Chains for chain saws
The chain is an important attribute of any gasoline or electric chainsaw. The efficiency of the tool, as well as the amount of fuel it consumes depends on the serviceability and condition of this part. It is often hard for a beginner to know which chainsaw chain is best. In this case, you will need to learn the basic features of the saw headset, as well as the rules of its installation and maintenance.
The market today is crowded with many different kinds of saw elements. They are divided by their characteristics and fall into several categories.
According to the type of sawing direction distinguish these types of parts:
- transverse. the saw chain of this type has the effect of smoothing vibration and reducing the load on the engine of the tool. This makes it easier and more convenient to use the saw;
- Longitudinal. parts of this type are distinguished by high performance.
Another important characteristic is the pitch of a chainsaw chain.
According to this factor, the sawing headsets are divided into such types:
- 0,25 or 1/4″. these parts are used in single-handed household saws;
- 0,325 or 3/8″. elements with this step more often completed semi-professional tools;
- 0,404 or 3/4″. these parts are suitable for use in concrete or aerated concrete.
As a rule, the pitch directly affects the performance of the set.
The third characteristic is the thickness of the shanks. To install the element, it is necessary that this parameter coincide with the size of slots in the rail of the tool. Thus, the shank will be firmly fixed on the rail, and the risk of its accidental slipping will be minimized.
The following types of parts are on sale:
- chains, the shank thickness of which is equal to 1.1 mm. these parts are used to work with household tools;
- elements with shank thickness of 1.3 mm. this type ofset is used to equip semi-professional chainsaws;
- products with shank thickness of 1.5 mm. used for regular equipment of small but powerful household tools;
- parts with shank thicknesses from 1.6 to 2 mm. this headset is only mounted on powerful industrial saws.
Many experts also divide the working organs by the possibility of installing them on chainsaws with self-sharpening function. Based on this property, you can also find on the market self-sharpening headsets or a chain that needs to be sharpened manually.
How to choose the right chain?
The chain as well as the motor is a functional part, so it often has to be repaired, sharpened or completely replaced if you use it a lot. Old, worn chain is better to replace completely, and for this you need to know some rules of choice:
- When replacing any part (sprocket, bar or chain) it is necessary to remember about the compatibility of elements of electric saws, that is to buy parts only of the manufacturer: for example, a Makita electric saw requires a chain made by Makita.
- Choose the right chain according to your goals. If you need more power, it is better to buy a product with a pitch of 3/8 inch, at low loads 0.325 inch is enough. The volume of the cylinder is not important in this case.
- Pay attention to the angle of sharpening. this will come in handy for future maintenance, repair or restoration. Choose 30-degree angle for better performance. it’s easier to handle heavier loads. But in demanding woodworking (if it’s wet or frozen) it’s better to stick with 10º.
- The chain length must always correspond to the size of the bar. In the process of work it can stretch, sag, but the issue is resolved by simply removing 1-2 links.
Of course the manner and material of the cut must be taken into account. For example, for a longitudinal cut, it’s best to choose a chain with a small sharpening angle. Productivity will be less, but service life will be noticeably longer.
One measure of chain selection is pitch, which is usually measured in inches. This is the spacing between the rivets, divided by two. Now there is a unified system of designation and generally accepted standards. 3/8, 0.325 and 0.404 inch
Leaders in consumer demand
Due to a natural selection process the products of the leading European and Asian manufacturers of chainsaw equipment were at the top of the sales rankings. Top demand for STIHL, Husqvarna, Makita and other brands.
In all respects, the Oregon bar has proven to be an excellent choice, which in different modifications completes the cutting equipment of medium- and high-priced saws.
Cutting depth. features
Depth of cut or kerf depends on chain tooth height. Thus, as the height of the tooth increases, the depth of cut increases and the cutting speed increases accordingly. But the strength properties of the material decrease at the same time.
Chain length is fixed in the product data sheet and depends directly on the power and size of the chainsaw. The number of cutting teeth depends on the pitch of the links and the chain length, i.e. these values are selected in combination. Household saws do not have a long chain length.
Sequence of chain cutting links
If you look at any standard saw chain, you will always have two tails per cutting link (two driving links). This is the standard and all chainsaw chainring producers follow it. However, there are chains on the market with fewer cutting links, these are so-called half-skip and skip chains. In the first case, an extra connecting link is inserted in every other pair of cutting teeth. In the second case, there is already an extra link between each cutting tooth. The bottom line is that a standard 64-tooth chain should have 32 cutting teeth, which is 50%. But in case of half skip we have already 40% of teeth, and with skip. 37.5%. Who needs chains like this? In a chain only cutting teeth are valuable, they are made by special technology, have a spraying and they are much more expensive than connecting links. If we can not make the chain shorter, we can cut the chain cheaper by skipping cutting elements.
As a result it is possible to sell it cheaper and at the same time to earn from it. But such chain has only negative effect, it makes the saw more aggressive, reduces its performance and even increases the wear and tear of the chainsaw, and the chainsaw itself. It is not recommended to buy such chain, its cheapness does not justify further repairs and performance at all. Besides, such chains are not made by any factory, everything is made at home from the factory chains (in the best case), so it is clear that the quality of assembly and durability of the chain itself is reduced by several times. And buying a chain on the market we should carefully examine the chainring sequence in order not to spoil our new machine by such a popular method.
Which one is better
With the parameters figured out, now let’s see what chain for a chainsaw is better and why. This question is relevant, t.к. Everyone wants to use only the best, but by what criteria can we determine which chain is better and which is worse? Better means faster, or better means safer?
All kinds have advantages and disadvantages. For example, a chisel chain with a 1.5 mm fit size and 0.404 inch pitch, is the most dangerous. It has a high kickback, it is hard to control, but at the same time, it has the best cutting speed and performance.
we think that it is the customer, based on his experience, who decides which chainsaw chain is better and which is worse. We can only tell you the facts.
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This characteristic depends on the power and size of the chainsaw itself. It can also be listed on the tool data sheet.
Another question is the number of links, that is, the number of cutting teeth at this distance. This parameter depends on the pitch of the link. When it comes to household tools, as a rule, people try to reduce their size, that’s why chain saws with short chains are often chosen.
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A separate type of chainsaws are carbide chains, special purpose. This includes chains for cutting concrete, aerated concrete, or rescue work. The design of the tooth in such a set includes a bit of biting, which allows you to cut concrete, thin metal, rebar, glass.
Such chains are very expensive. It is not reasonable for an average user to buy them.
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Figure out what size chain you need without stampings on the bar. Chainsaw Chains 101
What is the difference between chainsaw and electric saw: overview of features
Almost everything depends on the parameters of the tool. Therefore, before you buy a particular model, it is worth getting acquainted with its characteristics.
cost price of the work. Sawing firewood is the saw’s main application. The cost of sawing 1 cubic meter of wood with an electric and a chain saw is approximately the same. When it comes to tool prices, electric saws are cheaper than gasoline-powered models. The cost difference is not caused by the service life or quality and reliability problems. Not because of quality and reliability problems, but because of design features and of consumables.
Special features. The chainsaw is powered by an internal combustion engine. It is fed by a mixture of gasoline and motor oil. A starter is needed to start the engine. After starting, the motor runs at idle speed, and the chain does not move until the operator presses the “start” button.
The heart of the electric chainsaw is the electric motor powered by batteries or 220 V. All you have to do to start it is plug it in and press the start button.
Power. The chainsaw engine has a maximum power output of 3 kW. This does not exceed 2.8 kW for electric models. The electric saw is not well adapted for continuous work: it needs a 15-minute break after every 30 minutes of operation. Gasoline-powered machines don’t need a break. It can run until it runs out of fuel or chain oil.
Are chainsaws different from electric chainsaws?? Electric and gasoline-powered tools have different bar lengths and number of teeth in the chain. Power saw guide bar length 35-40 cm. For gasoline-powered models the bar length is up to 45-50 cm. This is usually the length of the bar on heavy-duty commercial saws designed for logging work.
The chain of any saw becomes slack over time, so it must be tightened. This is done manually with a wrench or automatically with a special tightening mechanism.
Getting ready to work. Getting your electric chain saw ready for work is easy: install the headset, pour in oil for chain lubrication, plug in the cable (relevant for corded models). That’s it. the tool is ready to go. That’s why newcomers like it so much.
With a chainsaw everything is a bit more complicated: it needs a fuel mixture and periodic refueling. A starter motor and some experience in chain saw use. In addition, most chainsaws have manual headset adjustment (with special keys). That’s why this tool is often chosen by experienced felling contractors or wood-felling contractors.
Maintaining. Maintaining an electric chainsaw is easy. just oil it in time and keep an eye on the chain tension. It is easy to store it. just put it in a dry room. And this room can be not only a garage, but also an apartment in the city.
A chainsaw is more difficult to maintain. It should be carefully prepared for the first start, check the condition of the oil and air filters and periodically change the spark plugs. A chain saw smells strongly of gasoline, so it should only be stored in a utility room.
Safety. Regardless of its power source, the chainsaw is a potentially dangerous tool. To avoid injury, the following safety precautions must be followed. Some models also have their own safety systems. For example. chain brake and backhammer protection.
Features of usage. Chainsaws are quite heavy, but well-balanced. Electric saws are lighter, but their center of gravity is shifted forward. This does not apply to all power tools, just the transverse-motor models. They are optimized for top-down cutting. Longitudinally powered models have no balance problem: they are just as handy as petrol-powered tools.
Effects of vibration. Electric and chain saws are equally prone to vibration. To reduce it, anti-vibration pads located on the body and handle of the tool are used.
Which tool to choose?
You should buy an electric saw in the following cases:
- You are a beginner and have not dealt with such a tool,
- you are building something or maintaining your home garden,
- your object is connected to the 220 V mains and you have a powerful extension cord,
- You do not use the tool for more than 30 minutes at a time.
A chainsaw will be an excellent choice in the following cases:
Chainsaw chain: proper tensioning, sharpening time and rules for selecting it
Chain tensioning on a chainsaw has several steps.
First remove the sprocket cover with a wrench.
Next, starting at the top of the bar, you need to put the chain on the bar. WARNING! when installing the bar and the chain, wear safety gloves to prevent injuries, because the chain teeth are very sharp. Make sure you fit the chain in the correct direction, i.e., with the cutting tooth on top of the bar pointing forward.
Then turn the bar upside down so that it lies completely on the chain.
Put the bar and chain on the sprocket and cover the motor block. You can tighten the bolts by hand in order to fix the bar and to adjust the chain tension.
When the chain is loose, it is slack. Turn the clamping screw until the chain hangs back just a little. Then raise the bar and turn it a little more. In doing so, the guide bar should be in the groove of the guide bar. Then you need to use the spanner to fix the cover firmly onto the chain saw body.
Again check carefully that the chain is not slack and that it is in the guide bar groove.
To check if the chain is under too much tension, you have to release the handbrake and pull the chain a little in the direction of movement. If the chain won’t move, you need to unscrew the nuts slightly. If everything is in order then activate the chain brake. chain saw is ready for work.
And so the chain is installed on the chain saw. A few words should be said about when to sharpen the chain. The most important rule is to keep an eye on the chips: if they are very fine or even in the form of wood dust, it is a sure sign that it is time to pay attention to the condition of the chain. It is not recommended to work with a blunt chain, because in this way the tool is more loaded, and the work will go slower, and the operator will feel more vibration and thus discomfort.
In order to choose a chain for a chainsaw, it is necessary to check the data in the passport of the tool itself, i.e. what length of the bar is recommended for this model of chainsaw, as well as the main characteristics of the chain. As a rule, the bar itself also indicates the basic characteristics of a suitable chain. tooth pitch and number of links (Important! The number of chain links in a chainsaw should be counted on the inside, not on the outside).
A little tip: if you use a chain saw infrequently and are not sure about the manual or data sheet, we recommend using a water-resistant marker on the chain saw to write the bar length, tooth pitch and the number of chain links directly on the chain housing.
If you change tires on one and the same chainsaw, that is, you use a longer or shorter tire, be sure to change the chain. The chain must match the length of the tire. That’s a must