The Best Chainsaw Chain Top 5 Reviewed

the best chainsaw chain pics
Best chain for chainsaws

Is it time to renew your chainsaw’s chain? We’ve sifted through the Internet for the top five products based on quality, material, specifications and customer reviews.

Purchasing the right saw chain can save you time and reduce your frustration. The best options are long-lasting and can cut through materials easily.

There’s a variety of options available, and not all are designed for everyone’s budget and needs. Purchasing the incorrect chain could put your safety at risk, damage your chainsaw, and cost you a lot of money.

While considering the best chainsaw chains teeth, we declare the Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chain saw Chain the winner as it has semi-chisel cutters to chomp through hardwood and remain sharp—with minimal replacements required. A great chainsaw chain for hardwood.

The Oregon S62 AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain has semi-chisel cutters, too, but is compatible with larger chainsaws. Alternatively, the Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Chain is suitable for heavy-duty chores beyond trimming and pruning.

Our selections for the best chainsaw chain are:

Best Chainsaw Chain Reviews

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain—Best Overall

This chain is designed to help your chainsaw last longer and better. Thanks to the LubriTec oiling system, developed by Oregon chains, this product delivers excellent lubricant to keep your chain in tip-top condition. This improves your tool’s durability while also keeping it safe to use.

You want your chainsaw to have minimal vibration for your comfort, control and overall safety. With this in mind, this chain is designed with minimal vibrations with space between the chain and the guide bar to prevent any rubbing. This space acts as a shock absorber, helping to reduce the number of vibrations.

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 16-Inch Bar, Fits Echo CS-400, CS-310, CS-352 and CS-370, Poulan 2150 and 3816, Makita EA4300F40B, Ryobi RY3716 and more; 56 Drive Links (Packaging may vary)

Thanks to the chrome-plated cutters, the chain lasts longer and performs well. Oregon’s layer of hard chrome prevents the chain from wearing out easily and adds extra resistance. Not to mention, this highly durable material also limits the amount of time you spend cutting and filing.

To further reduce any wear and tear, this chain features hardened rivets. This feature improves the overall strength, putting a limit to the chain losing its tension. As a result, you can spend more time on the job and less time focusing on adjusting the chain at regular intervals.

This chain has semi-chisel teeth, which are durable and maintain their edge for a long time. These teeth make it a good chain for hardwood.

This 16-inch chain is compatible with saws with an engine up to 42cc for brands including Craftsman, Echo, Poulan, Homelite and Remington.

Specs

  • Pitch: ⅜ inches.
  • Gauge: .05 inches.
  • Drive link count: 56.
  • Teeth: Semi-chisel.

Pros

  • High-quality chrome-plated cutters.
  • Reduces vibrations for comfort and control.
  • Fits on a variety of saws.

Cons

  • Some customers had difficulties installing the chain to their saw.
  • Expensive.

Oregon S62 AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain—Best for Light Pruning

This high-quality saw chain has a length of 18 inches with a standard pitch of ⅜ inches and 62 drive links.

With fewer links than the Oregon D70, it’s not as powerful in cutting materials. However, that doesn’t mean this chain doesn’t have excellent power. It’s engineered for more than pruning and trimming, making it suitable beyond garden duties.

Oregon S62 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 18-Inch Bar; Fits Echo CS-400 and CS-370, Poulan 2150 and 4180 & More, .050-Inch Gauge, 62 Drive Links

Its semi-chisel teeth aren’t as sharp as some of the other saw chains on this list or on the market. Even so, it doesn’t deliver a quick and precise job—trimming your time.

The chain is heat-treated, which allows for a smooth and accurate cut every time. It also limits kickback and is designed with an anti-vibration system to aid your comfort and control.

This item is suitable for many brands, including Craftsman, Homelite, Poulan and Poulan Pro.

Specs

  • Pitch: ⅜ inches.
  • Gauge: .050 inches.
  • Drive link count: 62.
  • Teeth: Semi-chisel.

Pros

  • Anti-vibration system.
  • Heat-treated for precision.
  • Suitable for numerous brands.
  • Good for cutting firewood.

Cons

  • Not designed for really heavy-duty tasks.

Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Chain—Best for Minimizing Vibrations

Designed by a reputable brand with many years of experience, you can trust that this Husqvarna chainsaw chain lives up to its high promises.

The 20-inch chain can cut through the toughest wood available, making it suitable for heavy-duty chores beyond trimming and pruning. It’s also a high-performance chain designed to minimize vibrations for improved comfort and control.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20' .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch Low Kickback Low-Vibration

These minimal vibrations also reduce fatigue as you don’t need to use your strength and stability to prevent the chainsaw from moving constantly. The chain is also engineered to cut through tough materials smoothly with high performance and reducing your time. As a result, you can work with this chain on thick wood on large trees.

This product is suitable for a range of Husqvarna chainsaws, including the 55 Rancher, 257, 261, 262 XP, 359, 455 Rancher, 460 or 460 Rancher.

Due to the 20-inch size, this chain isn’t as lightweight as others on this list, though 12 ounces is a reasonable weight given this excessive size.

Specs

  • Pitch: ⅜ inches.
  • Gauge: .050 inches.
  • Drive link count: 72.
  • Teeth: Unspecified.

Pros

  • Ideal for cutting through thick materials.
  • Minimal vibrations and low profile for low kickback.
  • Remains sharp for a long time.

Cons

  • Only compatible with Husqvarna chainsaws.
  • Doesn’t manage well when touching stones.

Oregon D70 20-Inch AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain—Best for Commercial

Yet another of Oregon’s top-quality saw chains, this 20-inch chain is engineered by a popular, well-trusted brand. It has a pitch of ⅜ inches, a 0.50-inch gauge, and a 70 drive link count.

These measurements make this product well-suited for commercial work, such as loggers and farmers looking for a high-performance chain that’s safe to use.

Oregon D70 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 20-Inch Bar; Fits Echo CS600P, CS-680, CS-550EVL, Poulan 3400, Homelite XL 12 and Super XLAO & More, .050-Inch Gauge, 70 Drive Links

The 3 8 pitch is the most common dimension for chainsaws, allowing this product to remove a large amount of material at one time. Not only does these chains get the job done quicker, but it also enables your chain saw to use less power.

With this dimension in mind, the Oregon D70 chain is ideal for professionals, such as for those in fire departments and first responders, but isn’t suitable for beginners or light-duty tasks.

The Oregon D70 chain has full chisel cutters that are square-shaped and designed to cut through hardwood effectively, while giving a good cutting experience, they need replacing frequently

The 0.50-inch gauge is one of the most common sizes on the market currently and not the thickest you can buy. However, this dimension is still thick enough to chop through large tree trunks, though it will require more work than a 0.63-inch gauge.

If you wish to use this chain for heavy-duty tasks regularly, consider keeping a replacement at home.

Specs

  • Pitch: ⅜ inches.
  • Gauge: .050 inches.
  • Drive link count: 70.
  • Teeth: Full chisel.

Pros

  • Creates minimal friction during operation.
  • Anti-vibration technology.
  • Suitable for heavy-duty projects.

Cons

  • Dulls fairly quickly.
  • Not as long-lasting as others.

Husqvarna 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain—Best for Long Use

This 18-inch saw chain contains 72 drive links, a 0.050-inch gauge, and a pitch of 3/8 inches, making it the most powerful chain saw chain on this list.

These dimensions allow you to handle demanding projects easily—such as the thickest, biggest wood chunks, and for professional work, too.

Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-Inch .050 gauge .325 pitch low kickback low-vibration

The heavy-duty edges enable these chains to remain sharp for work every time, even when you’ve used it for hours. It’ll also cut smoothly and won’t stretch while in operation, preventing excessive vibrations and kickbacks.

This high-quality chain is compatible with a range of chainsaws, including a Husqvarna 41, 45, 49, 51, 55, 336, 339XP, 340, 345, 346XP, 350, 351, 353, 435, 440, 445 and 450e.

It’s highly durable and long-lasting and continues to perform well—even when coming into contact with cement and stones.

Specs

  • Pitch: ⅜ inches.
  • Gauge: .050 inches.
  • Drive link count: 72.
  • Teeth: Unspecified.

Pros

  • Effective even when making contact with stones.
  • Compatible with a range of chainsaws.
  • Edges remain sharp for a long time.

Cons

  • Requires frequent adjustment after long periods of work.
  • Some difficulty cutting through hardwood.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Chainsaw Chains

1280px Chainsaw blade

Understanding the Specifications of Chainsaw Chains

For each reviewed chain, we included various specifications to help you discover the best chain for your needs. Below is the necessary information you’ll need to know.

Pitch

This information refers to the distance between each link, and it’s stated as a fraction of an inch. The smaller the number, the longer the chain will take to cut. So, if you’re searching for an efficient, quick approach, opt for a higher number.

Some common sizes include ¼, 3.25, ⅜, and 4.04 inches.

Gauge

The gauge refers to the thickness of these links. The higher the number, the stronger the chain is, meaning it can cut the thickest materials with no issues. It’s also important to choose the right gauge measurements for your saw so that it fits correctly and doesn’t slip off during use.

Some common sizes include:

  • .043inch.
  • .050 inch.
  • .058 inch.

Drive Links

Not all chainsaws have the same length guide bar, so you’ll need to purchase a chain that’s the right size to suit. Drive links—also known as “drive lugs”—are important as they provide smooth and effective rotation of the saw’s teeth.

A longer chain will require more drive links to improve its durability and ensure the chain remains in place.

It’s essential that your new chain has the same number of drive links to match the length of your guide bar to ensure it fits safely and properly.

Check out the best chains for a chainsaw

Materials

You can’t own a high-quality chainsaw chain if the materials are poor and lack strength. The best material is hard-chromed as it’s heavy-duty and allows you to cut through hardwood and thick surfaces.

Heat-treated cutter chains are another excellent option as they last longer and are safer to use. You can also use a heat-treated cutter chain for a longer period in one go.

Safety Features

When you researched the best chainsaw, you likely considered some essential safety features: you should do the same for the chain! Here are some recommended features to consider:

  • Vibration.
  • Kickback.

Vibration

A chainsaw can vibrate unnecessarily if the chain is too big, so ensure you purchase the correct size chain for your machinery.

Minimal vibrations improve the chainsaw’s overall quality and durability. Plus, if you have to use your body to stabilize the machinery, you’re wasting your own energy. Vibrations can also create noise, which isn’t desirable in an outdoor setting.

That’s not to mention that vibrations can make the chainsaw unsafe as it becomes unsteady. Your cuts are less likely to be precise, too. As a result, we recommend a chain with minimal or no vibrations so you can work faster and make perfect cuts.

For the best chainsaw chain, we recommend the Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Chain. This is designed to produce minimal vibrations, helping to reduce fatigue so you can work it for longer.

Kickback

If the cutter gets stuck in material while the chain continues to move, you’ll experience a kickback. This motion can become dangerous to the user as you have to pull the chainsaw out of the wood.

To avoid this scenario, choose a chain with an anti-kickback system. This helps to protect you from such situations and prevent the cutter from getting stuck. An anti-kickback system also improves the tool’s longevity and improves your cuttings.

The Oregon S62 AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain is the best chain on our list with an anti-kickback system.

Types of Chainsaw Chains

A chain’s teeth are a huge determining factor for your purchase. The teeth’ edge influences the material the tool can cut through, the durability and the maintenance involved.

Here are the three types:

  • Chipper.
  • Semi-chisel.
  • Full chisel.

Chipper

This is a great choice for general garden maintenance and typically not for professional work. Chipper teeth are ideal for small woodcuts and pruning small-to-medium trees.

Semi-Chisel

These types of teeth are designed for chopping through soft-to-medium wood and maintain their edge for the longest time. Semi-chisel teeth are sharp and work best on hardwood and firewood, and they’re the sharpest, most powerful of the three options.

Full Chisel

Full chisel chains cut through hardwood quickly and are square-shaped. Although these are the ideal choice for cutting through hardwood, they lose their edge quickly. So if you use your chainsaw regularly, you’ll need to replace the chain often and be prepared for these maintenance costs.

Signs You Should Replace Your Chain

What do all the above factors mean if you don’t know when your chain needs replacing? Each time you use your saw, the chain moves quickly and produces a lot of friction. With regular use, the chain becomes heated and can wear out.

Here are the key signs to indicate it’s time to replace your chain:

  • Broken teeth.
  • Requires regular sharpening.
  • Prolonged and regular use.

Broken Teeth

One of the first signs is that several teeth on the chain are missing or broken. The fewer teeth the chain has, the less effective the tool will be, which impacts its durability and performance.

If you’re cutting materials with fewer teeth than you started with, your chainsaw may struggle to dissect wood. This can impede the tool’s effectiveness and cause you to become fatigued.

Requires Regular Sharpening

Your chain will inevitably require sharpening, but this shouldn’t be after every use. If you notice that the chain’s teeth show signs of wearing out each time you use your machinery, you may need a new chain.

Another indication is the teeth getting smaller with use. You should also check that you have the correct size chain and teeth for the materials you’re cutting, as this can impact the amount of sharpening required, too.

Prolonged and Regular Use

If you’re frequently cutting wood, you should expect to replace your chain often.

Both the duration of each use and the number of times you use the chain wear it out. You shouldn’t be using your chainsaw for hours at a time without expecting to replace the chain.

Take frequent breaks to safely check the chain’s condition and prevent your machinery from overheating. You should also avoid using too much force, as this extra pressure will wear-out the chains quicker.

Another sign it’s time to replace those chains is the chainsaw jumping off the wood a couple of times and not making as effective a cut.

Caring for Your Chainsaw Chain

Once you’ve purchased your chainsaw chain, it’s important that you properly look after it to maintain its durability.

The best method to ensure it’s long-lasting and working efficiently is to clean it after each use:

  1. Wipe down: Wipe away any sawdust and dirt using a thick cloth, ensuring to protect your hands during the process.
  2. Apply oil: Next, you’ll need to add some oil to the chain. Doing so will help to reduce any friction while using the chainsaw and limit any wear and tear. Getting into a regular habit of oiling the chain can also prevent it from rusting.

Also, check that the chain is sharp before every use, as using a dull chain won’t cut efficiently through materials and will require more manual labor from you. Be sure to use the best chainsaw chain sharpener for your chain.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual when you purchase the chain—it’ll offer any specific cleaning tips and advice for your chain. Refer to the guide for specific information on signs your chain needs replacing and how to perform this safely.

Changing a Chainsaw Chain

Your operator’s manual will outline a step-by-step guide to changing the chain. But here are some general steps to safely and effectively replace the chain:

  1. Remove the guide bar side panel.
  2. Release the chain’s tension by backing the chain screw off.
  3. The old chain should remove easily once you’ve released the tension.
  4. Use a specialized cleaning cloth to remove any corrosion, debris, or residue on the guide bar.
  5. Install the new chain by following the operator’s manual.
  6. Adjust the chain’s tension to suit you and ensure it’s correctly fitted to your machinery.

Can You Use a Chainsaw on Wet Wood?

If you’re cutting wood outside, there’s a high chance the materials will be wet. Cutting through wet wood won’t dull the chain any faster than on dry wood. You needn’t have any concerns about your chainsaw’s efficiency, either, as a chain is already wet from the chain oil.

How Many Times Can a Chainsaw Chain Be Sharpened?

Once you’ve purchased your chain, it’ll require sharpening regularly. Typically, you can sharpen a chainsaw chain three to five times before you need to purchase a new one.

This amount depends on the hardness of the materials you cut, how regularly you use the chainsaw and if you follow maintenance precautions to keep the chain in tip-top condition.

Do Chainsaw Chains Stretch?

When you use your chainsaw, the chain will become loose. Normally, the chain will stretch and begin to droop from the chainsaw during operation. However, if you notice the chain becomes so loose that it becomes unsafe to use, you might need to replace it or switch to a different size.

Can You Put a Chainsaw Chain on Backward?

Although it’s not necessarily dangerous to put a chainsaw chain on backward, the chain won’t cut as well.

A chain will always rotate clockwise, no matter the brand or model. This is why the sharp edges on the blade should always face clockwise, and you should avoid putting the chain on backward.

The Winning Chainsaw Chain

It’s difficult to decipher which of the above options is the winning chain as the specifications are based on your chainsaw—the length and drive links shouldn’t be the only deciding factors.

Bear in mind the safety features on the chain, such as anti-vibrations and the kickbar. The tooth style also makes a difference in the chain’s strength and versatility.

Our top three choices for the best chainsaw chain are:

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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