Basic Chainsaw Chain Types: Use Most Aggressive and Safe Chainsaw Chain

10 Top Basic Chainsaw Chain Types - A to Z Options Guide

If you are willing to learn more about existing chainsaw chain ttypes, this article is for you. We have gathered all the needed information concerning various types of chainsaw chains. We would like you to study the whole article in order to get acquainted with all the types of chainsaw chains installed on chainsaws for cutting wood.

The Chain Is Vital


Actually, the chain happens to be the most vital feature of any existing chainsaw. Usually chainsaw chains are presented in the market with various cutting elements. Usually they are designed to cut several types of wood such as timber or pulp, firewood, tree possessing etc. If your carbide chain is not operating well, you won’t be able to cut wood in large volumes and at high speeds.

When you implement a chainsaw chain types for several days, it can turn to be rather worn. Therefore, it will need to be replaced in order to keep your saw safe as well as to maintain a high quality level of operating.

You should always take into account that it’s not very easy to replace a right chainsaw chain, so if you don’t know how to do it, call for a professional’s assistance and you should understand when to replace semi chisel chainsaw chain types.

And, of course, you need to know as much as you can about available chainsaw chain types to have enough information when you are willing to buy a standard chainsaw chain for your saw.

Cutter Types With Tooth Design

chainsaw is cutting the log

There are three main types of cutters which obtain teeth: two types of chisel chains and a low profile chain. Below we have described each one of them more deeply.

Full Chisel

chainsaw chain

This type of cutters is usually used to cut hardwood trees at a high speed, for which full chisel cutters are supplied with edges of a square shape. This shape allows these cutters to create a rough surface at a spot where they cut, so full chisel cutters are suitable for the occasions when we don’t need any smooth or level surfaces left.

Such chains happen to get dull much more quickly than any other cutters since the full chisel chains particularly used for cutting rough and often dirty wood.

Because of the specific features of this low profile chainsaw chain using a full chisel cutter needs to be carefully maintained and sharpened. Another thing that you should take into account is that this skip tooth chains can cause kickback when it operates at high speeds, so you should be careful while using a full chisel cutter and it’s better to have some experience of using a chainsaw.

In other words, don’t use such chisel chains if you saw them for the first time. Semi chisel chains are also easy in maintenance.


chainsaw chain

The second type of a chisel chainsaw chain bar is a semi-chisel standard chain. A semi-chisel cutter is different from the previous one described since a semi-chisel cutter obtains rounded edges, which makes it perfect for using to cut softwood at slower speeds.

Rounded edges also allow the semi-chisel chainsaw user to cut dry and dirty surfaces for a long time without them getting dull. Semi-chisel cutters are usually used for cutting several types of wood and trees in any circumstances. This type of cutters is also very durable, especially compared to the previously mentioned full-chisel chains.

Semi-chisel cutters operate at lower speeds than full chisel chain ones do, which makes the appearance of kickback less possible. Therefore, beginners can use this type of a chainsaw chain comfortably and safely. A semi-chisel chain is concerned to be one of the safest options according to the reviews of its users.

Another important point of narrow kerf that it’s rather easy to find a high quality semi-chisel chain in stores near your place of living.

Low Profile

This type of cutters is similar to semi-chisel chain design and can be used for cutting softwood trees even in dirty and cold environments.

Low profile cutters are really safe and suitable for beginners narrow kerf. A low profile cutter is constructed with special elements between chains in order to prevent kickback. Actually, we can definitely say that this low profile type is the most suitable for total beginners narrow kerf.

chainsaw chain


Of course, as any other cutter, a low profile chain pitch requires maintenance and sharpening, but it is needed less often, and the low profile chain pitch itself is easy to use and is sold in many shops and markets. In other words, you will definitely find suitable low profile specialty chains not far from your home.

Chain Arrangement, Or Sequences

chainsaw is cutting the log

Three standard arrangements have been developed and are manufactured by chainsaw chain producers. We have decided to cover all of them in our article. Try to remember as many different types of chainsaw chains interchangeable as you can.

Full Component

chainsaw chain

This type of chainsaw chain arrangement presents a bar of 24 inches or more and obtains fewer teeth compared to other existing chain types. This arrangement is suitable for big chainsaws chain pitch because of the large size of the bar. Even though this chain arrangement has fewer teeth, it operates well cutting with specialty chains through wood at high speeds.

The chain arrangement is constructed to have spaces between teeth in order to make wood removal from a tree easier and more quickly.

Surfaces left by this teeth arrangement happen to be rather rough, so we can use it when we cut a lot of wood but we don’t need smooth surfaces, for instance, if we have timber or firewood.


chainsaw chain

The type of chain pitch with such an arrangement of teeth happens to be widely used. It has the most teeth compared to other chain types, which makes it possible to create smooth cut surfaces. A skip chain is usually applied on bars up to 24 inches long. A right chain doesn’t operate on longer bars.

Such a chainsaw chain works slower than any other type of full chisel chain, but they are ideal when we need smooth surfaces on wood. Thus, constructors usually use it for this reason. We again would like to point out that the use of this full skip chain arrangement is rather wide, and a full skip chain is perfectly suitable for making precise features.

But you should always remember that a Husqvarna’s pixel chain is not suitable for cutting large volumes of wood.

Semi Skip

chainsaw chain

Such chain arrangements are not so widely used as the previous ones, but they are applied in some more professional activities. This chisel chain is constructed with one or two links between each of its cutters. Such design makes this semi skip chain more powerful as well as provides the opportunity to create a smooth surface.

Nevertheless, we should always take into account that a semi skip chain doesn’t give a chance to work at high speeds, so a semi skip chain won’t be convenient if you need to cut a lot of wood quickly.

Available Chain Cutter Tips

Actually, not only the shape of the cutters or their number, and even the type of full chisel chain itself are responsible for the quality of narrow kerf chains cutting. The quality also depends on the material placed on the cutters’ tips or edges. There are three main types of possible materials:

  • Chrome
  • Carbide
  • Diamond

Usually, full chisel, as well as semi-chisel chains, are constructed with chrome-tipped cutters. This material helps to keep cutters rather sharp and endurable.


Actually, we should take into account that cutters obtaining chrome tips are widely used and supposed to be standard.

Professionals state that chainsaw chains with tips of carbide are much more durable than standard chainsaw chains.

Tips designed of carbide work much longer than those which are covered with chrome, and heat doesn’t have any effect on them. These features make carbide chains extremely suitable for ripping chain hard objects which can’t be cut by standard chainsaw chains, for instance, railroad ties.

Chains with carbide narrow kerf chains are also used by professionals in the following situations:

  • To go through roofs and walls;
  • To operate on icy wood in frozen water;
  • To chop waterlogged wood in frozen rivers.

Typically, carbide chainsaw chains happen to have higher prices for buying as well as sharpening, but it is worth buying because of its sharpness, operating qualities and durability.

Even higher prices are set on ripping chain length with diamond tips.

But the price meets the quality of the work since diamond chains are constructed to cut concrete and bars, so they fit only specific ripping chain length and bars created for this reason.

Available Types Of Chainsaw Blades or Bars

chainsaw chain

During our research we have found out that some producers design replacement bars with specific features. For instance, Intenz bars presented by Oregon give you the opportunity to change the chain gauge tension through loosening its bar nuts and putting a screwdriver to the adjustment slot of the full chisel chain gauge.

After the appearance of Intenz bars, some producers have constructed models of saws which operate only with these bars.

There exist several types of chainsaw bars. Let’s look into some of them.

Solid And Laminated Chainsaw Bars

chainsaw is cutting

Solid bars are designed of one piece of steel, which is seen from its name, while laminated ones are presented by two steel rails obtaining a steel core and a sprocket connecting them. Solid bars are very strong and stiff, and laminated bars are highly flexible.

Hard Nose and Replaceable Sprocket Nose Bars

Solid bars can be of two types mentioned above.

Replaceable sprocket nose bars are considered to be standard. As the name states, they have a sprocket located at the tip or the nose of the bar as well as rivets with the chains sitting on them. The rivets keep the chain gauge tightly at its place, so they give the user the opportunity to turn smoothly.

Moreover, most bars are made of a solid piece of metal, but the nose is usually separated and we can replace it if it is damaged.

chainsaw Stihl

To compare, hard nose bars happen to be one whole piece of metal all length through including the nose. They work perfectly in dirty occasions and are suitable for operating in a way when the nose bores right into the wood.

What Gear You Need While Working With Chainsaws

Of course, when you work with such equipment, you need to follow some safety rules. These things will help you to keep your body and mind safe:

a helmet system

If you have such equipment, you can be sure that your head, eyes, ears and hands won’t be hurt by wood, its parts or loud noises. Also make sure that you have clothes with long sleeves and legs. There are also special working suits which cover the whole body.

Special Types Of Chainsaws

Square Ground

chainsaw is cutting

This chainsaw type happens to be a full chisel chainsaw chain, which is specifically designed to be used by professionals. It is created in a way to operate faster and with higher quality than round-edged cutters do, and this special type works at a very high speed.

Therefore, it’s perfectly suitable for using when you have to cut large volumes of wood.

Even though they don’t get dull very quickly, square ground chainsaws also need to be regularly sharpened and maintained. We should always take into account that such chainsaws can be challenging in sharpening, so you will need some professional instruments such as a bench grinder.


chainsaw chain

The construction of a ripping chainsaw combines a usual semi-chisel chain cutter with several angled cutters. Actually, such chainsaws perform only one function and is usually used in chainsaw mills to cut planks at high speeds and in large quantities.

The angle of this cutter is just 10 degrees and shallow, which makes it perfectly suitable for designing really smooth surfaces of the cut frozen wood with narrow kerf chain.

What Chainsaw Chain Happens To Be The Most Aggressive

chainsaw Stihl

If you have ever been interested in what narrow kerf chain happens to operate most quickly, the answer to your question will be that it is the most aggressive semi chisel chain gauge. According to lots of users’ reviews and professional opinions, the most aggressive chainsaw brand is Stihl.

What defines aggressive types of narrow kerf chain? They are designed to be endurable for a long time, to work at high speed and to obtain high quality blades.

Another aggressive chainsaw chains brand is Husqvarna, which is widely known for several models of aggressive chains.

One more brand, Oregon, presents several types of aggressive chainsaw chains, which operate with higher performance but produce lower vibrations and noises, while are sold for acceptable prices.

Chainsaw users can actually name some more brands and models, but we hope that you are already sure that there are a lot of high quality and yet affordable options of aggressive chainsaw chains, so it will be easy for you to find a suitable one.

The Meaning Of Chainsaw Numbers

chainsaw is cutting

The numbers connected to a particular chainsaw chain model happen to mean the measurement of the pitch and gauge. The producers of chains have decided to use these numbers as ID codes.

When chainsaw users choose a semi chisel chain, we should remember that these numbers are vital and are responsible for the work of chains.

Pitch is implemented to measure the length or duration of all straight rivulets of the chain terminology, and the standard measurement is usually ⅜” or 0.325″. Meanwhile gauge shows users the size of the bar hole of the chainsaw chains. The most widely used parameters are 0.063, 0.058 and 0.050, which are suitable for quarter,  penny and dime fits.

It’s also important to take into accound drive links of a chainsaw chain. Drive links happen to be the bottom part of the chainsaw chains.

Actually, gauge show the thickness of drive links, and it’s very important to choose the right chain gauge and drive links to fit it into the bar accurately. The number of drive links also matters.

Make sure that you check all these parameters when you buy a chainsaw chain, so that it will be suitable for your saw chain. If you know which parameters characterise different types, you won’t need to check them every time.

Choosing the Suitable Chainsaw

chainsaw Stihl

So, we have described many different chainsaw chain types and looked into their main features. Different types vary not only in parameters and characteristics of chain links. Each chainsaw chain type is suitable for particular occasions and types of wood for using saw chain. 

Knowing about different types of chainsaw chain makes its easier to choose the fitting one.

Standard Chain Maintenance

chainsaw Stihl

A standard chain is not very difficult in its maintenance. Of course, if it is used saw chain in dirty conditions, it will need to be cleaned and repaired more often. We always should remember that a chainsaw teeth operates well if it is accurately looked after and regularly repaired number of drive links.

Another important thing is that a bar should be replaced from time to time in order to keep the chainsaw teeth in its best conditions.

If you can’t do this work right yourself, you can find a lot of different saw chain maintenance services. They will do their best to keep your saw, its chainsaw chains and bar in their best chainsaw blades.

You may also be interested: Main Steps How To Shorten A Chainsaw Chain.

In Closing about Chainsaw Chain Types

chainsaw is cutting

Above we have described several of the existing chainsaw chain types. We believe that knowing types of chainsaw chains is essential if you happen to be an active saw chain user and you want to use it for some particular purposes.

We hope that this article will be helpful for you when you decide to acquire a chainsaw blades and you need to choose which one in particular is necessary for your purposes.


We advise you to read the information carefully and find out how to store chainsaw


Serg Cooper
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Comments: 3
  1. James Lee

    My choice is a semi-chisel chainsaw chain – for its faster-cutting speed. In my work, it is the main advantage and demand.

  2. Tony Marcum

    STIHL chain is most suitable in comparison with even Husqvarna or Oregon chainsaw chain types in my view. If you work for several hours – than you should sharpen it after about the third cycle. The sharpening will take you several minutes.

  3. Charles B. Frank

    Fully agree with the author. Even the brand of the chainsaw is not so important as the chain itself. Chainsaw chain types can be different and the quality of the works fully depends on the chain. There is no sense in saving on the chain. I use Oregon now, no complaints.

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