How to choose a chain

The market has a wide range of electric saws, and each has its own characteristics. Therefore, and the chain for them should be special. It is worth considering the TOP 11 manufacturers of chains for electric saws. The user must pay attention to its length, tension level and other characteristics. Some tool manufacturers also specialize in selling saw accessories and chains. But not all companies go that far. As a rule these are famous brands that have been on the market for a long time. That’s why it’s important to understand how to choose the right chainsaw chain.

Gasoline-powered saws are used for longitudinal and cross cutting of tree trunks, as well as finished lumber. However, in order to correctly install a chain of the right size on a chainsaw, it is necessary to know its design, which was invented in 1947 by Joseph Cox and has not changed significantly since then. At businesses, workers should learn safety rules when sawing lumber with professional tools. After passing the introductory briefing, an admission to work is put. Choosing the right chain increases chainsaw performance. A saw chain consists of three kinds of links:

All links are made of high-alloy steel and are connected by rivets. In good quality chains the cutting elements are made of tungsten carbide or other hard alloys. They can cut various types of wood, concrete, thin metal, and other materials. Chisels are available in right-hand and left-hand configuration and are arranged in a chain in turn. They have a cutting edge and a limiter that controls the depth of cut.

The purpose of the drive links, which are called shanks, is to transmit the rotational motion from the saw engine to the chain via the drive sprocket. This ensures its stable position on the detachable bar. It is designed with a linkage to securely connect the cutters and shanks.

Selection Criteria

Quality of budget and brand chains varies greatly. Many owners of cheap household chainsaws prefer to operate their equipment with the more advanced saw headsets of the leading brands STIHL, Husqvarna, and Oregon. Unofficial rating recorded an increase in consumer demand for similar products of brands Hammer and PowerSharp.

Standard bar length for a 2-2,5 l domestic power saw.с. is 40-45 cm. The size of high-performance counterparts of the professional class is up to 70 cm.

The higher price level of brand-name bars and chains is compensated by the high quality of demanding sawing jobs, increased service life, stable performance throughout the manufacturer’s specified service life.

Chain maintenance

A good chain must not only be bought right, it must also be serviced properly. It is recommended to soak the chain in oil for several hours before first use. Check chain tightness at regular intervals and adjust if necessary. The chain must be kept clean to extend the life of the machine. The chain needs to be sharpened in time. Always keep oil in the oil tank.

Machine for sharpening chainsaw chains: types and technical characteristics of chainsaw machines, what is based on their principle of operation, manual and automatic tools. read in the publication.

Sawsaw chain pitch

The saw unit that you buy must comply with criteria such as the length of the guide bar to be used, as well as the construction characteristics of the guide bar. The main parameter to consider when selecting a chainring for your saw is the pitch measured in inches.

Pitch is the intermediate distance between three rivets that are placed next to each other. As a rule, chains with a pitch of 3/8₺ (9.53 mm) or 0.325₺ (8.25 mm) are purchased for the cutting set of garden equipment belonging to the household class, which have a smooth stroke and are safe when carrying out wood sawing work.

For expensive professional grade gasoline-powered saws with high levels of power, as well as productivity, as a rule, varieties of chains with a pitch of 0.404 inch are purchased. It is worth noting that such equipment for the work of domestic models of gasoline saws is practically not used because of their relatively low power, if compared to devices of professional level.

Chains of different pitch comparative table:

Chain pitch (measured in inches) What machines are best suited for (special applications)
0.325 Can be used on home-use chain saws with less than 3 liters horsepower.с.
0.375 Suitable for domestic appliances, with a power level in the 4L range.с.
0.404 Used in professional-grade machines. This pitch is best for saws with a power rating of at least 5 liters.с.
0.75 this size is very rare. As a rule, it is used on high-powered saws, which are used on large farms or enterprises.
  • High performance (achieved through a wide kerf);
  • Suitable for more demanding tasks, e.g. felling or sawing large trees.

The advantages of tooling with a small pitch:

Shank parameters

An equally important factor in the correct choice of saw chain is the thickness of its shank, which ranges from 1.1 to 2 mm. Shanks are available in sizes 0.043/ 0.04/ 0.058/ 0.053 and 0.08 inches respectively.

Optional: Poulan 2150 chain saw ignition adjustment

Chains with minimal thickness are used in lightweight, low-cube budget models. In domestic and semi-professional chainsaws, chainsaws with a thickness between 1.3 and 1.6 mm are the most suitable and resistant to permanent and variable loads. Professional chainsaws are equipped with reinforced chains with 2 mm shanks.

When selecting a chain for a chainsaw, you need to pay attention to several important characteristics:

On our website you can also find the right chainsaw for your model via the chainsaw guide.

Number of chain links. Determined by internal chain teeth.

The pitch of the chain is the distance between three rivets in a row divided by two.

choose, right, chainsaw, chain

Chainsaw chain sharpening by hand

Of all the ways you can sharpen chain saw teeth to their original sharpness, the easiest way is to file the chain. First, however, it is necessary to make preparations:

  • Take the chain off the saw.
  • Clean off oil, cuttings, and other debris.
  • Use a dry rag and go over the chain to remove any small debris.
  • Select suitable files (fine and coarse).
  • Start the sharpening process.

Particular attention should be given to cleaning oil and other impurities from the chain which must be done very carefully. This is necessary not only because it is a precaution against transferring dirt to your hands and clothing. A well-cleaned chain will give you a better view of the chain and its links.

Situations where chips can get stuck between or in the teeth are common. And this is one of the reasons for the poor performance of the tool.

Features of sharpening

Taking into account the fact that the basis of the tooth forms two separate elements, the process of sharpening each of them will be performed differently. The cutting edge at the top provides a tapered single-sided sharpening.

It is important to keep the optimum angle of sharpening, which should be between 15 and 30 degrees. over, it is desirable to keep a minimum angle of sharpening, because it will make it easier for the saw to get into the wood.

It should be taken into account that as the angle decreases and the metal becomes thinner, and this will accelerate the process of blunting the steel. When selecting the angle of sharpening, it is also necessary to take into account the type of wood to be sawed.

  • When working with hard wood, such as oak or larch, it is necessary to keep the angle of sharpening at 30 degrees.
  • When working with soft species, such as pine, fir, and many types of garden trees, an optimal sharpening angle of 20 degrees is considered.
  • If the tool will be used to cut not very thick branches of fruit trees, then an angle of sharpening of 15 degrees will be sufficient.

The second tooth, which is the guide, is usually sharpened on both sides. Here it is possible not to accentuate the maintenance of the angle of inclination of the cutting edge. It must be remembered that it must not be too small or too large. It is best to stick to the average value of 30 degrees.

Among the elite models of the tool there are some that have a chain with teeth equipped with a reinforced blade. It is possible to understand whether the chainsaw has such an amplifier by its appearance.

Usually you can see a special cutting edge fixed on the edge of the tooth, which has a completely different color and texture. Having identified this element, you can refuse to sharpen the tool chain.

This would be correct, considering that such amplifiers contain heavy-duty alloys that cannot be sharpened by hand. If the chain has lost its sharpness, the only solution is to buy a new.

The process of sharpening a chainsaw chain with a file

To sharpen the chain with a file, proceed as follows:

  • prepare a suitable size of file (small and large);
  • place the chain in a vice and fix it in it, the vice can be replaced by a clamp;
  • Proceed to the sharpening of the upper cutting edge;
  • the operation itself should be carried out in the direction from the body of the tooth to the tip;
  • proceed to sharpen the guide edge;
  • move the sharpening tool from the body of the tooth to the tip, moving it sideways from time to time.

While sharpening, the direction of the file should be followed, as not doing so will cause the chain to become even duller. And this rule works regardless of whether a manual or automatic device is used for sharpening.

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Chainsaw chain manufacturers and quality.

In addition to all design features there are a huge number of firms producing chains for chainsaws. It’s a good idea to understand them, too. For starters, you can divide them into three main categories:

    genuine original chainsaw chain.

choose, right, chainsaw, chain

STIHL, Husqvarna and Oregon are the most popular of the premium manufacturers, and are all of good quality. It is achieved by the use of high quality raw materials in the production and compliance with high precision in the dimensions and shape of the design. Such chains are more expensive than other options. The German company STIHL is the undisputed leader in this segment. They are the chainsaw chains with the widest range and most advanced developments in cutting performance.

Kalibr, Zubr, Forward, Champion, Champion, Rezer, Sturm, Patriot, etc.д. Is anything in between in terms of quality and price. Not particularly suitable for professional use, but for active domestic use it is not a bad option. These chains are riveted at the factory or on professional specialized equipment. Of all the firms with good quality and a wide range of brands can be distinguished Champion and Rezer.

or so called “noenames”. As a rule, the Chinese production with uncomplicated names like Saw Chain, Haoyu or even without it. With these options, you need to be extremely careful and carefully inspect the chain for metal quality and connections. Often these chains are sold in complete coils, which are purchased by the store. Then he rivets on the correct size, which is not always of high quality, and resells.

Good metal will have a nice shiny color that will not rub off when deformed. The bad metal has grayish, non-transparent shade or shiny plaster. If possible, the coating can be lightly sanded down with a file to test for durability.

Peculiarities of using of carbide tipped chains

All owners of gasoline-powered machines know that it is very difficult and time-consuming to work with:

  • Frozen wood (ice crystals make the fibers very hard).
  • Contaminated trees. stumps and trunks (particles of soil and sand act on the chain as an abrasive against which ordinary steel is powerless).
  • Hard inclusions in solid wood (these can be nails and screws hidden in the thickness of old boards).

Wobedite hardfacing on the cutting links makes it possible to cut through these materials successfully and with virtually no loss of speed or motor overload. Due to its hardness the teeth of the blade can easily penetrate and cut through hard material. Because of their properties, carbide chains are used in addition to saws in chainsaws that serve to cut materials such as stone and concrete.

Studded teeth don’t need to be sharpened as often because of their high cutting performance. If a usual chain can blunt after two or three tanks of gasoline, the carbide chain lasts for five or six times longer. However, there is the other side of the coin: in case of blunting, the cutting plates cannot be sharpened with an ordinary file. This is done either with a diamond emery board or a special wheel on a sharpening machine. By the way, a diamond disc is not cheap.

Due to inconvenience of sharpening, pobedite chain is not so widespread. The user pays attention to the cost factor. Besides, it should be remembered that a hard-faced chain, despite its strength, is not designed for sawing nails and self-tapping screws in solid wood. Although it will help to overcome more old hardware, sooner or later it will blunt, and the problematic sharpening has already been mentioned above.

A chain with a tipped carbide tip is the right choice if you often use the chain saw for specific applications such as cutting frozen wood or felling hardwood trees. A special tool is required for active use: a diamond emery board or appropriate machine tool sharpening wheel.

Carbide chains

Pobedite is a very hard alloy, superior in strength to glass. That’s why it is used for making household glass cutters, various cutting tools for plumbing and lathe work, and also for chainsaw chains. Pobedite is soldered onto the cutting links where it acts as a solid cutting edge. But despite its hardness, this alloy is brittle.

Service life of tipped chains with pobedite considerably exceeds service life of standard cutting elements. Carbide chains are used for cutting through frozen and hard wood as well as in emergency situations where reinforced concrete or regular concrete needs to be cut quickly.

The disadvantages of carbide chains are their high cost, exceeding the price of conventional cutting elements by several times.

Chains for chainsaws with tips of carbide in amateur practice are used very rarely, because they are designed for semi-professional and professional tools, which have good power and high torque.

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