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A chainsaw is only as strong as it’s chain. Plain and simple. When it comes down to replacing (or upgrading) your current chain, it’s essential to know what to keep an eye out for. It’s critical that your blade delivers when you need it most.
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In this article, we’re going to review a handful of chainsaw brands and present our top pick for the best chainsaw chains. Given that not everyone has the same size of chainsaw, we’ve kept this in mind and are going to present a few different options for each brand.
We’ll be explaining why each brand made our list, a little bit about the company’s history, as well as some of the main specifications per chain. If you’re on the hunt for a new chainsaw chain, you won’t want to miss this.
Review of the Best Chainsaw Chains by Brand
Now we’re going to move onto the product review section and jump into outlining the best chainsaw blades. We’re going to begin by discussing a few top brands and review what makes them stand apart from competitors, then dive into our top picks for a few different blades. Let’s get started.
Our Top Picks for Oregon Chainsaw Blades
Understanding there are a wide variety of chainsaw blades available, each dependent on the size of your chainsaw, we’ve picked some of the best Oregon blades. Below are a few different sizes, ranging from 10” to 18”. Since these blades share similar design qualities, below are the mutual pros and cons.
The bottom line with Oregon chainsaw blades is that they are extremely popular among shoppers looking to upgrade their current chain or replace a broken one. These blades are heated-treated and intended to be put to the test. Customers love their durability, performance, and reduced kickback design. Definitely a top brand.
About Oregon Chain Saw Chains
Since their inception in 1947, Oregon has be uncovering ways to lead the chainsaw manufacturing industry and ensure their products exceeding customer expectations. Over the years, Oregon has worked with numerous companies to enhance their products and advanced manufacturing systems.
In 1985, Omark, the parent company of Oregon at the time, was acquired by Blount, Inc. to strategically promote growth. Since then, the Oregon brand has continued to expand into more than 100 countries and offer their products and services to millions of people.
Our Top Picks for STIHL Chainsaw Blades
If you’re leaning more toward a STIHL blade, keep these only fit Stihl Chainsaw Models 024, 026, 028, 034, 036, MS241, MS260, MS261, MS270, MS271, MS290, MS291. Additionally, here are some shared pros and cons among our two top picks.
When it comes down to it, STIHL manufactures strong blades that can hold up under pressure and do not stretch after extended use. Additionally, their affordable cost will not break your bank account.
About STIHL Chainsaw Chains
Considered by some as one of the founding fathers of the first sawing machines, Andreas Stihl was born in 1896 and founded his company in 1926. The first product, a gas powered chain saw, released a few years later and changed the way people transitioned from hand-powered tools, toward more efficient models.
Since then, STIHL has been maintaining their family-owned core values and striving to deliver cutting-edge products to customers. Not only are civilians utilizing STIHL’s technology, a majority of first-responders and commercially operated businesses use these products on a day-to-day basis.
Some of STIHL’s most recognized advancements include receiving the 2010 Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics and introducing the world’s first battery-powered cut-off machine (aka the jaws of life).
Our Top Picks for Husqvarna Chainsaw Chains
We’ve picked a handful of top blades and encourage you to choose based off your chainsaw bar length. To help outline these chains better, let’s go over some of the main pros and cons according to recent buyers.
H30 (Narrow Kerf) Pixel
H30 (Narrow Kerf) Pixel
Overall, the bottom line with Husqvarna blades are that they are easy to install and competitively priced, making them a well-rounded pick for a new chainsaw blade. Their design helps to reduce kickback while in use, but you may find yourself sharpening the chain more often than with other models.
About Husqvarna Chainsaw Chains
Husqvarna dates back to over 325 years, offering their expertise in a number of field and manufacturing everything from sewing machines to bicycles.
Once modern chainsaws became popular, Husqvarna saw an opportunity and seized it. Production for chainsaws began in 1959 and they quickly began setting the standard and spearheading new advancements.
Just ten years after the release of their first chainsaw, Husqvarna released the world’s first model that incorporated anti-vibration features. Over the years, the company has maintained their position in the chainsaw market and ensured engineers have one goal in mind: solving real-world problems customers encounter.
Types of Chainsaw Chains
There are a variety of blades that each pack their own punch. Below are a few different types of chainsaw chains.
As one of the earlier designs of chainsaw blades, scratcher blades are similar to hand saws and purely ‘got the job done’ when nothing else could. Since their time, innovations have allowed us to upgrade and stray away from their inefficient cutting style. These were slow and very hard to sharpen.
Following scratcher teeth, chipper teeth set the bar high when they were first released. They allowed people to cut with ease as their deep gauge construction helped to prevent overloading; these were often used for large jobs.
Full Chisel and Semi-chisel
Mentioned above, full chisel and semi-chisel saws are typically used in what we see today in modern chainsaws. They each grant their own perks, so identifying which is best for you is essential. The biggest difference between the two is how they perform, given the type of wood. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is full chisel is best for softwood, while semi-chisel if great for hard, or frosty wood.
Low-profile chains are known for their ease of use and ability to be safely operated. A majority of consumer saws come equipped with low-profile chains and are a great against knitty-gritty jobs. However, they do require a little more care and sharpening.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying a New Chainsaw Chain
While shopping for a new chainsaw blade, there are a few things to keep in mind. If this is your first time buying a blade that didn’t come with your saw, keeping an eye out for these aspects may help alleviate any future headaches.
As briefly mentioned, if you overlook the size of your chainsaw and accidentally buy the wrong chain, not only will this delay future use, but it will also be annoying. To combat this, be sure to identify what size your saw requires so you can match it properly. Never buy on a whim or hope.
Type of Teeth
As we know, not all chainsaws are alike. The same is to be said about chainsaw blades. Another critical consideration when shopping is the type of teeth on the blade. The main types to keep an eye are for are full chisel and semi chisel.
If a majority of your work is done on soft wood, then full chisel is your go-to. On the other hand, if a lot of the wood you’re cutting is hard, dirty, or dry wood, then you should seek out a semi chisel
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. So, when buying a new chainsaw blade, keep in mind the lifetime of a chain. Overtime, normal wear and tear will occur to your chain - which very well may be why you’re in need of a new blade now. Once the top of the head is too short on the teeth, it’s time to refer back to this article and get a new blade.
When it comes down to it, picking out the perfect blade for your chainsaw is a critical part to all future projects. Taking the size of your chainsaw into consideration when shopping, we hope you set your sights on an Oregon blade, as they’re our top pick for performance, durability, and sharpness.
We hope this review has helped outline some of your questions regarding blades and lead you on the right path toward your next project. If something particular stood out to you within this review, be sure to drop a comment below and let us know. We love hearing from readers and look forward to seeing which brand you decided on.