Are Chainsaw Chains Universal?

Do chainsaw chains across different brands interchange? Does each brand have other sizes? If one blade doesn’t fit a particular task, can another be swapped out? Alternatively, are chainsaw chains universal?

Well, I’m here to answer your queries.

When it comes time to buy a new chain for their chainsaw, novices are often confused. Considering the wide range of chains available, deciding which chain will be suitable for your specific model can be challenging. 

Don’t Worry! I’ll explain it in detail. 

There are several chainsaw chain manufacturers, and some chains can’t be used with all chainsaw models. Changing your chain to another brand will require you to determine the old chain’s gauge, length, and pitch. If the wrong chain is installed, it can cause damage to the machine or even injure the operator.

Not Convinced? 

Let’s dig into the depth of the question are chainsaw chains universal. 

Different Types Of Chainsaw Chains

Are our chainsaw chains universal? I will help you answer this question. I mention various types of chains available in the market. Professionals use different chain models, and they accept that selecting or replacing the chain depends on the purpose for which you want it. 

I’ll look at the three variants of chainsaw chains that will make your work easier. 

Full Chisel Chains

The complete Chisel Cutter chain has squared teeth and cuts wood at a very high speed.  The chains with cornered teeth are ideal for falling big trees, cutting firewood, ripping hardwood, and chopping tree limbs.

The other name of this chain type is ripping chains, the most expensive. It gives a more precise and clean-cut and is specially manufactured for milling logs into planks. 

However, it has some notable disadvantages. Firstly, when cutting with a chainsaw with total chisel cutters working at high speed, the risk of kickback is high, so you have to follow some essential precautions. These chainsaws are less durable and wear and tear fast than other variants. 

Semi Chisel Chains 

Semi chisel chain has a round corner blade that cuts wood faster than a complete chisel chain. It is the best choice for professional woodworkers. Semi chisel cutter is preferred for cutting rough, dry, frozen, or softwood and is cut precisely and cleanly. 

It is easier to handle because it doesn’t kick back. Semi-chisel cutters stay sharp for a long time and are durable. 

Low Profile Chains

Another type of saw chain is a low-profile chain known as a chipper cutter. It is usually safe because it has round teeth and chain design in such a way that it prevents kickback. Unlike a complete chisel chain, a low-profile chain does not cut wood at high speed. I recommend this type of chain to unskilled woodworkers because you’ve to sharpen it less often, and it has a low risk of kickback. 

This type of chain is ideal for electric chainsaw owners. It’s lightweight and has a lower height, so it produces shallow and faster cuts. The benefit of a low-profile chain is that it can cut the wood without stressing the chainsaw motor. But you can’t use a low-profile chain if your saw comprises more than 72 links. 

I recommend the OREGON 91VXL062G low-profile chain (Buy from Amazon). 

Are Chainsaw Chains Universal Or Interchangeable?

Ask yourself whether the saw chains are interchangeable. Then you might think about two things:

  1. Are Chainsaw chain sizes universal?
  2. Are brands of chainsaw chains universal?

Let’s dive into both topics at once. 

Are Brands if Chainsaw Chains Universal?

Yes! Brands of chainsaw chains are interchangeable because the fit of the chainsaw chain matters more than the manufacturing brand. The chain’s fitness depends on the gauge, chain pitch, and link count. 

Let’s look at the example to explain this point.

Imagine you have a Husqvarna chainsaw and Stihl chain, and the guide bar of Husqvarna has the following dimensions:

  • Gauge – 0.063 inches
  • Pitch – 0.325 inches
  • Link Count – 62

The still chain can fit on this chainsaw because the dimensions of the chain match the measurement of your Husqvarna chainsaw. 

If you do not understand this point, don’t worry; the next moment will help you and make things understandable. 

Are Chainsaw Chain Sizes Universal?

The quick answer to this question is that chain sizes are not universal. In the upper section, I compare the Stihl chain with the Husqvarna chainsaw. 

Now I’ll explain why chainsaw chain size is not universal. When we compare chain pitch, gauge, and links with a chainsaw, if any dimension doesn’t match, then you can’t use that chain on the chainsaw because it will not fit appropriately. For instance, if you have the wrong chain size and don’t want to buy new, you can shorten the size of the chain by removing some links. 

So whenever you buy the chain, you’ll need to look at the dimensions according to your chainsaw. 

You might be wondering how I can find a suitable chain, so I’m here for your ease. I’ll explain ways to find the proper chain for your saw. 

Are Chàinsaw Chains Universal – Ways To Find Right Chain

I’ll describe two ways to find the chain you need. So let’s dig in:

Use the Existing Chain

If your chainsaw chain has stopped working and you want to replace it. This chain can measure the correct dimensions that fit your chainsaw. Once you measure the size of the chain, you can go to the local shop to buy the chain or order online. 

For instance, the Oregon website has a Part Finder option to help you find the perfect chain. All you need to do is enter the measurement of the existing chain, and then you can order from them that you like. 

Use the Guide Bar Stamp

You can use a guide bar stamp as an alternative option to find the right chain size. Usually, chainsaws have a stamp on their guide bar that includes dimensions. This is a convenient option because it provides you with chain pitch, link count, and gauge, so you can buy or order online by following these dimensions. 

I believe these two ways 99% help you find the proper chain that fits your chainsaw. But if these ways do not work for you, you can take help from an expert. 

Finding The Suitable Replacement For The Chainsaw Chain

When you examine the chainsaw chain or bar, you find some numbers. What’s it mean? Well, chainsaw chains differ in size, design, and teeth combination. Also, you must look at them carefully while buying a new chain that fits your chainsaw. 

You see three numbers: gauge, drive links, and pitch on the chainsaw bar. Now, look at them in detail. 

Chainsaw Chain Gauge

Gauge is a common term in the woodcutting industry and relates to the thickness of drive links. The chainsaw gauge plays an essential role in choosing the replacement chain. For instance, if a chainsaw uses a blade with a thin gauge and you fit the chain with a thick gauge, you may be in trouble while doing the chain. 

The standard size of the gauge is 0.050 inches. If you didn’t find the gauge number on the manual or product packaging, you have to check the guide bar. 

Chainsaw Chain Pitch

Pitch term refers to the distance between chain links. It has a significant impact on the length of the chain. You can find the pitch number in the user manual, but if you didn’t see it, you must know how to measure the pitch of a saw chain. 

For your comfort, I will share how to measure chainsaw chain pitch? Well, chainsaw pitch measuring is simple and takes only a few minutes. You need to note down rivets adjacent to each other and take a measurement between the middles of the first and third rivets. To find the pitch value, you divide your height by two.

Watch this video to learn how to measure a chainsaw chain pitch. 

Chainsaw Chain Drive Links

As the pitch size, the drive links are also an important feature to look at while buying chain replacement. Woodcutter thinks about drive links by a number available on the given chainsaw. Drive links also play an important role in purchasing exact replacements of blades. 

Similarly, you can find the number of drive links on the chain, or you can count the number by yourself. When determining the total chainsaw chain length, you must also consider the number of drive links and the pitch.

Closing Remarks – Are Chainsaw Chains Universal?

Hopefully, you understand that chainsaw chains are not universal. Because the chains vary in size, shape, and design, you must keep these specifications in mind while choosing the new chainsaw chain. You also consider the pitch, gauge, and drive links of the chain saw chain and choose one that perfectly suits you. 

If you are a beginner in the wood cutting industry and want proper guidance on a chainsaw, then you must visit our website.