The chain is great in the sense that it is able to balance out its high-quality performance with necessary stability and safety.
Another cool feature that this chain offers is that it has a bent-over depth gauge, which is another factor that enhances its smoothness.
03. Husqvarna 20” Chainsaw Chain H80-72
You know I am not kidding when I say that Husqvarna is one of the best chainsaw chain brands in the market because it has landed itself another spot on this list.
The former was an 18-inch chainsaw chain while this one is a 20-inch one, but the differences between these two are skyrocketed apart, and because of its size, it is a tad bit pricier than the 18-inch chain as well.
This is a reasonably fresh product released from Husqvarna and is considered one of the best chains that they have ever produced.
Husqvarna never disappoints with their power tools. Having a reputation that they have been able to build for a lot of years, this brand has been upping their game with the release of each of their products.
With its pitch size of ⅜-inch and gauge size of 0.050-inch, you can trust its quality and performance without any doubts or hesitations. You won’t have to think twice about cutting through a sturdy material because it will do it effortlessly.
Such a high performing tool might seem intimidating to most users as it calls for all sorts of hazards and accidents. But this thing can guarantee your safety because it produces the lowest amount of vibrations than any other chain in the market as well as the least number of kickbacks in one use.
If you are looking for a high performing chain that can handle the big projects but at the same time doesn’t break the bank, then this is for you.
04. STIHL 26RS 81 Chain 20"
This particular brand might not be as well-known as the ones I have already mentioned, but it certainly has what it takes to fall in the category of the best chainsaw chains available in the market.
Not only does it deliver quality performance, but it also comes in a very affordable price point, which makes it accessible for all levels of woodshop workers and hobbyists alike.
It comes with a 0.063-inch of gauge as well as 0.325-inch pitch, and if you are familiar with those numbers, then that means you could definitely fathom the kind of product it is.
The sharpness and quality of this product are also quite long-lasting as it is made of materials that are way out of the league of any other chainsaw chains so you will not have to stress about when you should replace it next.
Also, the quality is so good that it is also able to cut through the toughest of wood with extreme ease. The product performs effortlessly, and the only thing you have to do is hold it while you work with it.
One of the other features of this chainsaw chain that stands out to the crowd is its robustness. Because of its robustness, it can take on big projects that may be tedious.
It is not known as the best chainsaw chain for hardwood for nothing. This is a device fit for high achieving woodworking enthusiasts but those who do not want to spend too much. You will be saving big bucks but also will be getting excellent performance.
05. Husqvarna 24” H4684 Chainsaw
When it comes to chainsaw chains, the bigger the size, the more powerful it is, and the bigger the project it can handle. Think of the most laborious woodworking task you would ever have to complete, and then take this chain with you to do the job.
This chainsaw chain means serious business as it comes with a whopping 84 drive links, which is actually 10 more than your average chainsaw chain. It also has a pitch of ⅜-inch and a gauge of 0.050-inch, so you know for sure its performance is pretty smooth.
Keep in mind, this chainsaw chain will only work on large chainsaws. So do not be going all big and mighty and purchasing this chain if you happen to have a puny little chainsaw lying at home.
Even though it is a big chain, it will not produce vibrations neither will it create any kickbacks, so it ensures safety for you while you work on any project.
This chainsaw chain can get the job done extremely fast, and it also is able to produce as little waste as possible. Moreover, this makes it easier for you to wrap up everything without the hassle of cleaning out the unnecessary wood particles.
Another thing that is cool about this chain is that even after you have used it to complete one whole project, it will still have its sharpness intact. If you are up for a powerful machine, then this chainsaw chain is definitely catered towards your needs.
06. Wen/Wagner 10” Oregon Chain
Wen/Wagner chainsaws are what you would call traditional or old fashioned. They have several decades of incredible reputation up their sleeves, so they are nothing but trustworthy in their performance and outcomes.
Oregon chains already have a fantastic delivery itself, as you can already tell from the listings above. Therefore, Wen teaming up with Oregon is a fantastic crossover you did not think you needed till now.
This is a very smooth working chain that gets the job done extremely fast because of its high level of sharpness. The chain will not feel stretched, as most other chains do, according to regular users.
Also, the sharpness allows the lessening of the ear-piercing noise that most chains tend to make. The quality is excellent on this thing, and it has the power to cut through the thickest of woods, so you are sure to go a long way with it.
You will not have to worry about wasting hours on setting up the chain in order to rev up an old machine because the installation of this product is no hassle at all.
If you have an old Wen/Wagner chainsaw lying around that needs some revamping, the 10-inch Oregon chain is sure to bring back the nostalgia by giving you quality performance and the spark that the chainsaw once had.
Furthermore, the saw might not be as threatening in size, but the chain is the secret behind its power and makes it the magnificent tool that it is.
07. 2 PACK 18" S62 OREGON CHAINSAW CHAIN
Are you in the search for a chain with blades that are ideal enough to cut through the toughest of wood with ease? Then the 18-inch S62 Oregon chainsaw chain is the way to go.
This thing has a pitch of 3/8-inch. It also has an available gauge range from 0.043 to 0.063, so the performance is top-notch.
There are cool features that should not be left out of mentioning, and these include the chain’s ability to resist heat (that is usually created from using power tools such as chainsaws). Not to forget that these steel saw chains are coated with chrome, which means more work and less dulling.
The impressive number of drive links that it comes with, 62 to be exact, along with the low vibration feature, can resist long hours of pressure towards the chain.
Also, the cutting delivery of this product is immense and will not disappoint you when you have to cut through wood that may otherwise be ignored by most amateur woodworkers.
Another reason for its smooth performance is a built-in system designed primarily to keep the chain oiled, known as the Lubritec Oiling System. The performance is something you would not want to miss out on if you are planning to produce the finest of projects.
08. Set of 3 Husqvarna 24" Professional Chain H47
This chainsaw chain is a high performing one. Another great chain with a 3/8-inch pitch and 0.050-inch gauge, you cannot go wrong.
Even though the price is on the steeper side of the hill, you will definitely be getting the performance and quality worth the money that you will be paying for. The great quality also accounts for the product to last you ages before you decide to replace it.
You will notice with most high powering Husqvarna chains that they are designed with square-shaped blades that act like minuscule chisels. Husqvarna is known to have the best cutting chainsaw chain in the market.
These chisels are the main driving force of the chain’s incredible ability to cut through thick pieces of wood. Another benefit of these chisels is that no matter what you are cutting, this chain will be able to cut it clean without making any sort of mess.
It may be quite a heavy chain because of its massive length, but that means it is extremely powerful and only works the best when it is fitted with a large chainsaw machine. With continuous precision cutting, you would expect a chain to wear out in just a matter of hours.
However, with this product, its ability to hold sharp edges is very high, so you will not have to worry about dull blades and continue on with your project for long periods of time.
09. UpStart Components 2-Pack 20" Full Chisel Saw Chain
Safety is a significant issue when working with chainsaws so if you are looking for the best chain saw blade, but with specially designed safety features to help minimize commonly occurred accidents, then this is it.
The UpStart Components chain is one of the smoothest running chains in the market. This particular chain has been engineered to fit the best with Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaws, which is also known as one of the best in the market.
Another thing worth noting regarding safety is that this product is able to keep control. This means that while you use it, unlike other big chainsaws, this one stays stable while it runs and thus allows you to keep the balance and stay focused.
Not only is this a powerful chain, but it also steers you clear away from accidents. Even with all the balance and ability to use it for long hours without discomfort, this product is able to stay sharp for a very long time. And when you do need to sharpen these blades, it can quickly be done so by using a rounded file.
All in all, it is a great item for professionals looking for a chain that will not only provide them with quality performance but also with guaranteed safety measures.
10. Oregon Chainsaw Repl. Chain Kobalt 40 Volt Pole saw 8"
I’m finishing off the final contender on this list with a brand that continues to impress and never disappoints; Oregon. This small chain is great for on the go projects, or basically, any home improvement works.
Beginners will not have to worry about the weight or the stability of this chain as it is a very lightweight chain. The number of teeth on this thing is impressively high for such a small chain. And not to mention the most important part of this product is its outstanding performance.
Another attractive feature especially aimed towards beginners, amateurs, and hobbyists are that the chain is very cheap. You will be getting so much more than the price that you pay.
Also, when I talk about the performance of this chain being of high quality, I am not joking around.
This is because this product has an impressive pitch size of 3/8-inch and a gauge of 0.050-inch, so not only will this not unnecessarily stretch out but it will give you the perfect opportunity to achieve top-notch finished projects.
Moreover, this highly affordable chain should not be missed out, especially for those new to the saw game.
Features to Consider Before Buying
When buying a seemingly complicated power tool such as a chainsaw, understanding the process behind its chains might feel a bit intimidating. However, it does not need to be that way.
If you follow the features to consider before buying a chainsaw chain that I have put down below carefully, you will surely be on the right track to choosing the perfect chain well suited for your needs.
- Availability of Chainsaw Sizes
It is of no surprise that chainsaws come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The sizes of chainsaw chains are also variable, but a certain size will only work with the same size of the chainsaw. So you cannot expect a 20-inch chain to fit into a 14-inch chainsaw.
Make sure when you buy a chainsaw chain, the chainsaw that you buy with it or already own should match the size of the chain you purchased.
Or else you will just be wasting unnecessary money. You can easily check the size of the chain the chainsaw uses by looking over the specifications mentioned in the guidebook or the package that comes along with it.
- Pitch Size
Chainsaws chains have consecutive joints, which are better known in the stores as links. The space in the middle of a chainsaw’s links is known as the pitch. The size of pitches can vary the performance delivered by chainsaws.
Therefore, you need to mindfully choose the correct pitch size that corresponds to the type of work you will be doing with the chainsaw as well as corresponding with the drive sprocket.
Just think of the process as gears. Two gears will only run smoothly against each other only if they fit each other like a glove. The same goes for the pitch of a chainsaw.
- Varying Drive Link Sizes
How long a chain should be in a chainsaw depends on the chain lugs. Chain lugs, or in other words, drive links, are an essential part of understanding a chainsaw.
They are available in all different sizes, including 1.1 mm, 1.3 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.6 mm, and 2 mm. The 1.1 mm is for small home-based work while 2 mm is for the extreme power-driven jobs, which is usually rare.
Also, the thickness of these things can be varied according to the type of work you will be doing. If you are thinking of working at home on a project of relatively smaller magnitude, then drive links of 1.3 mm, or 1.1 mm can be perfect for the job.
But if you are a professional and would like to dive into the much tougher projects, then drive links of higher thicknesses is most commonly preferred.
- Drive Link Amount
Every drive sprocket in a chainsaw contains a drive link. Drive sprockets are made in such a way so that the dive links fit into it perfectly. To give you a better picture of what sprockets look like, they are basically wheels with “teeth”. The chain links itself with the sprockets, and it is what helps to rotate the chain as the device runs.
It is like a zipper where both parts of the mechanism link with each other and will not work without moving against each other.
Now that you understand the significance of a sprocket, you know how important it is to know about the functionality of drive links. Make sure to check the guidebook that comes with the chainsaw in order to be sure of the number of drive links that it has.
This way, you can save your trips to the hardware stores. Forcefully fitting certain sized drive links into drive sprockets could work but it will damage the machine in the long run.
- No Vibration
When we used to watch cartoons as a kid, we would notice characters would struggle to hold heavy-looking chainsaws that they would humorously shake along with the vibration.
That is what you might be bracing yourself for when thinking about using a chainsaw. However, you can avoid shakes, let alone violent vibrations, if you find a chain that offers almost little to no vibrations when it runs.
Just be sure to check with the specifications and look for the least amount of vibration that you can find. With a chain that works with little to no vibrations, it can guarantee you accuracy, safety, steadiness, and stability in your work.
Sometimes, if the chain is fitted loosely, it can cause vibrations while you work. So always check up on the maintenance of the chainsaw as well to prevent further disturbances in your work.
- Chains that Prevent Kickback
Kickback is a common occurrence that happens with regular chainsaws. When the device gets jammed into the material you are working on, this is called kickback. This could be quite dangerous as the brutal force that the chainsaw produces when you try to unjam it could cause accidents.
Systems specially designed to prevent such mishaps can be fixed into the machine. They are widely known as anti-kickback mechanisms, and they will not only help you produce precise work, but they will also keep you very safe, which should be the most important thing.
The anti-kickback system has the ability to effortlessly cushion the violent movement and force of the chainsaw into a smooth working power tool.
- Cutting Style
With any kind of craft, there are different styles that people maintain to achieve a positive outlook. The same goes for chainsaws. There are various cutting styles and designs you can achieve with different cutters of all shapes and sizes available in the market.
You can find cutters that are full-chiseled, semi-skip or even cutters of different shapes such as square cutters.
Also, you need to find a cutter that suits your cutting style the best and the kind of crafts that you will be working on. You also need to check to see if they are long-lasting and of good quality.
- Maintenance and Repair
Like cars, some chains are easier to repair than others. You need to ensure that they are readily available in the market to help you narrow down your search for the best chain. Another thing you can do is invest in tools needed to maintain the chainsaw, that is only if you regularly use it.
However, if you are a beginner and would want to steer away from the hassle of maintenance, you could purchase chainsaws with chains that sharpen themselves as you use them.
When to Replace Your Chainsaw Chains
In order for you to prolong the life of your chainsaw, you need to be able to make time for maintenance. Consistent maintenance will keep your chainsaw running smoothly and prevent overheating and other similar hazards.
- Broken Teeth
If it falls under your observation that some of the teeth have gone missing from the chains, then understand that they have broken off from excessive use. That is when you know that you need to replace the chains.
If you do not do it, then the chainsaw will be performing very poorly and will not be as effective as it was originally.
- Shrunken Teeth
Regular or daily sharpening of the teeth of the chains may cause them to shrink from their original size and in turn adversely affect the performance of your chainsaw. This is another reason to look out for to replace your chains.
- Worn Out Cutters
Cutters, in the shape of rectangles, are present in the heads of the teeth. When you use the chainsaw regularly, it can cause these cutters to lose its shape and wear out in general. This is a sign for you to repair them or replace them.
- Extra Force
Chainsaws are so powerful, especially the good ones, that they can effortlessly cut through a block of wood without you doing any work besides just holding it steady.
However, after using it for quite a while, you will notice that you may have to give a little more effort than usual to make the chainsaw go through the wood. A well-maintained machine will not need any extra force. To take it back to this effortless trait, you need to change the chains.
- Unsuitable Chain Size
An obvious factor to consider when replacing chainsaw chains is when the size of the chain does not match with the chainsaw. Not using the correct chain size will cause accidents as the chain might be ill-fitted. This might also cause your work to be damaged.
Other Issues to Consider
You will know whether you need sharper chains if you notice smoke coming out of the chainsaw while you use it, even if the tension is on the right track and the oiler is doing its job correctly.
Another issue to consider changing your chains is when the quality of the dust produced from cutting has changed. You should look out for chunkier dust particles if you are inspecting a well-maintained chain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why do kickbacks occur when using chainsaws?
Kickbacks can happen at random times and could be quite dangerous, which is why they are considered as accidents. Most often, they happen when an object touches the furthest edge of the chain while it is in motion.
- How do you sharpen a chainsaw chain?
Chainsaws need to be sharpened at a specific angle of 30 degrees with a specialized filer made for the purpose of sharpening chainsaws.
- Is oil required to run a chain on a chainsaw?
For such a powerful engine using tool such as a chainsaw, you need to fill it with chainsaw bar oil.
- What are the safety precautions for using a chainsaw?
Using a sturdy tool such as a chainsaw comes with some risks. The most important thing to do is keep yourself safe while using it and you can do that by wearing clothes that fit well so you have no loose ends that can get caught up in the machine.
- What are the most vital components of a chainsaw, according to professionals?
The most important parts include chain catcher, flywheel, clutch, decompression valve, anti-vibration handle system, handguard, muffler, chain brake, throttle and finally, the throttle interlock.
Thank you for reading this far into this expansive article. Hopefully, this piece has successfully been informative enough to give you the right set of mind regarding the best chainsaw chains.
I also hope that this helps you decide which chain is best suited for you and your woodworking needs.