How to choose a chainsaw chain.

An accessory for real men: the choice of chainsaw chain

All the parts in a chainsaw are equally important. Only high-quality workmanship enables comfortable, productive work that leaves the user satisfied. Good cutting ability of the tool can be negated by an unadjusted carburetor or an improperly prepared gasoline-oil mixture. However, there is a node without which even a motor running like a clock will not make a proper, smooth and fast cut. This is a chainsaw chain.

With a wrong or badly worn chain, even small jobs become torture. Professionals, on the other hand, need to have the saw set in good condition, because it is the saw set that mainly determines the speed of operation.

Types and main indicators (parameters and functions) of chainsaws

Husqvarna Professional chain saw STIHL semi-professional chainsaw Household chainsaw

In order to choose the right tool for a household, you must first of all, clearly define the range of operations, for which you buy the machine, and the volume of these operations. A few important parameters and functions of your future chain saw.

Chain pitch detection

Measurement result, mm Measuring result divided by 2 Chain pitch inch
12,7 6,35 1/4
16,5 8,255 0,325
19,05 9,525 3/8
20,52 10,26 0,404

Example of chain pitch measurement in Photo 1.

Photo 1.

Sawsaw chain pitch

To get the right chain, it must match the bar in length, width, and other features.

choose, chainsaw, chain

Household appliances are most often equipped with chains with a pitch of 3/8″. They are smooth-running and have a high degree of safety and reliability.

Professional-grade models with high cutting speeds and increased power use a larger pitch link. 0, 404″.

Trying to match such a guide bar to a domestic chainsaw will most likely lead to its overloading, increased wear and rapid failure of engine and transmission parts.

How to find out

To determine the pitch of the chain used on your chainsaw, you usually use one of the following methods:

  • To remove the bar and read the markings on the shank. In addition to the parameter you are looking for, it is mandatory to indicate the length of the headset, the width of the groove between the jaws, as well as the sprocket module.
  • If you still have the packaging, you can look at it. Leading manufacturers print not only pitch, but also tooth type, width, file number for sharpening.
  • Use a caliper to measure the distance between two adjacent link parts. These can be tooth bases, tooth tails, and roller centers. For rollers you need three next to each other.
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The pitch directly affects the performance of the tool, so professional models have a larger pitch. It is strictly forbidden to use chain saws with high-powered saw blades with a small pitch. Underloading the engine will also lead to accelerated wear of its parts and reduce the service life of a high-quality, productive chainsaw.

If you plan to use the tool for figured wood or ice carving, then, on the contrary, you need to pick up a chain with a minimum pitch. Little spacing between teeth gives good cutting precision and less vibration.

What Size File Do I Need for My Chain Saw?

For each class of operation it is better to choose a separate chainsaw that maximally corresponds to its characteristics.

When selecting grooves and sawing internal cuts, the very end of the bar must be used. There is a high probability that the saw will kick back or bounce back. This is another reason to buy two saws: the powerful high-performance saw for making mass cuts and sawing thick logs or boards, and a small model with a short headset and small pitch for finishing shaped cuts, grooves and other fine details.

Considering the length of the chain

Another important parameter can be called the length of the chain. It largely determines how many links a product has. Known manufacturers specify length in inches and number of links. The peculiarities of selection according to this indicator can be called the following:

  • When buying on your own, it is recommended to consider both parameters.
  • Chainsaw manufacturers indicate how long such a product should be.

If you choose the wrong length, it can be very difficult to install. Examples are slack and severe tension, both of which lead to excessive wear and can cause the chain to break.

Technical Tips- How To Sharpen Chainsaw Chain

Consumables for the DIYer have a lower tolerance for heavy-duty use. This is due to the fact that the tool is used intermittently, for a short time. Saving on materials allows you to reduce the price, but at the same time the tool provides a good quality of cut and copes with hard wood. Our experts have analyzed 9 headsets and chose 4 models, which are distinguished by sharp sharpening, easy maintenance.

Elitech 0809.012300

The product of the Russian company regularly takes the leading places in ratings of specialized magazines. Our experts attribute it to the special structure of steel and alloys used to create the headset. The saw blade does not stretch, retaining its original dimensions. Sharp teeth retain their geometry when sawing birch or aspen, easily coping with hard, fibrous wood.

The cutting element is designed to fit saws with a 18-inch bar. This toolkit is used when sawing firewood in intensive mode in preparation for the heating season. For this reason, the manufacturer has improved the performance of the domestic sawing set, creating a tooling that is as good as the professional consumables.

  • Holds factory sharpening for a long time;
  • Low maintenance;
  • High durability;
  • Low price;
  • Versatile tooth shape.
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Oregon 21LPX072E

The American company produces products of uncompromising quality, this manufacturer is often ordered from more well-known companies, such as Bosch. This model is designed to fit gasoline-powered saws with motors up to 60 cc.see. Chisel cutters have teeth with rectangular side edges, which allows to increase the efficiency of the equipment.

Alloys are used in manufacturing that have improved the durability of the equipment by 25% compared to competing brands. Shock absorbers are incorporated to reduce kickback. Shape of the links, shank features provide even oil distribution during lubrication. Each tooth has a risk for orientation during sharpening.

Husqvarna X-Cut SP33G 5816431-64

High quality of Scandinavian steel, additionally protected against external influences by induction hardening, heat treatment and chrome coating. Optimized cutting angle increases cutting speed, saving the operator a great deal of physical effort.

The microstructure of the steel ensures perfect sharpening that lasts longer than counterparts. Wear and tear is minimal, it extends service interval of saw system. Before packing the hardware is stretched on a special robotized stand, as a result the chuck retains its factory geometric dimensions longer and does not require regular tightening. Stability of basic parameters ensures a high level of personal safety when working with the machine.

Huter C3

The German brand’s products are distinguished by the high quality of the steel used and are designed to fit 18-inch saw bars. This increases productivity requirements. The use of carbide materials in the production of the cutting link makes it possible to achieve higher machining speeds. Factory-inspired resharpening makes it easy to cut hardwood.

Domestic products are manufactured in China by a German company. This allowed the price to be reduced. The steel used in production can withstand heavy loads, but is subject to rapid wear. Sharpening is required more often than other competitors in the class. Material can withstand 3-4 dressing operations with abrasive wheel.

Determine chain pitch:

Chain pitch. Distance between three rivets. It is better to measure with a “staff gauge”, if not, you can use a ruler or a tape measure.

What for: If your distance between the rivets is 18 mm, chains with a different “pitch” do not fit any more. That’s why it is essential to know the “step” of your chain! This is the size most often confused by inexperienced owners or sellers.

Only five numbers are possible as a result of the measurements: 12 mm, 16 mm, 18 mm, 20 mm, 38 mm (tenths are rounded off)

What is it

Carbide chains have been invented to improve the quality of the cut as well as to extend the period from one sharpening to the next. In sawing wood, the use of carbide is nothing new. Technology of composite connection has been successfully used for a long time in production of circular saw blades.

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Carbide chain is not homogeneous in its structure. it is a compound of two metals: ordinary tool steel and a special hardness alloy. The former is used to make leading, cutting and connecting links, as well as rivets. The alloy is applied to the cutting edge and top plane of the workpiece in the form of a thin plate. Mounting method. soldering. That means. that copper-nickel and copper-brass solders are used to join the hard part and the steel base. It is not a coincidence that these materials were selected: they have good fluidity, adhesion and a melting point that is about 300 degrees different to that of the working heat of the chain. That’s why it’s not a good idea to overheat the saw headset.

Winning is a folk name of alloys based on tungsten carbide, which makes up to 90% of the total mass of the substance. The remaining 10% is Cobalt, which is needed as a binder, and quite a bit of carbon. In fact, tungsten carbide is a ceramic-metal material with extreme hardness and excellent temperature resistance.

If you have to buy a new chain. what to look for

To choose a chain for your chainsaw, you need to know the pitch, shank thickness, length, depth of cut, type of links, as well as the type of sawing, material and sequence of the teeth. All these criteria were considered above. In order not to have to trust the sellers, you need to understand each criterion, and choose the right values for yourself.

To learn how to choose the right saw headset, you can ask the experts. It is not necessary to look for them, as the material has a video, which tells in detail about the correct choice of chain. The choice is also influenced by the price, which directly characterizes the quality. The higher the price, the better the quality, but it does not always make sense to buy expensive devices. There are different manufacturers of saw headsets, both brand names (STIHL, Makita, Husqvarna) and little-known ones, including Chinese ones.

If you want to buy a good device that will serve you for at least 3 seasons, it is better to buy expensive models. Cheap models are only worth of using them on household machines. After you buy a new set, you need to tighten the chain on the saw.