Home » Best Chainsaw Chain [2020 Review]

Best Chainsaw Chain [2020 Review]

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A chainsaw is an essential tool that will help you to handle heavy-duty projects like pruning limbs or trimming branches. They are perfect for professional woodcutters looking for a tool to cut down trees or homeowners handling home improvement projects. However, if you’re using the wrong chain, you run the risk of experiencing a kickback or the chain binding, among many other problems.

With many options available, figuring out the appropriate chain to buy can be a difficult task. So, how do you identify the right chain that can deliver the results you want? Fortunately, we have researched top-rated chains on the market and compiled this list to help you find the best chainsaw chain that suits your needs.

Our Top Chainsaw Chain Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Husqvarna 20 inches Chain
Best for the Money
Husqvarna 14 inches Chain
Best Cheap Pick
Oregon S52
Product
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 14" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...
Product Dimensions
20 x 0.2 x 0.5 inches
14 x 0.2 x 0.5 inches
5 x 9 x 1 inches
Item Weight
12 ounces
8 ounces
6.4 ounces
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Husqvarna 20 inches Chain
Product
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
Product Dimensions
20 x 0.2 x 0.5 inches
Item Weight
12 ounces
Rating
-
Best for the Money
Brand
Husqvarna 14 inches Chain
Product
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 14" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
Product Dimensions
14 x 0.2 x 0.5 inches
Item Weight
8 ounces
Rating
-
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Oregon S52
Product
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...
Product Dimensions
5 x 9 x 1 inches
Item Weight
6.4 ounces
Rating
-

Best Overall Chainsaw Chain: Husqvarna 20 inches Chain

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20' .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...

The Husqvarna 20 inches chainsaw chain is an incredible tool engineered for safety and quality. The product is durable and delivers impressive performance that will allow you to complete all your cutting tasks within a short period. The 3/8 inches chain pitch it comes with can cut through tough wood pieces with ease. 

One advantage of this high-performance chainsaw chain is that it produces minimal amounts of kickbacks and low vibrations. This is an important feature that will ensure you are safe while working and also increase your productivity as it reduces fatigue.

Another remarkable feature of this tool is its compatibility with 20 inches chainsaws. With speed and power in mind, this feature makes this model an excellent choice for large wood pieces. So, if you have a 460 Rancher, 455 Rancher, 351, 2261, or 55 Rancher, this product will ensure your tool delivers the highest level of performance.

This combination makes it one of the best purchases you could add to your arsenal tool. We’ve found this product is perfect for handling large trees and thick limbs as it offers a generous cutting depth. Its sharp teeth are ideal for cutting through heavy-duty projects alongside its unmatched power and speed.

While it’s easy to set up, making it a perfect choice for DIYers enthusiasts interested in a chainsaw chain with high-performance for their gardens, it also delivers the performance that many professional woodworkers look for. 

Although the anti-kickback feature makes this cutting chain to suffer a bit of reduced power, it’s a durable chain that will meet your expectations. Also, it comes with 72 drive links and performs with minimal kickback and low vibration, making it the preferred choice for most woodworkers. 

Besides, you don’t have to worry about sharpening as the .050 inches gauge chain retains its sharpness perfectly. If you want to increase the performance of your 20 inches Husqvarna chainsaw, this is the best investment you can make.

Overall, this high-performer product from Husqvarna is one of the best chains you can find. It’s lightweight and sturdy and can cut through large pieces of hardwood easily and quickly.  

What We Like 

  • Built to cut through wood pieces with large diameter
  • Designed to perform under demanding work conditions
  • Slices through hardwood effortlessly
  • Minimal vibration and kickback
  • Durable and easy to sharpen

What We Like

  • The anti-vibration feature affects the chain’s traction 
  • Can be a bit loose for the wrong chainsaw
  • Unsuitable for light-duty tasks
Sale
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
  • A low kickback, low-vibration chain Developed to meet the specific needs of today's lightweight...
  • Great cutting performance and bore cut
  • Perfect for arborists and for users who use smaller-size chainsaws in high-production environment.

Best Chainsaw Chain for the Money: Husqvarna 14 inches Chain

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 14' .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...

The Husqvarna 14 inches chain boasts of impressive durability and little to no maintenance making it the perfect choice for your 14 inches chainsaw chain. It’s one of the most top-rated low-profile cutting chains available and is ideal for woodworkers looking for optimal performance from this product.

This chamfer chisel chain is perfect for anyone looking for a smaller chainsaw that you can use in high-production environments. It also delivers the same durability and cutting performance of semi-chisel chains. The 52 drive link tool can handle tough cutting projects with minimal vibration and kickback while enhancing safety and reducing user fatigue.

This cutter chain is an excellent choice for your small chainsaw as it features 0.050 inches chain gauge and 3/8 inches chain pitch. With 52 drive links, it can cut through wood pieces quickly and effortlessly so that you can complete the task within a short period. It also eliminates the need to clean up debris and chips as it produces clean cuts.

Like most Husqvarna chainsaw chains, this product is perfect for people that own 14 inches Husqvarna chainsaw as its only comparable with cutter chains produced by the company. So, if you have a 136, 235, 316E, 335 XPT, and 338 XPT, it’s the best accessory you can use on your chainsaw to boost its performance. The ramped depth gauge and the bumper tie strap it comes with ensure ease of use and accuracy.

Additionally, the 3/8 inches chain pitch and 0.050 inches chain gauge are ideal for most chainsaws that provide around 42 cubic centimeters of power. This chamfer chisel chain is durable, robust, and capable of delivering unmatched performance under extreme conditions. It also delivers quick, clean cuts with less kickback and vibration than most models within its category.

This cutter chain also retains its cutting sharpness for an extended period to enable you to complete any task quickly as it reduces the need for frequent sharpening. Although this model may not fit on some of the chainsaws on the package, it will deliver powerful and precise cuts you desire. It’s a worthy investment if you want your 14 inches chainsaw to perform optimally. 

What We Like 

  • Chamfer Chisel cutters require less maintenance
  • Ideal for professionals and homeowners
  • Great for smaller 14 inches chainsaws
  • Perfect for demanding conditions
  • Retains its sharpens for a long period

What We Like

  • Does not fit on some of the chainsaw models indicated on the package
  • The chain gets loose after some time
  • Unsuitable for heavy-duty tasks
Sale
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 14" .050 Gauge 3/8 Pitch...
  • A low kickback, low-vibration chain Developed to meet the specific needs of today's lightweight...
  • Great cutting performance and bore cut
  • Perfect for arborists and for users who use smaller-size chainsaws in high-production environment.

Best Cheap Chainsaw Chain: Oregon S52

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...

If you have 14 inches chainsaw, you don’t have to sacrifice performance as the Oregon S52 chainsaw chain will ensure your 14 inches chainsaw handles tougher jobs that only its larger rivals can tackle. This chain boasts of great chip flow and produces smooth, quick cuts, which make it ideal for a wide range of cutting and trimming jobs.

This 14 inches cutting chain comes with 0.050 inches chain gauge, 3/8 inches chain pitch, and 52 drive links, making it an excellent choice for various wood cutting projects. It also comes with chamfer chisel cutters that provide the precision and speed of semi-chisel cutter chains. 

When it comes to durability, the Oregon chainsaw chain is hard-chromed and heat-treated to make it resistant to corrosion and for added sturdiness. It cuts smoothly to clear chips and debris away from the cut while minimizing the risks of kickbacks and vibrations. Also, the chamfer chisel cutting chains deliver impressive performance.

If you have 14 inches chainsaw manufactured by Craftsman, Remington, Oregon, Poulan, Homelite, or Echo, this is the ideal chain you can buy. The chain can make your smaller chainsaw to perform exceptionally like its larger rivals. It’s also the best value for people that own 14 inches chainsaws.

The S52 model performs remarkably well as it cuts through hard and softwood effortlessly. Its teeth also remain sharper for a longer period than other options available as they use chrome and hardened steel. Plus, it’s corrosion-resistant and it delivers exceptional performance in a wide range of conditions, which makes it ideal for amateur woodworkers. 

This model is easy to maintain, durable and will enable your small chainsaw to handle tasks reserved for its larger counterparts. One incredible feature you may appreciate is the advanced chainsaw blade technology that ensures your cutter remains sharper and tough. There is also the LubriTech oiling system for maximum lubrication.

Even though this model may not fit some chainsaws, it’s still a great choice for most of the 14 inches chainsaws available. If you’re professional and find that this cutting chain is not aggressive enough, remember it’s only intended for home use.

What We Like 

  • Perfect for a variety of cutting and trimming tasks
  • Minimizes the risks of kickbacks and vibrations
  • Its teeth remain sharper for a long time
  • Durable and corrosion-resistant
  • Delivers exceptional performance

What We Like

  • May not fit some of the chainsaws on the market
  • Some users find it less aggressive
  • Probably unsuitable for professionals
Sale
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...
  • Not all chains will fit all saws brands mentioned on the packaging, to make sure you are getting the...
  • Precision cutting chain, heat-treated, and hard-chromed cutter chain
  • Unique cutter design cuts smooth and fast with minimum kickback

Best Chainsaw Chain for Professionals: Oregon S62

Oregon S62 AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...

Another incredible cutter from Oregon that has made it to our list is the Oregon S62 chainsaw chain. This is the perfect cutting accessory for anyone looking for a precise, high-performance cutter for occasional home improvement projects like pruning branches. Built with quality and safety in mind, this model is ideal for woodworkers that own 18 inches chainsaws looking to handle heavy-duty tasks.

Like other Oregon models featured in this review, this precision, high-performer cutting chain is also hard-chromed and heat-treated to enhance durability and performance. Its unique cutting chain design delivers smooth, clean cuts while minimizing the risks of kickback. It also has the LubriTec mechanism that helps to keep the guide bar and chain oil for longer life and less friction. 

Additionally, its semi-chisel design enables it to retain its cutting power for an extended period, even when used on heavy-duty tasks or hardwood. The 18 inches chain comes with 62 drive links and is an excellent option for people looking for great performance with enhanced safety, minimal vibrations, and reduced kickbacks.

If you have 18 inches Oregon chainsaw, Poulan, Homelite, and Craftsman, then this semi-chisel chain may be what you are looking for to improve the performance of your tool. The S62 cutter chain boasts of increased durability and delivers impressive cutting power. Plus, it’s also easy to maintain and sharpen, thanks to its design. 

It’s also compatible with the brands we have mentioned and offers low-vibration performance as well as long-lasting sharpness. This means it can withstand long hours of heavy use without sharpening or maintenance. In addition, it’s the best bargain for people looking to increase the performance of their 18 inches chainsaws. 

When working with the Oregon cutter, you don’t have to worry about accidents as its ability to minimize vibrations and kickbacks delivers a safer user experience. Additionally, if you are looking for clean cuts, this model is the perfect choice to deliver smooth, professional-looking results in different working conditions.

Although it has limited compatibility, the S62 chain may be ideal if you have 18 inches chainsaw from one of the brands we have listed and want a chain that delivers high-performance to handle heavy-duty cutting tasks while retaining its sharpness. 

What We Like 

  • Hard-chromed and heat-treated for added durability
  • Retains its sharpness for a long period
  • Enhanced safety and minimal vibrations
  • Easy to maintain and sharpen
  • Delivers high-performance

What We Like

  • May not fit some chainsaw models
  • Not ideal for homeowners
  • Limited compatibility
Oregon S62 AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...
  • Not all chains will fit all saws brands mentioned on the packaging, to make sure you are getting the...
  • Precision cutting chain, heat-treated, and hard-chromed cutter chain
  • Unique cutter design cuts smooth and fast with minimum kickback

Best Chainsaw Chain for Precise Cuts: Oregon S56

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...

The Oregon S56 chainsaw chain is another fantastic product from Oregon, a brand famous for making quality, high-performance tools. Like the Oregon S52 model, the 16 inches semi-chisel chain is another great option you can purchase for your 16 inches chainsaw. This product is hard-chromed and heat-treated to ensure it delivers quick, clean cuts with fewer vibrations and kickbacks.

The 16 inches low-profile chainsaw chain comes with 56 drive links while its twin cutting corners ensure unmatched performance. This cutter chain is ideal for 42 cubic centimeter chainsaw sizes and it comes with semi-chisel teeth that enable it to handle hardwood effortlessly while ensuring easy maintenance and durability. 

One advantage of Oregon chains is that they tend to be more versatile, unlike some brands on this list that are only compatible with the chainsaw models they manufacture. This means you can buy this cutter chain regardless of whether you have 16 inches Oregon, Craftsman, Homelite, Husqvarna, Poulan Remington, Echo, or Remington chainsaw.  

Oregon offers tremendous durability and value when it comes to its cutting chains, which make the S56 model a great deal at its price. Also, its semi-chisel teeth allow it to slice through hard or softwood with ease. Plus, the chain is robust and retains its sharpness for an extended period, even during heavy-duty use.

The 16 inches Oregon chainsaw chain features the same toughness, quality, speed, and sharpness that comes with all Oregon cutting chains. The installation process is easy and can help smaller 16 inches chainsaws handle projects that require precision and speed that you only expect from larger cutters.

Although the semi-chisel design makes it cut hardwood pieces a bit slowly compared to square chisel options, it makes it durable. This means if you hit the ground accidentally while working on your wood cutting projects, you won’t have to worry about the teeth losing much of its sharpness. 

Overall, this product is a fantastic wood cutting chain. Even though it’s a moderate performance chain cutter, it can tackle tough projects comfortably. Like the other Oregon model on our list, it has a strong design. The chain delivers powerful, precise cuts and has impressive features. It’s also an ideal option for home use as it can satisfy most of your wood cutting needs.

What We Like 

  • Retains its sharpness for a long period
  • Delivers quick, precise cuts
  • Reduced vibrations and kickbacks
  • Great for 16 inches chainsaws
  • Requires little maintenance

What We Like

  • Cuts pieces of wood a bit slowly
  • The chain can become loose with time
  • May not fit some of the other models listed 
Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits...
  • For saw sizes up to 42 cc
  • Semi-chisel chainsaw chain for Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, and Remington brands
  • Precision cutting chain, heat-treated, and hard-chromed cutter chain

Chainsaw Chain Features and Considerations

It’s important to consider the projects you intend to carry out with your saw chain when shopping for the tool. You also need to go for a chain that comes with the right length and sharpness for optimal performance. Here are the factors to consider when looking for the best chainsaw chain:

Type of Chainsaw Chain

There are different types of chainsaw chains designed for different types of applications. The most common types include:

Semi-Chisel

These types of chains have rounded teeth corners and are ideal for those woodcutters that usually work with softwood. Although they cut slowly, they are ideal for different levels of chainsaw users and have anti-kickback mechanisms. They also remain sharper longer.

Close up view of chainsaw chain

Full-Chisel

These cutters have sharp square teeth that enable them to cut through hardwood effortlessly with minimal resistance. However, they do not maintain sharpness for long and have high risks of kickbacks. Full-chisels are usually best for professional projects since they deliver impressive speed performance. 

Low-Profile

Low-profile cutters are the most popular on the market since they are compatible with several chainsaw brands. They are easy to install and sharpen, which makes them popular among beginner woodcutters. They also come with safety elements between the teeth and produce less vibration. However, these cutters require frequent sharpening.

Bar Length

The bar is an important element that supports the chain. So, the length of the chain depends on the bar length. As such, you should measure the bar length before buying your chain to ensure it fits the bar perfectly. The bar length can range from 8 inches to 30 inches, depending on the chainsaw you use.

The ideal chain length should cover the bar length and leave a little space for adjusting using the tensioner. If the chain is too big, it can fall off the bar due to being loose. On the other hand, a shorter chain will limit movement of the chain as it will fit snugly on the bar.

You shouldn’t risk working with a chainsaw chain that does not fit tightly on the bar as it reduces the efficiency of the chainsaw and increases kickback risks. To get the correct measurement of your bar length, measure the tip of the bar to the point it emerges from the chainsaw. You should also check your product’s user manual for specifications of the bar length.

Safety features

Regardless of your skill level, a chainsaw is a dangerous and powerful tool that you should handle with a lot of care to avoid accidents. So, when looking for a chain, get one with features that will ensure your safety. Some essential safety features include:

  • Anti-Vibration: Chainsaws that produce high levels of vibration can lower your productivity and make you feel fatigued. Additionally, they tend to increase the risk of accidents since the vibration reduces your level of control. However, you can experience less vibration if the chain fits the bar perfectly. 

Fortunately, some chainsaw chains produce low-vibration and smooth performance to ensure you work comfortably and for an extended period.

  • Anti-Kickback: Kickback is one of the most serious accidents a chainsaw can produce, and the outcome is usually disastrous. However, you can reduce the chances of this happening when you go for anti-kickback chains optimized to minimize the probability of the chain getting stuck in the pieces of wood. You can find this feature in most generic chains available on the market.

Chain Pitch

Chain pitch refers to the distance between the three rivets on your chainsaw chain. You then divide this distance by two. The most popular chain pitches are 3/8 inches and 0.325 inches. However, there are other pitch sizes. It’s important to note that if the chain pitch is bigger, the chainsaw size and bar length will be heavy. 

The smaller 0.325 inches pitch is perfect for compact chainsaws used for farm and domestic applications, while the 3/8 inches pitch is ideal for professionals that value durability, balance, and the exceptional cutting power. Although the two pitch types offer high speeds and impressive cutting results, you should choose the pitch that is compatible with the projects you handle and your tool.

Chain Gauge

This refers to the thickness of your drive links. So, you should ensure the chain gauge you intend to buy is compatible with the guide bar gauge. This is crucial for the efficient and smooth performance of your chainsaw chain. If you opt for a chain that is equipped with a small gauge, you may struggle to cut through materials as it may slip off the guide bar.

Also, oversized chain gauges may not fit at the bottom of your guide bar. Although there are many chain gauge sizes available for different types of chainsaws, the most common sizes range from 0.50 inches to 0.63 inches. You can find more information about your chain gauge on your tool’s guide bar. 

Used metal chainsaw chain

Chain Drive Links

These are the parts that you fit into your guide bar. They are an important element that you should know about when shopping for your chainsaw chain. This is because the number of drive links on your chain will give you the most accurate measurements of your chainsaw’s chain length. You can check your tool’s body to see whether there are printed figures or count the number of drive links on your chain manually.

Maintenance

Before buying a chainsaw chain, we recommend you go for a product you can easily maintain. Some chains, like the carbide plated, require special tools for sharpening. So, if you opt for one of these, it will be more affordable to keep buying new chains rather than looking for someone with the right equipment. 

However, this can only work if you have the appropriate sharpening tools. For this reason, it will be a good idea to buy a chain you can easily maintain using a file. This will ensure that you get more value out of the investment and also reliable service.

Working Environment

This is another important factor to pay attention to when looking for a chainsaw chain. If you plan to work outdoors in hot or damp environments with high humidity, we recommend buying a chain that comes with the corrosion protection feature. General type chains will be an excellent choice for homeowners as long as they keep performing regular maintenance.

Price

Price is another important factor worth your consideration as it will determine the type of chainsaw chain you will buy. Although there are many inexpensive, high-quality chains on the market, avoid buying the cheapest chain you can get. That is why we have reviewed different chain brands as well as products with different price ranges to make your shopping experience easier and faster.

Wrap Up

The chainsaw chain you buy should serve you for a long period and efficiently. However, if you leave it to dull, it can cause your chainsaw to overheat, which can end up shortening the life of your tool. We hope our guide will help you make the right purchase as it contains relevant information. With this list, you can buy any of the chains we have reviewed confidently, as all the products are highly rated on the market.