Best Chainsaw Chains for Hardwood, Softwood, and firewood.

Share on:

Your chainsaw like all other items of use deserves a renewal every now and then with regards to its chain, especially if it’s doing all of your rough handy work.

Now after a certain point, sharpening your chainsaw chain just won’t cut it and a rusty chain can become quite a nuisance if not replaced every now and then.

Not to mention it is quite dangerous to go on using an aged chain.

So today in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know in order to pick the chainsaw chain that suits you best for purposes of hardwood, softwood, and firewood cutting.

 best chainsaw chains

Now you might be wondering if the type of chain you buy even matters. The answer is yes.

If you run the wrong saw chain, it can be both dangerous with respect to safety for you, and for your saw which can become ineffective.

In addition, it will also cost you more time and money on recurrent use of chain oil.

To make matters even easier for you, attached below is a table of the top 10 chainsaw chains that you should consider when looking for a replacement

ImageProductDetails  Price
1 Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits Craftsman.jpgOregon S52 AdvanceCutBest for: 14” bar
Safety: Meets UL & ANSI low kickback requirements
Coating: Chrome coated
Pitch: 3/8″ Low Profile
Gauge: .050″
Drive Link Count: 52
Check Price
2 Oregon R45 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 12-Inch BarsOregon R45 AdvanceCutBest for: 12” bar
Safety: Meets UL & ANSI low kickback requirements
Coating: Chrome coated
Pitch: 3/8″ Low Profile
Gauge: .043″
Drive Link Count: 45
Check Price
3 Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-InchHusqvarna H30-72Best for: 18” bar
Safety: Low kickback
Coating: None
Pitch: .325”
Gauge: .050”
Drive Link Count: 72
Check Price
4 Stihl Chainsaw Chain- 26RS68- 18 InchStihl 26RS68Best for: 18” bar
Safety: Low kickback
Coating: Hard-chromium coated
Pitch: .325”
Gauge: .063”
Drive Link Count: 68
Check Price
5 Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-InchHusqvarna H80-72Best for: 18” bar
Safety: High safety
Coating: None
Pitch: .325”
Gauge: .050”
Drive Link Count: 72
Check Price


1. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits Craftsman.jpg

For our premium choice, we have this extremely compatible version that fits into any chainsaw with a 14’’ bar for all your cutting needs be them recreational or professional.

Now if you’re looking for a chain to conduct heavy duty hardwood jobs with, then the Oregon S52 is the one for you.

From sawing light vegetation to heavy-duty home yard work, this semi-chisel chain ensures your cutting is as smooth as soap.

And what’s more, this product is also very sturdy when it comes to tolerance against dirt and debris allowing you to can continue your wood cutting for prolonged hours.

In addition, this chain is incredibly well designed with regards to its engineering to meet the safety and ANSI cum UL low kickback requirements.

Plus this chain is fully equipped with LubriTec auto-lubricating mechanism providing easy maneuverability and making it all the more durable.

Furthermore, this chain is longer and sharper in equal parts and comes in an external coating of industrial chrome to make it extra sturdy.

Its extra strengthened chainsaw rivets also protect its surface from frequent wear and tear and increase its strength with limited tension adjustments.

In conclusion, with this one time investment you are bound to get precision sawing that is not only fast and smooth but provides the least amount of kickback.

2. Oregon R45 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon R45 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 12-Inch Bars

Up next comes this Oregon AdvanceCut Chain that is equally versatile as it is compatible on all models having a bar length of 12 inch.

Now this particular chain is the ideal fit for all you DIY enthusiasts as it is capable of handling all kinds of tough sawing jobs, home and yard tasks as well as pruning of damaged trees.

And with its semi-chisel features, it provides extra smooth sawing of hardwood coupled with the maximum tolerance to dust and other debris.

Furthermore, the chain is also devised keeping user safety and friendliness in mind.

And what’s more, this chain also meets the ANSI and UL low kickback safety needs. This in addition to its LubriTech auto-lubricating mechanism of the chain makes this one is real catch when it comes to durability.

And lastly, the chain cutters comes with an outer layer of industrial chrome for a harder surface in addition to its hardened rivets that are sure to create a high-quality, load-bearing surface for reduced wear, increased strength and fewer tension adjustments.

3. Husqvarna H30-72 Chainsaw Chain

Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-Inch

Up next we have this strategically designed chain. The Husqvarna H30-72 boasts low vibration during its application and allows to keep a firm grip.

Its chain is designed to deliver the least amount of kickback and aimed to meet all the requirements that make up a lightweight chainsaw that is both easier to work with and store.

Furthermore, this chain is perfect for the purpose of bore cutting and exhibits great cutting performance overall. So for my fellow arborists and occasional saw users out there, look no further.

In addition, the H30-72 also features a pitch value of 0.325 inches with a 0.050 inch gauge, which is suitable for utilizing in any and all types of sawing jobs, especially hardwood cutting.

Overall, this particular chainsaw chain retains its high performance and features of sharpness even after thoroughly rigorous application and it goes highly recommended.

4. Stihl Chainsaw Chain

Stihl Chainsaw Chain- 26RS68- 18 Inch

At number three we have this Stihl Chain that is yet another outstanding choice for all those regular woodworkers looking for hassle free and precise hardwood sawing.

And not only is this chain a catch, but the company also offers excellent customer service in the odd chance that you face issues with the fitting of your newly purchased chain.

Furthermore, this chain comes in a design that encourages smooth and sharp cutting in the least amount of time.

In addition, it is extremely durable with its hard-chromium coated exterior and very reliant with its minimal to no vibration property.

It is however said to wear out sooner than those of its competitors but at the same time, it also comes at a reduced price. And that is a fair trade in our opinion. All in all, you should definitely check this one out.

5. Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain H80-72

Husqvarna chainsaw chain 18-Inch

Moving on to number 4, the Husqvarna H80-72 took this position by a landslide. Now this product provides the lowest amount of vibration coupled with the minimal kickback feature in a saw chain.

In addition, it is particularly designed in order to meet the specific requirements of the trending lightweight chainsaws of today.

This marvel of a chain delivers an unmatchable bore cut and exceptional sawing performance when brought to the field of chainsaws.

Next, the H80-72 is most suitable for all of you pro-grade arborists, as well as those users who are in need of compact chainsaws required to work in high-production workshops.

Either way, be it in a professional or recreational setting, the chain should be one of your top priorities.

And its manufacturers are also promising you high product quality and performance, covering the range from premium grade sawing equipment to extra budget-friendly consumer options,

Husqvarna chain provides you with value for money and a very versatile chain design.

Overall, this one is definitely a worthy opponent in this race and is an offer you should consider.

6. Salem Master 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain

Salem Master 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain

Halfway down the list we have the Salem Master replacement Chain which has a Semi-chisel design that’s extremely tolerant of dust and debris.

First off, let’s talk price. This replacement chain from Salem Master is without doubt one we would deem a “budget” friendly option. Who said keeping a chainsaw had to be expensive?

And this chain doesn’t disappoint on all the other fronts either.

In terms of design and inbuilt durability, this chain comes with chrome-coated semi-chisel teeth that do a great job at staying sharp over long periods of time no matter what type of wood they’re cutting.

Furthermore, the chains heat-treated rivets give it quite a great amount of durability while its low-vibration design cuts down the vibration caused by cutting by almost 20%, thereby helping reduce excessive damage to the chainsaw and making it incredibly easy to keep a hold on.

As for safety, the Salem masters low kickback rating makes it a worthy choice especially for those of you that aren’t highly skilled in the art of yielding chainsaws in the everyday.

This chain does however come with a downside but for the price it’s available at, that downside is minimal. In the past, the chain has been reviewed as a bad fit for the intended chainsaws.

For this purpose make sure to take caution while viewing the specs. Pay special attention to the gauge, pitch and drive links details so that the numbers match the requirements of your chainsaw.

7. Poulan Pro Chainsaw Chain

Poulan Pro Chainsaw Chain

Further down the list we have this chain replacement that is perfect for an 18 inch chainsaw.

Now this one is quite a durable option for those of you that are looking to rigorously use their chainsaw on hardwood logs.

The twin corners of the chain cutters deliver superior quality performance to your work coupled with the chains notched bumper drive links with chamfer cum chisel shaped cutters.

Trust me when I say, this one is a true monster on wood.

And for its many benefits, the Poulan Pro comes at a very cost effective price. And in addition to this, it is also quite easy to adjust into the chainsaw bar and maneuver thereafter with the exception of a few customer complaints.

And lastly, it is also known to be quite durable. One chain investment will last you a long time if used with proper maintenance.

So all in all, it is a worthy option and must be scouted if you’re looking for a chain replacement.

8. Oregon L67 ControlCut Chainsaw Chain

Oregon L67 ControlCut Chainsaw Chain

At number 8, we have placed this ControlCut Chainsaw Chain that is best suitable for use with certain chainsaw brands that will be listed on the package.

Now this chain has been tested to fit on a 16 inch saw bar. So if you don’t have one of those, don’t put your money down for this one. In regards to safety features, this chain offers minimal kickback, and the UL is classified to follow the ANSI 175.1 safety standards.

Coupled with these features, this chain is also very easy on the wallet and offers great value for money. It has however been reported to exhibit fit compatibility issues.

All in all, if you are an avid Stihl chainsaw user, then the Oregon L67 is just the right fit for your chainsaw and will prove to be a worthy investment.

9. SUNGATOR Chainsaw Chain

SUNGATOR Chainsaw Chain

Second to last, this Sungator chain takes the cake. At less than $10 per chain, you must expect the quality to be terrible, well we’re here to tell you that you’re wrong.

With a cheap price, these chains are pretty great quality as they are made from fracture-resistant German steel coupled with a thick coating of industrial-grade chrome.

Furthermore, its rivet connections have also been heat-treated for added durability. And in addition to that, this chain also features semi-chisel teeth.

These do however tend to wear out easily but for $10 that is to be expected.

With that said, it’s tough pretty to come by such strong chains costing less than $10 apiece. This chain is also UL approved, and meets the ANSI Standards to provide low kickback.

And for that purpose, these go highly recommended if you’re a budget.

10. MoltenSales 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain

MoltenSales 18-Inch Chainsaw

And lastly at number 10 we have this chain from Molten Sales, which are said to be the only OEM-equivalent meaning that they are the cheaper versions of bigger brand cutting chains such as those of Oregon or Stihl, available at a lower price and slightly lesser quality.

These chains are often sold in packs of 2 or 3 and have relatively poor longevity.

But if you have a number of hardwood trees in sight that need to be chopped down but do not want to spend a fortune on the process, these value chain will come in very handy for you.

And because they don’t last very long, the packs of twos really save the day.

However, since these chains weren’t specifically designed to hold an edge for too long, they therefore cut a bit too aggressively as compared to the semi-chisel teeth chains.

With that said they sure are very easy on the wallet and great for one time uses.

Buyers Guide

At the crux of it, chain selection really just comes down to three simple factors:

1. Chainsaw. First off, you have your chainsaw. Here you must check for fitment using factors such as the bar size and the engine displacement.

2. Use. Then you must ask yourself what exactly is the type of wood that you’re cutting. It can either be hardwood, softwood, firewood, carving and even crosscutting among others.

3Level of Experience. Is your chainsaw cutting a recreational activity with the first chainsaw you could get your hands on, or are you a pro? 

But while looking for the best chain for your chainsaw, there are also a number of technical factors you need to keep an eye out for.
The following are essentially the basics of saw chain replacement that you need to be familiar with:


If you are finding it difficult to locate the pitch value of your chain, you may need to refer to your chainsaw manual, or as a last resort take help from your local chain dealer.


Secondly, the gauge provides a measure of how thick the drive links of your desired chain must be.

If you were to get a chain with the wrong gauge thickness, it may not be able to correctly fit into the bar, which will then lead to excessive wear to your chainsaw, and may result in a serious injury for you.

Once again, you will find the gauge setting on the guide bar.

3Length i.e. the number of drive links

Next we have your saw chain’s length that will be determined by its pitch and the number of drive links it has.

Now I’ve always recommended counting the number of drive links in your chain to ensure that you are getting the correct replacement. This information should also be available on the guide bar.

Once you’ve got these factors covered, I believe you will be ready to begin looking for the chainsaw chain that fits your needs.


Q. Should I replace my chainsaw chain?

Yes, in certain circumstances switching chains becomes absolutely essential. On such situation is when you are changing your usual wood type to another one.

This is because the same chain used on softwood will not work as efficiently on hardwood owing to a lack of strength.   

Alternately, you might also need to renew your chain if you’ve run it long enough and it cannot be sharpened any further.

In such a case, it is generally a good idea to replace the chain when it’s within 1mm of the service marks.

Q. Why use the right chain for the job?

This is because different chainsaw chains some in different sized that are not compatible with all chainsaws.

This factor is widely dependent on the chains Gauge, Pitch and drive links as stated above. By forgoing this essential rule and using randomly selected chains, you’re not only jeopardizing your chainsaws functionality but also you own safety.

Whereas using the right chainsaw chain will help make your saw engine last longer with less requirement for maintenance and sharpening.

It also further minimizes the risk of kickback and serious injury for you and cut costs in the form of fuel retention.

If you’re looking to sharp your current chainsaw chain, here is an article that might help you out:

With all that said, if you feel you’ve pushed your chainsaw completely to the brink and it’s beyond revival with a simple chain replacement, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

Simply click on the link below and get your hands on an all new chainsaw.

Best Rated chainsaws 2021 (


To summarize, chainsaws are a great tool to have around that a great many benefits can come out of.

Not only can they be used recreationally by you as a DIY hobbyist but also come in quite handy for purposes of remodeling and yard work.

But maintaining a chainsaw is not all that easy and requires due diligence in matters of chain replacement.

It is a crucial part of cutting, the dos and don’ts of which should be written at the back of your hands.

With all that said, we hope that this article brought you up to speed in matters relating to chain replacements and you were able to find the chain of your need.

About Albert P Emmanuel

Hi, It’s the Albert Powell Emmanuel here. You can call me APE. I am the founder of ChainsawAPE. Here, on this website, I aim to teach you all you need to know about chainsaws – yeah, those sharp, scary things that intimidate you. Well, they’re not that hard to use.

Share on:

Leave a Comment