Chainsaw chain types

A chainsaw is a portable mechanical saw that is powered by electricity, or most commonly – a two-stroke engine. It is mainly used to fell and prune trees, in clearing foliage and removing branches, in assisting to cut fire brakes and harvest wood for fire. In Finland, chainsaws are used to cut ice for winter swimming.

Only specialists with particular training can handle a chainsaw. In inexperienced hands, chainsaws can lead to horrible accidents and deaths.

Unless someone is a professional and has experience with handling a chain saw, it is very easy to be confused about the different types of chainsaw chains. Here are the different types of chainsaw chains described and differentiated.

  • Full Chisel Chains cuts through all types of wood faster than any other chain types, and needs more careful sharpening. However, they dull faster, especially if used to cut soft woods. Their only distinction is that they cut faster.
  • Semi Chisel Chains take longer to dull than Full Chisel chains when used on soft wood.
  • Ripping Chains are special purpose chains with shallow-angle cutters that are used in chainsaw mills and in cutting out planks from wood. It specialized in giving the planks a smooth finish due to the angle cutters.
  • Skip Chains works with at least a 66cc chainsaw, or bigger. There are two blank links between the cutters in this type of chain, and is therefore able to take bigger bites of wood in one cut. However, this requires more pressure on the saw, and as a result needs more power. Larger gaps mean less clogging of chain and of course, more clearance of the waste materials.
  • Square Ground Chains are for professional use, and sharpen with a type of flat file; more commonly, a triangular file. It is very fast, but a real pain to sharpen.

In a nutshell, it can be said that, depending on the wood, it is better to decide on a full or semi-chisel chain for amateur work. Do not go for a Ripping Chain unless you have a sawmill to use in at, or a Square Ground Chain if you are not a professional. Handle your chainsaw with extreme care; it is a dangerous tool.

Chainsaw chain types

  • 4.90 / 5 5
123 votes, 4.90 avg. rating (95% score)