The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Are generic chainsaw chains good enough?

close up of multiple size chains for a typical chainsaw these days

Bob reminded me in the comment section yesterday about the angle marks on the cutters of a Stihl chain. It really helped to teach me the proper angle when I first started sharpening.

I went through a phase with the old 039 where I used a generic chain that our local hardware store would cut to whatever size you needed. I think they were maybe 5 dollars cheaper, but at the time I was trying to avoid a trip to the big city. I've since decided to pay a little extra and get the Stihl brand chains after talking to a few old timers about the difference.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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All of the tree service professionals that I know (even the ones using Husqvarna saws) use either Stihl or Oregon chains. Over the years, I have proven (the hard way) that tools are the last place one should cut corners. You WILL pay eventually. ...go ahead and get the good tools and save yourself the time and aggravation of using/fixing/dealing with cheap tools.


Comment by Michael Smith Fri Jan 27 08:50:56 2012
Good data point --- sounds like Mark's gut reaction was right to go for the good chains.
Comment by anna Fri Jan 27 15:13:47 2012
The Stihl chains are the best I've used. Factory sharp stays that way for quite a while, even cutting locust. Oregon isn't bad, nor Husquvarna.
Comment by Bob Fri Jan 27 16:59:48 2012
Bob --- Glad to hear from someone else who prefers Stihl. I often wonder if it's worth the expense to go with a brand name, but it sounds like in this case it is.
Comment by anna Fri Jan 27 18:18:18 2012

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