Chainsaw Chain Types

There are a number of chainsaw chain types, each designed for specific jobs or groups of chainsaw users. Pairing the right chainsaw chain type with the particular job is the best way to saw efficiently and lower the risk of injury or damage to the chainsaw.

Know Your Chainsaw Chain Types

  • Low-Kickback - Low-kickback chains are designed to meet the government safety standards for kickback prevention when using a chainsaw. In The US, low-kickback chainsaw chains must meet or exceed ANSI standard ANSI B175.1. In Canada, low-kickback chains must meet or exceed the CSA Z62.3 standard. Low-kickback chains are a good choice for home use or light professional duty use.
  • Professional - Professional chainsaw chains are designed for durability and comfort when used over long periods of time. Professional chainsaw chains typically cut faster than other chains, requiring specialized training for safe use. Professional chainsaw chains come in number of "pitches" designed to fit chainsaw bars of different size. The available pitches for professional chainsaw chains are 0.325, 0.375 and 0.404.
  • Narrow Kerf - Narrow kerf chainsaw chains are narrower than standard chains. This narrow profile leaves a smaller channel (called a kerf) in the wood. Narrow kerf chainsaw chains are typically used on low powered chainsaws intended for light duty use.
  • Ripping - While most chainsaw chains are designed to cut perpendicular to the grain of the wood, ripping chainsaw chains are designed to cut parallel to the grain of the wood. This design feature makes ripping chains particularly useful when cutting boards from felled trees while using a chainsaw mill or similar attachment.
  • Self-Sharpening - Self-sharpening chainsaw chains are intended for use with chainsaws that have a self-sharpening feature. These types of saws are useful for cutting in abrasive conditions or by users who are not comfortable sharpening their own blades.
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