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Best Chainsaw Chain For 2019 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

So, you have some light-duty work around the backyard that requires a chainsaw? Perhaps you have a fallen tree or some rather large logs to cut that require something more heavy-duty? Well, with chainsaws, it’s all about the chain.

Nice saw + bad chain = bad saw. So-so saw + good chain = good saw. Here we break down the ins and outs of chainsaw chain selection and provide our recommendations.

In chainsaw chains, there are three basic types of cutter teeth: chisel, semi-chisel, and chipper. Chisel chains are basically for the pros. The square working corners are more prone to kick-back, but the chains are better at cutting softwoods. Chipper chains are likewise intended for use by professionals, are also very prone to kick-back, but are excellent on hardwoods.

Semi-chisels are the preferred choice for most chainsaw owners since there is a good compromise between durability, cutting efficiency, and they are less prone to kick-back due to embedded safety features. There are also skip chains, which have non-cutting spacers between cutter teeth to reduce jamming and assist chip clearance for chainsaws with extra-long bars.

Below are our recommendations for hardwood, softwood, and general duty chains. The products reviewed here are based on certain chainsaw bar lengths. If the product does not match your saw as is, choose a comparable model of the same manufacturer to suit the bar length of your saw.

Also, when choosing a chain, make sure that it is compatible with your model of chainsaw and its specs (pitch, gauge, and bar length).

​Our Best Chainsaw Chain Reviews and Comparisons

PRODUCT FEATURES

TOP PICK

1. ​​​​Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain
  • Hardened rivets and chromed blades
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 56 Links intended for a 16” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge
Check Price

RUNNER UP

2. ​​​​Husqvarna H4684 24-Inch Saw Chain
  • Works mainly with Husqvarna saws; may also fit other brands with specs listed below
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 84 Links intended for a 24” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge
Check Price
​3. ​​​​​Husqvarna 531300439 18-Inch H30-72 (95vp) Pixel Saw Chain
  • Works mainly with Husqvarna saws; may also fit other brands with specs listed below
  • 0.325” Pitch
  • 72 Links intended for an 18” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge
Check Price
4. ​​​​​​TriLink Saw Chain CL15062X2TL2 18″ Twin Pack S62
  • Chromed blades
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 62 Links intended for an 18” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge
Check Price
​5. ​​​​​​​Oregon D70 20-Inch Vanguard
  • Chromed blades and heat-treated links
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 70 Links intended for a 20” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge
Check Price

1. ​​​​Oregon S56 AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain – Best for Hardwood

Product Highlights

The Oregon S56 AdvanceCut chain is a sturdy semi-chisel chain, perfect for homeowners, but can also handle heavier jobs as well. It does well on hardwood, but green woods can dull the blades quickly. Blades are chrome electroplated to hold an edge longer.

Oregon chains are designed to distribute oil evenly on the chain and redistribute oil to where needed (via their proprietary LubriTec system). Chain rivets feature hardened steel rivets to add strength and reduce vibration. Works on Husqvarna, Echo, Craftsman, Homelite and Poulan chainsaws.

Features

  • Hardened rivets and chromed blades
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 56 Links intended for a 16” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge

The Good

This is a great chainsaw chain for hardwood. Think: firewood. It is listed here as “best” in that the chains are very forgiving in the hands of novice users. There are other products by Oregon that are heavy-duty, hardwood chains (Vanguard, discussed below).

The Bad

The product package lists many brands and models of chainsaw with which it is allegedly compatible. However, there have been consumer complaints that the claim is a bit broad, with the chain fitting problems in several chainsaw models.

​Pros

  • ​Cuts well through hardwood
  • ​Chromed blades decrease wear
  • ​LubriTec oiling system
  • ​Hardened rivets


​Cons

  • ​Blades dull quickly on green wood

​2. ​​​​Husqvarna H4684 24-Inch Saw Chain – Best for Bigger Chainsaws

Product Highlights

The Husqvarna H4684 is a tough chainsaw chain intended for larger chainsaws. The model featured here is for a saw with a 24” bar. This is a chain best used in logging. If you have some land to clear, this is the chain for you.

It is a safe, low vibration, low kick-back chain, which boosts its appeal with users. It is, however, intended for professional use in that most home owners do not own 24” chainsaws.

Features

  • Works mainly with Husqvarna saws; may also fit other brands with specs listed below
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 84 Links intended for a 24” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge

The Good

If you need to take down some large trees, we mean large ones, this chain is for you. Trunks, stumps, it does not matter, the H4684 will chew through them like a champ. Sharpening the chain is also very easy.

The Bad

You need to check the chain during extended use for dirt and sawdust buildup, and ensure the chain stays well oiled. The chain also needs periodic re-tensioning to reduce slacking.

​Pros

  • ​Chews through hardwood easily
  • ​Tough with low vibration
  • ​Easy to sharpen


​Cons

  • ​Must be cleaned regularly for good performance
  • ​Chain must be re-tensioned periodically during use

​3. ​​​​​Husqvarna 531300439 18-Inch H30-72 (95vp) Pixel Saw Chain – Best for Around the Yard

Product Highlights

The H30-72 Pixel Saw Chain is a lightweight, general use saw chain. It is intended for home owners using light-duty chainsaws for basic yard work such as cutting logs, branches, etc.

As such, the chain will not last as long as more robust chains if you use it to cut down trees, but may be just perfect for work around the house.

Features

  • Works mainly with Husqvarna saws; may also fit other brands with specs listed below
  • 0.325” Pitch
  • 72 Links intended for an 18” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge

The Good

This is a very safe chain with almost no vibration. Chances for kick-back are extremely low. The design minimizes tooth wear, so blade sharpening will be infrequent. Good performance on softwoods.

The Bad

Needs to be oiled regularly. May not fit all the claimed models on the product package; check the specs of your saw before you buy.

​Pros

  • ​Low vibration
  • ​Almost no kick-back
  • ​Able to tackle hardwood
  • ​Teeth hold their sharpness

​Cons

  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Will not last as long as other brands


​4. ​​​​​​TriLink Saw Chain CL15062X2TL2 18″ Twin Pack S62 – Best Value

Product Highlights

The TriLink was selected as a best buy mainly because you pay the same amount here for two chains as you would for one chain of other brands and of similar quality.

Features

  • Chromed blades
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 62 Links intended for an 18” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge

The Good

Chromed blades tend to reduce the need for frequent sharpening. The chain also has a self-lubrication system that evenly distributes oil to where it is needed. This design has low kick-back and blades are also very easy to sharpen.

The Bad

​You cannot have your cake and eat it, too. A chain at this price will have some inconsistencies in performance. The TriLink chains have been known to stretch. Despite the chromed blade teeth, users report having to sharpen the chain often. However, for the price, most users are willing to overlook these shortcomings.

​Pros

  • ​Inexpensive
  • ​Chromed blades
  • ​Easy sharpening
  • ​Low kick-back

​Cons

  • ​Chain stretching
  • ​Tooth wear requires frequent sharpening

​5. ​​​​​​​Oregon D70 20-Inch Vanguard – Best All-Around

Product Highlights

The Oregon D70 was our choice for the best all-around chainsaw chain. It is a very durable, quality chain that finds use in farm work, with arborists, and with commercial loggers.

It can easily tackle hardwoods and may be one of the best 3/8” pitch chains out there. The D70 works on Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, McCullough, and Poulan chainsaws.

Features

  • Chromed blades and heat-treated links
  • 3/8” Pitch
  • 70 Links intended for a 20” bar
  • 0.050” Gauge

The Good

Users report very little vibration with the D70 and no kick-back. That bears repeating: no kick-back. This is a very safe heavy-duty chain that is at home cutting through mature oak trees.

It is heat-treated and not prone to stretching. The engineering on the D70 allows it glide easily along the chainsaw bar.

The Bad

Some reported fit problems with models of some brands listed on the package. This may have been the result of users not matching the chain to the specs of their saws (3/8” pitch, 0.050 gauge, 20” bar).

​Pros

  • ​Very aggressive chainsaw chain
  • ​Cuts are precise, even through hardwoods
  • ​Teeth hold their edge well
  • ​No kick-back, almost no vibration

​Cons

  • ​Some saws listed on the product package are not compatible.


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Best Chainsaw Chain For 2019 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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