Chainsaw chains become blunt and wear out, and when that happens, they need to be replaced. To ensure the best possible cutting performance, you need the highest-quality chain – so here are our top picks for best chainsaw chain.
The Best chainsaw chain of 2020
1. Oregon S52 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain (Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan)
When it comes to chainsaw chains, Oregon is the benchmark by which quality is measured. This means when you buy an Oregon chain, you can be sure you won’t be let down.
This chain is a 14” version with 52 teeth that is compatible with Echo, Craftsman, Homelite and Poulan chainsaws – make sure you buy the correct one for your machine or it won’t fit correctly.
The Oregon AdvanceCut chain features advanced chainsaw blade technology. It boasts chrome-plated teeth that are made to stay sharp for longer and a LubriTech oiling system for superior lubrication. It is also designed to provide a low vibration cutting experience.
There are no real downsides to speak of since this is about as good as chainsaw chains come. However, since it is designed to be low kickback and more forgiving for the casual home user, professionals might find that it isn’t aggressive enough.
The only other issue would be if you buy the wrong chain for your machine, so be sure to check the specs carefully before you buy.
Overall, an exceptional chain and one you can hardly go wrong with. Highly recommended.
- Top brand – can rely on their products, as many have for decades
- Designed for casual users – low kickback and more forgiving
- Chrome-plated cutters – designed to stay sharp for longer
- LubriTech oiling system – helps keep the chain perfectly lubricated
- Low vibration technology – built for a smoother cutting experience
- Need to check specs carefully – will not fit all chainsaws
- May not be aggressive enough for some – this is a chain for home use
2. Oregon Poulan S62 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain (Craftsman, Homelite, Basic Pack)
This is a very similar chain to the Oregon chain above but is designed for slightly bigger chainsaw bars. This one is compatible with Echo, Craftsman, Homelite and Poulan chainsaws with 18” bars.
It features the same advanced chainsaw chain technology and is designed to reduce vibration during operation, making the chainsaw more comfortable to work with while at the same time reducing fatigue.
It also has links that retain oil for longer, ensuring the chain stays well-lubricated, increasing its life, and the teeth are chrome plated, helping them stay sharper for longer.
As with the 14” version, this chain is aimed at home users so is made to be more forgiving than more aggressive professional-grade chains. However, this chain is also suitable for commercial-grade work, and some professional arborists may prefer to use it.
That said, some may still find that it is not aggressive enough. The same advice as above also stands about checking the specs of your chainsaw and ensuring you choose the appropriate chain.
All in all, another exemplary product and, assuming you don’t choose the wrong size, one that can hardly disappoint.
- Oregon chain – a brand that guarantees quality
- Low kickback design – helps protect user without compromising cutting capacity
- Made for optimal lubrication – retains oil for longer for better functionality
- Made to reduce vibration – increases user comfort and reduces fatigue
- Chrome-plated teeth – for extra sharpness and durability
- May not be aggressive enough for professionals – designed for home users
- Will not fit all chainsaws – check carefully for compatibility
3. Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain (Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, Remington)
This is the 16” version of Oregon’s AdvanceCut chain and is compatible with Husqvarna, Echo, Craftsman, Homelite and Poulan chainsaws with bars of that size.
As with the Oregon chains we have already looked at, this version is designed for low-vibration operation to make using the chainsaw as comfortable as possible while reducing fatigue.
The cutting teeth are heat-treated and chrome-plated for toughness and to ensure they retain their sharpness for longer. This means you can spend more time cutting and less time sharpening your blade.
As with all Oregon chains, this is a top product, and the only downsides are the same as those we have already mentioned. For example, some professionals might find this chain is not aggressive enough since it is designed to be more forgiving for the casual user.
Also, always make sure you check for compatibility carefully to ensure optimal performance.
As we have already said, with Oregon chains, you can hardly go wrong – and this 16” version is no exception.
- Well-known brand – exceptional quality
- Fast, smooth cutting – combined with low kickback
- Tough and sharp cutters – incorporates Oregon’s advanced blade technology
- Heat-treated and chrome-plated – made to last longer
- Low vibration cutting – built for comfort and reduced user fatigue
- Not aggressive enough for some pros – but perfect for most home users
- Doesn’t fit all chainsaws – check compatibility before buying
4. Stihl Chainsaw Chain- 26RS68
Stihl is another giant in the chainsaw world, and if you own one of the company’s machines, you need to use genuine Stihl chains.
This 18” chain is designed to be more aggressive than the factory chain that came with your Stihl, and if you are experienced and can handle it, this chain will power through larger cutting jobs in no time.
It holds its edge well, meaning you can spend more time in the field working and less time in the workshop sharpening the teeth.
The important thing to understand about this chain is that, as a more aggressive option, it is more like to produce violent kickbacks, which can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, this is no chain for novices, and low kickback options exist that would be more suitable.
Similarly, this chain is designed for bigger, more heavy-duty cutting tasks but performs less well for small pruning jobs. If you try to cut small branches with this kind of chain, you are also putting yourself in danger of suffering a kickback injury.
With all this in mind, this is an outstanding chain for expert chainsaw operators who want a mean, aggressive chain for their work. However, any rookie chainsaw users are best advised to steer clear.
- Makes short work of big cutting jobs – slices through tough wood with ease
- Aggressive chain – can save you time by allowing you to go through trees faster
- Great value – exceptional quality at a reasonable price
- Holds its edge well – resists dulling for longer
- Typical Stihl quality – what you would expect from a top brand
- More dangerous chain – this is not for beginners
- Doesn’t perform well for small trimming jobs – made for cutting big trees
5. Husqvarna H80-72 (72V) Saw Chain
If you have a Husqvarna chainsaw, the best option is to use a chain made by the same company, and this item for 20” bars is suitable for a wide range of Husqvarna’s tools.
It is a high-performance chain that will power through almost anything you put in front of it. It is also a chain that holds its sharpness well – as long as you don’t end up hitting stones or anything similar, it will allow you to work for longer without the need to sharpen it.
It offers comfortable low vibration operation that helps to reduce user fatigue while simultaneously providing a more comfortable working experience.
This blade is also designed to reduce kickback. For some, this could be seen as a positive since it helps to keep the user safe. However, others might see it as a negative because low kickback blades lack aggressiveness. This depends on the operator.
Also, as with any chainsaw chain, be sure to check the specs carefully – while this chain is compatible with a range of Husqvarna saws, it isn’t suitable for all of them. Make sure it fits your machine before buying.
If you have a Husqvarna saw and this chain is compatible, it’s a great option, especially if you prefer a safer chain. However, for those looking for something more aggressive, better options are available.
- High-performance chain – does the job it was made for perfectly
- Holds edge well – leaves you to spend more time cutting and not sharpening
- Low vibration operation – low fatigue and better comfort
- Low kickback design – helps to keep operator safe
- Reasonable price tag – low price for top quality product
- May not be aggressive enough for some users – aimed at casual users
- May not fit all saws – make sure you check specs carefully before buying
6. Maxpower Replacement Chains (Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, And Other Saws S62)
This is a two-pack of versatile replacement 18” chains that are compatible with a large number of chainsaws, including those made by Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Husqvarna, Poulan and more.
They are low kickback chains made for operator safety and feature Centri-Lube technology that is designed to help keep them well lubricated and functioning properly. When paired with a high-quality chainsaw, they can provide very respectable cutting capacity.
As with all chainsaw chains, make sure you check that they are compatible with the machine they are intended for or you may find they don’t fit.
Otherwise, the only other downside is that they don’t have the name or history of a company like Oregon – although this doesn’t mean this isn’t a high-quality prodcut.
Overall, another solid option and worth a look if these chains are compatible with your machine.
- Good value – low price for high quality
- Low kickback – made for extra safety
- Suitable for many brands of chainsaw – versatile product
- Centri-lube technology – helps keep the chain well lubricated
- Provides good cutting capacity – does the job it was designed for
- Not compatible with all chainsaws – check carefully first
- Not one of the most famous names – not as well-known as something like Oregon
7. 8TEN Chainsaw Chain (Husqvarna, Echo, Poulan, Jonsered, Troy Bilt, And Others)
This is a pack of three 20” chains, making it an ideal choice for backup chains that you can buy ready for when they are needed. They are highly versatile and work with chainsaws made by Husqvarna, Echo, Poulan, Jonsered, Troy Bilt and others.
One of the biggest advantages is the price. Since this is a three-pack, the price is slightly lower, allowing you to save a bit of cash.
They are well-made chains that hold their sharpness, allowing you to concentrate on the cutting job at hand. They provide good cutting capacity and will help you power through all the cutting work you need to take care of.
On the downside, they are perhaps slightly lower quality than something like an Oregon or a Husqvarna chain – although having said that, there is nothing wrong with them either.
As with all chainsaw chains, make sure you check your chainsaw’s specifications carefully and choose the appropriate chain. Just because these chains are compatible with a wide range of chainsaws, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will fit yours.
To summarize, these chains are a solid option and are especially suitable to buy as a backup for when you need them. Not an Oregon or a Husqvarna chain but a quality product nonetheless.
- Great value – three chains for a reasonable price
- Highly versatile – works with a wide range of chainsaws and brands
- Holds sharpness well – reduces the need for frequent sharpening
- Cuts well – does the job it was designed for
- Good choice for a backup chain – have them ready for when they’re needed
- Slightly lower quality than something like an Oregon – but still does the job
- Doesn’t fit all chainsaws – be sure to check for compatibility
Don’t let your chain be the weak link
A top-end chainsaw is only as good as its chain, and if your chain is dulled and blunt, your chainsaw won’t cut. Since there are so many models of chainsaw on the market and a correspondingly large number of chains, the key is to make sure you check the specs carefully to be sure of buying one that is compatible.
With this review, if the chains we have mentioned are not compatible with your machine, a quick search will probably allow you to find an equivalent version that fits.