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What Are the Types of Chainsaw Chains

by JEREMY HIPA 20 May 2022 0 Comments

The chainsaw chains always look similar but are designed for different cutting tasks. So how to pick out an ideal chainsaw chain from all chainsaws with similar appearances would trouble many at the beginning. As a chainsaw beginner, there is some basic knowledge you need to learn to facilitate the process.
Here we have sorted out all you need. You can read the instructions to choose the perfect chainsaw chain for your cutting projects.

The Chainsaw Chain Size

The pitch, the gauge, and the drive link number are the key parameters that determine the chain size. You need to ensure that the three parameters completely match your chainsaw bar, or you may fail in the first step to get the chain installed.

Pitch

The distance between every two drive links on the chainsaw chains defines the chain pitch. In more precise words, the pitch is also determined by the half length of every three rivets on chains.

 

Hipa Chainsaw chain pitch

A chain with a larger pitch means that it’s a larger and heavier chain that offers efficient and aggressive cutting. And when it comes to the replacement and maintenance of a chain, your priority is to make sure the pitch of the chain is compatible with your guide bar. Typically, 0.325” and 3/8” are the most common choices.

Drive Link Gauge

The drive link gauge refers to the thickness of the drive links, which determines the portion of the drive links that fit into the groove in the guide bar. 

Hipa chainsaw chain gauge

The thicker drive link makes the chain heavier and stronger to run more aggressively. And it also means that the chain needs more power to support cutting. You need to ensure that the gauge meets the guide bar or it will not be coupled perfectly. Typical gauges are 0.050”, 0.058” and 0.063”.

Drive Link Number

Hipa chainsaw chain drive link

When choosing a chainsaw chain, the number of drive links also matters. It plays a significant role in helping manufacturers to ascertain their chain size. You will not always find this number on the manual, guide bar, or the label on the chainsaw, so you need to know the exact number of drive links on your chainsaw chain. The number of drive links is much more precise than the bar length in determining the chain size, so when choosing a chain, you should consider both the pith and the gauge.

The Chainsaw Chain Cutter Types

Hipa chainsaw chain cutter types

Semi-Chisel Chain

The semi-chisel chain comes in round-cornered teeth that offer lower cutting speed than the full-chisel chain. And while cutting at low speed, the pressure of kickback is most released.

Unlike the full-chisel chain, the semi-chisel chain is more reliable and durable at the cost of cutting speed. It deals well with softwood and rough environments cutting dirty, dry, and frozen wood.

Full-chisel cutter

As an efficient chain cutter type, the full-chisel cutter features square-cornered teeth that provide high cutting speed. However, the high cutting speed brings violent kickback at the cost of safety, so the full-chisel chain is an unfriendly chain for those who do not have much cutting experience. But this chain performs well in cutting down trees and dealing with hardwoods in rough environments.

Low-Profile Chain

As one of the most common chains on the market, the low-profile chain comes in rounded teeth, like the semi-chisel chain.
It is specially designed for safe cutting. There are special designs between the teeth that prevent kickback from cutting. So this type of chain is friendly, popular, and ideal for homeowners.
The low-profile chain is capable of handling all kinds of woods. And this chain is not as durable as the semi-chisel chain because it needs frequent sharpening.

The Chain Arrangement

Hipa chainsaw chain cutter sequence arrangements

Full-house chain

The full-house chain features the most teeth specially designed for extremely efficient cutting. And the full-house chain is designed for milling timbers that are required for building, and is commonly suitable for guide bars that are up to 20 inches long.

Standard chain

This is a standard chain with a teeth sequence arranged in the order of a left cutter, a drive link, a right cutter, and a drive link. It is an ideal chain for general cutting jobs because of its wide versatility on gas-powered chainsaws, electric corded chainsaws, and battery-powered chainsaws.

Full-skip chain

The full-skip chain features fewer teeth in larger bars that are 24 inches or above, but fewer teeth do not mean less cutting power. It is capable of cutting through a large portion of wood, firewood, limbs, and other tasks where smoothness is not important. And it’s an ideal choice for larger chainsaws.

Semi-skip chain

The semi-skip chain comes in a mid-grade chain sequence in which all teeth are arranged in an order that is one or two links between the cutters. As a special option with improved cutting capacity, the semi-skip chain can be coupled with a long guide bar.
The semi-skip chain has a limited cutting efficiency because it can not cut through wood quickly. But it boasts a comprehensive chain with both durability and efficiency, even if it does not cut as fast as the skip chain.

Please let us know if this works and if you have any suggestions or comments. Or you can join us to feature your passion for repair projects, share your stories with the Hipa family and also get help from Hipa.

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