The best chainsaw chain for cutting firewood is the one that has good cutting speed and stays sharp long despite the working condition. Full chisel design chains provide faster-cutting speed but they hate mud and they become dull faster even in clean conditions than semi-chisel/micro-chisel chainsaw chains and when there is mud…well full chisel chain works for firewood cutting but be ready to sharpen your chain very often. Since firewood cutting takes place outside there may be mud and sand on logs because they were laying around for some time during heavy rain and wind.
Another good chainsaw chain feature to look for when shopping for the best chain for firewood cutting is “Low Kickback” design as it reduces kickback chance and increasing safety which is number one priority when working with a dangerous tool such as a chainsaw. But if you are experienced chainsaw user then this feature is good to have but not essential because not all good chainsaw chains have this feature.
Before choosing a chain you must find what chain is compatible with your chainsaw and chainsaw guide bar. Look in the manual or check the manufacturer site to find this important information, also some information may be stamped on the chainsaw guide bar. You need to find a chain gauge size, pitch size, and drive links count.
Best Chainsaw Chains for Firewood Cutting
- Micro-Chisel® links with working angles of small radius of curvature are durable and easy to maintain, which saves the operator time and strength.
- Semi-Chisel is easier to sharp with a file than full chisel chainsaw chain. Cuts a little bit slower than full chisel chain but will stay sharper longer. Good “All-Around” chainsaw chain.
The 10 Best Selling Chainsaw Chains
Chainsaw Chain Sizes
- Pitch Sizes: 0.325, 0.375 (or 3/8″), 0.404 (0.325 and 3/8″ is the most common. Used by many chainsaw brands)
- Gauge Sizes: 1,1 mm (0.043″) , 1,3 mm (0.050″ most common), 1,5 mm (0.058″), 1,6 mm (0.063″) and 2 mm (0.08″). Chain gauge 0.050 is most common.
- Bar length: 10-12″ (used on really small or pole chainsaws), 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″ and more. When you buy chainsaw chain you must buy it in the same size as your chainsaw bar length so 14″ chainsaw bar = 14″ chain.
- Drive Link Count: another important characteristic to look for when buying a chainsaw chain. How many drive links are needed can be found in the manual for your chainsaw.
How to find how many drive links chain has when you shop online?
Let’s say that you found that you need a 72 drive links chain, you go online to buy the best chain for your needs and you can’t find in description information about this important thing. What’s to do? Well, look in the product name to find this magical number which may tell you about how many links this chain have. For example, the Husqvarna H30-72 – H30 is the model number and 72 is used for drive links count. So, the Husqvarna H30-72 18″ 0.325″ by 0.050″ is compatible with a chainsaw that has an 18-inch bar and requires 0.325 pitch size, 0.050 gauge size chain with 72 drive links.
Oregon can use a number in their model name like the Oregon D72 – D72 mean drive link count 72, the Oregon S63 – 63 drive links count (this chain compatible with the WORX WG304.1 18″ 15 AMP electric chainsaw). Also, sometimes Oregon have drive links count stamped on their package and chain links.
And in a case with Stihl chainsaw chains if there is no information in a description or exact words like “72 drive links” in product name then look at the model number. Example: Stihl 33RS3-72 – 33RS3 is the model number, the 72 number means 72 drive links. The RS3 means Rapid Super 3 model, the number 3 in the case with Stihl chains means that this chain has a low-kickback feature. If it just RS or RD or whatever without “3” then this chain doesn’t have low-kickback feature.
So the long answer short: find how many links are needed for your chainsaw in the manual, look for that number in the product description or in the model number. Other important characteristics (pitch, gauge size) usually easy to find as they are directly written in the description.
The Narrow Kerf Chainsaw Chains
Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for the best chainsaw chain for firewood and other cutting activities. Narrow Kerf chains provide faster cut because less wood is displaced but such chains must be used with special Narrow Kerf chain bar. So if you want to use Narrow Kerf chain them you must buy special chainsaw guide bar for that. Chainsaw guide bars are not hard to replace and anyway, they must be changed from time to time.
So, if you need to change your chainsaw guide bar and you need a chain then you can look at the Oregon Speedcut guide bars and Speedcut chains. Oregon is the best manufacturer of the chainsaw bars and chains and lot’s of companies (including Husqvarna) use Oregon to produce their chains and other things for chainsaws.
And don’t forget that even the best chainsaw chain must be sharpened when it becomes dull. For that task, you can buy chain sharpener: electric, manual-driven or chain files. For beginners, I recommend Timberline sharpener as it easy to use and hard to mess up something. It has only one disadvantage – it’s not cheap but it’s worth the money because it’s portable, small, don’t require any electricity and you can take this chain sharpener with you everywhere you want.
And if you don’t already have then don’t forget to buy safety protective clothing because safety cloth cost less than medical bills.