A decent quality chainsaw is a must-have in any home improvement project. A chainsaw is a heavy-duty tool that effectively helps you clear branches, stumps as well as trees that may be standing in the way of a perfect backyard.
Unfortunately, it is not all tools associated with chainsaws are good quality, and that can affect your efficiency, and more importantly, safety. A chainsaw chain should be sturdy and strong to perform the job like a professional.
The primary purpose of having a chainsaw is to effectively perform such tasks as cutting down small trees and branches effortlessly. It is a machine, and the main goal is to make your work easier. Nothing less!
The best chainsaw chain is, therefore, a critical component of your chainsaw. But how do you choose a decent quality chainsaw chain? We are going to provide a few suggestions which we came about through careful selection based on such features like durability, brand, and of course, quality.
A Quick Comparison of Our Best Selection:
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Best Selection:
- Best Chainsaw Chains 2021 – Reviews
- 1. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain – Editor’s Choice 2021
- 2. Husqvarna 531300439 18″ Chainsaw Chain – Premium Pick
- 3. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain – 2nd Choice
- 4. Trilink CL15062X2TL2 18″ Chainsaw Chain – Best Value
- 5. Oregon R34 8Inch Micro Lite Pole Saw Chain
- 6. STIHL 26RS 81 Rapid Super Saw Chain
- 7. Husqvarna H47 5018426-84 24″ Professional Chain
- 8. Oregon D72 AdvanceCut 20” Chainsaw Chain
- 9. Husqvarna 531300441 20″ Chainsaw Chain
- 10. Oregon L68 ControlCut Low Vibration Chain
- 11. BLACK+DECKER RC800 8″ Chainsaw Replacement Chain
- 12. Oregon S62 2 Pack Chain
- Things to Consider While Buying
- Types of chain’s
- How to replace a chain on a chainsaw?
- Expert Tip
- Final Verdict
Best Chainsaw Chains 2021 – Reviews
1. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain – Editor’s Choice 2021
Experience matters. When it comes to the chainsaw industry, the name Oregon shines brightly. Similarly, the Oregon S56 can shine a new light on your chainsaw, providing the efficiency and performance you desire.
The intelligent design of this product lets you operate the chainsaw for longer hours. The fatigue-inducing vibration is virtually non-existent because of a slightly higher distance between the guide bar and chain.
Furthermore, Oregon’s signature LubriTec oiling mechanism is a godsend. It allows the chain to receive proper lubrication. As a result, you can slice and dice smoothly without having to pause every now and then.
Another feature that makes this chain different is chrome-coated-cutters. Due to the top-tier chrome-layer, this chain offers excellent durability and resistance to damage.
The rivets of this product are air-tight. Closely interlocked rivets make any herculean task seem like a cakewalk. Minutes will turn to hours and hours to year; however, this chain will still retain its power because of this feature.
So, if you’re looking for a pro-tier replacement chain for your saw, this product is a blind-buy.
What makes this the Best 18 Inch Chainsaw Chain is its versatility and quality. Husqvarna is a brand that is at the top of the pack in every way, and especially so when it comes to gardening and home improvement equipment. Therefore, it is easy to understand why this Husqvarna 531300439 is a top quality product.
The gauge is 0.05 inches while the pitch is 0.325 inches. It is especially perfect for use in demanding conditions. It is as robust as possible, or you would expect it to be.
Most people love the fact that this chain is low vibration. The construction is sturdy, and that makes it easy to use frequently. If the tool is low-quality, chances of it lasting for a long time are minimal.
The 18-inch chain weighs 1.6 ounces and does not add any significant weight to the chainsaw. And despite its weight, the chain can rip big trees, both softwood and hardwood.
And as the best chainsaw blade, it contains 72 teeth made of durable Steel. Therefore, It can handle daily stress and friction. You don’t have to worry about the chain coming apart after a short period of usage.
3. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain – 2nd Choice
The Best chainsaw chain for the 14-inch chainsaw is pretty much something like this product. One thing about the S52 is that it is the high quality on the market, and you can rely on them for the heavy-duty tasks.
But how can you tell that S52 is the top quality, apart from the fact that it makes it to our second choice?
The hard chromed and heat-treated chainsaw chain has the construction to take frequent use. It is heavy duty and the perfect addition to your chainsaw. Most of us do not fancy the idea of going back to the stores to buy the same thing over and over. There’s also the issue of safety. Excellent quality and heavy-duty products will ensure optimum safety when ripping a particular tree or log.
I also find the cutter design to be unique. It is efficient and cuts smoothly with minimal kickbacks.
Shifting to Oregon S52 may be one of the excellent decisions that you make, and you’ll notice a significant difference. The performance and safety of this product are other features that make it the best available option in the market.
Our next contender is an incredible budget-friendly alternative. Usually, people are derisive towards the term “budget-friendly” because they think the price-cut comes at the cost of quality. Well, the TrinLink Saw chain is here to prove you wrong!
The best feature of this product (the reason you’ll buy it for) is its Centri-Lube oilways. If you’re a chainsaw veteran, you know it’s difficult for lubrication to reach into tough spots such as rivets, drive links, etc.
However, the TriLink’s signature oilway-mechanism ensures maximum oil flow. Due to this handy feature, your chain won’t stretch out into oblivion, and frictions will become less frequent. Therefore, you don’t have to keep banging the chainsaw every other time trying to re-do the adjustments.
Despite the low price-point, the chain shreds through wood with ease. The chain’s teeth have a semi-chisel design with chrome-coating. An added layer of chrome ensures the product’s durability.
Also, it’s suitable for all top chainsaw brands- Echo, Craftsman, Husqvarna, and more.
Finally, we’d recommend beginners to be careful while using this chain due to its sharpness. It’s not like you have to be a chainsaw-pro to use it, if you’ve dealt with saws before, you have nothing to worry about.
5. Oregon R34 8Inch Micro Lite Pole Saw Chain
The Oregon R34 is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile given that it will fit such models as Poulan and Remington. There are various things that we love about this 8” chainsaw chain, and among them is the associated low Kickback. In my opinion, this makes it quite an ideal equipment, especially for beginners.
And the fact that it comes from an ISO certified facility in the United States makes it one of the top rated saw chains on the market. No doubt about that. The manufacturing standards in the USA are some of the best, and that means a lot when it comes to quality and safety.
You will notice that the R34 has sturdy and sharp cutters. As a result, you will find using this chainsaw to be quite smooth. It is fun to have and use.
6. STIHL 26RS 81 Rapid Super Saw Chain
Genuine Stihl 26RS is a product that will serve you a very long time. It is sturdy, sharp, and durable to overcome stress and a significant amount of use. In our opinion, it is the best 20” chainsaw.
In my opinion, this is the best Stihl chainsaw chain that you go to when you need something reliable and quality full. Its specifications include .325 pitch, 20″ Bar and 063 gauge. Choose the right product, and you will be efficient in cutting branches or ripping trees.
It cuts maple and oak tree quite effortlessly. It is sharp and cuts through trees as if you are going through butter.
7. Husqvarna H47 5018426-84 24″ Professional Chain
The 24 inch Husqvarna chainsaw chain is the product for professionals. But what we mean by that?
In other words, it is durable and efficient in a variety of tasks involved in home improvement. The sharp teeth make the whole exercise effortless. It is what you can call enjoyable.
Most people find this professional chainsaw chain to be so sharp than anything you will come across from the other dealerships. The gauge is 0.050 inches and the pitch, ⅜ inches. There are up to 24 drive links.
Make sure that you go for the right one, and you will not have problems after that.
8. Oregon D72 AdvanceCut 20” Chainsaw Chain
With Oregon’s expert touch and craftsmanship, the D72 AdvanceCut is another chain-marvel. Oriented towards beginners and intermediate DIY’s, this chain packs just the right amount of punch to be your household cleanup crew!
We’ve previously discussed the efficacy of chrome-coated cutters. The water-resistance on these coupled with a solid, unshakable exterior makes it a smooth slicer of woods.
Also, most beginners fear chainsaw’s kickback. And boy, do we know how they can mess you up! However, this chain is beginner-friendly with little to no kickback. The considerable gap between guide bar and chain makes it possible.
All of Oregon’s chains come with their signature LubriTec oiling mechanism. This feature will help you keep the chain constantly oiled. Consequently, the chain retains its edge, allowing you to operate it for a considerable duration.
Rivets present in the chain are entwined tightly. So, the chain won’t stretch. Your constant gaze at your chain’s adjustment comes to an end here.
9. Husqvarna 531300441 20″ Chainsaw Chain
Want to know about Husqvarna? Go ask any outdoor veteran. They’ll tell you that Husqvarna is a trusted top-notch manufacturer always looking to provide the best quality outdoor-gears. Their 20″ version follows the usual quality-footsteps.
Although marketed as a softcore occasional-use product, this chain can (surprisingly) work wonders when it comes to heavy-duty slicing. The sharpness is incredible, with little chances of surrendering to wear and rust.
Besides, the chain is suitable for an arborist. Being arborist-friendly means you can slice anything with precision- no hassle. Furthermore, you can make professional cuts (bore cut, for instance) due to its design and construction.
The chain can withstand commercial use. If you’re a DIY, you should know that veteran chainsaw handlers cut through dozens of trees in a day. So, you would get similar top-notch performance from this chain.
Designed specifically for lightweight chainsaws, it has minimal kickback and no fatigue-inducing vibration.
Overall, Husqvarna products amaze customers with consistent quality. They always go the extra mile, and this chain proves it as well.
10. Oregon L68 ControlCut Low Vibration Chain
By now, you understand how dominant Oregon is in the this industry. We keep coming back to their products, and we can’t help it, it’s just that good! The Oregon L68 is another incredible chain from these manufacturers suitable for both hobbyists and professionals.
All of Oregon’s chains have excellent vibration control systems. Even if you’re a beginner, you can comfortably manage the kickback. The gap between the guide bar and chain (a genius design mechanics) enables comfortable operation with no shuddering.
The LubriTec oil-distribution system is Oregon’s signature feature. You’ll find it in all their chains. We keep bragging about it because it allows oil to flow smoothly throughout the chain. And you should know- smooth oil flow- better durability.
The cutters are chrome-coated, and all the screws are air-tight. Chrome-coating makes the edges sharp means you get to slice through different exteriors like butter. Air-tight rivets prevent stretching, allowing you to work for a long time (no muscle pain).
Also, the L68 ControlCut has both micro and semi-chisel options suitable for hobbyists. However, these two variants will also help commercial users.
You can slice through trees every day, and see this chain go to town while retaining its edge!
11. BLACK+DECKER RC800 8″ Chainsaw Replacement Chain
The RC800 from BLACK+DECKER is actually a replacement chain. If your NPP2018 or CS818’s chains are rusty or broken, then this particular model will help you get back on track.
Despite being spare chains, the power they provide is somewhat noticeable. It’s not amazing- as in you won’t have enough juice to slice through one tree bark after another without hiccups.
However, it’s decent for small projects such as trimming, cleaning the yard, cutting through small to medium-sized tree barks.
Also, the chain is 8″ long- keep this information in mind when you’re assessing the compatibility. If your chainsaw requires anything bigger or smaller than 8″- this product won’t work.
The chain itself is lightweight, so you can assume the saw it rides on is also the same. So, you’ll get maximum efficiency while trying to cut/trim in hard to reach spots.
When it comes to installation, it’s pretty basic. As it perfectly fits the models we’ve mentioned earlier, you’d have no trouble mounting the chain.
We think it’s a decent, very in-the-middle kind of product.
12. Oregon S62 2 Pack Chain
Started with Oregon, and here we are, finishing with their product as well. The Oregon S62 comes with not one, but two chains. It’s a value pack for people looking to have a chain handy in case of any emergency.
Similar to Oregon’s other products, these chains also have incredible oiling routes built-in. So, your days of fretting over oil reaching the sweet spots are over. The design itself will ensure that every essential nook and cranny receive adequate lubrication.
Furthermore, chrome-coating will allow you to slice through some tough and tenacious trees. We’ve seen it in action, even oak tree barks (9-feet-width) stand no chance against this product’s sharpness.
This chain retains its edges better comparatively. The air-tight rivets prevent stretching during operation. Less stretch means more durability, and you don’t have to keep an eye out for maintenance constantly.
There’s not much to say, and this pack hits two birds with one stone. You get two premium-quality Oregon chains at a reasonable price point. A win-win, according to us.
However, the pack has a large set of options in regards to the gauge, bar, pitch, and drive count. Make sure it’s compatible with your chainsaw for maximum performance and satisfaction.
Things to Consider While Buying
A chain saw is undoubtedly one of the most potent home improvement tools that boast unmatched versatility in every way. At a minimum, a chainsaw gets rid of thick branches, removes stumps and topples trees.
The work that a chainsaw does is unique, and you cannot trust any other device such as a wood saw or even an ax. There’s a matter of efficiency and speed.
But the fact is that you cannot joke around with the quality of the product. You need the best if you’re going to be efficient and safe. So, how do you go about choosing the right product for you?
The thickness of the drive links is what we call the gauge. For efficiency and safety, always make sure that the gauge is the same for the chain and bar. If you buy something too thin, it will not cut properly and will keep slipping off.
Alternatively, the chain will be a safety hazard if it is too thick. Take your time to choose the right gauge, and you will not regret it.
The majority of the chains are between 0.05 inches and 0.063 inches. But that does not mean you will not come across other sizes. Choose based on the bar length and width.
Let’s get this straight- it’s not the pitch you sports fanatics know and love. In chains-o-logy, the term “pitch” refers to how far the drive links are from one another. Afterward, you cut that number by half to get the actual digit.
Let us give a simple equation, so you don’t really have to worry about it too much.
For hobbyists and occasional chainsaw wielders- the magic number is 3/8.
For professional chainsaw handlers- the magic number is .404.
Again, this a highly simplified version; there are other variations available. However, no beginner or intermediate user should feel concerned about it.
The idea of one-size-fits-all does not apply when it comes to chainsaw chains. You must be specific about the bar length. Some of us may be too quick to purchase something that they assume some measurements. However, the length that is lose fitting will eventually be ineffective and unsafe to use. Nobody wants to deal with a chainsaw that runs dangerously.
On the other hand, buying a chainsaw chain that doesn’t fit well will also present a host of problems. If you are unsure about the measurements, take a tape measure, and record the measurements somewhere.
Manufacturers design different chainsaws according to the needs and expertise of the customer. Due to this customer-oriented designing process, chainsaws come in different sizes. You have lengthier ones for powerful slicing and dicing, and lightweight ones for home use.
Similarly, chains also have different lengths- most popular being the 18-inch variants.
Your job is to make sure the size of your chain matches the size of your saw-guide. The wrong size won’t fit, it’s like shoes and shirts, there’ll be no cutting or working if you don’t get the size right, so be mindful.
Apart from the bar length and gauge, the other notable feature is the driver link. You should not go to the store without the three measurements. But what are the drive links, and how do you determine them?
The drive links are at the bottom of your chainsaw and go into the guide bar. Drive links will help you get the most accurate measurements when choosing chainsaw chains.
If you are unsure about the technical specifications of a chain saw chain, you can always take it all and count the drive links. It is not difficult and will not take a lot of time.
Getting the right measurement is only half of the job. The other half is determining the performance of the chainsaw chain. But really, what are we talking about? Can one chain saw chain be more effective than the other?
In the majority of the cases, the performance of the saw chain is mostly about the teeth. One of the most common is the chipper chains. The particular teeth design is ideal for cutting branches, and other dirty work around the home.
Semi chisel teeth are versatile and can cut both soft and hardwood easily. Unfortunately, the rounded chisel teeth can take longer to complete particular tasks. But their durability is without question.
On the other hand, full chisel teeth are quite sturdy and can make any heavy duty task a walk in the park. These square shaped teeth are durable and efficient, and therefore, they work effectively on the hardwood.
As the chain eats through tough exteriors, the friction creates an ugly vibration. Luckily, most premium chains come with anti-vibration mechanisms. This feature will be an immense help to newbies.
If your chain keeps vibrating viciously, you’ll exhaust yourself, may even get a sore arm or hip. So, to keep working without physical ailments, your target would be to get a product with little to no vibration.
Over the years, manufacturers such as Oregon and Husqvarna came up with innovative designs to tackle this issue. You can trust them when it comes to vibration-problems.
If you’re familiar with firearms or heavy machinery, you’d know how powerful and nerve-wracking kickbacks can be. Beginners or people with low upper-body strength have a tough time dealing with this issue.
Kickbacks can throw you off-balance, resulting in devastating injuries. It happens when debris (rock, for example) interrupts the rotation of the chain.
However, top-tier chainsaw chains have air-tight rivets coupled with excellent lubrication. Be on the look-out for anti-kickback features before buying because safety comes first!
Ease of Maintenance
Chain-maintenance is not rocket science. With the proper tools in hand, anybody could do it. Some chainsaws have an auto-sharpening mechanism, ridding you of this nuisance of maintaining.
However, if your chainsaw doesn’t have this feature, look for chains that have an excellent lubrication system. Keeping your instrument oiled is the best way to maintain its health.
For instance, Oregon chains come with a signature LubriTec technology, allowing a smooth oil flow. This feature makes maintenance comparatively easier.
Chainsaw chains aren’t usually your bank-breaking products. They’re cheap in general. However, depending on the brand reputation, efficacy, and user-friendliness, the cost of chains may vary significantly.
We’d suggest going for trusted brands regardless of the expenses. Remember the wise words “being cheap is costly in the long run.”
Types of chain’s
Chainsaw chains have four different designs, each having a different purpose they serve. You can’t blindly purchase a chain without knowing whether they’ll be the best bet for the job.
- Full Chisel Cutters
These cutters are the meanest of meanies in the chain-world. They have angular square-cornered teeth. Built for dealing with the toughest exteriors, they’re the fastest at ripping through any surface.
However, anyone without sufficient expertise on operating a chainsaw should steer clear from full chisel cutters. The promised speed comes at a cost- the cost is safety. Lack of safety-tweaks makes these chains a high-risk, high reward purchase.
- Square Chisel Cutters
If you’re looking for fast cutting experience without compromising safety, then square chisels are the way to go. Expert chainsaw-wielders prefer this cutter due to its alacrity and manageable kickback and vibration.
Still, we wouldn’t go as far as to recommend this for beginners. Despite the speed, you’d need regular maintenance as the cutters lose their edge after a few bouts.
- Low-Profile Cutters
After repeatedly warning freshers to ignore the chisel types mentioned above, we’ve come to the best beginner-friendly cutter. Yes- even if you’ve just stepped into the world of trimming, cutting, and slicing, you can work with low-profile cutters.
The design focuses primarily on safety, ensuring very little vibration, and almost no kickback. Lasering down on personal safety does have a drawback- it cuts slower compared to the other types.
- Semi Chisel Cutters
This time around, instead of square corners (full chisels), the corners these cutters have are round. Being round adds a layer of safety absent in full chisel cutters.
However, these cutters are slow and don’t pack enough punch to slice through hardwood. They shine when you’re dealing with softwood.
How to replace a chain on a chainsaw?
It is quite normal for the saw chain to overheat and become loose. When this happens, it can come off. It can also come off after jamming in a tree trunk. So what do you do when this happens? Do you call a handyman? Or do you switch to other tools such as an ax? Of course, it is easier to replace it.
What you need
The tools that you’re going to need to put that chainsaw chain for ripping back in place include leather gloves, chainsaw wrench, and cleaning brush.
Before you can do anything, ensure that you have the gloves on. The first step is usually to clean all debris from the saw chain and the bar. It must be clean to reduce friction and ensure efficiency when you put it back.
The best chainsaw chain for cutting firewood will most likely have a lot of debris in the form of wood saw to clean. Don’t be too quick to replace the chain before you clean it.
Removing the Housing
Using the chainsaw wrench, remove the housing by loosening the nuts. After removing the bar nuts, take care of the plastic housing by removing it as well.
Replacing the Chain
The teeth of the saw chain should be facing away from you when holding the device. Make sure that it is within the bar grooves when fitting around the sprocket. It should not be hanging in any way.
The guide hole and tension studs should be in the same line. Tighten the chainsaw chain by pulling it and then adjust the tension screw until you can feel it is now alright. Insert all the screws and tighten them, but make sure everything is in place.
The final step is to test your chainsaw. It should now be working efficiently.
- Which chainsaw chain is best for cutting firewood?
Firewood, as the name suggests, is used as fuels for fire. Woods with solid exterior such as birch, ash, or oak give you better fire as they burn.
So, you’d be dealing with rough-surface-wood or hardwoods. If you don’t care about spending a few extra bucks, we’d recommend going for Oregon’s chains. They have a self-lubrication mechanism that means with little maintenance; you can slice through a lot of firewood.
For 16” chainsaw owners, we’d recommend looking into the Oregon S56.
- What is the Top-Rated Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood?
Hardwoods are difficult to cut through, and even the best chains have troubles facing them. Now, pointing the finger at one particular product isn’t the smartest answer to this question.
Because there are several factors like size, bar length, and overall compatibility. So, depending on your chainsaw and the chains it is compatible with- the top-rated product will vary. For instance, if your chainsaw is Oregon-compatible with 14-inch bar length, your best option would be Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch.
In contrast, if you possess a Husqvarna-compatible saw with 18-inch lengths, we’d recommend the Husqvarna 531300439 18-Inch.
Also, for people who want cost-effective alternatives, look into any of the Trilink chains. They’re the best you’d get within a reasonable price point.
- What Size Chainsaw Chain Do I Need?
It depends on three factors- bar length, pitch, and drive links.
You can circumvent the challenge of looking into the nitty-gritty details solely relying on the bar length alone. However, for a perfect fit- you need to know the pitch and drive links.
Count the pitch by determining the gap between three consecutive rivets, then slash the number in half. You may find the number written on your chainsaw’s manual as well.
Besides, you’ll find the drive links at the bottom of your chainsaw. You can count them, see if the number your chainsaw has matches the number of the chain you’re about to buy- and bingo!
- Is it worth sharpening a chainsaw chain?
Of course, it is. You don’t just throw away a t-shirt simply because it’s dirty, and you wash it!
By using a manual sharpening tool and a little searching, gathering knowledge, you can keep the edges neat! Make sure to do prior research before recklessly diving in. A maintenance-operation with inept experience will do more harm than good.
Walking into the world of chainsaws may seem fascinating at first. Imagining yourself as the slicing dicing chainsaw-wielder, working them trees like they were butter!
However, beginners need to tread carefully into the chainsaw-chain-realm. We’ve seen many rookie mistakes, and the most common is buying chains that don’t fit. And again, buying another chain that fits, but doesn’t pack a punch.
From our expertise, a beginner should have a chainsaw of either 14,16, or 18-inch. We’d recommend sticking to 14 or 16, 18-inch is difficult to maneuver if you don’t have enough upper-body strength.
So, keep this equation in mind:
14″ chainsaw-wielders should go for- Oregon S52 AdvanceCut.
16″ chainsaw-wielders should try- Oregon S56 AdvanceCut.
18″ chainsaw-wielders can look into- Husqvarna 531300439.
18″ budget-friendly alternative- Trilink CL15062X2TL2.
A chain is to chainsaw what heart is to the human body. Without a proper, functioning chain, your chainsaw is nothing better than an oversized whack-a-mole hammer.
Convenience in completing household trimming, cutting, felling projects can only come from the best chainsaw chain. While a good chain can help you get the job done, a great chain will be your trusted compadre for years to come.
The chains we presented on our list are a result of comprehensive research, study, and deliberation. If you find a compatible product, we can assure you of a no-regret purchase.
So, instead of making a hasty decision, carefully understand the compatibility issues. That’s the final and most important tip we have.
With that out of the way, we wish you a happy shopping!