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7 Best Chainsaw Chain In The Market Today

Your chainsaw comes with a chain. No matter how you take care of it, all things have an expiration date. As you use your chainsaw for woodwork, it gets dull, and it can also break.

At one point or another, you have to buy a new one. But what are the best chainsaw chains out there? Today, not only will I share the best chainsaws that I have used over the years, but I will also provide you with some tips on how to take care of them.

By the end of this tutorial, I hope I was able to impart knowledge to help you choose the best chainsaw. But first, what is a chainsaw chain and what is its role?

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Best Overall

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Oregon S56AdvanceCutChainsaw Chain 

FEATURES

  • Fitsseveralchainsaws
  • Available in different sizes
  • Automatic oiling

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Premium Pick

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Husqvarna 18-Inch 2-Bundle

FEATURES

  • Two chains in one pack
  • Fits 18-inch saws

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Budget Pick

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Salem Master 16-inch

FEATURES

  • Fits several Craftsman models
  • Smooth cut

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Style Pick

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KAKEI Chainsaw Chain 16-Inch

FEATURES

  • Can be equipped to different bar lengths
  • UL Approved and met ANSI standards

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The Cool One

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MoltenSales 14’’ Chainsaw Chain

FEATURES

  • Compatible with other chainsaws
  • Available in bundles

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Price

The Cool One

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Oilomatic Stihl

FEATURES

  • 3/8 pitch
  • 0.050 gauge

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Price

The Cool One

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Black & Decker RC800

FEATURES

  • Compatible with NPP2018 and CS818
  • Compact and lightweight

What is a chainsaw chain?


A chainsaw chain is the thing that cuts the wood. It is a component of the chainsaw that is made of steel links. They are held together with rivets, and they look like the chain that you see in bicycles and motorcycles.

The chain loops hold the cutting teeth. The chain is linked to the motor, and it rotates as the motor spins. It is the rotation that makes the teeth cut through wood. The chainsaw’s effectiveness relies on two things: the chain and its cutting power, and the power of the engine.

Faster engines can make cutting easier, but this power has to be within the capacity of the chain. These two parts of your chainsaw must complement each other. A poorly designed chain matched with a high-powered engine is going to break. On the other hand, a powerful chain will not cut at its best if the engine is slow.

Not all chains are made the same. First off, there are three different cutter types.

These are:

  • Full Chisel : they have square-cornered teeth; best for higher speeds and for cutting hardwoods. These are not best for smooth cutting. You use this chain if you are felling a tree, but this is not great for sculpture work.
  • Semi-Chisel : the cutters have rounded corners. You use these chains if you want to operate at lower speeds. They are great for softwoods, and they can also cut in tough environments. Chains like this can handle dirt and can also cut dry or wet wood.
  • Low-profile : the last kind is the most common type of chain that you can buy. You will find these almost anywhere. The teeth are rounded like the semi-chisel. This type of chain is best for its safety features as it avoids kickbacks. They are great for all kinds of woods.

Before you buy a chain, you have to know what you will use it for. Also, you need to check the manual of your chainsaw to see what chains are compatible with it.

The 7 Best Chainsaw Chains


Now, let us take a look at the best chainsaw chains that you can buy. Experiences and opinions may differ. As far as I am concerned, I am happy with the performance of these chains. These are different chains with different sizes and uses.

Oregon S56 Advance Cut Chainsaw Chain


This chain is ideal for those who do DIY. The chain is capable of handling tough jobs, and you can use it from yard work and for cutting wood from fallen trees. The cut is smooth, and it uses a semi-chisel chain. The chain complies with standards for kickback prevention.

This one has automatic oiling which can make the chain last longer. The rivets are also hardened, which provides for reduced occurrence of wear and tear.

Features:

  • Fits several chainsaws
  • Available in different sizes
  • Automatic oiling

Pros

  • Makes your chain stay sharper
  • Has an outer layer that gives it a harder surface

Cons

  • Does not fit Poulon chainsaw

Husqvarna 18-Inch 2-Bundle

I used this chain to cut firewood. It has an 18-inch bar that allowed me to replace my old one. It is also easy to sharpen the teeth. What I recommend to prevent premature wear is to soak it overnight in gear oil.

I can say that this chain will complete a lot of tasks before the teeth need filing. And even then, simple touchups will do.

Features:

  • Fits 18-inch saws
  • Two chains in one pack

Pros

  • 325-Inch pitch by .050-Inch gauge
  • Drive link is 72

Cons

  • Great only for Husqvarna chainsaws

Salem Master 16-inch

I used this chain to cut firewood. It has an 18-inch bar that allowed me to replace my old one. It is also easy to sharpen the teeth. What I recommend to prevent premature wear is to soak it overnight in gear oil.

I can say that this chain will complete a lot of tasks before the teeth need filing. And even then, simple touchups will do.

Features:

  • Fits several Craftsman models
  • Smooth cut

Pros

  • Stays sharp for a long time
  • Plated with industrial chrome

Cons

  • Can be too short for some chainsaws

KAKEI Chainsaw Chain 16-Inch

This chain fits Husqvarna, Craftsman, Sears, Echo, and many others. It has reliable quality, and the steel used is imported from Germany. The steel has anti-fracture technology. The cutter is chrome-played, which gives it a longer life and has the capacity to resist corrosion.

The chain also uses induction on the rivets, and this helps in delivering high-quality cuts. The rivets also have a load-bearing surface that significantly improves its strengths.

Features:

  • Can be equipped to different bar lengths
  • UL Approved and met ANSI standards

Pros

  • Semi-chisel teeth
  • Chrome-plated cutter
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • None

MoltenSales 14’’ Chainsaw Chain

When I used this, it was a perfect replacement for my Ryobi 40v chainsaw. The teeth are long, which means I had to sharpen them more often. But at this price, it is easier to replace the chain than send hours filing the teeth.

If you try other brands, you may find that they are too thick. This one is just right, and it does stick. As far as longevity is concerned, I have not done a lot of cutting with it so I cannot really say. However, I can attest that this a good buy and it does the job.

Features:

  • Compatible with other chainsaws
  • Available in bundles

Pros

  • Semi-chisel chain
  • High-quality OEM
  • Affordable

Cons

  • None

Oilomatic Stihl

This product can do the job in various circumstances. You can use it to cut oak, maple, hickory, dead trees, firewood, and many more. The chain cuts fast, and it really has sharp teeth. Keep it out of the dirt to make it last longer.

One thing you observe when you cut is that large chips come out, not sawdust. Overall, this is a chain that is great for heavy-duty use. It is a professional chain that is best used by experienced users. The kickback is low, and it is far better than the anti-kickback OEM that you can get in the market.

Features:

  • 3/8 pitch
  • 0.050 gauge

Pros

  • Fits 20-inch guide bars
  • 72 drive length

Cons

  • Does not fit Stihl 32

Black & Decker RC800

This saw works perfectly for a small and battery-operated saw. Particularly, it fits only Black & Decker models. If you are a sculpture artist or if you are using chainsaws for wood projects, this is great. However, I would not recommend it for heavy-duty use.

The chain does not have an oil system, so it is going to go bad if you store and ignore it. If you use this chain, make sure you set aside some time to oil it before putting it away.

All of these are chains that I have used before. I have used others, but I can say with my own experience that these are the best chains that give you value for your money. Before you make a purchase, read on as I have more important things to share with you.

Features:

  • Compatible with NPP2018 and CS818
  • Compact and lightweight

Pros

  • Fits perfectly with an 8-inch chainsaw
  • Has moderate cutting power

Cons

  • Can be too long and will come off the track

How do you maintain a chainsaw chain?


There are basic rules to maintain your chainsaw, which I will discuss with you in this section. These are proper oiling, correct tension, sharp cutters, and correct depth gauge height.

  • Proper oiling : Your chainsaw has a guide bar. The chain is designed to be consistently oiled. If you do not oil your chain, they will get dry, and the friction of the grinding and cutting will damage them in the long run. They will also overheat. If this happens, they will not work properly.
  • Correct tension : You do not want your chain to come flying off the chainsaw. You need to ensure that the chain is tight enough. A loose chain increases the risk of injuries, especially if you are not wearing protective gears.A loose chain also has a higher risk of kickback. If this happens, your face is likely the first to get hit. Tension the chain prior to each use, and tension it often even if you are only refuelling. This will ensure that it is tight enough on each run.
  • Sharp cutters : The last thing to do to maintain your chain is to ensure that it is set up with the correct gauge. The depth gauge is what controls the amount or thickness of the wood that gets cut as the cutter passes through it.A chainsaw usually comes with a depth gauge tool. If not, you have to buy one, so you can accurately measure the gauge before your cutting session.
  • Correct depth gauge height : Dull cutters can cause accidents. They are more likely to get stuck. As the engine turns, so will the chain. The chain works well because the cutter is sharp, and this prevents a kickback because the sharp cutters just pass through the wood. If it is dull, it will get stuck while the engine if forcing it to rotate. As such, you will have a kickback.

What should you look for in a chainsaw chain?

Before you buy, there are a few considerations that you have to make. This section will teach you what these considerations are, but you still have to consult your chainsaw manual for specific details.

  • Chainsaw Bar Length : The bar length of your chainsaw is your typical basis for the length of the chain you have to buy. So, for the best 18-inch chainsaws, you need 18-inch chains.While this is not a measurement of the full bar, it is the measurement of the tip. Chainsaws are also sold in even-number lengths. The most common lengths are between 16 ads 20 inches, but the range is between 10 and 42.
  • Drive Lugs : The motor is what powers your drive cog, and the cog is what transfers the power into motion. This power is transferred to the drive lugs of the chain. The lugs are also a clue to the length of the chain you have to buy. Turn off your saw and disconnect the spark plug, then get the chain to see the underside. Count the number of drive lugs, and you will be able to determine the chain length you need.

  • Calculating Pitch : This is another thing that you have to check before you buy a chain. The distance between the rivets of the chain is the calculating pitch. The rivets are the metals that hold the independent links together. Measure the rivets from the centre of one head of one to the centre of a third. Next, divide that by two to get the pitch. Chains are sold with this information, so buy chains that fit the calculating pitch of your current one.

Summary


There goes our list of the best chainsaw chains. As always, read the manual of your chainsaw to understand what chainsaws are compatible.


The last thing you want is to buy a chain that does not fit your saw. Once you are sure, head on to my recommendations and check the ones that fit your requirements.

As a last advice, always read the maintenance guide of the manufacturer. There are self-oiling chains that you do not need to oil, and there are those that you need to oil before you store them.

  • WRITER

Leslie

She is a writer and woodworking student currently residing in Los Angeles, although she's lived in several metropolitan cities around the world. She appreciates the cultural significance of woodworking across different countries and enjoys learning about how woodworking evolved in different places. She started learning from her father at a young age and has completed several large pieces for commission to date. Her goal at the moment is to introduce more people to the magic of woodworking through the written word and build a rocking chair that doesn't wobble.

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