Choosing the best chainsaw chain for hardwood is easier said than done. For quick and smooth cutting, you’ll want to make sure your chain is capable of handling the job. Most hardwood varieties feature ultra-strong and rigid profiles. Therefore, you need to look for chains with the right specifications to handle these characteristics.
A good-quality chainsaw should easily cut through even the thickest hardwood without any damage. Additionally, any chainsaw chain must maintain its sharpness even after multiple uses.
Below, we’ve shared our highly rated recommendations for the best chainsaw chain for hardwood every woodworker should invest in this year.
The Oregon S62 Advance Cut Chainsaw Chain features a versatile design, allowing it to work with most saws. It comes in a heat-treated precision semi-chiseled design that helps the chain smoothly cut through the wood. The chainsaw chain works for saws with 3/8 inch pitch, 0.05-inch gauges, and 62 drive links. This best-seller easily fits Husqvarna, Echo, Poulan, and Craftsman saws.
Moreover, this chain integrates a long-lasting chrome finish on the exterior, which reduces wear and chain adjustments. It also offers low kickback and low vibration to allow accurate and neat cuts thanks to the durable construction. Plus, the design allows the chain to maintain a high tolerance for debris.
- Requires little maintenance
- Excellent value for money
- Smooth and quick cuts
- Minimal kickback
- Available in single, two, and three-pack options
- Develops a curved cut overtime
- Prone to uneven wear
If you’re working with a large saw, this Oregan chain might be the best option for you. It is best suited to work with 24-inch power saws. That said, this chain is compatible with many popular brands, such as Husqvarna and Stihl. It ideally fits chainsaws with a 3/8 inch pitch, 0.05-inch gauge, and 84 drive links.
Constructed from exclusive OCS-01 steel, this chainsaw chain lasts longer than its competitors. It features patented Lubri-Tech technology which keeps the chain and guide bar oiled. This, in turn, allows for less friction. Moreover, its blue cutters protect the chain against corrosion. And finally, a new sprocket nose system design gives the chain a longer nose life and better overall performance.
- Top plate filling indicators for more accurate sharpening
- Durable steel construction
- Lubri-Tec system keeps the chain and guide bars well lubricates
- Blued cutters offer corrosion resistance
- Well-balanced tension
- Too powerful for some jobs
- Requires extra attentiveness
Our top budget pick is the Oregon R45 Advance Cut Chainsaw Chain. This beautifully designed chain comes with a lower price tag than the competition. Nevertheless, it manages to deliver great performance and is made with high-quality materials. This power saw chain particularly caters to DIY homeowners and amateur woodworkers. You can trust it to handle any tough jobs, whether it’s cutting storm-damaged trees or hardwood for woodworking.
The chainsaw chain works perfectly with brands such as Black & Decker, Ryobi, and Husqvarna as long as they have up to 12-inch bars. Constructed from ultra-rugged metal, the semi-chiseled chain is still tolerant of dust and dirt. It also meets UL and ANSI requirements for low kickback.
- Automatic oiling prolongs the durability of the chain
- Industrial chrome outer layer
- Hardened rivets for a high-quality load-bearing surface
- Designed for fewer tension adjustments
- Dulls over time
- Not suitable for all kinds of wood
The Stihl Chainsaw chain features an ultra-rugged build to meet the needs of different woodcutting jobs. The power chain integrates a patented “Oilomatic” lubricating feature to ensure every part of the chain functions at its maximum capacity. The specially engineered grooves on each of the chain’s components channels oil to critical wear areas.
This design, in turn, helps to prolong the longevity of the chain. Additionally, to maintain quality, the saw chain goes through a pre-stretching process before leaving the factory. This process helps to prevent excess stretching during the break-in period. Moreover, this option meets the ANSI and UL requirements for low kickback and vibration.
- Reliable lubrication technology
- Low kickback
- Vibration-free operation
- Ultra-sharp cutting
- Color-coded link design for accurate fitting
- Faster working mechanism
- Some issues with the quality
- Difficult to find its pitch, gauge, and link information
If you’re looking for value for money, then look no further. The Kakei Chainsaw Chain comes in a three-piece pack, so you get more bang for your buck. The saw chains are designed to fit power saws with 3/8 inch pitch, 0.050-inch gauge, and 56 drive links. The chain also fits most saw brands, including Craftsman, Poulan, Homelite, and Echo.
This chain features German imported steel construction for a high tensile and anti-fracture finish. The protective oil on each component keeps them well lubricated and durable. Furthermore, the Japanese chrome-plated cutter keeps the chain sharp for an extended period. Lastly, the chain also has chrome plating that protects it against corrosion.
- Wear-resistant and strong chain rivets
- High-quality German steel construction
- UL and ANSI approved to meet low kickback standards
- Japanese technology chrome-plated cutter
- 3-piece packet
- Trouble fitting some chainsaws
Choosing the best chainsaw chain for hardwood will depend on the kind of saw you have and the type of wood you need to cut. However, there are plenty of options that will suit a variety of saws and tasks. Here are some of the essential features to consider when looking for the best option.
First and foremost, you need to look for a chain that will fit your chainsaw. To make sure you get the right size, always ensure you know your chainsaw pitch, gauge, and amount of drive links. You don’t have to determine the value for each of these features physically. Instead, you can refer to your chainsaw manual or quickly look it up online if you know your model number.
Pitch refers to the distance between rivets on a chainsaw chain. The common pitch measurements include 0.25, 0.325, 3/8, and 0.404 inches. The gauge measures the thickness of the drive links. It can be 0.043, 0.05, 0.058, or 0.063 inches. Lastly, you can also crosscheck the chain with the length of your chainsaw. Typically, you can determine the chainsaw length using the pitch value and drive link number.
Safety is critical when operating a power chainsaw. Thus, you have to ensure the chain design puts safety in mind. To prevent serious injuries, you’ll want to pick a chain that has low kickback. Kickback happens in a split second which causes the chain to rise towards your face. Choose a chainsaw that meets ANSI and UL standards for low kickback. All ANSI-certified chains come with a color-coded warning label to tell you their safety level. You should aim for the green label, which indicates low kickback risk.
While safety should be your number one priority, you also need to be mindful of performance. Low kickback chains suffer from premature dullness. These chains can quickly lose their edge and tend to be hard to sharpen. So, sometimes, you have to balance the kickback precaution with performance. If you aren’t experienced using a chainsaw, you are better off with a low kickback chain. Experienced and novice chainsaw users can better handle increased kickback.
Why is it important to pick the right chainsaw chain?
Using the wrong type of chain for your project can cause a whole heap of problems. Some critical issues that arise with the wrong chain include increased risk of kickback, difficulty in cutting wood, and chainsaw overheating. Other problems include increased wear and tear on components and having to sharpen the chain frequently.
What are the benefits of using a specific chainsaw chain?
The best chainsaw chain for hardwood ensures high performance and efficiency. The suitable chainsaw chain minimizes maintenance needs, sharpening frequency, and extends its longevity. It also allows the chainsaw to use less fuel, makes cutting easier, and cuts more in less time.
Whatever your project, we’ve rounded up the best chainsaw chains for hardwood. These chains are specially designed to meet the demands of hardwood. It’s important to choose the right chain for the task you’re up against to help maintain the integrity of both your wood and your chainsaw.
Our recommendations are suitable for both experienced and novice chainsaw users. We’ve also made sure to include a variety of options to suit different budgets. Instead of fighting with your wood, invest in the right chainsaw chain for hardwood.