6 Fastest Cutting Chainsaw Chains of 2020

Last update: Nov 25, 2020

There are countless chainsaw chains on the market for different uses. It’s important that you know what’s you are looking for and your considerations but serve that goal. If you want cutting speed, this post will show you how to choose the fastest cutting chainsaw chain with our detailed guide.

Here are the fastest cutting chainsaw chains you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain
  • Best For Tough Applications (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
  • Best For Smooth Cuts (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains -
  • Best Overall (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain
  • Best For Pole Saws (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
  • Best For Clean cuts (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain
6 Fastest Cutting Chainsaw Chains
Best Overall
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain
  • Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain
Best For Tough Applications
Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
  • Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain
Best For Smooth Cuts
SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains -
  • Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain
Best Overall
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain
  • Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain
Best For Pole Saws
Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
  • Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain
Best For Clean cuts
Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain
  • Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain

Best Overall (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain
Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Offer more cutting time, less time filing, and fewer chain tension adjustments - hardened rivets + industrial hard chrome layered cutters
  • Safer to use and more comfortable - a small space between the guide bar and saw chain for 25% less vibration
Cons
  • Wish the teeth were a bit shorter than the stock echo chain
  • It could be a little sharper

Oregon S52 saves you from a headache when it comes to choosing the fastest semi-chisel chainsaw chain.

Compared to ordinary models, this provides you with more cutting time, less time filing, and fewer chain tension adjustments. That is a big thank you to the hardened rivets as well as the added industrial hard chrome layer to its cutters.

Besides, it delivers 25% less vibration or more to prevent your hands from reaching the guide bar while lessening VWF (vibration-induced white finger).

Oregon S52 AdvanceCut 14-Inch Chainsaw Chain Specifications

Pitch

3/8in.

Gauge

0. 050in.

Bar Length

14in.

Drive Link Count

52

Highlight Features

Hardened rivets + industrial hard chrome layered cutters

A small space between the guide bar and saw chain

Verdict

Offering top-notch durability, solid performance, and safety use, Oregon S52 is undoubted the best overall performer in this category.

Best For Tough Applications (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon S56 AdvanceCut

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
Oregon S56 AdvanceCut
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Cuts well with minimal kickback - meeting UL and ANSI low kickback requirements
  • Able to handle tough jobs – great strength and tolerance of dust and dirt
  • Stay sharp really long - hardened rivets and industrial chrome coating on the chain cutter
Cons
  • Stretch a bit during the first couple uses
  • Not for heavy cuts

While meeting UL and ANSI low kickback requirements, the Oregon S56 is designed to be more tolerant of dust and dirt, giving it extra strength to handle tough jobs like a champ.

Made with versatility in mind, it is easy to work well on different chainsaw brands, such as Remington, Poulan, Homelite, Echo, and Craftsman.

It also gives you precise cuts with little tension adjustment required. Besides, we realized that it stays sharp a lot longer than others, all thanks to the hardened rivets and industrial chrome coating on the chain cutter.

The auto-oiling function is one big bonus in keeping the chain last for years to come. For the price, it bangs for bucks.

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Specifications

Pitch

3/8 in.

Gauge

.050 in.

Bar Length

16”

Drive Link Count

56

Highlight Features

Hardened rivets and industrial chrome coating on the chain cutter

Great strength and tolerance of dust and dirt

Meeting UL and ANSI low kickback requirements

Verdict

You can’t go wrong with the Oregon S56 if all you need is something that can handle tough applications.

Best For Smooth Cuts (Semi-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains -

SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains -
SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains -
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Tough and anti-fracture - made of heat-treated rivet-quenched Germany-imported steel
  • Wear resistance and stay sharp longer - high-end industrial-grade hard chrome coating
Cons
  • No complaint

SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains are an exceptional value for the price.

It is made of tough, anti-fracture, Germany-imported steel that was through rigorous heat treatment and rivet quenching between chain links. While offering unmatched strength and solid performance, the chain is plated with high-end industrial-grade hard chrome to enhance its wear resistance capability.

As a result, the chain’s edge stays sharp a lot longer and cuts more smoothly with minimal kickback. It also stays more tolerant of dust and dirt.

SALEM MASTER 18 Inch Chainsaw Chains - Specifications

Pitch

3/8”

Gauge

.050"

Bar Length

18”

Drive Link Count

62

Highlight Features

Made of heat-treated rivet-quenched Germany-imported steel

High-end industrial-grade hard chrome coating

Verdict

We’re wholly impressed by the smooth cutting experience of this chainsaw chain, which is the reason we give it our Top Pick Award.

Best Overall (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Offer smooth cutting experience – low-vibration chain design
  • Easy to control – lightweight
  • No potential kick-back and hazards during the use
Cons
  • Wish it stayed sharp longer

If you frequently find yourself utilize small-size chainsaws in high-production working conditions or you’re an arborist, this option is a perfect choice.

It is easy to install, cuts fast, and aggressively while holding edges phenomenally well if you use it for light work. The best part is it minimizes vibration excellently to offer smooth cutting experience and the lightweight design makes it easy to control.

A huge bonus is we find no potential kick-back and hazards during the use. Very safe!

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain Specifications

Pitch

.325”

Gauge

.050”

Bar Length

18-Inch

Drive Link Count

72

Highlight Features

Low-vibration chain design

Lightweight

Verdict

Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain is our Best Overall Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain Pick award winner due to its unrivaled performance in all aspects.

Best For Pole Saws (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Oregon R34 AdvanceCut

Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
Oregon R34 AdvanceCut
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Dependable - made in the USA, ISO certified, and UL classified as a safe, low-kickback product
  • Give smooth cutting feel and great sharp edge retention - advanced technology
Cons
  • The teeth could be better

Just like other Oregon chainsaw saws, this option is proudly made in the USA, certified by ISO, and classified by UL as a safe, low-kickback product.

It is made to fit Remington and Poulan brands pole saws but compared to other similar counterparts, it’s designed with extra strength to hold up well on heavy-duty tasks.

It also features advanced technology, which cuts through wood like butter while holding its sharp edges well.

Oregon R34 AdvanceCut Specifications

Pitch

3/8"

Gauge

.043"

Bar Length

8”

Drive Link Count

34

Highlight Features

Made in the USA

ISO certified

UL Classified as a safe, low-kickback product

Advanced technology

Verdict

This chainsaw chain hits on an excellent combination of smooth cutting feel, sharp edge retention, and solid performance, making it an outstanding choice for pole saws.

Best For Clean cuts (Full-Chisel Chainsaw Chain): Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain

Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain
Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Versatile - fit 11 different Stihl electric chainsaws
  • Able to handle heavy-duty tasks
  • Remain sharp edges efficiently
  • Low kick-back
Cons
  • Not too aggressive

Brand name aside, we like this chainsaw chain because of its robust construction compared to other counterparts at this price point.

It tackles most heavy-duty tasks with clean cuts while the edge won’t get dull quickly. Even if so, you can easily sharpen it using any modern sharpener available on the market.

We’re also glad that the Stihl 26RS 74 provides little kick-backs, meaning that it is less likely damaged during the use to last a lot longer. But here’s where the best part begins, it fulfills the requirement of 11 different Stihl electric chainsaws.

Stihl 26RS 74 Chainsaw Chain Specifications

Pitch

.325”

Gauge

.063”

Bar Length

18”

Drive Link Count

74

Highlight Features

Fit 11 different Stihl electric chainsaws

Verdict

If you’re looking for a chain that offers decent clean cuts for your Stihl electric chainsaw, this one is no brainer.

How To Choose The Fastest Cutting Chainsaw Chain?

Cutter Design

When shopping for a fast cutting chainsaw, you need to first pick the design.

  • Chisel: these are the fastest chainsaw, featuring square-cornered teeth. They have the most teeth among these designs and can quickly cut through even the hardest wood.
  • Semi-chisel: this design comes with fewer teeth than a standard chainsaw. The teeth are rounded cornered, half of them are put close together while the other half are far apart. This design is 10% slower than the chisel design.
  • Skip chisel: this design has the fewest teeth and cuts the most slowly of all. These chainsaws can handle bigger cuts and remain sharp the longest.

Size

To choose the best size, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Measure the length of the guide bar, which is the distance from the tip of the guide bar to the spot where the bar sticks out of the chainsaw housing.
  • Take off the old chain and count the drive links protruding from the chain’s underside.
  • Note the pitch of the chain that’s shown on the guide bar.
  • Sum the number of drive links and the pitch and you will get the perfect chain length.

Type

In terms of the chainsaw type, you have three options:

  • Cordless electric chainsaw: this type is battery-powered, cord-free, and quieter. These chainsaws are more costly but have limited working time depending on battery life.
  • Corded electric chainsaw: this type allows for unlimited working time. It’s also quiet but more lightweight than cordless tools. It’s not mobile because it has to be plugged into an outlet and it’s weaker than gas-powered models.
  • Gas chainsaw: this is the most powerful option but it’s heavier and louder.

Which Brands Make The Fastest Cutting Chainsaw Chain?

Oregon

Founded in 1947, this brand specializes in making outdoor power tools including chainsaws. It offers high-quality and durable products.

Husqvarna

With nearly four centuries of history, this is a long-standing brand in the industry. Its products are trusted for innovation, usability, and efficiency.

Stihl

This brand was established in the 1920s and invented the first electric chainsaw ever. It is now a renowned place to buy chainsaws with high quality, performance, and innovation.

FAQs

Does a ripping chain cut faster?

No, it doesn’t, it actually cuts more slowly.

Why does my chainsaw chain dull so quickly?

There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • You chose the wrong file size for the chain
  • You applied too much pressure when cutting
  • You applied inconsistent angle when cutting

Does cutting wet wood dull a chainsaw?

No, it won’t dull a chainsaw faster than other cutting other types of wood and its efficiency won’t change either.

How many times can I sharpen a chainsaw chain?

This depends on your usage, but you can sharpen the chain 3-5 times at most.

How much does it cost to sharpen a chainsaw?

If you have your chainsaw sharpened, it may cost somewhere under $20. If you do the job yourself, it costs nothing but the initial purchase of some tools.

What is the difference between .325 and 3/8 chain?

The most obvious difference between 0.325 and 3.8 is the spacing between the rivets of a chain.

The former one is a smaller top cutter, making the saw easier to turn so users have to use less energy. .0325 chains are more suitable for small saws.

Meanwhile, 3/8 chains are thicker, suitable for more horsepower saws and heavy-duty.

Conclusion

This is the end of our comprehensive guide to the fastest cutting chainsaw chain and hopefully, you have figured out about your new chain. Remember that when you want cutting speed, you should focus on factors that will help you cut wood more quickly.


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