Chainsaws come in very handy as far as wood cutting is concerned. It is scary to imagine the excruciating work people had to go through when logging before the invention of the chainsaws. The chainsaw needs to have a quality chain for it to deliver a good performance. Having the best chainsaw chain, therefore, becomes paramount, if you hope to have a seamless woodcutting experience. A good chainsaw chain is supposed to be strong, durable, and easy to maintain. It should have a perfect fit for the chainsaw’s guide too. There are many types of chainsaw chains available. Each of the chainsaw manufacturers, also make the chains. Fortunately, they all have a standard scale of measurements, and many of the chains can fit multiple chainsaws, even those from a different brand.
It is at times difficult to tell which chainsaw chain among the many available is effective. It is even more difficult if you don’t understand the technical aspects of chainsaws. There are not many chainsaw chain reviews available either. Shopping the best chainsaw chain may, therefore, prove to be a daunting task. Apart from whether the chain can fit on your chainsaw, many other factors should inform your choice of a chainsaw chain. You wouldn’t want to spend your hard-earned money on an ineffective chain. You should not worry though. This is a review of various types of chainsaw chains that we have already explored and established are effective. The review will highlight and discuss the different features of the chains. It will also highlight their respective pros and cons. After reading the review, it should be easy for you choose your best-suited chainsaw chain. Tag along and let us get you the best chain for your chainsaw. First, below is a comparison table of the various chainsaw chains featured in the review.
Best Chainsaw Chains 2018
1) Oregon S40 Chainsaw Chain
Oregon chainsaw chains are widely used. They are compatible with many chainsaw guides. Oregon S40 chainsaw chain is equipped with chrome-hardened semi-chiseled cutters that help it deliver precise and powerful cuts. The chain comes with the most advanced technology in chainsaw chain development. The chain’s cutters are tough and sharp and easy to maintain. The chain is designed to last longer and deliver an enviable performance. You will most likely not be disappointed by the performance of this chainsaw chain. When you pay for a chainsaw chain, you need it to be durable and efficient. The Oregon S40 is exactly that.
- The chainsaw chain has chrome-hardened and semi-chiseled cutters
- It is compatible with Craftsman, Poulan, and Remington Oregon chainsaws
- The chainsaw chain is 10’’
- It has a 3/8’’ pitch
- It comes with .050 gauge
- The chain has 40 drive links.
- The chain is heat-treated to make it strong
- The chain has minimal to zero kickback. This makes it safe to use.
- It has strong and precise cutters.
- The cutters are very durable too
- The chainsaw chain is easy to maintain
- It is compatible with many chainsaws
- There are complaints about some of the chainsaws not fitting in some of the indicated chainsaws. You may have to make prior efforts to find out whether it can fit on your chainsaw if you are not sure. You could call the Oregon customer care.
- Though strong, the chain is not suitable for high-intensity and high-pressure applications. It works great for light home applications though.
The Oregon S40 chainsaw chain works great within its limits. It is designed with advanced technology, but it is a small chain. If you get it for your occasional home use, you will most certainly not be disappointed. It has numerous impressive features that make it a great chainsaw chain as long as it is used within its limits. You need to ensure the chain can fit on your chainsaw’s guide before you purchase it. It is arguably the best chainsaw chain for ripping.
2) Husqvarna 531300439 Pixel Chainsaw Chain
The Husqvarna is yet another very popular brand of chainsaws and chainsaw chains. It comes with strong and durable cutters. The Husqvarna 531300439 chainsaw chain has well-contoured drive links that fit well into the chainsaw’s guide. It has almost no vibration or kickback. All its featured are engineered towards making sure it is precise, strong and safe to use. This can fit in many Husqvarna chainsaws, as well as other chainsaws with 18’’ guides. The saw is designed to give you a seamless chainsaw cutting experience. Having several of the Husqvarna 531300439 with you will always ensure your wood cutting works are top notch.
- The chainsaw chain has a 325-inch pitch
- It has a .050-inch pitch
- The chain can fit into the guides of the following Husqvarna chains; 41,45,52,336,445,351, and many others from different brands
- It has almost zero vibration
- The chain fits on an 18’’ bar
- The chain has 72 drive links
- The chainsaw chain has low vibration and no kickback. These features enhance safety
- It is durable and delivers very precise cuts.
- The chain can fit on multiple chainsaws
- It is easy to maintain. You don’t have to worry about the sharpening process, even if your chainsaw requires manual sharpening.
- The chain does not fit on the some of the chainsaws indicated on the package. You need to be extra vigilant to ensure you get the right chain.
The Husqvarna 531300439 does not seem to disappoint in any aspect. The chainsaw saw comes with all the features you would expect on a great chainsaw chain. It is always prudent that you counter check to ensure that it can fit on your chainsaw’s guide. This chain is arguably one of the best that we have in the review. The chain is designed to handle heavy duty applications. If you are a professional woodcutter, this is the type of chainsaw chain that you need. It will power through those huge logs of wood with amazing efficiency. It is arguably the best professional chainsaw on the market.
3) Husqvarna H4684 Chainsaw Chain
The Husqvarna H4684 chainsaw chain is yet another very versatile and strong chain. It is similar to the Husqvarna 531300439 chain above, but it is big. It is meant for bigger chainsaws. The chain fits into multiple chainsaws and delivers a very precise and powerful performance. It is a great option for tough and heavy-duty professional applications. It is the kind of chain used in logging and cutting huge chunks of wood. The chain is also very safe to use as it has minimal vibration and almost zero kickback. Its features reveal an effective and heavy-duty chainsaw chain that can live up to your expectations.
- The chainsaw chain comes with 84 drive links
- It has a 3/8’’ pitch
- It has .050’’ gauge
- It fits on a 24 ‘’ chainsaw’s guide.
- It can fit on the following Husqvarna chainsaws; 362xp, 576xp, 395xp and 365. It can also fit on many chainsaws from other brands.
- It is a heavy-duty chainsaw chain. It can handle tough applications with ease.
- The chain has high safety levels. It has low vibration and no kickback
- It is easy to sharpen and maintain. It is even better if you have a self-sharpening chainsaw
- The chain can fit in multiple chainsaws. It is very versatile.
- The chain tends to get loose after being used for some time. You may have to keep adjusting it.
The Husqvarna H4684 chain is a fantastic heavy-duty chainsaw chain. If you have been disappointed by other chains in your work before, this chain is the solution. It will deliver those precise and powerful cuts that you desire. If you have a good chainsaw, you will most likely enjoy the service of the Husqvarna H4684. It is durable, easy to mount and has an awesome performance. That’s all you would want in a chainsaw. Right? This chain is arguably one of the best chainsaw chains that we have in the review. Its deliverables are quite impressive. This is arguably the best chainsaw chain for hardwood.
4) Oregon Vanguard Chainsaw Chain
We have yet another Oregon chainsaw chain. This chain is a bigger chainsaw that the Oregon S40. The other features are almost identical though. Unlike the S40, this chain is designed for tough and heavy-duty applications. It comes with the chrome-hardened semi-chiseled cutters that deliver very precise and powerful cuts. The chain is heat-treated to ensure it is strong enough to power through those thick logs of wood. The chain has perfectly contoured drive links that fit smoothly on the guide. It has no kick back, and the vibrations are negligible. You are assured of your safety while working. All these features are engineered towards ensuring you have a wood cutting experience like no other.
- The chain has chrome-hardened cutters
- It is heat treated
- It has zero kickback and minimal vibrations
- It has a 3/8’’pitch
- It has .050 gauge
- It has 70 drive links
- It fits on chainsaws with a 20’’ guide
- The chain is strong and durable. The heat treatment makes it very tough.
- It can deliver a precise and powerful cut. It is a great option or tough applications
- It fits on multiple chainsaws. It is very versatile.
- The chain has an easy maintenance procedure
- It has zero kickback and minimal vibration. These features make it very safe to use
- The chainsaw does not fit on some of the chainsaws indicated on the package. This has inconvenienced many people before. Take your time and check carefully to ensure you have the right chain.
The Oregon Vanguard is a top of the range chainsaw chain. It is a strong and durable chain that will live up to your expectations. No matter how tough you think the logs are, this chain will power through them will amazing prowess. It is designed to last longer and handle tough applications. It fits very well into the chainsaw’s guide eliminating vibrations and any chances of kickback. Your safety while working is therefore guaranteed. The possibilities are endless if you have this chain on your chainsaw. You will certainly be impressed by its deliverable. It is one of the best chainsaw chains for hardwood.
5) Husqvarna 531300441 Chainsaw Chain
The Husqvarna 531300441 is similar to the other Husqvarna chains in the review, but the size is different. The chain is a middle ground between the two chains. The chain comes with the signature strong construction of the chainsaw chains. It is precise and powerful. It fits on multiple chainsaws and holds on well to make maintenance easy. The perfect fitting also enhances your safety, as the chain will have no vibration or kickback.
- The chain has a .050 gauge
- The chain has 3/8’’ pitch
- The chain has no kickback or vibration
- The chain can fit into various Husqvarna chainsaws such as the 455 Rancher, 257, 55, 460 Rancher and many others from different brands.
- The chain is 72 drive links
- The chain fits on 20’’ chainsaw guides
- The low vibration and zero kickback ensure maximum safety.
- It is tough and strong hence durable
- It works great in high-pressure applications
- It is very versatile. It fits into many chainsaws
- The chainsaw is easy to sharpen and maintain.
- The chain has an anti-vibration feature that affects the traction of the chain. This takes a toll on its overall performance.
The Husqvarna 531300441 lives up to the good reputation of the Husqvarna chainsaw chains. It has all the signature features of the Husqvarna chainsaws. The chainsaw suffers a bit of reduced power due to the anti-kickback feature. The feature works to enhance your safety though. Overall, the performance of the chain is great. The chain attracts impressive reviews on Amazon. It is, therefore, a great option. It can handle moderate intensity applications. It may not be the most powerful, but its deliverables are good enough. It is a great chainsaw chain for pine harvesting.
6) STIHL 26RS Chainsaw Chain
The Stihl 26RS chainsaw saw chain comes in a very unique but effective design. The chain is designed to be durable and of high-performance. Unfortunately, it can only fit on Stihl chainsaws. Stihl has a unique design for their chainsaws too. They are very popular for their powerful performance and durability. The chain is suitable for a tough and intensive application. It is a great option for professional applications. You will easily power through those logs of wood with the Stihl 26RS chainsaw chain. Its features are all tailored towards giving you are smooth and seamless woodcutting experience. The Stihl is one of the best professional logging chainsaws.
- The chainsaw chain is high-performance.
- It has a length of 20’’
- It has a 325-inch pitch
- Its gauge is .063
- There are several Stihl chainsaws that it can fit. They include; 024, 026, 038, ms291 and ms271 among others.
- The chainsaw can still function effectively under high-pressure applications.
- It is a versatile chain. It fits on multiple Stihl chainsaws
- Vibration and Kickback are very rare.
- The chain has a perfect and firm fit.
- The chain is easy to sharpen. It is even easier if you have a self-sharpening chainsaw.
- Its performance is affected by dirt.
- The chain is only applicable in the STIHL chainsaws.
The Stihl 26RS is a top of the range chainsaw chain. Its application is only limited to Stihl chainsaws, but its performance cannot be questioned. The chain delivers one of the most powerful cuts. You may have to put in extra efforts to clean the chain regularly as its performance is negatively impacted upon by dirt. Overall, if you get this chain, you will most likely not want any other. The reviews it has on Amazon indicate that it has lived up to the expectations of many customers. It is arguably one of the fastest cutting chainsaw chains we have in the review. It is the best Stihl chainsaw chain.
7) Oregon S56 Chainsaw Chain
Lastly, we have yet another chainsaw from the Oregon brand. This Oregon S56 is a great chain. It comes with all the features you would expect on a great chainsaw saw chain. The chain lives up to the good reputation of the Oregon chains and does not seem to disappoint in any way. It is a middle ground between the other two Oregon chainsaw chains we have featured in the review. The chain has all the required safety measures to ensure you remain protected while working. You can expect no kickback or vigorous vibrations on the chain.
- The chain has a .050 inches guide
- It has a 3/8 inches pitch
- The chainsaw chain has chrome-hardened and semi-chisel cutters
- The chain has 56 drive links
- The chain fits 16’’ chainsaw guides.
- The chain can handle considerably tough applications
- The cutters deliver very precise and powerful cuts
- The chain has ample safety precautions
- It is easy to sharpen and maintain chain
- It is a versatile chain too. It can fit on numerous chainsaws.
- There have been complaints from people who have been inconvenienced after purchasing the chain only to find that it cannot fit on their chainsaw. The chainsaw does not fit on some of the chains indicated on its package.
The Oregon S56 is a fantastic chainsaw chain. Though it is dubbed as a moderate performance chain, it can comfortably handle tough applications. It is strongly built, just like all the other Oregon chains. The chain has impressive features and delivers powerful and precise cuts. This is the most basic requirements on a chainsaw saw. It is a fantastic chain that will most certainly satisfy your wood cutting needs. It could be a great option for a home chainsaw. It is arguably the best chainsaw chain for cutting firewood.
Best Chainsaw Chains 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
The reviews above are supposed to help you better understand what a good chainsaw chain entails. To narrow down on your best suited chainsaw chain, you need to consider several factors. The chains perform differently under different circumstances. As such, the best chain for you may not be the best for the next person. You may also require different chains for different applications. Let’s explore the factors and find out how you can narrow down to your most preferred chainsaw chain.
It is basic knowledge that chainsaws come in different sizes. You expect the chains to be of different sizes too. The chain you get should correspond in size to the guide of your chainsaw. For example, if you have an 18’’ chainsaw, you need to get an 18’’ chain. The chain will not fit if you get the wrong size. You may have to do modifications for it to fit, which will most likely end up damaging the chain. The chain’s package will always have the size information. Always double check to ensure you have the right size.
The pitch of the chain is half the distance between any three consecutive rivets on the chain. The chain’s pitch must coincide with that of the drive sprocket of the chainsaw. The drive sprocket on the chainsaw’s guide is responsible for pushing the chain. If they don’t fit into each other well, they will most certainly not work. The system works similar to that of gears. The pitch informs whether the chain can perfectly fit into the drive shaft of the chainsaw.
The gauge is the size of the holes on the drive links, where the teeth of the drive sprocket enter. These holes help to lock down the chain in place. The gauge of the chain should correspond to the size of the drive sprocket teeth. They need to lock well to avoid vibration and any chances of kickback. A chain that has a perfect fit on the drive shaft delivers the best performance. You should never compromise on the fitting aspects of the chain. Always ensure the chain you get is a perfect match to the chainsaw you have.
- Drive links thickness
The chain lugs are also a useful factor as it helps determine the chain length. This parameter of the chain is measured in millimeters. It can be 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, or 2 mm. When cutting different sizes have different blade smoothness.
Chains with drive link thickness of 1.1 are commonly fitted on domestic chainsaws and chainsaw used for curving. Those with a drive link thickness are used in general but not for hard tasks. Chains with drive link thickness of 1.5 and 1.6 are found on professional and semi-professional chainsaws. A 2 mm is rare and only fitted to the powerful professional chainsaws.
- Number of Drive Links
As already mentioned, the drive links fit into the drive sprocket in the chainsaw’s guide. Therefore, the number of drive links on the chain need to correspond to the number of sprocket teeth. You will always have the information about the number of sprocket teeth on your chainsaw’s manual. The package of the chain has the information about the number of drive links it has. If you get a chain with more or fewer drive links, it will not fit on the chainsaw, and you may have to make some modifications. This is always not advisable as it ultimately destroys the chain. It may also affect the safety measures fitted on the chain.
Anti-Vibration: Vibrations on a chainsaw are utterly undesired. They affect the effectiveness and energy efficiency of the chainsaw. The vibrations are also dangerous as they affect your steadiness while holding the chainsaw. You can never be able to make precise cuts with a chainsaw with rigorous vibrations on the chain. As such, it is always paramount to ensure that the chain you get is designed to ensure minimal to zero vibrations. A chain with not vibrations will ensure you work faster and your cuts are more precise. The chain should fit well too. This is the first step in avoiding chain vibrations.
Anti-Kickback: Kickback is a phenomenon where the cutters may get stuck on the wood, while the chain is at full motions. The force of the chain tends to react with a kickback force. This can be very dangerous for the operator. In as much as you need to work efficiently, your safety is paramount. As such, the chain you get should be fitted with an antikickback system, which helps protect you against such instances. The system helps neutralize the reaction force, in the unfortunate event that the cutters get stuck. Many standard chains have the feature.
- Cutter Design
The chains come in different cutter designs. Some are chiseled, semi-chiseled and have many other shapes. The cutters are the components that do the actual cutting work. They, therefore, need to be strong and durable. Many chains have hardened cutters to enable them power through the wood with ease. Chrome-hardened cutters are common in many chains. Always go for the chains that have the best quality cutters.
- Ease of Maintenance
You need to have the necessary tools to sharpen the chain. Chains that can be easily sharpened by a self-sharpening chainsaw are always desirable. You do not want a chain that is a headache to maintain. In a bid to make the chain tough, some cutters are so hardened that it becomes difficult to sharpen them.
The price of the chain is the ultimate determinant of whether you are going to purchase it. Usually, the pricier chain is of better quality. That may not always be the case though. The prices differ according to the production processes of the manufactures and their distribution chain. Take your time to compare the various types of chain available and find out which has the most value for the money you have. You should never comprise on the quality of the chain just to save a few bucks. Always go for the best quality that you can afford.
The reviews and buying guide above should help you narrow down to your best-suited chainsaw chain. The chain you get should serve you efficiently and for longer. Depending on your particular requirements, you can explore the different chains and find one that works best for you. The review is a very long one though. You may not be able to recall all the details in it. As such, below is a summary table of all the chainsaw chains featured. The table contains the respective features, pros, and cons of the chains. You can quickly skim through the table and make an informed decision.