Chainsaws come in very handy when cutting trees and hedges. If you live or work on a farm, you know the importance of having a chainsaw. Professionals in the timber industry also find great convenience in using chainsaws. Chainsaws come equipped with replaceable chains. The chains wear out after numerous sessions of cutting and sharpening. You wouldn’t want to buy another chainsaw just because the chain is worn out. Right? Having the best chainsaw chain on your chainsaw is very paramount. It informs how well your chainsaw cuts into wood, and ultimately how effective it is. Working with a worn-out chainsaw is very dangerous too.

The manufacturers of chainsaws manufacture replacement chains too. The chains can, however, be used on multiple chainsaws, even if they don’t come from the same manufacturer. Just like the chainsaws, there are many types of chainsaw chains on the market. Finding the best one among the many types might prove to be a daunting task. You shouldn’t worry though! If your chainsaw’s chain is worn-out and you don’t know which one is the best to replace with, you’ve come to the right place. We tasked ourselves with reviewing several chainsaw chains that we established work great. Let’s dive right in and get you the best chain for your chainsaw! First, below is a comparison table of the various types of chainsaw chains available in the market.

Best Chainsaw Chains 2018

NamePriceLengthPitchgauge
Husqvarna 531300439 PixelCheck Price18 ‘’325.050
Oregon S40Check Price10’’3/8.050
Husqvarna H4684Check Price24’’3/8.050
Husqvarna 531300441Check Price20’’3/8.050
Oregon VanguardCheck Price20’’3/8.050
STIHL 26RSCheck Price20’’325.063
Oregon S56Check Price16’’3/8.050

1) Husqvarna 531300439 Pixel – Best Chainsaw Chain

best chainsaw chainThere are several things expected from a good chainsaw chain. The chain should have well-designed drive links, which firmly fit into your chainsaw’s guide. The vibrations and Kickback of the chain should be minimal too. The Husqvarna 531300439 delivers all these requirements with great efficiency. This chain can be used in many 18-inch chainsaws, even those that are not from Husqvarna. The important thing is always to ensure that the chain can feet into your saw. The sharpening process of the chain is very straightforward, and if you have a chainsaw with an automatic sharpening system, things get even better.

Core Features

  • The chain is for an 18’’ bar
  • The chain fits the following chainsaws from Husqvarna; 41,45,52,336,445,351 among others.
  • It has a 325-inch pitch
  • The saw has a .050-inch pitch
  • It is a high-performance chain
  • It has low vibration while in use

Pros

  • The chains work with low-vibration; this delivers more efficiency
  • The chain can fit many chainsaws
  • It is a high-performance chain; it will last longer and work more effectively
  • The chain is easy to sharpen if your chainsaw requires manual sharpening

Cons

  • The chain is advertised as able to fit the Husqvarna 55 chainsaw, but it does not.

Opinion

Husqvarna is a popular brand of chainsaws and chainsaw chains. They make some of the best chainsaws in the market. You do not expect their chains to fall short either. This chain comes with precise dimensions, which ensure it fits perfectly on your chainsaw for optimum performance. You need a chainsaw that will serve you for long. The Husqvarna 531300439 is very durable and reliable. The chain seems like it’s designed for heavy-duty and professional applications judging from the kind of chainsaws it fits into. If you are a professional and you desire a durable and resilient chainsaw chain, this could be the one for you. This chain could work well as the best chainsaw chain for cutting firewood.

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2) Oregon S40 Chainsaw Chain

good chainsaw chainOregon is yet another popular brand of chainsaws. Their chainsaw chains are also equally as popular. They fit in multiple chainsaw guides. This chainsaw is designed for precision cutting and comes with a unique cutter design. Many of the chains available in the market have an almost identical cutter design. Oregon distinguished itself by its efficient and smooth-running chainsaw chain design. The chain has a chrome hardened semi-chiseled cutters. It cuts fast and has very minimal kickback. Oregon chainsaw brand is one of those that have been able to keep up with technology. The S40 chain is an advanced technology chain which is tough and sharp. The chain is easy to maintain.

Core Features

  • The chainsaw chain is 10’’.
  • It fits into the following Oregon chainsaws; craftsman, Poulan, and Remington
  • It has 3/8’’ pitch
  • It has .050 gauge
  • It is equipped with hard-chromed cutters
  • It has a minimal kickback
  • The cutters are semi-chisel

Pros

  • The chain is easy to maintain
  • It has minimal kickback which makes it safe
  • The hard-chromed semi-chisel cutters make it durable
  • The chain is heat-treated hence strong and reliable
  • The chain enables precision cutting

Cons

  • It does not always fit on all the indicted chainsaws. You may have to call Oregon customer care to find out whether it will fit on your saw.
  • The saw is designed for light and occasional home user. It cannot stand intensive and high-pressure use.

Opinion

The Oregon S40 chainsaw chain is developed with advanced technology to ensure a perfect fit and smooth running. It has minimal kickback, hence more safety and precision. This is very desirable of a chainsaw chain. It cannot be used for professional purposes though. It is best suited for light home uses, that are occasional. It is easy to maintain and will last long if used within its limits. Overall, the chain delivers a good enough performance within its mandate.

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3) Husqvarna H4684 Chainsaw Chain

fastest cutting chainsaw chainWe have yet another chainsaw chain from the Husqvarna brand.  This chainsaw is almost similar to the one highlighted above, only that it is 24’’ chain. It fits into some chainsaws form the different brands. The chain is strong enough to handle tough conditions and is very appropriate for professional use. The chain features well-placed drive links that enable it to fit perfectly into the chainsaw’s bar. This chain delivers a smooth and low-vibration run.

Core Features

  • The chainsaw chain is 24.’’
  • It has a 3/8’’ pitch
  • It has .050’’ gauge
  • It fits many 24’’ chainsaws from Husqvarna including; 362xp, 365, 395xp,576XP and many others
  • It features 84 drive links

Pros

  • The chain is great for tough conditions
  • It fits in many chainsaws
  • The chain has low vibration
  • The chain is easy to sharpen and maintain

Cons

  • The chain requires constant adjustment to ensure it does not come off

Opinion

The Husqvarna H46684 chain, just like its counterpart does not disappoint. It is also a heavy-duty application chain. It will fit well with most chainsaws and hence convenient. Its maintenance and sharpening procedures are easy to follow. If your chainsaw has automatic sharpening and oiling systems, then you have much less to worry about. The constant adjustment should not worry you, most of today’s, chainsaws have tool-less, easy and quick chain adjustment.

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4) Husqvarna 531300441 Chainsaw Chain

chainsaw chain for pineWe encounter yet another chain from the Husqvarna brand, further proving the quality of Husqvarna products. The 20’’ chain fits in numerous chainsaws both from Husqvarna and from other brands. This chain is developed to ensure optimum safety for the user, rather than for power. It runs smooth and has a perfect fit on the chainsaw’s bar. The chain is still a high-performance chain though. It can power through professional and heavy-duty cutting requirements.

Core Features

  • It has a 3/8 inches pitch
  • It comes with a .050 gauge
  • The chain has low vibration
  • It is a high-performance chain
  • It fits into numerous chains from Husqvarna including; 55,257,455 Rancher,460 Rancher, and many others.

Pros

  • The chain is designed to ensure optimum safety
  • It works well under high power
  • The chain has minimal vibration; this enhances safety too
  • It can fit in many chainsaws, even those from other brands
  • It has a perfect fit on the chainsaw’s bar

Cons

  • The anti-vibration system of the chain limits its traction and hence cutting.

Opinion

Husqvarna continues to dominate the review. This is yet another very effective chainsaw, though its mandate is a bit different.This chain could work well as a chainsaw chain for pine applications. Your safety as you work is very paramount. The 531300441 chain is designed to ensure you remain safe. It is optimized towards ensuring minimal kickback and vibration. Vibrations lead to energy wastage, while kickback can easily cause you harm. In the efforts to achieve this optimization, the traction of the chain is affected. The chain is a high-performance chain though. That being said, it is better to be safe than sorry. Right?

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5) Oregon Vanguard Best Chainsaw Chain For Hardwood

best chainsaw chain for hardwoodThis is the second Oregon chain we have in the review. Unlike the first one, the Oregon vanguard is a 20’’ chain, twice the length of the S40. Most of the other features appear similar though. However, this chainsaw chain is made strong for professional and demanding applications. It still features precision cutting and advanced technology. It has the chrome-hardened cutters, and it is heat treated. These two features make chain fit for tough conditions. The safety of the user is optimized though guaranteed minimal kickback and low-vibrations. The chain has no fitting problems as long as you are trying to mount it on the correct chainsaws.

Core Features

  • The chain is a high-performance chain
  • It is designed for precision cutting
  • It is heat treated
  • It is fitted with hard-chromed cutters
  • It has a minimal kickback

Pros

  • The heat treatment and hard-chromed cutters make the chain very strong
  • Its maintenance and sharpening are easy
  • It has optimized safety measures
  • It fits on many chainsaws from Oregon and other brands
  • The chain is made for precision cutting; this makes it very convenient
  • The chain applies to tough and demanding conditions

Cons

  • The chainsaws indicated on the packaging of the chain may not fit at times. You may require calling Oregon’s customer care to find out the correct details.

Opinions

The Oregon Vanguard is a bigger and stronger chain than the S40. Most of the features are almost similar, but the scopes of operation are different in size. This chain can withstand high power levels and is very appropriate for professional applications. The sharp and hard cutters of the Oregon Vanguard are particularly desirable features of the chain. The chain can deliver a great performance, while all safety mechanisms are also in place. That’s impressive. If you are looking to power through those logs with a chain with tremendous aggressiveness, this is the chainsaw chain for you. This is the best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

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6) STIHL 26RS – Fastest Cutting Chainsaw Chain

best stihl chainsaw chain
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The Stihl 26RS features on this review as a result of the uniqueness of Stihl products. This chainsaw chain only fits on Stihl chainsaws. The 26RS fits in a number of them and hence its appearance here. Stihl chainsaws are very popular too. The high-performance chain fits on 20’’ chainsaws. The chain is durable and reliable. It can withstand high power and can be used in tough conditions. This is the best Stihl chainsaw chain.

Core Features

  • The chain is high-performance
  • It is 20’’ in length
  • It comes with a 325 pitch
  • It has .063 gauge
  • It can fit in some Stihl chainsaws such as;024, 026, 038, ms291, ms271 and many more.

Pros

  • The chainsaw chain can withhold high power
  • The chain can be used in demanding conditions
  • It has minimal vibration and Kickback
  • The chain has a perfect fit on Stihl chainsaws

Cons

  • The chain can only be used in STIHL chainsaws
  • The chain is very unforgiving when it comes into contact with dirt

Opinion

The Stihl 26RS is designed for optimal performance, though it can only be used on Stihl chainsaws. The chain needs extra care and maintenance to ensure it stays clean and sharp, as it does not recover from dirt. It is a high-performance chain, capable of handling the most demanding situations. Under good maintenance, the chain is very durable and reliable. Its use might be limited. But it is a very effective chain. The chain handles tremendous power and could arguably be the fastest cutting chainsaw chain on this list.

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7) Oregon S56 Chainsaw Chain

chainsaw chainLastly, we review another Oregon chainsaw chain. Oregon has proven itself a leader in the development and manufacture of chainsaws. The S56 does not disappoint in any way. It bears most of the signature features of its siblings on the review. It is a 16’’ chain though. It fits on some chainsaws of the same length in bar-length, both from the Oregon brand and from other brands. It is a moderate performance chain. It can handle considerably high-power levels, but it should not be pushed too much. The chain has low vibration and kickback.

Core Features

  • It comes with a 3/8 inches pitch
  • It features a .050 inches gauge
  • It is a moderate performance chain
  • It has low vibration and Kickback
  • It has precision cutting features
  • It comes equipped with hard-chromed semi-chisel cutters

Pros

  • The chain can withstand considerably high-power levels
  • The hard-chromed semi-chisel cutters are very effective
  • The low vibration and kickback ensure optimum safety and energy efficiency
  • The precision cutting features make it very convenient
  • It is easy to maintain and sharpen the chain

Cons

  • The chain may not fit in all the chainsaws indicated on the package it arrives in. You need to call Oregon customer care if you are not sure whether the chain will fit your chainsaw before buying it.

Opinion

The Oregon S56 is a moderate performance chain. It can still be used in demanding situations, but it shouldn’t be pushed too much. As far as its mandate is concerned, it performs very well. Oregon chains can fit in chainsaws from the other brands. If you have a low power chainsaw and you are looking to upgrade by mounting a powerful chain on it. This could be the chain for you. Overall, the performance of the chain is above average.

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Best Chainsaw Chains 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

We have gone through several Chainsaw chains form several brands that dominate the chainsaw market. The features highlighted to give you a glimpse of what the best chainsaw chain entails. However, the review has not concluded on which chain is the best. Mostly, the different features of the chains do not make much difference in the performance of the chain. They only inform which chainsaws they fit one. The performance is influenced by the power of the chainsaw on which the chain will be fitted. However, there are some factors that influence how effective a chain is in cutting. While buying, you need to consider the fitting aspects to ensure the chain you get will fit into your chainsaw. You also need to consider the other factors that influence how effective the chain is.

The Fitting Specifications

  1. Chain Size

The size of the chain you get should coincide with the size of the bar of your chainsaw. For instance, if your chainsaw’s bar measures 20’’, you should get a 20’’ chain. A wrong sized chain will most likely not fit on the chainsaw or will be too loose to cut. The information about size is always displayed on the package of the chain, though you can manually measure the chain before purchasing it.

  1. Chain Pitch and Gauge

These are very important aspects of the best chainsaw chains fitting. They inform vibration levels and the tension of the chain while on the chainsaw’s guide. The exact specifications of the pitch and gauge are always on the package of the chain. It is important that you don’t rely on the recommendations written on the package about the types of chainsaws on which the chain can fit. At times some of these are wrong, especially when the chain and the chainsaw are from different brands. Confirming aspects such as pitch and gauge will ensure you don’t get the wrong chain.

The aspects that inform the effectiveness of a good chainsaw chain include;

  1. Anti-Vibration

Chain vibrations affect the effectiveness and traction of a chain while cutting. These vibrations translate into energy wastage. Various chains come equipped with systems to ensure they have minimal vibrations. As such, it is important that you ensure the chain you get minimal or no vibrations to ensure your energy does not go to waste. Vibrations could also be caused by having a chain with the wrong gauge. Always strive to ensure the gauge of the chain you get matches to that of your chainsaw.

  1. Anti-Kickback

In as much as being able to cut through hardwood fast is desirable, your safety remains paramount. Chainsaws suffer a dangerous phenomenon known as the kickback. It refers to a situation where the chain cutters get stuck in the wood, while it is at full throttle. The reaction force pushes back on the user and could get him injured. Modern chains are equipped with anti-kickback features. It is important that you ensure you remain safe by getting such chains. The anti-kickback feature affects that traction of the chain though.

Conclusion

Having reviewed numerous chainsaw chains, you are now in a much better position to make an informed decision on which chain is the best. First, always remember that the chain must be the right size and gauge, before going ahead to consider the other features. The review and the buying guide could be useful if you are looking to replace the chain of your chainsaw and you do not know where to start. It is a long review though. You might not be able to remember all the details in it. Below is a summary table of all the chains featured in the review and their respective features and prices. You can quickly skim through it and make comparisons.

NameCore FeaturesPrice
Husqvarna 531300439 Pixel
  • 18 inches

  • Low vibration

  • High performance

  • Fits multiple chainsaws

  • Check Price
    Oregon S40
  • Precision cutting

  • Heat treated

  • Hard-chromed cutters

  • Easy maintenance

  • Minimal Kickback

  • 10 inches

  • Check Price
    Husqvarna H4684
  • Fits multiple chainsaws

  • High performance

  • Low vibration

  • 24 inches

  • Check Price
    Husqvarna 531300441
  • 20inches

  • High performance

  • Low vibration

  • Enhanced safety

  • Minimal kickback

  • Check Price
    Oregon Vanguard
  • Precision cutting

  • Chrome hardened cutters

  • Full chisel cutters

  • Advanced technology

  • High performance

  • Check Price
    STIHL 26RS
  • Only fits Stihl chainsaws

  • High performance

  • Low vibration

  • Minimal kickback

  • Sensitive to dirt

  • Check Price
    Oregon S56
  • Semi-chiseled cutters

  • Chrome hardened cutters

  • 16 inches

  •  Moderate performance

  • Check Price

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