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Chainsaw Chains: An Informational Guide

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Jessica Parker
Chainsaw Chains

Chainsaws are outdoor mechanical tools suitable for cutting through the thick bark of trees or cutting trees. But what enables a chainsaw to cut through is the chain that contains teeth to cut through the barks and trunks. If you are looking to buy a chainsaw then understanding the buying guide will help. And if you are looking at how to cut trees using a chainsaw, then this blog will help you know your chainsaw better especially about chainsaw chains.

Chainsaw Chains: A Brief Insight

It is always better to be careful around the chainsaw chains. Whenever you are trying to lodge the chain into the bark of any tree, no matter how sharp the teeth are, it shouldn't cut too deep. If the cuts are too deep, the chances of the teeth getting stuck are more, resulting in a kickback. It is advisable to wait until the machine comes to full throttle before making deep cuts. This is why knowing the right way to use a chainsaw is quite important.

The Evolution of Chainsaw Chains Teeth

  • Initially, most of the saws or chainsaws displayed a cluster of close-set teeth. Such teeth could make even cuts efficiently. But the downside to such teeth was the time-duration to cut logs or wood. 
  • Then came the chipper chain which consisted of angled teeth in directions of left to right. Such cuts were even and chainsaws took lesser time to chop wood or logs. 
  • Such chains have depth gauges that avoid the saw from cutting too deep. This leads to smooth cutting lessening the chances of a kickback. 
  • Some of the modern chains have developed saw teeth that come in three types- Full chisel, semi-chisel, and the low-profile chain

Chainsaw Chains: Various Parts Explained


They are present in the chain to enable it to cut through the barks or trunk easily. The gauges exhibit adjustable height mechanism to manage efficient cuts. If the gauges are too high the cuts will be shallow and small. And such cuts increase the chances of kickback.

Teeth Material

The teeth of a saw blade consist of chromium-plated steel alloy that allows the blade to have a quick grip and increased sharpness. In between the teeth, you will also find drive links that hold the teeth together along the blade.

Drive Links

These links are present between the teeth and deliver lubrication to the guide and manage the power between motor and chain.

Teeth Arrangement

Full chisel has square-cornered teeth and is suitable to cut softwood. Semi-chisel has more rounder teeth between the upper and the lower plates. It makes longer cuts and preferred for hardwood or dry wood. Low-profile chains come with low height teeth and safety elements between them.

Popular Styles of Chainsaw Chains

Standard chains have drive links between each pair of teeth, as compared to Full skip chains that drive two links between each teeth pair. As far as semi-skip chains are concerned, they alternate between one and two drive links after each tooth. Thus, the number and density of the teeth are the most in standard chains and the last in semi-skip chains.

The Special Kind of Chainsaw Chains

Having the right kind of chain to cut the trees can make a lot of difference. Although the above-mentioned chains are the most popular ones, some of them come with special types of chains used only for specific jobs. To know more about chainsaw chains, read our blog, the absolute chainsaw chain guide

Stihl Chainsaw Chains

Stihl Chainsaw Chains are manufactured for all kinds of woodcutting and have a lubricating feature that keeps the blades sharp and the teeth in good condition. It has an engineered grooves feature that elongates the life of the chainsaw by lubricating all the critical areas.

Tungsten Carbide Chains

These are special steel alloy chains that exhibit carbide teeth and are most suitable to use in extreme cold weather conditions. The wood from the colder regions is often hard and the kick-back occurrence happens often. But with carbide tungsten chains the cuts on extreme hardwood can be made easily.

Ripping Chainsaw Chains

Ripping Chainsaw Chains come with a specific to make ripping cuts on the wood and parallel to the grain.

Chainsaw Vocabulary Explained

  • Gauge

Chainsaw gauges are of two kinds- chain gauge and depth gauge. While chain gauge refers to the depth of the drive links between the teeth, depth gauge refers to the small link in front of the cutter blade. The distance between the depth gauge defines the thickness of the wood pieces. For chain gauges, the recommended distance should be between 0.5” to 0.063” and should be equivalent to the length of the guide bar.

  • Pitch

It is the distance between the two rivets. To calculate the distance properly, 3 rivets are measured and then divided into half. The most common pitches are between .404, .325, and .375.

  • Length

This refers to the number of drive links. The number of drive links should be equivalent to the chain length to function properly.


Knowing your outdoor tools like chainsaws and leaf blowers inside out is very important to understand its functions. The blade and the saw play a very important role in making sure the tree cuts are made adequately. Moreover, just owning a good chainsaw not enough, ensuring that they work smoothly is also equally crucial. Therefore, special attention towards the chainsaw oils is required.

With a sufficient oil lubrication system in place, a good chainsaw won't be of any use. To know more about your buying choices, take a look at Bestviewsreviews' featured section that are recommended and reviewed as per their demand and performance.

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BLACK+DECKER Lopper Chain Saw, 4.5-Amp

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