Different Types of Chainsaw Chains: Types And Factors Behind It!

We all are familiar with chainsaws and what it’s used for. But maybe a few of us know about the types of chainsaw chains. Depending on usage, teeth type, chain directions, the chains differ from each other. And if you look from the outside, you may think that they all are the same.

The sole purpose is to clear your perception and let you know about different types of chainsaw chains. Also, we’ll be discussing the purpose of different chainsaw chains. So without further delay, let’s start-

Different Types of Chainsaw Chains Explained

As we already told you that there are different types of chainsaw chains. In this article, we’ll break down everything related to chainsaw types so that you can easily understand the topics. So before we dive into types of chainsaw chains, we need to know the factors for which the chainsaw chains are different.

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For the following factors, chainsaw chains differ from each other-

  1. Teeth Types
  2. Arrangement of Chains
  3. Pitch, Gauge, and Others.

Types of Teeth

The teeth of a chainsaw play a vital role while it’s used. They are also called cutting teeth. For your information, all types of teeth are not the same. They have different arrangements as well as teeth angle.

Following are the 4 different types of chain teeth shapes-

1.   Full-Chisel Chain

The teeth of Full-Chisel cutters are square-edged. And for this reason, they can cut a good speed while keeping the efficiency intact. For their high-speed cutting, they are mainly used for hardwood cutting. They can slice down the timbers and limb faster than any other cutter.

But one of the main downsides of a Full-Chisel cutter is that it gets worn out quickly. As they can cut at a higher rate, so the friction is more. And as a result, the blades or cutters get blunt faster. Besides, they are not suitable for use in dirty conditions.

As the teeth get blunt easily, so you need to sharpen them to cut.  But as the teeth are more squared-edged, so sharpening them needs a lot more effort.

On the other hand, the cutter teeth can grab the wooden bodies. So there is a possibility of a kickback. This makes Full-Chisel cutters one of the most aggressive chainsaw chains.

They are highly risky and aggressive. So they are only recommended for experts to avoid dangers and injuries.

2.   Semi-Chisel Chain

Unlike the Full-Chisel one, these cutters have round edges. For having rounded edges, they cannot operate at a higher rate. But the cutting results in a much smoother surface. So they are ideal for cutting softwoods. Also, you can use them anywhere, i.e., from clean areas to dirty ones.

Yes, they cannot get the job done quickly, but the final output is rather convincing. They last for a longer period. As they are slow cutters, the teeth remain sharp for a longer period, and you don’t have to sharpen them regularly!

Kickback is one of the concerns when you are using a chainsaw. Due to kick back, the risk gets higher every time you operate. But as the Semi-Chisel cutters operate at a lower speed, so they have less kickback.

And this makes it one of the safest chainsaw chain teeth. Even if you aren’t an expert, you can operate with this chainsaw chain to accomplish your task.


3.   Micro-Chisel Chain

Micro-Chisel cutters are a type of semi-chisel. They are also identical in their properties. The teeth are a more rounded corner, and that helps to cut more smoothly. Whether you operate in a clean or dirty, or even cold environment, micro-chisel teeth work fluently in all conditions.

Besides, they also have less kickback which makes them safer to use, and the sharp teeth are long-lasting and efficient.

4.   Low-Profile Chain

Here are the 4th and last type of chainsaw chain cutters. The low-profile cutter is one of the most widely used cutters for its compatibility, usability, and benefits.

They are also kind of semi-chisel cutters as they have rounded edges. They are used to use and safe at the same time. The low kickback makes them reliable and safe. As we already said, the round edges can provide a smooth surface. But the only drawback is the cutting speed.

If we look at its benefits and safety, I think we can easily overlook the cutting speed. The rounded teeth need less sharpening, and they can be operated by all types of people.


Arrangement of Chain

The space or gap between two consecutive teeth is called chain arrangement or sequence. Sometimes we mix-up between chain arrangement and pitch. For your information, they’re both different from each other. The distance between links (links may have a cutter or not) is pitch, whereas the gap between the teeth is called chain arrangement.

Depending on applications, the chain sequences are different. The chain arrangement affects both the integrity of service and the cutting ability of the chainsaw.

The different types of chainsaw chain arrangements are-

  1. Full-Skip
  2. Semi-Skip
  3. Standard

1.   Full-Skip Chain

Among the three, full skip chains are the best to use for cutting. They come with lees teeth with a long bar of approximately 24 inches. Although our common mistake is that we believe the more teeth, the better a chainsaw can cut. But this isn’t the case all the time. This cutter is fast and speedy, and the cutter’s design helps to cut more woods quickly.

The most relative between speed and smoothness is that the more the speed, the less the smoothness. But if we consider cutting woods, timbers and logs, the cutting speed is the priority. So smoothness isn’t a bigger factor. And that’s where this full-skip chain does its work best.

The chain bar is long and wide. So before choosing this chain, you must have a long chainsaw. A long chainsaw can hold the long chain and long-chain bar easily!

2.   Semi-Skip Chain

From reading the name, you can understand that this chain is between the full-skip and standard ones. The teeth are placed between the cutters. Although it can cut woodblocks but can’t penetrate through them like the full-skip chain.

This chain is ideal for both professional and casual use. Being both powerful and efficient at the same time, they can provide a more balanced and smooth cut. And they are safe to use as well.

3.   Standard Chain

The standard chain is also called full house chains. If you want the SMOOTHEST cut, there is no substitute for this cutter. They contain more teeth than any other chain available on the market. So that’s why it is possible to get a smooth cut.

For having a long chain and a bar, they are almost like a full-skip chain. The bar guide is around 24 inches.

The only drawback and maybe the most important drawback is that the standard or full house chains have a very slow cutting. They function almost like the full skip chains but with a slow cutting speed. So if you want a moderately smooth cut and time efficiency, it is advised to go for full- skip chains.

Additional Factors

Till now, we tried to give you a detailed idea about different chainsaw chain types. Other than chain teeth and chai arrangement, a couple of factors are responsible for different types of chainsaw chains. Let’s take a glance at them-


Pitch sizes for chain saw chains vary. The difference between the drive link is known as chain pitch. A Chainsaw’s chain’s pitch is a crucial usability factor. The cord,  bar, and sprocket must all have the same pitch.

In general, longer and thicker chain saw chains correspond to larger pitch sizes. There is a formula to measure the pitch-

Calculate the distance from the first to the third rivulet (up to the last). And then, divide the value that you got by two. The result is your chainsaw chain’s pitch. 3/8” or 0.325” is the most common chain pitch.


Like the pitch, the Gauge is also an additional factor responsible for different chainsaw chain types. The Gauge, like the pitch, is a compatibility factor. The Gauge and the guide bar angle must be identical. The Gauge is the wideness of the drive links of a chainsaw chain.

If you need to know your chainsaw chain blade’s Gauge, check for any marks on your manufacturer’s manual. The Gauge needs to be selected very carefully. If it’s too tight, you can attach it to your chainsaw chain. And at the same time, if it’s too loose, it’ll fall off due to insufficient grip.

Final Verdict

Reading so far, you already have learned about different types of chainsaw chains and factors related to them. Yes, we, too, understand that realizing these things can be difficult. So, we tried to break down every little thing so that you can understand things better. So select the one for your purpose. Anyway, we are open to answer any questions and solve any confusion. So that’s it. Let us know what you think about this article.

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