How To Choose A Chainsaw Chain? An Elaborative Guide

How To Choose A Chainsaw Chain? An Elaborative Guide

Whether you’re a skilled DIYer or a professional lumberjack, having the chainsaw chain is crucial for getting the best performance and safety out of your chainsaw. Its standard chain greatly influenced the effectiveness, longevity, and overall cutting experience of a chainsaw. 

We’ll dig into several topics, explaining their importance in various cutting scenarios, including chain pitch, gauge, length, cutter design, and chain varieties. We’ll also discuss the relevance of maintenance and optimal standard chain sharpening processes in order to prolong the lifespan of your chain and ensure effective cutting performance.

In order to work effectively, safely, and to achieve the greatest results, let’s examine the complexities of selecting a chainsaw chain that is suitable for your unique requirements.

How To Choose A Chainsaw Chain?: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to choose chainsaw chain

Considerations for chain saw compatibility, intended use, and chain saw specs must all be made in order to choose the ideal chainsaw chain for your needs. To choose the best chainsaw chain for your cutting needs, use these methods:

Step 1: Discover the details of your chainsaw.

Knowing the parameters of your electric chainsaw is essential before choosing a chain. Take a look at your electric chainsaw for the following details:

  • Chain pitch is equal to three rivets separated by two rivets. There are three typical pitch sizes: 3/8″,.325″, and 0.404″.
  • Drive link thickness is measured using the chain gauge. 
  • The chainsaw’s front tip to where the chain brake  enters the housing is where the bar length is measured. The chain brake you select must correspond to the length of your bar.

Step 2: Determine Your Needs for Cutting

Think about the kinds of cutting activities you’ll be doing. Chainsaw chains are made for certain tasks, such felling trees, chopping firewood, or clipping branches. Understanding your needs will enable you to choose the chain that best suits your needs because different chains perform better in certain cutting conditions.

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Step 3: Knowledge of Chain Types

There are many different varieties of chainsaw blade chains, and each one has special characteristics and advantages. The most typical varieties include:

  • Full-Chisel Chain: With square-cornered teeth for aggressive performance, this chain is made for quick cutting in clean wood.
  • Semi-Chisel Chain: This type of chain offers a compromise between cutting speed and toughness, making it appropriate for cutting wood that is unclean or frozen.
  • Low-Profile Chain: With less chance of kickback, it is perfect for light-duty operations like trimming and pruning.
  • Micro-Lite Chain: Designed for light-duty jobs, the Micro-Lite Chain offers improved maneuverability and reduced vibration.

Step 4: Keep Safety Features in mind

Safety is of the utmost importance when using a chainsaw blade. Choose chains with anti-kickback or low-vibration qualities as they are safety features. These characteristics improve user comfort while operating and reduce the chance of mishaps.

Step 5: Chainsaw Chain Compatibility Charts 

To make sure the correct chain you choose is suitable with the make and model of your chainsaw, see the chainsaw manufacturer’s compatibility charts or consult the chainsaw manual. Manufacturers of electric chainsaws frequently offer suggestions for complementary correct chain depending on pitch, gauge, and bar length.

Step 6: Consult an expert

Ask pros at your neighborhood electric chainsaws dealer or specialists in the area for guidance if you’re unclear about which chainsaw chain to select. Based on their knowledge and experience, they can offer insightful suggestions.

Step 7: Obtain and Keep the Chain

Make your purchase from a reliable retailer or online store once you have chosen the right chainsaw chain. The chainsaw bar  should then be properly maintained by being routinely different type sharpened and lubricated to extend its lifespan and improve cutting performance.

You can discover the ideal chainsaw chain that matches your chainsaw, your cutting needs, and your safety standards by adhering to these detailed instructions. Always put safety first and abide by the manufacturer’s instructions for safe chainsaw bar operating. 

Can I Use a Chainsaw Chain of a Different Brand?

You can use a different brand of chainsaw chain on your Stihl chainsaw, but you should exercise caution and think carefully before doing so. Here are some concepts to think about:

Model Compatibility

Verify the stihl chainsaw model’s compatibility with the chainsaw chain you intend to use. Determine the compatible carbide chain requirements, such as pitch, gauge, and length, by checking the manufacturer’s recommendations or consulting the chainsaw size ‘s manual. Using a carbide chain that is incompatible can cause poor fitting, decreased performance, or serious safety risks.

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Quality and Performance

The quality, design, and performance characteristics of various chainsaw chain brands may differ. It’s best to go with a reliable company known for making chainsaw chains of the highest caliber and that adhere to industry requirements. As a result, cutting performance, durability, and safety are all maximized.

Considerations Regarding Warranties

Using a chain that is not OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) could void the chainsaw’s warranty. In order to ensure compatibility and functionality, manufacturers frequently advise to use their own brand of chains. If your chainsaw is still covered by a warranty, review the terms and conditions to see if using a chain from a different brand would impair the warranty’s coverage.

Expert Recommendations

Consulting experts, such as chainsaw dealers or seasoned chainsaw users, might yield insightful information. They could be knowledgeable about the efficiency and compatibility of various chain brands with particular chainsaw models. Their knowledge can aid in your decision-making.

Safety considerations

When using a chainsaw, safety should always come first. Specific features are included into chainsaw chains to lessen backlash and improve operator safety. It could not have the same safety features or be compatible with your chainsaw’s safety mechanisms to use a chain of a different brand. Make sure the chain you select complies with safety requirements and won’t jeopardize your chainsaw’s ability to run safely.

How Do You Tell If Your Chain Is The Right Size? 

Chain gauge, chain length, and chain pitch are the three most important criteria to consider when figuring out whether you have the right size chain for your chainsaw. How to determine whether the chain you have is the right length is shown here:

Chain Pitch

The chain pitch is the result of dividing the distance between three rivets in a row by two. 3/8″,.325″, and 0.404 are the most popular chain pitch sizes. You can measure the distance between any three rivets and divide it by two to get the pitch of your chain. To determine the proper pitch for your chainsaw, you can also go to the instructions that came with it or read the information stamped on the guide bar.

Chain Gauge

The chain gauge describes the chain’s driving links’ thickness. 0.050″, 0.058″, and 0.063″ are typical gauge sizes. You can use a caliper to measure the drive link’s thickness to calculate the chain’s gauge or you can refer to the guide bar’s information or the instructions that came with your chainsaw

Chain Length

The chain’s total number of drive links is referred to as its length. This value is based on how long your chainsaw’s guide bar is. Count the drive links on your present chain to make sure it is the right length, or refer to your chainsaw’s manual for the ideal chain length based on guide bar length.

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You can contrast these with the specifications of the chain you already have installed once you have identified the proper chainsaw chain parameters (pitch, gauge, and length). If the measurements line up, the chain you have will fit your chainsaw properly. If they don’t, you must replace it with a chain that meets the requirements of your chainsaw.

Keep in mind that different chainsaw models may require different chain sizes, so make sure you have the right one for your particular chainsaw. Always abide by the instructions in your chainsaw’s manual or those provided by the maker. Using the wrong chain size might cause subpar cutting performance, greater wear and tear, and possibly even safety risks.

Final Word

The proper chainsaw chain selection is essential for both safety and good performance. You may make an informed choice by considering elements like chain specs, intended use, and compatibility with your chainsaw. It’s crucial to comprehend the pitch, gauge, and bar length of your chainsaw, as well as to determine your cutting requirements and choose the right chain kind. 

Safety aspects shouldn’t be disregarded, and compatibility charts or professional assistance can offer helpful direction. You can work quickly and get the greatest results while assuring a safe cutting experience if you have the chainsaw chain that is suitable for your needs, correctly maintained, and suitable for your requirements.


Q. How is a chainsaw chain matched to a sprocket?

A. If you only have the sprocket, use calipers to measure the distance between the teeth to determine the chain size. Pitch is determined by measuring the distance between the centers of the chain roller’s setting between the teeth. You can decide what chain size you would need after you know the pitch.

 Q. Which chainsaw chain type moves the quickest?

A. Which chain, though, cuts the fastest, and which should you pick? Either a full chisel or a chisel skip chainsaw chain will cut wood more quickly. For chainsaw bars 24″ or less, the complete chisel gives the quickest and most vigorous cutting action. Pick a chisel skip chain for bars longer than 24″.

 Q. How many times can a chainsaw chain be sharpened?

A. Before needing to be replaced entirely, a chainsaw chain can be sharpened up to ten times, occasionally even more. The amount of wear your chain experiences and the amount of metal removed each time you sharpen are the two main factors that determine it. The chainsaw chain may be more severely impacted by various materials.

 Q. What size chain is considered standard?

A. The most popular American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for roller chain are 40, 50, 60, and 80. The last figure is either 0 for normal chain, 1 for lightweight chain, or 5 for bushed chain without rollers. The first digits represent the chain pitch in eighths of an inch.





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