Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood

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We’re guessing you’re here because you already looked into our past chainsaw guides and is now looking to revamp your chainsaw to chow down some hardwood.

When you need to cut trees, you need a chainsaw. A chainsaw without chains is like Nike without their signature swoosh. Just like Nike’s swoosh, chainsaw chains are an important part of any wood cutter’s life.

Finally, the chainsaw chains in this article will help you get the job done right the first time. The links below will take you to the chains that fit your saw perfectly.

Whether you want a smaller lightweight saw, or a heavyweight, high-powered saw, we can find the right one for your needs. We know what it takes to start a chain saw and keep it going, and we’ll make sure you have the best tools to do the job.

This article we’ve written gives you the pros and cons of some of the best chainsaw chain for hardwood as well as a detailed buying guide. You can get the wrong types of chainsaw chains for your hardwood, and that can lead to several problems. For example:

  • Fuel being Wasted
  • Cutting Difficulty
  • Wear and Tear because of Oil
  • Chain Life
  • Bar Damage
  • Risk of Injury

Don’t have time To read? No worries!
Below are our top picks for your convenience

Dweller Power’s Best Pick

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 18-Inch .050 Gauge

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 18-Inch .050 Gauge

  • Premium Abrasive Belts
  • Vibration Free
  • Designed for High Performance
  • Low Kickback
  • 1 Year Warranty

Runner Up

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

  • Lubri-Tec Lubrication System
  • Smooth Cutting Action
  • Low Kickback
  • Compatible with almost all chainsaw brands
  • Heat Treated Chain

2nd Runner Up

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Oregon R34 AdvanceCut Micro Lite Chainsaw Chain

Oregon R34 AdvanceCut 8-Inch Micro Lite

  • Lubri-Tec Lubrication System
  • Chrome Plated Cutters
  • Safety Design
  • Low Vibration
  • UL Classified Low-Kickback Chain

Hardwood, Softwood or Mixed Firewood?

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Wood Photo
Photo Courtesy by: Unsplash.com

It comes down to three simple factors:

Chainsaw – Consider fitting factors like the bar size and the displacement of the engine.

Usage – What are you cutting? Hardwood? Softwood? Firewood? – what type of cutting- chainsaw carving? Crosscutting? Felling? Ripping? etc…

Experience – Are you a first-time homeowner or a seasoned pro when it comes to using your chainsaw? Be sure with your own experience, because chainsaw kickback is a dangerous thing with lots of reported accidents.

Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood

Semi Chisel chains are a perfect choice for professional arborists, tree surgeons, and firewood processors that plan on dealing with the toughest known hardwood trees. It is also recommended for anyone who cuts their own firewood or wood for other construction projects.

We chose the Husqvarna brand because it’s considered a reliable American manufacturer and because it has been in the game for a long time. So whether you are looking to cut hardwood or dead trees, we have the tool you need. Husqvarna as a brand is definitely the #1 brand for best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

Chainsaw Chain for Softwood

When you are shopping for a sawchain for softwoods, such as pine, make sure you choose a full-chisel chainsaw chain. Full-chisel chains have a sharp edge. They will rip through softwood quickly if the wood is clean. If the wood is soiled or has sand in it, your chain will dull very quickly with a full-chisel cutter.

We recommend using a full-chisel blade if you’ll be cutting only softwoods. They don’t last nearly as long when used on hardwoods.

Since we’re talking about chainsaws, we recommend Husqvarna or Oregon brand saw chains. For softwood firewood cutting, best to get a full-chisel saw chain. Again, be sure you get the correct fitment, or you will waste your money and endanger yourself.

Chainsaw Chain for General Use

Saw chain recommendations for General Use can vary depending on the type of wood being cut, whether it is green or seasoned, and how many hardwoods vs. softwoods are being cut. The simplest way to tell you need a semi-chisel chain is if you are cutting mixed firewood – like most of us typically are. If this is the case, then a semi-chisel chain is all you need for your general use.

If you have to buck in dirty conditions, such as with all different types of wood, it is good to have a semi-chisel chain on your saw. It might take longer than with a regular chain when cutting through softwood, but it is good for versatility.


Top 5 Best Chainsaw Chains for Hardwood

#1 Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 18-Inch .050 Gauge – Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 18-Inch .050 Gauge

Features:

  • Boost the cutting game by sharpening every blade you own like a professional. Efficiently and accurately gives you the best edge you’ve ever seen.
  • Sharpening Made Easy. This sharpener is equipped with premium abrasive belts to handle all your sharpening needs. The coarse (P80) belt is best for removing the initial dull edge. The medium (P220) belt finishes the sharpening process. You can then finish on the fine (6000) grit belt if you wish to achieve a sharper edge. These belts will not burn or damage the blade steel during sharpening, so you don’t need to worry about doing any damage!
  • 1-year warranty – this product is intended for use in North America. Using a 220v power converter is not recommended. You can power it with an inverter from your car, truck, RV, boat, etc.
The Husqvarna Brand’s chainsaw chain lets you work your hardest without worrying about injury. With its patented speed-tooth design and limited-slip surface, the chain saw begins cutting instantly without much effort on your part and stays sharp long enough to get the job done right. This is the best chainsaw chain for hardwood by far.
Dweller Power

Review:

Husqvarna’s chainsaw is a great design with 0.325 pitch and 0.050 gauge. This makes it compatible with a variety of other bar-length chainsaws, wherein you can use a tool on an assortment of specific projects. If you are looking for smooth cuts, then Husqvarna is the right fit for your needs due to its 18-inch length and 72 drive links.

If you’re a homeowner or professional who works outdoors, you are best served by Husqvarna’s best chainsaw. Just make sure you avoid hard surfaces, ice, and bricks and stones when using the Husqvarna, as they cause the chain to dull quickly. Fortunately, Husqvarna replacement chain comes in a 2pack that works well for many users.

Pros

  • Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood
  • Vibration Free
  • Designed for High Performance
  • Low Kickback

Pros

  • May be take cutting mixed-wood longer

#2 Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Features:

Fits several chainsaw models including but not limited to:

  • Husqvarna 334T, 335T, T435, T540XP
  • EchoCS-310, CS-352, CS-355T, CS-370 –
  • Poulan260, 2150, 3516, WildThing
  • RyobiRY3716, RY43154
  • Greenworks 20152, 2000800, 2002802
  • Homelite UT43122, UT43123
  • Craftsman 34116, 358.35161, 358.35170, 358.35514, 358.38070, 358.38160, 38.38170

Review:

Ideal for DIY homeowners with one tool for multiple jobs — even on tough chores. The convenient design is perfect for home yard work and storm damaged trees. Engineered for safety, it meets UL and ANSI low kickback requirements.

Stop wasting your time and money on saw maintenance. LubriTec’s patented non-drip oiling system oil cuts down on maintenance while reducing wear on your saw, so you can spend more time working.

Oregon has the most wear-resistant chain on the market. Their industrial chrome coating and hardened rivets mean your chain stays sharp for longer, and you have to adjust it less. All Oregon chains feature a rust-proof, industrial chrome coating that withstands the most extreme conditions and allows for unmatched durability. 

The thick industrial coating creates hard chrome. This gives a longer life span. And the hardened steel and high-quality rivets mean a more durable chain.

Oregon’s precision cutting chain is tough, built from a unique design that provides a smoother and less rough-cutting experience. It also ensures that you experience reduced kickback and vibration if any at all. The S56 model of Oregon chains is extremely compatible with other chainsaws as well.

Oregon S56 is tough. It’s heat-treated to resist conditions that might damage blades. It’s also designed with a Lubri-Tec system, so it stays lubricated for long-lasting performance and good safety too.

The Oregon bar and chain oil lubrication system of your chain saw ensures that your chain performs in the best condition. When the cutting hours are long or arduous, this is an incredibly beneficial feature to have. It supplies a smooth, friction-free experience with your chain saw while using it. Some compatible brands include McCulloch, Echo, and Homelite.

In the end this chain saw is one of the best for cutting firewood or hardwood lumber on a regular basis. Definitely deserves it’s 2nd spot as the best chainsaw chain for hardwood

Pros:

  • Lubri-Tec Lubcrication System
  • Smooth Cutting Action
  • Low Kickback
  • Compatible with almost all chainsaw brands
  • Heat Treated Chain
  • Designed for Safety

Cons:

  • Durability in question

#3 Oregon R34 AdvanceCut 8-Inch Micro Lite

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Oregon R34 AdvanceCut Micro Lite Chainsaw Chain

Features:

  • 8″ chain fits Poulan and Remington brands pole saws
  • 8″ chain fits Poulan and Remington brands pole saws
  • UL classified low-kickback saw chain
  • Made in USA at ISO certified facility
  • Advanced technology ensures tough, sharp cutters

Review:

Oregon R34 Chainsaw Chains is a top rated saw chain. High quality technology along with overall reliability makes it a favorite among both professionals and homeowners. This chainsaw chain is compatible with other popular brands like Poulan and Remington and it’s sure to meet everyone’s needs and expectations.

The Oregon R34 Chainsaw Chain comes with a chain pitch of 3/8-Inch, with 0.043 Gauge are not for heavy duty jobs. The wood cutting process can reduce the amount of clear wood made. It requires less power and ideal for cutting woods in harder surfaces.

Oregon’s AdvanceCut chainsaw chain operates with low vibrations, making it easy to use. It has chrome-plated cutters that not only improve the chain’s wear resistance but also helps maintain sharpness of the chain.

The Lubri-Tec lubrication system is easy to install and provides consistent lubrication for a variety of chain applications. It helps chains remain cooler, extends their life by up to 50%, and is available in different sizes and styles to accommodate any requirement. Oregon chainsaw chain is available at a hardware store near you.

You will really never go wrong with deciding to stick with Oregon chainsaw chains, as they’re proven and tested through time. Oregon’s AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain is another running best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

Pros:

  • Lubri-Tec Lubrication System
  • Chrome Plated Cutters
  • Safety Design

Cons:

  • Gauge and Guide bar is made for Pole Saws
  • Not for heavy cutting

#4 Oregon D70 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Oregon D70 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Features:

Fits several chainsaw models including but not limited to:

  • Echo CS-452, CS-550EVL, CS-590, CS-600P, CS-620P, CS-650EVL, CS-660EVL, CS-670, CS-680, CS-750, CS-6700, CS-8000
  • Poulan330, 3400, 3450, 3700, 5200, PP5020
  • Homelite Super XL, Super XLAO, XL 12
  • McCulloch 10-10A,Pro Mac 610, Pro Mac 650, Pro Mac 700

Review:

DIY Homeowners – Do you need a chainsaw chain? If so, this is the perfect chain for you. It can handle tough jobs and cut storm damaged trees smoothly. Plus, it is engineered for safety, meeting all ANSI and UL requirements for low kickback.

LubriTec auto-lubrication keeps your chain running smoothly so you can work smarter and maximize your saw’s lifetime.

Chrome-plated welded chain cutters are extra strong and need less tension adjustment. Heat treat the chains to keep them sharp longer. Oregon makes the strongest, longest lasting chainsaw chains on the planet, making it one of the best brands for the best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

Oregon D70 lasts 20 inches long with a gauge of 0.050 inches. It’s made with a special cutter design that produces superb results even in the harshest conditions. Another highlight is its high visible durability, which means you can use it continuously, even in extreme conditions.

The chisel cutters are sharp and precise. They ensure the highest quality for every piece of wood. The design ensures there is little to no kickback.

Oregon has a feature called Lubri-Tec that helps lubricate the guide bar. Lubri-Tec stops the chain from rusting or breaking, and allows you to easily change the chain. This prevents it from heating up or having friction, which in turn increases its lifespan. It is strong and durable because it is made of OCS-01 steel, which offers high-performance corrosion resistance.

Pros:

  • Strongly made OCS-01 steel
  • Lubri-Tec Technology
  • Cutter Design is Unique
  • Chrome Platted Chain
  • Mixing bottle for gas included

Cons:

  • Not for heavy cutting

#5 Husqvarna 20″ 0.050 Gauge
Chainsaw Chain

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 20 0.050 Gauge

Features:

  • A low kickback, low-vibration chain Developed to meet the specific needs of today’s lightweight chainsaws
  • Great cutting performance and bore cut
  • Perfect for arborists and for users who use smaller-size chainsaws in high-production environment.
  • Well suited for commercial cutters, arborists and occasional users.

Review:

When you need a chain for lightweight chainsaws with commercial applications, choose this Husqvarna 0.05-inch density chainsaw chain. Its 3/8-inch pitch will make sure that your tool is reliable for years and won’t throw off vibrations.

Husqvarna’s low-profile 20-inch chainsaw chain is perfect for commercial cutters and small property owners. The design makes it easy to maintain your trees and eliminate the need for multiple tools. The chain can achieve maximum performance with simple versatility to cover a range of cutting applications.

Husqvarna is compatible with 55, 257, 261, 262 XP, 359, 455 Ranchers, 460 and 460 Ranchers. And comes with their well loved 90-day warranty.

Designed for power and reliability, Husqvarna not only produces the best gas chainsaws around, but also the best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

Pros:

  • Low vibration
  • Highly Reliable
  • Fits with multiple ranchers
  • Great for hardwood
  • Low vibration and kickback

Cons:

  • Compatibility issues with other brands

Dweller Power’s Chainsaw Chain Guide

How to Choose the Right Chainsaw Chain?

Some of the chainsaws chains available for sale in the market today are actually not even worth your attention. However, there is a lot of contrast between such inferior products that you need to be aware of and a quality best chainsaw chain for hardwood in order to understand the difference.

Bar Length

The correct size of a chainsaw chain is determined by the length of the bar. The important thing to remember is that you have to keep the tail of the chain end in front of the nose. If your chain fits correctly, it should look like a smile at all times.

Measure the bar to verify that a chain will fit. Chains come in different length varieties and should match the arm by model. Chains come in many sizes to chose from ranging from 8” – 26”. If the chain is too short, it will be too tight or won’t fit at all. If it’s too long it won’t fit on the bar correctly. Bad sizing can severely hurt you and your chainsaw

Gauge

The guide bar of this chainsaw is important when it comes to choosing a chain for the saw. If you purchase one that doesn’t have the right gauge, your chainsaw won’t work. Considering the fact the guide bar has several parts; replacing it becomes difficult. This problem is often caused by breakdowns and incorrect assembly.

Most popular chainsaws require a gauge ranging from .050” to .063.” You can find information regarding gauge in chainsaw guides and instructions.

Drive Links

These links are found at the chain-bottom. They must fit securely into place on the bar in order for your chainsaw to function properly. If you can’t locate the sizing information on the bar, simply remove the chain and count out the pins.

Tooth Design

When buying a chainsaw, it’s important to consider the size of the bar. This factor influences its functionality because larger bars cut larger trees and logs more quickly. Here are three bar tooth design to consider: chirper, semi-chisel, and full chisel.

  • Chirper – works great for pruning trees and clearing vegetation. It’s ideal for small wood cutting tasks.
  • Semi-chisel –  are the perfect tool for cutting through both hard and softwood. They keep their edge for a long period of time and they are extremely durable. Semi-chisel chains are ideal for those who work on hardwood or firewood, so anyone who needs a saw should use them.
  • Full Chisel – When it comes to cutting hardwood, full chisel chains are specifically designed to cut through quickly. However, their square-shaped teeth can lose their edge the quickest.

Why Use the Right Chainsaw Chain
for the Job?

Chainsaw chains are not one size fits all, either. Chainsaw chains have been designed and engineered for specific applications. For example, using the wrong chain for cutting logs will result in the wood getting stuck in the saw and potentially destroying the chain.

Finding the best chainsaw chain for hardwood is crucial. Check the list below for the pros and cons to know why you really need to be serious with picking the best chainsaw chain for hardwood.

Using the wrong chainsaw chain can result in:

  • Kickback Injury (Chainsaw hits your face)
  • Cutting Difficulty
  • Overworking the engine
  • Wear and Tear
  • Wasted Time because of always re-sharpening
  • Chain lifespan may break
  • Bar Damage
  • Wasting Fuel

Using the right chainsaw chain will:

  • Make your engine last longer
  • Require little to know re-sharpening
  • Extends Chain Life
  • Reduces Kickback Risk
  • Saves Fuel
  • Cuts easily
  • More Work in less time

Understanding Your Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw Numbers

Chainsaw chains are labeled with numbers that usually stand for their gauge and pitch measurement. The first number is generally the gauge. The gauge defines the size of the chain’s bar hole while the pitch indicates how many links fit into every inch of chain.

Chain Lifetime

The best chainsaw chain only lasts for over 5 years with regular use but can last for decades if not used often. To maintain the best chainsaw chain, the use and maintenance are important to the lifetime of the tool.

Sharpen Count

Every time you sharpen your chainsaw, metal is removed. If your chain experiences a lot of damage and wear, then it means that you sharpen your chainsaw more frequently. But if not, then you can get away with not sharpening for a short while.


How to sharpen the chains

You can easily tell when the chain of the chainsaw becomes dull. This is when the saw has a tough time positioning itself, produces crooked cuts, or has missing or damaged teeth that require replacement. There are three ways to sharpen a chainsaw chain. 

The simplest method is filing it by hand. However, power tools such as grinders and professional service keep your chain in good shape much longer.

File Guide

A two-swipe chain sharpening tool is a time-saving product that includes several files to sharpen and polish chains. It helps give your chain the angle it needs every time you fuel up. If you still notice dullness, repeat these steps until the chain is sharp.

Grinder

The grinder is the best way to get the cleanest, smoothest, polished cuts. However, this wears out the chain faster than a file guide for sharpening.

 Before you use a grinder, you should have already used your chainsaw for 40 “fuel-ups.” That’s equivalent to 40 sharpenings with a file guide. To make sure your chain is at its peak performance, you should sharpen it after approximately 40 uses so you’re ready to refuel once more.


Chainsaw Chain Maintenance

There are two primary reasons why you’ll need to replace a chainsaw chain:

  • If you need to change the kinds of wood you’re going to cut down.
  • Or, your saw chain is worn down to the manufacturer’s recommended service marks.

Standard chain wear is about 1mm, if you are not sure about chain length, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think your chain is worn, replace it when you’re within 1mm of the service marks. Don’t wait until it’s too late to replace your saw chain.

Should I replace my chainsaw chain?

When it comes to choosing the right saw chain, you need to know all about pitch (three times per second per foot), gauge (thickness of the blade), and drive links (the number of points on the drive ring). These three factors are crucial, and once you find out what works for you from there, you can base your choice based on other preferences.

Pitch

Find the pitch of your chainsaw chain. A good place to start is the distance between two rivets on your existing chain. It may be indicated on your guide bar, or you might find it printed on your master link. Most chains have pitches of .325″, 3/8″, or .404″.

If you cannot locate the pitch value of your chain, refer to your chainsaw manual, or take it into a dealer to get their help.

Gauge

The thickness of the drive links, known as the gauge, is important. Chains come with four different gauges (thicknesses) — .043″, .050″, .058″ and .063″. Pay attention to the gauge on the chain bar. If you get a chain that has too thick a link, it will not fit in the bar correctly and can cause wear on both parts or, worse, even an injury.

Length

When you need to replace your chain saw’s bar and chain, it is important to correctly measure both the length of the bar as well as the pitch for accurate, safe replacement. The pitch measurement is important when cutting, while the length will help ensure that your new saw chain will fit onto the bar properly for safe usage.

Find your chainsaws pitch gauge and drive link number, then you can start canvassing for the best chainsaw chain for the money.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the fastest cutting Chainsaw Chain?

The Husqvarna brand is very fast in the market with their chainsaws due to their unique chain design and bar measurement.

What Is the most aggressive Chainsaw Chain?

Stihl chainsaw chains are an aggressive chain introduced by Stihl in 1990s. This chain was a big step up compared to any other chains available in the market during that time, and is still known as one of the best chains today. 

This chain is hard enough to cut through even the toughest trees out there. It has also received an award for being an innovative and effective chain. 

Husqvarna is another aggressive chain introduced by Husqvarna in 2011s.

Are Oregon chains better than Stihl?

Oregon and Stihl chainsaws are both popular chainsaws used in bar-type chainsaw work, but Stihl 26rs full chisel cutters are better at cutting cleanly through logs than Oregon because the chrome is thicker and it does not stretch as much.

Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood
Final Thoughts

The saw chains for sale online are mostly made in China. The chains you get when you buy a cheap chainsaw are most likely of that origin, too. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is very true because the safety of your work depends on good materials. It’s my recommendation not to compromise on safety by buying cheap stuff.

Saws made in China come with serious safety concerns. A few decades ago, the Chinese government did not regulate industrial safety standards, which led to many unsafe products on the market. This has improved dramatically in the past 10 years, but some chainsaws are still being produced in China with no regard for quality control. 

Save money on your next purchase by making sure that you buy from a reputable brand that makes chainsaws in countries with strong industry standards.

But if you go with a lesser-known brand of chainsaw, you’re more likely to get a saw with irregular tolerances, leading to premature wear on your chainsaw and guide bar. It may also need sharpening more frequently because it has a weaker steel cutter head.

So in the end, we hope you choose well.

This ends our Review Series for the Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood.

Lastly, we urge you to always remember that you don’t need the most expensive chain for hardwood. You need the right one for your needs and budget. The right chainsaw chain for hardwood will get you through every project. Nothing is impossible with dedication, practice, and, and better yet – choosing the right chain to complement your chainsaw.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

Love our Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood Review? Leave a comment or drop us an email at dwellerpower@gmail.com, and we will get back to you as fast as possible!


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