10 Best Chainsaw Chains of 2020

Best Chainsaw Chain

For home and commercial projects that involve wood cutting, trimming, pruning, or felling trees, the chainsaw is your power tool of choice.   

You need the right chain to get the best out of your chainsaw. When shopping for a chainsaw chain, compatibility should be a top priority, alongside other important features such as bar length, gauge, and the number of drive links on it.

We’ve compiled a list of the leading models in the market in our top 10 chainsaw chain reviews and buying guide, which will help you choose the ideal fit for your wood cutting projects.

10 Best Chainsaw Chains – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Black & Decker RC800

1. Black & Decker RC800 (Best Budget Chainsaw Chain)

  • Affordable replacement chain
  • Ideal for home maintenance tasks
  • Lightweight at 0.96 pounds
  • Low kickback performance
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut

2. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut (Best Chainsaw Chain for Precision Cutting)

  • Hard-chromed and heat-treated cutters
  • Vibration-reduction design
  • Safe and smooth running
  • Fits many chainsaw models
Husqvarna 531300624

3. Husqvarna 531300624 (Best Heavy-duty Chainsaw Chain)

  • Ideal for heavy-duty cutting
  • Square-corner chisel cutter design
  • Suits 50-100cc chainsaws
  • 24-inch bar length
Husqvarna 531300439

4. Husqvarna 531300439 (Best Chain for Lightweight Chainsaws)

  • Ideal for lightweight chainsaws
  • Low vibration and kickback performance
  • 18-inch bar length and 72 drive links
  • High cutting performance
Husqvarna 531300372

5. Husqvarna 531300372 (Best Chainsaw Chain for Arborists)

  • Low-vibration and low kickback
  • Lightweight at 8 ounces
  • Portable for offsite work
  • High cutting performance
Oregon R34 AdvanceCut

6. Oregon R34 AdvanceCut (Chainsaw Chain for DIY Home Projects)

  • Optimized for pole saws
  • LubriTec lubrication system
  • Strong and sharp cutters
  • Reasonable price
Oregon S56 AdvanceCut

7. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut (Durable Chainsaw Chain)

  • LubriTec lubrication system
  • Durable induction-hardened rivets
  • Strong chrome-coated cutters
  • Fits multiple brands
Husqvarna 531300441

8. Husqvarna 531300441 (Low-vibration Chainsaw Chain)

  • Low kickback and low vibration
  • High cutting performance
  • Long 20-inch bar length
  • Supports high-production tasks
Oregon S45 AdvanceCut

9. Oregon S45 AdvanceCut (Chainsaw Chain for Landscaping Professionals)

  • Features suited for landscaping
  • Fits many chainsaw models
  • Meets kickback performance standards
  • LubriTec lubrication system
Oregon L68 ControlCut

10. Oregon L68 ControlCut (Superior-gauge Chainsaw Chain)

  • Superior 0.063-inch gauge
  • Corrosion-resistant cutters
  • Top-plate filing indicator
  • Low kickback performance

PRODUCT

1. Black & Decker RC800

(Best Budget Chainsaw Chain)

Black & Decker RC800
  • Affordable replacement chain
  • Ideal for home maintenance tasks
  • Lightweight at 0.96 pounds
  • Low kickback performance

2. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut

(Best Chainsaw Chain for Precision Cutting)

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut
  • Hard-chromed and heat-treated cutters
  • Vibration-reduction design
  • Safe and smooth running
  • Fits many chainsaw models

3. Husqvarna 531300624

(Best Heavy-duty Chainsaw Chain)

Husqvarna 531300624
  • Ideal for heavy-duty cutting
  • Square-corner chisel cutter design
  • Suits 50-100cc chainsaws
  • 24-inch bar length

4. Husqvarna 531300439

(Best Chain for Lightweight Chainsaws)

Husqvarna 531300439
  • Ideal for lightweight chainsaws
  • Low vibration and kickback performance
  • 18-inch bar length and 72 drive links
  • High cutting performance

5. Husqvarna 531300372

(Best Chainsaw Chain for Arborists)

Husqvarna 531300372
  • Low-vibration and low kickback
  • Lightweight at 8 ounces
  • Portable for offsite work
  • High cutting performance

6. Oregon R34 AdvanceCut

(Chainsaw Chain for DIY Home Projects)

Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
  • Optimized for pole saws
  • LubriTec lubrication system
  • Strong and sharp cutters
  • Reasonable price

7. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut

(Durable Chainsaw Chain)

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
  • LubriTec lubrication system
  • Durable induction-hardened rivets
  • Strong chrome-coated cutters
  • Fits multiple brands

8. Husqvarna 531300441

(Low-vibration Chainsaw Chain)

Husqvarna 531300441
  • Low kickback and low vibration
  • High cutting performance
  • Long 20-inch bar length
  • Supports high-production tasks

9. Oregon S45 AdvanceCut

(Chainsaw Chain for Landscaping Professionals)

Oregon S45 AdvanceCut
  • Features suited for landscaping
  • Fits many chainsaw models
  • Meets kickback performance standards
  • LubriTec lubrication system

10. Oregon L68 ControlCut

(Superior-gauge Chainsaw Chain)

Oregon L68 ControlCut
  • Superior 0.063-inch gauge
  • Corrosion-resistant cutters
  • Top-plate filing indicator
  • Low kickback performance

1. Black & Decker RC800 – Best Budget Chainsaw Chain

Black & Decker RC800
  • Compatibility: Black & Decker
  • Bar Length: 8 inches
  • Drive Links: 34

Black & Decker RC800 is the best budget chainsaw chain on our list. Its reasonable price makes it one of the most affordable high-quality chains you can buy today.

This chain is specially designed to replace dull chains on Black & Decker models CCS818 and NPP2018. It is also capable of delivering exceptional results in a variety of yard cleaning and maintenance projects done at home.

The replacement chain has been made lightweight and compact at only 0.96 ounces for easy storage. You can even carry it with you for offsite projects.

Just like many other models on our list, this chain also features a low kickback profile and meets several ANSI requirements for kickback performance.

We did note, however, that even though the Black & Decker RC800 is a replacement chain, it fits only 2 models from the same brand, and also has a short bar length of only 8 inches, hence may be limited in cutting capacity.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced and affordable
  • Excels in home maintenance tasks
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Low kickback performance

Cons:

  • Fits only 2 chainsaw models
  • Short bar length

2. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut – Best Chainsaw Chain for Precision Cutting

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut
  • Compatibility: Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan
  • Bar Length: 14 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 52

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut is a superb chainsaw chain built for precision cutting. It has been heat-treated and hard-chromed to enhance cutting efficiency and accuracy.

It features a unique cutter design, which enables the chain to cut fast and smoothly while minimizing kickback.

Low vibration is another area where this chain succeeds. A small space has been created between the chain and guide bar to help dissipate energy and prevent vibration-induced white finger.

The tool has also been engineered to run safely and for high performance to ensure tough and sharp cuts.

This chain is also notably versatile compared to some other models on our list especially because it fits multiple chainsaw brands including Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, and Poulan.

There’s not much to complain about the Oregon S52 AdvanceCut other than the possibility of being dull after a few cutting sessions thus requiring regular sharpening.

Pros:

  • Heat-treated and hard-chromed
  • Low vibration design
  • Runs smoothly and safely
  • Fits many chainsaw models

Cons:

  • May get dull fast

Notes

The chain may not fit all saw brands mentioned in packaging, hence confirm compatibility before purchasing it.


3. Husqvarna 531300624 – Best Heavy-duty Chainsaw Chain

Husqvarna 531300624
  • Compatibility: Husqvarna
  • Bar Length: 24 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 84

Husqvarna 531300624 is the best heavy-duty chainsaw chain on our list. It is designed for high-production wood cutting.

The chain features high-performance square-corner "chisel" cutters that make it ideal for professional use with chainsaws of 50cc-100cc power outputs. You can count on this chain to power through a wide range of tasks including pruning, cutting limbs and firewood, and many more.

It boasts of a superior 24-inch bar length and 84 drive links that purpose-built for long bars on high-performance chainsaws that cut fast and smoothly. The combination of bar length and drive links enable the chain to cut through thick wood than shorter chains can’t handle.

There is, however, a new and improved version of this chain, the Husqvarna 591119484, which supports more Husqvarna chainsaw models.

A potential drawback of the Husqvarna 531300624 high-performance chain is that it is compatible with Husqvarna chainsaw models only.

Pros:

  • Supports heavy-duty cutting
  • High-performance cutter design
  • Built for powerful chainsaws
  • Superior bar length and drive links

Cons:

  • Fits Husqvarna chainsaw models only

4. Husqvarna 531300439 – Best Chain for Lightweight Chainsaws

Husqvarna 531300439
  • Compatibility: Husqvarna
  • Bar Length: 18 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 72

Husqvarna 531300439 is a chain optimized for lightweight and small-size chainsaws with its low kickback and low vibration specifications.

The combination of these two strengths makes the chain capable of meeting the demands of lightweight chainsaws for both professional and home wood-cutting projects.

You get a decent bar length of 18 inches and 72 drive links, which makes the chain a great fit for medium-capacity cutting that shorter chains cannot execute.

This chain has demonstrated excellence in high cutting performance and bore cut. Commercial cutters, arborists, and occasional users can rely on this chain to deliver on all their cutting needs.

An issue we noted with the Husqvarna 531300439 is that if you use it frequently, it gets dull quickly, hence requiring frequent sharpening.

Pros:

  • Optimized for lightweight chainsaws
  • Low vibration and kickback performance
  • Great bar length and drive link combination
  • High cutting performance

Cons:

  • Gets dull quickly

5. Husqvarna 531300372 – Best Chainsaw Chain for Arborists

Husqvarna 531300372
  • Compatibility: Husqvarna
  • Bar Length: 14 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 52

Husqvarna 531300372 is a great chainsaw chain for arborists who engage in regular tree maintenance through pruning and trimming.

This chain features low-vibration and low kickback performance that combines well with modern lightweight chainsaws.

For arborists, such a combination is great because their work requires saws to be lightweight and to produce the least vibrations and kickback, especially for the operators’ safety, and tool efficiency.

At only 8 ounces, the chain is lightweight and you can carry it with you as a replacement in case the currently-installed one becomes dull or needs replacing.

The cutting performance, especially in the bore cut technique, is notably high, which adds to the suitability of this tool for arborists, especially in high-production environments.

An issue we noted with Husqvarna 531300372 is that is only fits selected Husqvarna brands, and it also gets dull with frequent use. So, regular sharpening is necessary.

Pros:

  • Low-vibration and low kickback performance
  • Lightweight to support arborist tasks
  • Portable and ideal for offsite work
  • High cutting performance

Cons:

  • Fits Husqvarna models only
  • May get dull fast

6. Oregon R34 AdvanceCut – Chainsaw Chain for DIY Home Projects

Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
  • Compatibility: Poulan, Remington
  • Bar Length: 8 inches
  • Gauge: 0.043 inches
  • Drive Links: 34

If you’re looking for a high-quality chainsaw chain to execute simple DIY home projects with a pole saw, Oregon R34 AdvanceCut is a great fit for you.

This chain has a modest bar length of 8 inches for small chainsaws from Poulan and Remington. This length is complemented by a smaller-than-standard gauge of 0.043 inches, which is ideal for light-duty pole saws.

Your chain is guaranteed to work smarter and last longer with Oregon’s LubriTec oiling system that delivers superior lubrication to your chain and bar, thus minimizing downtime.

Its cutters come with a special electroplated chrome layer that strengthens them while enhancing wear resistance. This coating also helps the chain to retain sharpness for long.

The chain also has a very reasonable price tag, making it accessible to many chainsaw owners.

Since the Oregon R34 AdvanceCut is deigned for pole saws, it does not support the heavy-duty cutting of wide-diameter wood.

Pros:

  • Length and gauge optimized for pole saws
  • Superior lubrication system
  • Chrome-plated cutters for strength and sharpness
  • Reasonably-priced

Cons:

  • Not ideal for wide-diameter wood

7. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut – Durable Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
  • Compatibility: Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, Remington
  • Bar Length: 16 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 56

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut is a chainsaw chain built for durability and low maintenance.

The chain features Oregon’s advanced LubriTec oiling system which ensures lubrication is available where it is needed on the chain and bar. This system minimizes your chain’s downtime while extending its durability.

Another feature that ensures a longer chain’s working life is induction hardening and quenching of the tool’s rivets. This process ensures the chain’s load-bearing surface is high quality and wear-resistant.

To ensure your chain remains stronger for longer, its cutters are electroplated using a layer of hard chrome, which also contributes to wear-resistance.

This is also a very versatile chain, which supports a range of chainsaw models from Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, and Remington brands.

We did note, however, that Oregon S56 AdvanceCut can get dull fast especially when subjected to heavy-duty intensive cutting.

Pros:

  • Superior lubrication system
  • Induction-hardened rivets for durability
  • Chrome-coated cutters for strength
  • Versatile and supports multiple brands

Cons:

  • May get dull from intensive cutting

8. Husqvarna 531300441 – Low-vibration Chainsaw Chain

Husqvarna 531300441
  • Compatibility: Husqvarna
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 72

Husqvarna 531300441 is a chainsaw chain designed to minimize vibration and kickback problems that are common during chainsaw operation.

This chain is designed to meet the demands of small-size and lightweight chainsaws. It promises great cutting performance especially when felling trees with a bore cut, which is prone to kickback.

The chain will fit a bar length of 20 inches, which is in the higher range thus supporting the cutting of large-diameter wood that shorter bars will struggle or fail to execute.

With 72 drive links, the chain will fit firmly in compatible Husqvarna bars and minimize vibrations are the chainsaw runs.

Because the chain excels when used in small-size chainsaws, it is well-suited for both commercial and occasional users in high-production settings.

A potential drawback of the Husqvarna 531300441 chainsaw chain is that it is compatible with selected Husqvarna brands only, hence limiting people who own other brands from enjoying its great features.

Pros:

  • Low kickback and low vibration design
  • High cutting performance with lightweight saws
  • Long bar length for high-capacity cutting
  • Ideal for both commercial and occasional uses

Cons:

  • Compatible with Husqvarna chainsaw models only

9. Oregon S45 AdvanceCut – Chainsaw Chain for Landscaping Professionals

Oregon S45 AdvanceCut
  • Compatibility: Craftsman, McCulloch, Poulan, Remington
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Drive Links: 45

If you’re a landscaping professional looking for a high-performance replacement chain, Oregon S45 AdvanceCut is the one for you.

This versatile chain supports a wide variety of chainsaw models from Craftsman, McCulloch, Poulan, Remington chainsaw brands.

The chain combines a low-profile 3/8-inch pitch, standard 0.05-inch gauge, and 45 drive links to make is a landscaping workhorse. Homeowners can count on it to deliver solid and reliable performance for occasional and regular landscaping work.

You’ll be pleased to learn that this chain also meets the kickback performance requirement of ANSI b175.1-2012 and CSA standard Z62.3.

Another impressive feature of the chain is its advanced LubriTec oiling system, which delivers optimal lubrication for both the bar and chain, where it is needed the most.

The chain’s rather short bar length of 12 inches makes it unsuitable for intensive cutting of hardwood shrubs, for instance.

Pros:

  • Features optimized for landscaping work
  • Supports many chainsaw models
  • Meets multiple kickback performance standards
  • Superior lubrication system

Cons:

  • Short bar length not ideal for intensive cutting

10. Oregon L68 ControlCut – Superior-gauge Chainsaw Chain

Oregon L68 ControlCut
  • Compatibility: Stihl
  • Bar Length: 18 inches
  • Gauge: 0.063 inches
  • Drive Links: 68

Oregon L68 ControlCut stands out from the pack as the chainsaw chain with the largest gauge of 0.063 inches.

This superior gauge gives the chain heavy-duty properties that are unrivaled. Combined with a drive link count of 68 and a pitch of 0.325 inches, this chain is ideal for chainsaws with 38cc-62cc engine sizes.

It features blued cutters that deliver-high quality corrosion resistance to extend the chain’s durability and maintain its high performance. Durability is also enhanced by the exclusive OCS-01 steel build.

Another impressive feature that other models don’t have is a top-plate filing indicator which simplifies the sharpening process.

This chain also meets the kickback performance requirement of ANSI B175.1-2012 and CSA Standard Z62.3. Therefore, you can rest assured that the chain excels in kickback minimization.

A notable downside of the Oregon L68 ControlCut is that it fits Stihl chainsaw models only.

Pros:

  • Superior gauge for high-performance cutting
  • Simplified sharpening using top-plate filing indicator
  • Cutters have carrion protection
  • Meets required kickback performance standards

Cons:

  • Fits Stihl chainsaws only

How to Buy the Best Chainsaw Chain

How to Buy the Best Chainsaw Chain

1. Compatibility

The compatibility of your chainsaw with the available chains is a top priority that ultimately determines the model you choose to buy.

Even though many chains from different brands will bear similar features, they are not always going to share compatibility with chainsaw brands.

For instance, we saw that Oregon chains are the most versatile in multi-brand compatibility, while other models from brands such as Black & Decker will fit chainsaws of the same brand only.

Therefore, take time to confirm that the chain you are buying is compatible with your brand and model of chainsaw.

2. Bar Length

Chainsaws come in different lengths. Some have bars as short as 8 inches, while others have longer bars that may even exceed 20 inches. Thus, bar length becomes an important consideration to make when choosing a chainsaw chain.

Since you will be fitting the chain to a bar, then it only logical to get one with a length similar to that of the bar. Chains that are either too tight or too lose perform poorly and can pose safety hazards.

Check the chainsaw’s specifications, which normally have the bar length indicated. Then proceed to buy the chain with a corresponding length.

3. Gauge

Gauge is a measure of your chain’s drive links thickness. For safe and efficient performance of your chain, especially if it’s a replacement one, then its gauge has to match the guide bar’s gauge.

A thin chain, with a smaller gauge that the guide bar’s, can become loose and slip off, or perform poorly.

Most chains have a gauge of 0.050 inches to 0.063 inches. This measurement will be indicated clearly on the chainsaw’s bar.

4. Drive Links

Drive links are the bottom sections of the chain, which attach it to the guide bar of your chainsaw. They could be 34, 56, 72, 84, or a different number of links depending on the chain model.

Getting the accurate number of drive links is important especially when looking for a replacement chain because they determine whether it fits the chainsaw’s bar.

While some chainsaws have the drive links’ number printed on them, others don’t have and may require you to count manually.

5. Cutter Design

Chain cutter designs fall into three main categories: chipper, semi-chisel, and full chisel.

Chipper cutters are common and are ideal for light-duty cutting such as trimming branches and limbs.

Semi-chisels are great all-round cutters that perform well on both softwoods and hardwoods.

Full-chisel cutters have square-shaped teeth, that will deliver quick and efficient cutting of even the hardest wood. Although they are great for demanding tasks, they become dull faster than semi-chisel cutters.

Conclusion

Having explored the different chainsaw chain models and their corresponding features, you’re all set to get one.

When shopping for a chainsaw chain, start by confirming its compatibility with your chainsaw brand and model. Then, check whether its length corresponds to the bar length of your tool.

Don’t forget to check that the gauge and drive links of the chain match the same on the bar of your chainsaw.

You can always refer to our top 10 chainsaw chain review and buying guide to help you choose the models that fit your tool best.


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