This article does not discuss terms such as pitch and gauge, which you need to understand can be found in the previous blog entry, our rod and chain sizing guide has that information.

However, if you want an overview of the different types of specialty cordless chainsaw , chainsaws and tips, as well as a quick look at the different types of bars, then I think this article can help you.

Types of Specialty Chains

In recent years, new types of lithium-ion chainsaws have been designed to make cutting faster, easier, or better suited to specific jobs. You will find that there are usually three types of specialty chains.

  • Low profile chain
  • Narrow kerf chain
  • Ripping chain

Low Profile Chainsaw Chain

Low-profile or "lo pro" chains use slices that are not as high as those of a standard chain saw. This means that low-profile chains can make shallow cuts.

The advantage of using a low-profile chain is that it is lighter than a standard chain, which makes it well suited for low horsepower chainsaws. The lighter weight of the chain puts less strain on the engine.

Low profile chains are generally available in 3/8" pitch and .050" sizes for chainsaws made specifically for low profile chains. If your chainsaw uses a chain that requires more than 72 drive links, then low gauge chains will not work for your guide and chainsaw.

Narrow Kerf Chain

Just as a chain with a low cut has a shorter cut than a standard chain, a chain with a narrower cut has a narrower cut than a standard chain. The result of using a narrow pitch chain is a thinner and narrower cut.

Because of the thinner kerf, a narrow pitch chain will end up removing less wood when cutting than a standard chain. However, this also allows your saw to cut faster, even with a low horsepower chainsaw, using a long, full-size chain. Narrow kerf chains are often an excellent choice for electric chainsaws.

Be sure to check the compatibility of your narrow-mouth chain with your guide plate and chainsaw. Your chain must be specified to fit a narrow-mouth chain.

Like low-profile chains, narrow-mouth chains may be offered under a brand name. Some narrow-mouth chains are also low-profile chains to provide the ultimate best lightweight, high-speed cutting experience.

Ripping Chain

Both low-grade and narrow-mouth chains can help you use your chainsaw more efficiently for standard tasks: pruning branches, cutting branches into small pieces, etc.

In contrast, the split chain is designed for a specific task: milling logs into planks.

The cutter of a split chain has a smaller angle than the cutter of a standard chain saw - 10 degrees compared to the standard 30 degrees. The Split Chain also cuts along the grain of the wood, rather than in the reverse direction.

Thus, despite its name, the split chain removes smaller pieces of wood. This makes it more suitable for making fine cuts and boards with smooth cutting surfaces, which is why this type of chain is expensive.

If you plan to use a portable sawmill and your chainsaw to mill wood, a split chain will be a necessary investment.

Types of Cutters

Not only can you find different types of chains; you can also find different types of cutting blades on chains. This becomes most important when looking at the differences between full and half chisel chains.

Full chisel chainsaw chains have square, sharp cutters that cut through the wood quickly. They allow the chain to move quickly through the wood, which is why full chisel chains are often considered the best professional chainsaw chains.

However, the cutters on a semi-chisel chainsaw chain are rounded. Their cutting edges dull more slowly when exposed to dust and debris. Because the semi-chisel chain is so forgiving of rough conditions, it is often considered a good chainsaw chain for home use.


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