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Converted over to 3/8" pitch chain on my MS260 Pro

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by mtgrs737, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. mtgrs737

    mtgrs737 ArboristSite Operative

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    The guy at the Stihl Dealership asked why I would want to convert over to the 3/8" pitch chain from .325" pitch on my 260, I told him I wanted to be able to swap out with my .031av which also has a 16" bar (which is the truth). He said he hardly ever sells a 3/8' chain and bar for smaller saws like the 260, I believe him as he had a huge stock of .325" pitch Stihl chains on the display. He had a hard time finding the correct small spline 3/8" 7 pin drive sprocket for the 3/8" pitch chain. I hope I am not messing up by trying to standardize on one size chain.

    What chain type do you guys like? I will be cutting both green hedge, and soft woods like elm, pine, etc. I am guessing but am thinking about a full chisel non-saftey chain as I am pretty careful when cutting.
     
  2. superfire

    superfire Banned

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    nice to see a convert

    my theory is use all 375 non safety chain an run the saw the way it was not deigned for. 365 and 375 is all my dealers stocks. 325 is a right coast thing:dizzy: :chainsaw: i run full skip round ground chisel chain an a 20" bar on my 260 pro.
     
  3. kevlar

    kevlar Addicted to ArboristSite

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    switched mine as well!
     
    talon1189 likes this.
  4. meangreen92lx

    meangreen92lx ArboristSite Member

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    My 260 has had an 18" bar with 3/8 chain from day one. Never thought twice about changing the pitch. It pulls it fine. I wouldn't worry at all. Especially if you are only running a 16" bar.
     
  5. Slick

    Slick ArboristSite Operative

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    Mind if I jump in and ask a newbie question about pitch? I have a local friend who is convinced a .325 should be on whatever saw I get...that it cuts better than a 3/8" pitch and is explaining it to me as if it's the width or kerf of the chain....I thought I just read in a book last week the pitch is a measurement from link to link or something along those lines? So what's the advantage/disadvantage of either pitch?
     
  6. nilzlofgren

    nilzlofgren Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Pitch is the distance between any three rivets on the chain, divided by two. Your buddy is referring to the "gauge" of the drive links on the chain. Which is also the width of the kerf in the bar. Gauge is determined by the bar. Pitch is determined by your saws drive sprocket, as well as the sprocket on your bar. Typically, the bigger the pitch, the more power is needed to spin the chain.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  7. bluequill56

    bluequill56 ArboristSite Operative

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    I have both 3/8 and .325 for mine (18" bar). I think there is a slight edge on the .325 due to the narrower kerf. It's really splitting hairs on cutting time, but the 3/8 does bog easier. Usually I run .325 full chisel for normal use. The only reason I got the 3/8 set up was so I could run square filed chisel on it occasionally. I haven't found square filed in .325, and it takes FOREVER to convert round to square.
     
  8. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    The 260 doesn't use the small 7-spline, but the mini one, that is spesific to Stihl - don't ask me how I found that out...:censored:

    Based on some "interpolating", I am also pretty sure that .325 is faster than 3/8" on that saw, at least in hardwood - but the differense may be too small to care much about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  9. Rookie1

    Rookie1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Do a search on the subject. It was discussed in depth not too long ago. Also .325 only goes up to 20". If that means anything to you.:greenchainsaw:
     
  10. serial killer

    serial killer ArboristSite Operative

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    I went the other way and put a 16" .325 bar and a 9 pin sprocket on my 361. It is wicked fast now. I have never run anything that even comes close.
     
  11. Lloyd H

    Lloyd H ArboristSite Operative

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    3/8 vs 325

    I have a Shindaiwa 416 with a 325 chain, The saw is great except for the 325, PIA to file, no 3/8 sprocket available so the saw usually sets on the shelf. I agree with bluequill56 its splitting hairs for speed and if you throw in the extra time required to file the 325 its a dead heat. The 3/8 stands dirt a little better as well. 3/8 low profile is kinda best of both in small saws. My 2 penny's worth.
     
  12. mtgrs737

    mtgrs737 ArboristSite Operative

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    I was worried that the switch would slow the speed down too much. However I am going to do the muffler mod soon and that should help with powering up the slightly larger chain (I hope).
     
  13. Tzed250

    Tzed250 Account Hold

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    My 026 always had 3/8 on it.
     
  14. czar800

    czar800 ArboristSite Operative

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    +1 18" 3/8 on my 026
     
  15. tatra805

    tatra805 ArboristSite Operative

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    teeth catching on smaller branches is my reason to run .325

    .325 gives nicer results in trimming branches compared to 3/8 rough cuts.

    speed difference as said splitting hairs


    2cent
     
  16. Dadatwins

    Dadatwins Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I did it on mine when it was new. I buy my chain in bulk and did not want to have an extra size roll around just for that saw. It cuts and runs just fine. The 260 is a great ground limbing saw. If I am going to buck wood, I grab a bigger saw.
     
  17. skid row

    skid row AboristSite Guru

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    I run .375 and 18" bar on both 026's. Pulls real nice.
     
  18. mtgrs737

    mtgrs737 ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I feel better knowing that you folks are using 3/8" pitch chain too.
     
  19. Philbert

    Philbert Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Slick,

    You are correct; "pitch" refers the the 'length' of the links, and "gauge" refers to the 'thickness' of the drive links and the groove of the guide bar. Pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links usually specify what chain will fit your saw.

    However, there are chains that have the identical pitch and gauge which cut narrower or shallower kerfs in the wood. Narrow kerf chains, and low profile chains have smaller cutters which remove less wood in each pass, and are designed primarily for smaller or lower power saws.

    Husqvarna, Stihl, Oregon, and others all make these chains and each call them something different. If you try to run narrow kerf chain on a standard width bar, or vice versa, you might get it to fit on the saw, but will have lots of trouble in the cut.

    Philbert
     
  20. Slick

    Slick ArboristSite Operative

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    So what do I ask for, narrow kerf? :) I'm just used to wood working...narrow kerf blades really help on table saws etca nd are becoming the norm...seems like the same concept...why cut more wood and eat power when you can slice through a thin cut...
     

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