4 Types of Chainsaw Chain For Speed & Stability (+Safety)

Types of Chainsaw Chain

The chainsaw chain is a fundamental component of any chainsaw... ​

...it consists of steel links which are firmly tightened with each other through rivets. 

On the outside of the chain, there are sharp teeth along with flat drive links to hold the chain on the saw bar​...

...and give way to the propulsion by the motor or engine depending on the type and characteristic of the chainsaw.

Since its invention, chainsaws have undergone some drastic changes to be better suited for the kind of work that the handler wants to take from them. Either used for simple cutting of a piece of wood or pruning a tree, saw chains have been so diversified that for each and every kind there is a different characteristic chain that is well suited for the lob at hand. The chains of the modern era are designed in a more precise manner for high speed, high power etc. to improve their outcome and to provide the user with greater stability and safety.

Operating principle

​In a regular chainsaw the basic operating principle is that the saw chain is moved around a bar (until it is worn out) and the material is removed from the kerfs. 

To function appropriately the tooth should not sink so much as to bind with the wood itself, thus reducing its efficiency. The normal hand held Saw, uses a large number of teeth to prevent binding. For a while now, such chains have been designed in such a manner that a depth gauge has been incorporated in the design to prevent over sinking of the teeth in the wood. There have been other advances as well which will be discussed later on. Following are few of the designs of the chains:

Scratcher teeth

​Probably one of the earliest chainsaw chain designs. These were not heavily used and conquered by chipper teeth due to their inefficiency and slower work rate.

Chipper teeth

​These have curled teeth. For good clearance around a tooth, ahead from it is a depth gauge which also limits the depth of the cut. Chippers are still available in the market for filthy work.

Chisel and semi-chisel teeth

​Today in the modern world 3 basic designs are used in firewood cutting, forestry and tree surgery. These configurations are being used for their respective pros in their areas of efficiency and reliability. Full chisel chain is used solely for cutting soft wood. Slower than the full chisel chain is Semi-chisel chain which is not quite good for soft wood but can be used for a more rough work like pruning of hard or dirtier wood. Lastly, the ‘Chamfer chisel’ chains which are more or less similar to the semi chisel chains.

Chris Ross
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