Chainsaw Chain Buying Guide


Shopping for an upgrade chainsaw chain can be confusing, especially if you are a new one in the world of chainsaws. You need to learn sort of basic terminologies relating to the chainsaw chains before you penetrate any relating information all about your device you own through technical forums around the internet or ask for the advice of a professional. It is necessary to find out all about layman’s terms relating to your device, so you can get second-hand relief to find better replacement chain. Through this review, we come with the sort of information you need for a new and better replacement blade. We’ve asked four chainsaw owners, then we reassure their advice by comparing and doing small research over the internet. Finally, this is what we can depict to what actually people need for a chainsaw chain.

You will see there are numerous sorts of chains you can buy in the market. Narrow down your options that fit your needs by determining several aspects below:

Understanding Cutter Teeth

Among of all basic things to the chainsaw chain, they divided into types of teeth. The difference of the chain’s tooth defines a particular meaning close related to what the chain can cut particular tasks, how it sharpens, and how it performs and stay sharp longer after several cuttings. You might be little confused with the basic terms such as chisel chains, chipper chains and so on, but a little study will help.

Cutter Tooth Shapes

Chainsaw Chain Buying Guide

From the image shown, the number 3 (square tooth, square grinding) also popular as a full-chisel cutter tooth. Number 2 (square tooth, round grind) is popular as semi-chisel cutter tooth. Number 1 is popular as “chipper” cutter tooth. Each of the cutter tooth model highlights particular superiorities and weaknesses depending the factors you sharpen the chain, the work you do and the saw you run.

Number#3: A full-chisel is the fastest cutting from the rest. Its square grinding shape of tooth delivers every effective cutting. Domestic users often use this type of chain to cut limb and firewood. Only the downside, this kind of chain needs special treatment, particularly on the sharpening. It uses special file sharpener or special square grinder. The mode is not a chain easy to maintenance for average users. It is easy to get dull without proper maintenance and uses.

Number#2: A semi-chisel has a rounded corner. It is also popular among users. It cut faster than a full-rounded cutter tooth. Semi-chisel cutter tooth is performing very well to cut many types of woods with clean and great cutting result. The semi-chisel chainsaw chain sharpened using round file.

Number#1: The slower model to cut, but easy to sharpen using round file sharpener and once it sharpens it stay sharp longer than the rest of two. The model of cutter tooth is perfect for cutting in dirty conditions. Usually, people tend to use it to for cedar felling trees.

Tooth Arrangements

By looking at the tooth arrangement in the chainsaw chain, you can select among one of the three models: standard, semi-skip chain, and full-skip chain.

Chainsaw tooth arrangement

Standard sequence is what we usually call as full house chain or full compliment chain. This model is best on the cutting jobs that require short cuts. Then it is why many professionals prefer to install on short to medium length bar. Semi-skip comprises of a standard sequence in half and full skip sequence in addition. The semi-skip is somewhat less popular in the market, but it performs well to cut when paired with a long bar. Full-skip is the most popular and best selling model anywhere. It provides best-in-class long cuts and takes less time to sharpen.

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Before buying a new chain for an upgrade or replacement, it is important to know the number of drive links on your existing chain. The drive link quantity tells you the right saw length that fit onto the bar. Also, consider the thickness of the drive links (gauge), so it doesn’t loosen up or too short. You can see the information in the label on your device. However, if you miss the information you can count manually the number of the drive links.

Chainsaw drive links

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Choosing a New Chainsaw Chain

If you are ready to hunt a replacement chain for an upgrade, make sure to see first from the most popular brands like Stihl, Oregon, and Husqvarna. They have proven for sharpness quality and durability. Don’t be tricked with the low-cost item as they are commonly made by soft material and easy to blunt after several uses. Only do what professionals do, and look to our reviews on the best chainsaw chain available in the market today.

In spite of that all, you should not be hurried to find a new replacement chain. You need to reassure your chain is going worn. You need to buy a new replacement chains only after your chain getting to overheat fast, can’t cut as fast as usual, or it is totally useless. Other than, if you see that you chainsaw only produce dust, not the chips, you try to sharpen it first. The best alternative for sharpening chainsaw chain is using electric chainsaw sharpener.

For a quick shopping reference on a new chainsaw chain that fit your device, you can ascertain the following aspects:

  • Know the make (i.e. Black & Decker)
  • Know the model (i.e. CS30)
  • Know the bar length (i.e. 10-Inches/25-centimeter)

Once you have determined these 3 aspects, there are some features you need to know including a distance between drive links (pitch) and the drive links thickness as described above. Pitch size determined by measuring the distance between any three consecutive drive links and dividing by 2. In example: 3/4-inches divided by 2= 3/8-inches. The pitch also expressed as decimal 0.404”. See the image below for more detail. See image below to have a detailed picture of the pitch size and the gauge size.

what is chainsaw pitch

Chain Pitch

What is chain saw gauge?

Chain Gauge

For a quick guide to recognizing the saw blade,  you can also seize the selector guide provided by your chainsaw manufacturer. In instance for Stihl chainsaw, you can visit STIHL Guide Bar & Saw Chain Selector through this link. For Oregon saw replacement you can seize Selector Guide for all Oregon Chains, Bars and Sprockets via this link.