• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • 6 Best Chainsaw Chains | Australian Buying Guide 2022

6 Best Chainsaw Chains | Australian Buying Guide 2022

Chainsaw chains rust, wear, and become blunt with age, and many gardeners just give up and buy a new chainsaw. In this article, we’re going to keep you from making that mistake.

We’ll explain how to replace chainsaw chains, how to find the best chainsaw chain, and how to spot quality when you see it. 

More...

Product


Our Rating

Price

1. Oregon S62 18” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S62 18” Chainsaw Chain
Top Rated Best Chainsaw Chain in Australia

2. KAKEI 18” Chainsaw Chain

KAKEIChainsaw Chain
Best Value Chainsaw Chain in Australia

3. Husqvarna 16”­ H-30 Chainsaw Chain

Husqvarna H-30 Chainsaw Chain
Premium Choice Chainsaw Chain in Australia

4. Oregon S56 16” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S56 16” Chainsaw Chain

5. 8TEN 20” Full Chisel Chainsaw Chain

8TEN 20” Chainsaw Chain

6. ZENTOP 16” Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain

ZENTOP 16” Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw Chains Buying Guide

What is a Chainsaw Chain?

Types of Chainsaw Chains

A chainsaw chain is the cutting blade of a motorised chainsaw. They are driven around tensioned guides by heavy-duty gears, and their interlocking teeth eat through timber in far less time than any other type of blade.

Chainsaw chains are made of steel, with some even tipped with carbide or crushed diamond, but before you consider any of that, you need to know three things:

  • Bar length
  • Chain length
  • Chain gauge

Different chainsaws have different standards for new chainsaw chains, and fitting the wrong chain can be incredibly dangerous. The three factors above should be listed on your chainsaw, so check them before buying a new chain. In the buyer’s guide below we’ll cover each in more detail.

Chainsaws are purpose-built power tools, designed to cut through branches, trunks, and stumps with relative ease. Check out our guides to finding the best chainsaws and the best electric chainsaws if you’re looking for a new chainsaw.

Chainsaw chains are designed to fit different models, sizes and powers of chainsaw. Use our guide below to find the right chain for your chainsaw.

What to Look for When Buying a Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw chains need a lot of consideration, and there’s no one size fits all guide to the size, shape and gauge of your chain. Check the manual for your chainsaw for the recommended specification to be sure.

Best Chainsaw Chains Australia

Chain length

Unless you’re a qualified professional, you should never attempt to adjust the length of a chainsaw by adjusting or removing links. Chainsaw chain is manufactured to withstand a lot of friction, and by changing the chain length you reduce its strength dramatically.

Always buy the right chain size for your chainsaw by checking the bar length. Bar lengths are almost always measured in inches, even for Australian products, so double check measurements if you’re not used to imperial.

Chain pitch

Pitch size is the distance between links. To work out the pitch length of a chainsaw chain, measure the distance between 3 rivets, then divide the length by two. 

Longer pitch sizes are not suitable for short barred chainsaws, which require short pitches for an even rotation. The longer the pitch of a chainsaw chain, the more aggressively it cuts through timber, so choose a shorter pitch for more control.

Chain gauge

Chain gauge is the measure of thickness. The thicker the gauge, the more aggressive the cut, but the harder it will be to make, particularly in hardwood.

Chain gauge is as important as chain length when buying a chainsaw chain, as it should match the gauge on the bar exactly. One mm too wide and it will be too tight to rotate, too thin and it will slip against the gears.

Drive links

Drive links are often forgotten about with chainsaw chains, but they are incredibly important. If drive links wear, then there is nothing for the teeth of the drive gears to pull on and chainsaws and jolt to a stop halfway through a cut. 

Make sure that the drive links on any chain are appropriate for your chainsaw model, but also, consider the material of the chain. Drive links should be made out of sturdy, durable materials as they need to last.

Poor quality chainsaw chain is often the result of bad quality drive links, which often wear out faster than the teeth.

Chainsaw Chain Tooth Types

There are four different types of teeth on chainsaw chains:

  • Chipper
  • Semi-chisel
  • Chamfer chisel
  • Micro-chisel chisel

Chisel cutters cut faster by tearing through the full width on a single pass, while chamfer or chipper teeth cut through the grain several times to cut the full width of the chain.

Other features

  • Self-sharpening chains
  • Ripping chains
  • Carbide chains
  • Built-in lubrication, or self-lubricating chainsaw chains

Different Types of Chainsaw Chain

There are three different types of chainsaw chains, and many are interchangeable between saws, provided you check the gauge, bar length, and pitch of the chain. These include full chisel, semi-chisel, and skip chain:

Full chisel chain

Full chisel chain are also called chipper chain

Source: chainsawspares.com.au

Full chisel chain (also called chipper chain) has square-edged, angular, teeth which are designed for cutting through softwood without clogging up.

Chipper chains are great for grunt work and rip through difficult timber quickly, but they should really only be used by professional tree surgeons as they have limited safety features and have a bad habit of biting and jamming.

New full chisel chains should ideally be fitted to bars no greater than 61cm.

Skip and semi-skip chain

Skip, or semi-skip chains are less powerful but easier to control

Source: forestershop.com

Skip, or semi-skip chains are less powerful but easier to control. Skip chain is ideal for chainsaws with longer bars over 81cm. Their teeth come in different formats, including square and rounded edge links, so the common factor of skip or semi-skip chainsaw chains is that they have longer teeth, taking less power to operate – therefore making long barred chainsaws easier to handle.

Semi-chisel chain

Semi-chisel chain are best suited for hardwoods like cherry or dried out stump removal

Source: forestershop.com

Sitting in the middle of the pack is a semi-chisel chain (often listed online as just ‘chisel chain’). The short rounded teeth of the semi-chisel chainsaw chain make it safer to use, particularly on chainsaws with bars between 61cm and 81cm.

Semi-chisel chains are best suited for hardwoods like cherry or dried out stump removal. The rounded teeth catch less on this timber but do tend to clog up on softwood.

How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw

How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw

How to change chainsaw chain isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and not far removed from changing a bike chain.

  1. Make sure the power is completely off before you start.
  2. Remove the side panel of the chainsaw.
  3. Release the tension on the old chain by loosening the tension screw.
  4. Remove the old chain.
  5. Clean the bar, and any other working parts with a clean cloth to remove old lubricant or sap that has built up.
  6. Place the new chain in place so it sits comfortably in the bar, then tighten the tension screw.
  7. Replace the side panel and double-check that the tension is correct.

Chainsaw Chain Safety Guide

Chainsaw chains need to be installed at the right tension for the chainsaw model. Poor tension can cause jumping, locking and biting during a cut, all of which are dangerous. Consult the manual of your model to get the right tension.

As well as tension, it’s important to, clean, lubricate and sharpen your chains regularly:

  • Clean chainsaw chain regularly to remove dirt that can build up and clog up the bar
  • Sharpen chainsaw chain that has started to dull. Chainsaw sharpeners are the best tool, but using an appropriate file can work too.
  • Lubricate chainsaw chains regularly, especially on old or dry timber.

Best Chainsaw Chain Reviews

Before we jump into the reviews, there’s one important buying tip: don’t be pulled in by the brands. There are definitely brands selling better chainsaws out there, but when it comes to chainsaw chains, it’s material, gauge, and durability that really matter. 

Almost all chains that match the gauge and length of your chainsaw bar are suitable for your chainsaw, so you can save a bit of cash by finding a good quality chainsaw chain without matching the brand of your chainsaw.

1. Oregon S62 18” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • 3/8” pitch
  • .050” gauge
  • 62 links
  • 18” bar
Oregon S62 18” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Oregon always sells their chains in packs of two or three, but for most domestic gardeners, you’re unlikely to want to store two spare chains for the next ten years, so it’s nice to see that they sell single chains too, so you can save money and space.

Like all Oregon chainsaw chains, they are finished to perfection, with chrome-plated semi-chisel teeth designed to fit all .050 gauge chainsaws with an 18” bar. 

Buying through the link below gives you an option to request a warranty through customer service, though it is not offered as standard.

Pros

  • Heat treated chain
  • Hardened rivets
  • Automatic lubrication
  • Less maintenance
  • Low kick-back
  • Low vibration

Cons

  • Chrome finish wears off when sharpened

2. KAKEI 18” Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • 3/8” pitch
  • .050” gauge
  • 62 links
  • 18” bar
KAKEI 18” Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Kakei uses the same materials that Stihl uses to manufacture their branded chainsaw chains, and are much, much cheaper. 

The chrome finish makes them durable, and long-lasting, though does mean you should only sharpen when you absolutely need to avoid wearing down the teeth.

Their amazon listing is handy too, with links through to different gauges and pitches. If you’re after a good quality budget chainsaw chain Kakei might not be a household name but they make a really good quality chainsaw chain.

Pros

  • Tough chain
  • Great manufacturing quality
  • Low vibration
  • Low kick-back

Cons

  • Chrome finish can wear with sharpening

3. Husqvarna 16”­ H-30 Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • .325” pitch
  • .050” gauge
  • 66 links
  • 16” bar
Husqvarna 16” H-30 Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Husqvarna’s chainsaws are some of the best you can buy, but if you want to achieve that smoothness on a lower-priced saw, you can buy Husqvarna chains online to fit budget chainsaws. Obviously, the overall performance won’t be as good, but the chain will last longer, and make much lighter work of tough branches.

H-30 chains are classified as micro-chisel chainsaw chains, making them exceptionally good at cutting through hardwood, but not advisable for softwood unless they are lubricated first.

Pros

  • Tough chain
  • Great manufacturing quality
  • Trusted brand
  • Low vibration
  • Low kick-back
  • Professional standard

Cons

  • Not ideal for softwood

4. Oregon S56 16” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • 3/8” pitch
  • .050” gauge
  • 56 links
  • 16” bar
Oregon S56 16” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Oregon makes incredibly high-quality chainsaw chains for a variety of different bar lengths and gauges but shop around as the variety can be pretty exhausting. As a brand though, they are 100% on top of it, with chain types to match all needs, in all sizes.

The hardened rivets and heat-treated, chrome plated teeth on this semi chisel chainsaw chain make it great for cutting through dryer timber, as it carries lubricants better than most chain materials.

Pros

  • Heat treated chain
  • Hardened rivets
  • Automatic lubrication
  • Less maintenance
  • Low kick-back
  • Low vibration

Cons

  • Chrome finish wears off when sharpened

5. 8TEN 20” Full Chisel Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • .375” pitch
  • .050” gauge
  • 70 links
  • 20” bar
8TEN 20” Full Chisel Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

8TEN get a bad rep for making what the big brands make, but on a budget, but honestly, for most DIY chainsaw users, their chains are more than good enough to cut through garden trees, and even greenwood.

The full chisel chainsaw chain is ideal for longer bar lengths, making it faster and easier to control when you’re dealing with bigger cuts.

Pros

  • Full chisel rips through timber easily
  • Well manufactured
  • Good value for DIY

Cons

  • Not self-lubricating
  • High chance of kickback

6. ZENTOP 16” Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain

Quick facts:

  • 3/8” pitch
  • .043” gauge
  • 55 links
  • 16” bar
ZENTOP 16” Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

ZENTOP are similar to most budget chainsaw chain manufacturers in that they use the same material supplies at Stihl, Husqvarna and Oregon chainsaw chains to fabricate from, so there is absolutely no difference in material between these brands.

The semi-chisel teeth are great for most jobs too but take longer to cut through greenwood than most teeth types.

Pros

  • Tough chain
  • Good manufacturing quality
  • Low vibration
  • Low kick-back
  • Heat treated chain

Cons

  • Chrome finish can wear with sharpening

Chainsaw Chains Top Picks for 2022

Chainsaw Chain - Our Top Pick

Top Rated Best Chainsaw Chain in Australia
Oregon S62 18” AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Oregon’s AdvanceCut chainsaw chains are perfect for DIY users or professional tree surgeons, with a range that includes full chisel, right down to micro-chisel teeth, in every gauge and bar length imaginable. 

They’re easy chains to install on a chainsaw, and their self-lubricating design makes them lower maintenance too in the long run.

If you still need convincing, then consider the heat-treated teeth, and hardened rivets which help prevent deterioration over time and massively reduce the chance of kickback. 

What I really love about Oregon though is that they don’t aim their chains at just Oregon chainsaw owners. These chains are designed to be the best for every brand.

Best Value Chainsaw Chain

Best Value Chainsaw Chain in Australia
KAKEI 18” Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

For all-round value you can’t beat Kakei chainsaw chains. Designed to fit all models of chainsaw, Kakei chains come in a huge range of sizes, and are all built from hardened metal to reduce wear over time.

While their chains aren’t self-lubricating, they come with a protective oil coating that acts as an instant lubricant and protects them from corrosion. Just remember to lubricate chains every so often.

Premium Choice Chainsaw Chain 

Premium Choice Chainsaw Chain in Australia
Husqvarna 16” H-30 Chainsaw Chain

Source: amazon.com.au

Husqvarna always seem to top our lists lately, so they must be doing something right, but it’s usually with their tools, rather than their accessories. I guess what this proves is that they’re not just building machines that work, they’re focussed on the minor details too.

If you want a brand you can trust and have the peace of mind that gives when you’re working with pretty dangerous machinery, then buying a Husqvarna chainsaw chain is a good way to feel a little more confident.

Chainsaw Chain FAQs

How long does chainsaw chain last?

Chainsaw chains should last for well over ten years, but for professional tree surgeons using their chains every day, it’s best to replace them every few years as regular use, and sharpening, can wear them down faster than domestic use.

How often should you sharpen chainsaw chains?

Chainsaw chain should be sharpened whenever your chain is even slightly dull. If your chainsaw is making more dust than normal or struggling with softwood, then take time to sharpen it properly, or take it to a professional.

See our product review and buyers' guide on the best chainsaw sharpeners here

What chainsaw chain is best for hardwood?

Semi-chisel chains are slower, but safer for cutting through hardwood. They are less likely to catch on dry timber than chisel chains and are much easier to handle. It's possible to use full-chisel chains on hardwood, but they are much harder to control.

What chainsaw chain do I need?

Always consult the user manual for your chainsaw model to find the chain size, bar length, pitch and gauge of a chainsaw chain. Choosing the chainsaw chain you need depends entirely on the model of chainsaw you have, and the timber you intend to cut most regularly.

Only Use the Best Chainsaw Chain for Your Chainsaw

Chainsaws aren’t exactly everyday power tools and take some getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of them they are unbeatable tools for tree care.

Maintaining chainsaw chains, and buying new chains when they start to go blunt is an essential part of chainsaw maintenance, so follow the guide above to find the best chainsaw chain for your chainsaw.

Best Chainsaw Chains Australian Buying Guide

Related Posts

Lily of the Valley Australian Growing Guide

Lily of the Valley | Australian Growing Guide

If you live in a cooler region and normally miss ...

Best Hanging Chairs Australia Egg Chairs, Hanging Benches and Hammock Chairs

Best Hanging Chairs Australia | Egg Chairs, Hanging Benches and Hammock Chairs

Hanging egg chairs are the best thing you never knew ...

Best Garden Trellis Ideas and Kits

Best Garden Trellis Ideas and Kits for 2022

Garden trellis is probably the most undercelebrated piece of garden ...

Best Belt Sanders in Australia Buying Guide

7 Best Belt Sanders in Australia | 2022 Buying Guide

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about sanders ...

Author:

Gary Clarke

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay Up To Date With Australian Gardening Tips


Join our newsletter to receive helpful seasonal tips specific to Australian gardens.

RECEIVE A DOWNLOADABLE

FREE e-book bundle when you subscribe!

Aussie Green Thumb Australian gardening e-book bundle

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER

Hi, would you like to receive our monthly newsletter of gardening tips and how to grow guides straight to your inbox? Sign up today and join our community.