AR15.Com Archives
 more aggressive Chainsaw chain?
Z1500  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 1:18:37 AM
This is not our normal chainsaw discussion where everyone says to buy a Stihl. I already have an 18" Poulan that I got for cheap years ago and it honestly runs really really well. I want to replace the chain on mine with something more aggressive. Mine has the original chain that has been hand file sharpened a few times but the number of cutting teeth and size just doesn't seem on par with the big nasty chains I see on other saws. I know that I need a 3/8" chain .050" think links with 62 links. So I went to a hardware store today that has a nice chainsaw department but they only had the same replacement (low kickback pussy) Poulan chain for my saw. Can somebody point me in the right direction. I just don't know enough about this stuff to know what I need.
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Kidney  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 1:31:32 AM
Start Here.
ranchhand  [Member]
6/18/2009 4:20:42 AM
The engine on your saw doesn't have enough power to pull a more agressive chain
yekimak  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 4:26:30 AM
THe Oregon brand chain is a step up from the factory one WalMart had 2 packs pretty cheap.. Even the elcheapo noname brand replacement chain from Home Depot is better than what came on mine, which was a crapsman made by poulan. More aggressive isn't necessary, just more teeth.

Thumbtack  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 4:42:41 AM
Originally Posted By Z1500:
This is not our normal chainsaw discussion where everyone says to buy a Stihl. Can somebody point me in the right direction. I just don't know enough about this stuff to know what I need.


After posting, I re-read what you had posted, you sound like you have little respect for what this stuff is capable of (maybe not, maybe so, I really don't care). Green chain is not pussy chain by any means. Kickback is very serious and if you are not ready for it when it happens, limbs/faces get cut the f off. Watch the tip of your bar when you are cutting, if it hits something, that thing is coming right back at you. I was very apprehensive when I put RSC chain on my MS-361 until I got a chance to use it and understand WTF happens when (not if, when) it kickbacks and how to control/manipulate the saw to not get my face taken off.

Buy a Stihl. There is a reason folks buy Stihl/Husky. There is enough power to run those wicked big chains. Without that power, putting a more aggressive chain on is not going to make it cut better. That said, 3/8-50 is pretty common chain, you don't have to buy a poulan chain. Go to a local stihl dealer, buy a 18" RSC chain. RSC = Rapid Super Comfort. It's full chisel chain with reduced vibration, not a safety chain by any means. Just be aware that it is more prone to kickback, and it you hit dirt at all, it will dull and it will need to be filed to sharpen it back up. If you are cutting dirty wood, use a semi-chisel chain (safety/green label) as they will last longer between filings.

BTW, most box stores typically only stock green chains. There is a chance of being liable for the average 'tard buying a big bad ass chain and not being careful, then suing when the saw kicks back and they get a face full of nasty. You have to go to a equipment dealer for that stuff.
FlatlinesUp  [Member]
6/18/2009 8:36:26 AM
Originally Posted By Thumbtack:
Originally Posted By Z1500:
This is not our normal chainsaw discussion where everyone says to buy a Stihl. Can somebody point me in the right direction. I just don't know enough about this stuff to know what I need.


After posting, I re-read what you had posted, you sound like you have little respect for what this stuff is capable of (maybe not, maybe so, I really don't care). Green chain is not pussy chain by any means. Kickback is very serious and if you are not ready for it when it happens, limbs/faces get cut the f off. Watch the tip of your bar when you are cutting, if it hits something, that thing is coming right back at you. I was very apprehensive when I put RSC chain on my MS-361 until I got a chance to use it and understand WTF happens when (not if, when) it kickbacks and how to control/manipulate the saw to not get my face taken off.

Buy a Stihl. There is a reason folks buy Stihl/Husky. There is enough power to run those wicked big chains. Without that power, putting a more aggressive chain on is not going to make it cut better. That said, 3/8-50 is pretty common chain, you don't have to buy a poulan chain. Go to a local stihl dealer, buy a 18" RSC chain. RSC = Rapid Super Comfort. It's full chisel chain with reduced vibration, not a safety chain by any means. Just be aware that it is more prone to kickback, and it you hit dirt at all, it will dull and it will need to be filed to sharpen it back up. If you are cutting dirty wood, use a semi-chisel chain (safety/green label) as they will last longer between filings.

BTW, most box stores typically only stock green chains. There is a chance of being liable for the average 'tard buying a big bad ass chain and not being careful, then suing when the saw kicks back and they get a face full of nasty. You have to go to a equipment dealer for that stuff.



aaaannnnnnddddd.... quoted for truth.

I don't consider myself a pro, but I do cut more than my fair share over the average homeowner due to working on a chainsaw crew for disaster relief and own 5 saws from 14"-36".

hell, I like the green chains. I'd much rather take a little longer per cut to have the added safety factor that these allow as well as extra control, but thta's just me. They offer the "protective feeling" along with the kevlar chaps, kevlar/steel toe boots, gloves and hardhat/shield/ears... I've found they allow me to cut longer (length of day, not cut), not quicker... sounds counter intuitive, but that's the way it works for me. The stress is lower, and I can work easier/longer with fewer possibilities of mistakes (while still watching for/respecting them)
Bushman_269  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 9:22:49 AM
Go Here and go to the Woodland Pro chain section to find the size you need. Look for chisel chain not semi-chisel unless you are cutting very dirty wood.
DanishM1Garand  [Member]
6/18/2009 5:58:53 PM
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
The engine on your saw doesn't have enough power to pull a more agressive chain


My buddy showed me how to really sharpen a chain. I can now stall my homelite at will.
Pilk  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 6:08:18 PM
if you truely dont care about the safety of a green chain, and the strait chisel cut isnt aggressive enough for you, and you have enough saw...... file the dogs down ever so slightly, they are the humps in the chain before each tooth......they regulate the depth of cut therefore the agressiveness of the chain......

*disclaimer* ––––- if you do this it can be very dangerous..... if you are not careful you can hurt yourself and others very quickly.
ranchhand  [Member]
6/18/2009 6:20:22 PM
Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
The engine on your saw doesn't have enough power to pull a more agressive chain


My buddy showed me how to really sharpen a chain. I can now stall my homelite at will.


How bad would it be if you double the teeth on the chain?

ETA: I grew up in a sawmill, we always had 3-4 saws in the building
Tight-group  [Team Member]
6/18/2009 7:29:17 PM
Originally Posted By yekimak:
THe Oregon brand chain is a step up from the factory one WalMart had 2 packs pretty cheap.. Even the elcheapo noname brand replacement chain from Home Depot is better than what came on mine, which was a crapsman made by poulan. More aggressive isn't necessary, just more teeth.



+1 having been a chisle fan all my life for some unknown reason I found a pair of those wally

oregon chains and had them lengthend the few teeth to fit my 20" husky and I did hit the dogs

initialy, well I can't say how much less I have to sharpen but it's noticable like once in about

six tanks of fuel instead of every other tank, and it didn't really need it then.

My vote goes for the orewall special with .015 off the dogs.

DanishM1Garand  [Member]
6/18/2009 8:24:40 PM
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
The engine on your saw doesn't have enough power to pull a more agressive chain


My buddy showed me how to really sharpen a chain. I can now stall my homelite at will.


How bad would it be if you double the teeth on the chain?

ETA: I grew up in a sawmill, we always had 3-4 saws in the building

I don't know but when you knock down the rakers on a second tier saw with a chain sharpened for a first tier saw(Stihl, johnsered, Husky) you figure out why they cost so much more.

ranchhand  [Member]
6/18/2009 9:08:27 PM
Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
Originally Posted By ranchhand:
The engine on your saw doesn't have enough power to pull a more agressive chain


My buddy showed me how to really sharpen a chain. I can now stall my homelite at will.


How bad would it be if you double the teeth on the chain?

ETA: I grew up in a sawmill, we always had 3-4 saws in the building

I don't know but when you knock down the rakers on a second tier saw with a chain sharpened for a first tier saw(Stihl, johnsered, Husky) you figure out why they cost so much more.



Because there are twice as many?
Z1500  [Team Member]
6/19/2009 4:59:55 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I've really learned a lot in the last day about the whole deal. I think I just upgraded to what you guys are calling a green chain, it's an Oregon 91VG XtraGuard. While it seems to be the most docile chain they sell, it's a good 50% more aggressive than then chain I had. The original chain on my saw had one cutting tooth per every three links, where all the other chains I have seen has a cutting tooth on every other link. So on my 62 link chain I had about 20 cutting teeth but with this new chain I have about 30. So that's a 50% improvement right there alone, and these teeth are slightly more robust than my old ones. I've got a 44cc motor and as long as I have the RPM's up, I've never had my saw bog out so I think I've got some extra power on tap.

In all my reading and learning I have decided that my next saw with be a Stihl 290 or 310. They had a 310 w/ 20" bar at the ACE Hardware by my work that looked like it would just shred a tree to bits like a wood chipper. It wanted to come home with me. Every other link is a cutting tooth and each cutter was very large, like 1/4". But it's nearly $400 and that doesn't include a case. I'll have to run the life out of my Poulan for a while longer.
bone33  [Team Member]
6/19/2009 8:14:45 AM

Originally Posted By Z1500:
Thanks for the info guys. I've really learned a lot in the last day about the whole deal. I think I just upgraded to what you guys are calling a green chain, it's an Oregon 91VG XtraGuard. While it seems to be the most docile chain they sell, it's a good 50% more aggressive than then chain I had. The original chain on my saw had one cutting tooth per every three links, where all the other chains I have seen has a cutting tooth on every other link. So on my 62 link chain I had about 20 cutting teeth but with this new chain I have about 30. So that's a 50% improvement right there alone, and these teeth are slightly more robust than my old ones. I've got a 44cc motor and as long as I have the RPM's up, I've never had my saw bog out so I think I've got some extra power on tap.

In all my reading and learning I have decided that my next saw with be a Stihl 290 or 310. They had a 310 w/ 20" bar at the ACE Hardware by my work that looked like it would just shred a tree to bits like a wood chipper. It wanted to come home with me. Every other link is a cutting tooth and each cutter was very large, like 1/4". But it's nearly $400 and that doesn't include a case. I'll have to run the life out of my Poulan for a while longer.

my first saw was a poulan and my story went exactly like yours.

used the crap out of it, upgraded the chains, cut down the rakers, learned all i could about what i really needed. the poulan was all i needed at first and cost $129, i beat it up pretty good and after a few years of running bad ass chains on it, she had enough and the powerhead shit the bed.

i have a stihl farm boss now. go directly to a stihl dealer, you can walk out with a farm boss and a case for $300 or so, maybee an extra chain too.
ml271  [Member]
6/19/2009 10:13:40 AM
I had the same Poulan saw for about 8 years. It did cut a lot better once I put a 16in bar and chain on it. This year I bought a Stihl farm boss and all I have to say is that I have wasted a lot of energy in the past.

I ended up paying $320 new for my Farm Boss, you can get some of them to come down on the price.
tommygun2000  [Member]
6/21/2009 6:46:21 AM
I used a fairly new Stihl saw last week and I considered it a weakling compared to my Husqvarna. The chain on the Stihl had twice as many rakers as any other chain I've ever seen. Needless to say, it was nearly useless to get any any work done with it. A newer more aggressive chain was put on the Stihl and it did cut better but engine was sackless compared to my twelve year old, well used Husqvarna saw.
FlatlinesUp  [Member]
6/21/2009 8:34:50 AM
Originally Posted By tommygun2000:
I used a fairly new Stihl saw last week and I considered it a weakling compared to my Husqvarna. The chain on the Stihl had twice as many rakers as any other chain I've ever seen. Needless to say, it was nearly useless to get any any work done with it. A newer more aggressive chain was put on the Stihl and it did cut better but engine was sackless compared to my twelve year old, well used Husqvarna saw.


are you comparing apples?
doesn't much sound like it if you were already against the Sthil for a simple chain swap.
Were the motors the same size/power range? how long did you use it? were the weights the same? and what would "slackless" be?
hkmp5s  [Team Member]
6/23/2009 12:23:17 AM
Some times the answer isn't more teeth but less. On my 36" bar I run a half skip chain to increase the chain speed.
hkmp5s  [Team Member]
6/23/2009 12:23:44 AM
double tap.
MDS  [Team Member]
6/23/2009 1:18:37 AM
All that I have ever used is the Oregon 52AJ.
Full skip, chisel tooth.
M
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