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Chain size on Stihl 026 (3/8 or 325)

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by theoldfox, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. theoldfox

    theoldfox ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have an 026 that runs 3/8 063 chain on an 18"bar (7 slot sprocket). Runs OK but I feel it lacks a bit of power in the cut.
    I want to go to a 16" bar but would prefer to keep 3/8 chain as my other saws run this size.
    I know these saws normally run on 325 chain and there seems to be a mixed opinion on whether 026 is really suited to 3/8 chain.

    How much difference will I notice going to 16" bar and retaining 3/8 chain?

    Is it really worth converting to 325 chain??

    Look forward to the hearing your experiences/ thoughts
     
  2. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When I swithed from 3/8 to .325 on my Rancher 55 it cut way faster and bogged way less, both the same style chain. I'm sure lots of people will tell you that 3/8 works good on here (you know, more chain speed) but the only way your going to find out is to try it. If your cutting small soft wood with a modded 026 3/8 would be ok. Steve
     
  3. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Tough call mate. I know 3/8" is faster than .325" on my Dolmar 5100-S in my conditions but others swear .325" is faster on this site. I'd stick with 3/8" if thats the chain you prefer.
    Even if .325" was quicker I doubt it would be by much.
    3/8" was about 10% faster than .325" on my 5100 when I've timed it in Aussie hardwood on an 18" bar.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  4. KD57

    KD57 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I run a 3/8 on a 16" bar, works great, besides I like to keep all my saws wearing the same chain.
     
  5. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Sponsor

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    This same question comes up once or twice a week. It's really personal preferance. The saw is intended to be used with .325. If you want to run 3/8 that's fine too. Some have even shown it to be faster with 3/8. My testing has not shown that. It should be smoother with .325 as well since their cutters are closer together. The only way to know is to try it for yourself.
     
  6. thejdman04

    thejdman04 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    ??????? Whatever you have most of around (so you arent buying many chain sizes and pitches). Wont make all that big of a difference.
     
  7. Evan

    Evan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    stihl list the ms260 as running 325 and 3/8. so id say they are intended for both.

    mine is a 026 i converted from 325 with 18 bar and stihl RSF full skip, it now wears an oregon lgx, it cuts very good with the 18 bar cuts right along side my 310 for speed in small wood
     
  8. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Sponsor

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    I've never seen one sold with 3/8. That's all.
     
  9. Evan

    Evan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    neither have i , i think its geographical thing, honestly i havent ever seen a new 260 instock anywhere at a stihl dealer
     
  10. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    Have you tried .325x8?

    That combo give a tad more chain speed as the 3/8x7 (as long as the rpms are the same) - not that I think it is a good idea on a stock 260, but then I don't think 3/8x7 is either.

    On a 5100S I would want to try it (and I will as soon as the snow is gone)......LOL :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  11. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think that the advantages of being able to run the same chains on all your saws outweighs some small increase in cutting speed. Go with a 16"-3/8" setup and keep the cutters sharp and the rakers reasonably high - .020" or .025".

    Otherwise, I was always happiest with .325" Oregon 20LP on my 026. It seemed to cut faster than Stihl RS, as it cut a slightly narrower kerf.
     
  12. Stihl-in-Ky

    Stihl-in-Ky ArboristSite Operative

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    I run .325 with an 8 tooth sprocket and a muffler mod.All my other saws are 3/8" but i much perfer the .325 RSC on the 026 as it is faster .and yes I now must stock 2 kinds of chain but to me it is worth it.I have cut 96 truck loads of wood since august and use the 026 a large portion of the time and for me the 16" .325 with an 8 tooth sprocket is the fastest setup .:chainsaw:
     
  13. theoldfox

    theoldfox ArboristSite Lurker

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    026 chain

    Thanks guys

    Great feedback, Ill try 3.8 and see how it goes
     

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