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Are Chainsaw Chains Universal?

Contrary to popular belief, chains in chainsaws are actually not universal. While they do serve one purpose - which is to cut trees, the truth is that they differ in specifications and structure. In general, the type of chain you will need will highly depend on the type of chainsaw that you have. Previous article talk about best professional chainsaws.

So whether you are in dire need of a replacement chain or is looking for a new chain for a definite purpose, this guide will help you choose the correct and proper chain for your chainsaw and your tree cutting needs.

Types of Chainsaw

As mentioned above, your chain depends on the type of chainsaw you have. Currently, there are two (2) types of chainsaw in the market: Gas and Electric. And while you might have a general idea how much these types differ from one another, there is a little fact known about their chain requirement. With this in mind, we have prepared a thorough discussion of how chainsaw chains differ in them.

Gas-powered Chainsaws

Naturally, gas-powered chainsaws are more powerful than their electric counterpart. They are, after all, harboring two-stroke engines for power source. This gives them a massive power drive that enables them to cut through tough and wide tree trunks. And since the built-in engine has no generator to slow it down, this type of chainsaw usually requires a lengthier bar; as a result, gas-powered chainsaw chains offer a convenient range of use.

Chains in gas chainsaws can serve a variety of purposes. They can pretty much take on anything whilst coming out unscathed. From bushes to wide trees, there is nothing these chainsaws cannot handle.

Electric-powered Chainsaws

Electric-powered chainsaws, on the other hand, offer a user-friendly approach. In return, it is not quite at par with a gas-powered chainsaw when it comes to power output. This means, however, that they require shorter bars that are relatively easy to use. They also weigh less, making them more comfortable to handle.

Nevertheless, electric chainsaws are generally less formidable, which makes them only able to cut through softer materials. The most powerful electric chainsaw, even if equipped with a premium grade chain, can most probably just cut a young tree at most.

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What makes chainsaw chain different?

In general, chainsaw chains differ in size, length, and structure. The type of chainsaw you will need will vary accordingly to the chainsaw that you have or the purpose your chainsaw will serve. You simply cannot use the same chain to cut through a variety of materials. You cannot use the same chain that you use for conifers to cut through firewood. The cutting approach is different, so it goes without saying that the chain should be too.

Choosing A Chainsaw Chain

Needless to say, your chainsaw cannot run with an oversized chain nor will a loosely fitted one on the bar will. You have to know what you chainsaw can handle and what chain fits your chainsaw bar in order for them to work harmoniously. For this reason, it is very important that you take proper steps when it comes to choosing a chain for your chainsaw.

Simply opting for the biggest or the strongest chain will do you no good if proper measurements are not made. Not to mention, it is a waste of good money to purchase a chain that is not compatible with your chainsaw especially since it will prove to be useless from the very start.

With this in mind, we have arranged a helpful catalog to help you properly take measurements and choose the chain that is perfect for your chainsaw and your needs.

Measuring Your Bar and Chain

If you’re looking for a replacement bar or chain for your chainsaw, the first thing that you have to do is determine the size of your bar. Yes, this means that you will have to take the exact measurements of your bar.

Oftentimes, your chainsaw bar usually has the information stamped right into it. Usually, you can find it located near the bar mounts to the chainsaw. However, some chainsaw bars may not contain the information you need or the stamped information may have faded over time. In these cases, you can consult the tops below to get the proper measurement of your chain and bar.

To find its length, you simply have to measure the bar starting from the front of your chainsaw up to the furthest cutting tip. In the event that the exact measurement is not an exact number, feel free to round to the nearest inch to get the actual length of your chainsaw bar.

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Your chain, on the other hand, will also need measuring. You will need information about the chain’s pitch and gauge. Your chain’s pitch is the size of your chain. To determine this, you simply have to measure the distance between any three consecutive rivets. Afterward, divide the result by 2. In case you don’t know what rivets are, they are small and round studs that hold the chain segments together. Measure from the first to the third rivet and half the number you get by dividing it by 2 - then, you will have your chain pitch.

Determining the chain gauge or the actual width of the groove in your chainsaw bar can be a little tricky. Nevertheless, there is quite an easy trick that can help you get the actual measurements that you need. For this method, you will need an assortment of coins with different sizes. But first, you will have to ensure that the gauge is clean. You can use a flat blade screwdriver to scrape off wood chips and debris that is stuck in your chain’s gauge. Afterward, slide each coin into the chainsaw bar groove. Determine which one snuggly fits into the bar groove without forcing it in, of course. Afterward, you can take the measurement of the coin by measuring its circumference. You now have your chain gauge!

Considering What It Will Be Used For

Aside from the proper measurements, the second thing you have to consider is where your chain will be used. You might be surprised that chainsaw chains are not as universal as everyone thinks. Like any other cutting edge or blade, they do have their own specialties. Furthermore, some chains are designed for a definite purpose or use. Feel free to discuss with an expert or a manufacturer representative to determine which chain is best for the job you have in mind.

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