Are Chainsaw Chains Universal?

Chainsaws are rather scary yet powerful & exhilarating to use. While most of them are used for the same purpose – which is cutting trees – all parts of chainsaws are not universal.

You may already know that chainsaw blades are different, and you now might be asking yourself, are chainsaw chains universal?

The short answer is that chainsaw chains are not universal. They differ in length, size, and structure. You cannot use the same chainsaw chain for all kinds of uses.

To know more about this, keep on reading!

Why Chainsaw Chains Are Not Universal?

We have already established that chainsaw chains vary in length, size, and structure. Why is that? It is because the sizes and types of chainsaws vary by their purposes. You cannot use the same chain on all chainsaws because their purpose varies.

For example, a chainsaw chain made to cut conifers will be different from one made to cut firewood. Here, the method of cutting is different, which is why the chainsaw and chain are different too. Another difference is that general use chainsaw chains are not as robust as industrial-grade ones.

The bottom line is, chainsaw chains vary because their purpose varies. Some will be good for softwoods, while some are better left for cutting hardwood. Again, some will be perfect for milling; but a professional would never take others anywhere near milling. Variation in chainsaw themselves impact the chain, too.

What about Chainsaw Blades?

Pretty much for the same reasons, chainsaw blades aren’t universal. The same blade will not fit every chainsaw you come across because chainsaws are built differently by different manufacturers. You may be able to use the same chainsaw bar across different models of saws of the same brand.

But you cannot use the chainsaw bar of one specific brand and model on a different brand chainsaw. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications before you get a replacement blade for your chainsaw.

Types of Chainsaw Chains & How to Choose One for Yourself

You will come across many different types of chainsaw chains available in the market. Chainsaw chains can vary based on the teeth’s shape or the arrangement of the chain. And different types are suitable for different applications. Hence, you should choose a chain based on the kind of performance you want.

Here are the different types of chains based on the shape of the teeth;

Full Chisel Cutters

The shape of the teeth of this chain is square-cornered. This sharp square shape can cut through wood very quickly. Full chisel cutters are to be used when you just want to get the cutting job done as fast as possible. Accuracy, precision, and smoothness will be compromised with this chain type.

You can use this chain to cut down trees, tree limbs, and firewood quickly.

While these cutters can get the job done very fast, they have a fair share of drawbacks. Firstly, these are not the most durable. They will not handle rough surfaces well, such as dirty wood.

Secondly, because their main job is to cut wood quickly, they work at breakneck speeds. So, you will be getting a lot of kickbacks. As a result, these chains may not use the safety elements other chainsaw chains might do. Because of that, full chisel cutters are not the chain to go for if you are cutting softwood.

Semi Chisel Cutters

The teeth of this kind of chain have rounded corners. They run at a slower speed compared to the previous type of chain. Because of this, semi-chisel cutters are the perfect chain shape for softwood. You can also use this chain to cut rough surfaces such as dry, frozen, and dirty wood.

Despite lacking speed, this chain makes up with reliability and durability. It is much more robust in comparison with full chisel chains. And it can handle rougher surfaces easily. To top it off, the chances of getting kickbacks are also lower, which increases safety.

All in all, this is an excellent all-season chain to have for regular use.

Low Profile Cutter

These cutters are among the most common variants you will find in the market. They have a rounded teeth design made specifically for safety. This chain contains elements in between the teeth to prevent the occurrence of kickbacks.

Low profile cutters will be able to handle several types of wood, but you will not be getting high speeds like the full chisel ones.

This chain is perfect for beginners with little to no experience. They are safer to use, so you can sharpen your skills using them. Keep in mind that low profile cutter chain requires more frequent sharpening compared to the other types. So, durability will be medium. However, these are very beginner-friendly.

Other Types

Chains also differ based on the arrangement of teeth. By arrangement, we mean the space between the teeth or cutters. Here are the types of chains based on their teeth sequence;

Full Skip

There will be fewer teeth on this chain, but they will be larger. This results in faster operational efficiency with rougher, less smooth cuts. Using this chain with smaller chainsaws is not very practical.

Semi Skip

There will be one or two links in between the teeth. It cannot cut as fast as the previous chain. Professionals mostly use this kind for specific work. They provide a balance of power & efficiency.

Standard or Full House

These chains contain the greatest number of teeth, providing exceptionally smooth results. The drawback is that they are not the quickest. So, they are more suitable for finishing touches.

Final Words

Now you know the answer to the question, ‘are chainsaw chains universal?’ and everything related to it. Hopefully, you now understand why they are not universal and will not make mistakes when choosing one for yourself.

And of course, always remember to be safe when you are handling a chainsaw. Ciao!

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