So what is the best chainsaw chain for hardwood cutting? Before checking the table below you have to check what chain is compatible with your chainsaw. Because you can’t use a chain whose size is not compatible with your current chainsaw bar and the drive sprocket. To find this information you must check your chainsaw manual or check the manufacturer site. The information you need to look for is chainsaw bar length, chain pitch size, and gauge size.
Usually, it’s written like this: 16-inch bar, 3/8-inch (or 0.375) pitch, 050-inch gauge. In addition, for better chain compatible, you must find a manufacturer of your chainsaw bar (usually it stamped on a chainsaw bar). If your chainsaw bar made by Oregon you are better off using Oregon chains and Stihl chains with Stihl bar, although in some cases they are interchangeable.
More information about chain compatible you will find below but first let’s see summary for chains.
7 Best Chainsaw Chains for Hardwood
- Chisel chain profile provides fast cutting speed but chain dull faster so it requires a chain sharpening more often. Not recommended to use in dirt conditions as it will dull even faster.
- Semi-chisel design is like a “Hybrid” chain in chainsaw world. It provides above than average cutting speed and stays sharp longer than full-chisel design chain.
- All chain manufacturers recommend using a low-kickback design chain.
- You can find available chain sizes by clicking the button “Check it out”. Not all sizes are available because very low in power chainsaws may be unsuitable for such chains.
If you are not sure if that chain brand is compatible with your chain bar manufacturer then better be safe than sorry and buy a chain from the same manufacturer as your chainsaw bar. But if you want to try a chain from the other manufacturer than the one installed on your chainsaw currently then check the chain specification very carefully as it has to match: bar length size, pitch size, gauge size, and the drive links count.
For example, you have Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw with 20″ stock bar which uses 3/8″ pitch size, 0.050″ gauge size chain with 72 drive links and you want to buy Oregon chain. Then you have to look through Oregon site (or on Amazon) and find exact same chain which is for 20″ length bar, with 3/8″ pitch size, 0.050″ gauge size AND has 72 drive links. And after some close look viola, we have found Oregon 73JGX072G PowerCut which has all spec that matches Husqvarna 455 chainsaw chain specifications.
Finding the right chainsaw chain
Sound complicated isn’t it? But fear not! If you want to buy Oregon chain then they have amazing “chainsaw chain identification chart” or tool which you can find here. It’s very simple to use!
- Select Product type (Chains, Bars, and Sprockets)
- Select the Manufacturer of your chainsaw
- Then your chainsaw model (you must write at least first letters of your chainsaw model number and a list will show up)
- Click Search
- Now you can sort the list using a filter on the left side (by chain pitch size, bar length, gauge size)
What chain model from the other manufacturer it is replacing usually written in the description but if not then look closely at the drive links count. Links count required usually written in a manual for a chainsaw. If you have manual in PDF format then search the manual for “drive link” words or look in the “Technical data” page of the manual.
Chainsaw chain sharpening
Finding the best chain for cutting a hardwood is not that hard as most of the time you have not so many options except for chainsaw chain brand and their technology. But keep in mind that you have to sharpen chain from time to time. For that task, you can go to some services who can do this for you in exchange for money – that’s good when you need your chainsaw once in a blue moon.
But if you need to use your chainsaw more often then it’s better to buy a chainsaw sharpener because it will save you tons of money in the long term. And it’s not that hard as it may sound and there is a lot of videos on youtube about how to sharpen your chainsaw chain using a chainsaw chain sharpener.
For people who want one of the best tools to sharpen a chainsaw chain that are easy to use as a novice, I can recommend the Timberline chain sharpener. Yes, this chain sharpener is not cheap but it’s small, portable and it’s very easy to use. It’s hard to mess something with this tool as it manual-driven and you can control the speed of sharpening.
Some electric tools might be hard for a beginner (when something rotates at 3000+ RPM you have less time to react in case something goes wrong). Also, you can sharpen chainsaw chain with a file but it’s not beginner-friendly. That’s why Timberline chain sharpener is the best tool and it cost more because it was designed for novice and professionals.