ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


Why Run a .404 Chain?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Josh A., Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Josh A.

    Josh A. ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    MI
    I hear a lot of talk about .404 chains for the big saws. I have a 084 that currently has a 3/8" sprocket and bar on it. What would the advantage of running the bigger chain be? The 3/8" should pull easier, if you look at it from a physics standpoint. It is cheaper, and a heck of a lot easier to find. In milling applications it would take less material away. I am sure there are good reasons to use the .404, but I do not have enough experience with the larger displacement/bar chainsaws to know why.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. pops21

    pops21 Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    .404 is a tougher condition chain that take more abuse then 3/8's. In big wood it is also a tad faster then 3/8's. In smaller wood its a tad slower then 3'8's. .404 is also a stronger chain. It can handle high HP and torque without stretchin as bad or breaking. Thats why alot of the west coast fallers run them. They still have ALOT of big wood.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  3. Josh A.

    Josh A. ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    MI
    Thanks for the insight Pops! Knew there were advantages. Now, on to ponder something else...
     
  4. Trigger-Time

    Trigger-Time Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,717
    Likes Received:
    747
    Location:
    U.S.A. :)
    As far as I know from Stihl you can only buy .404 bars for MS880.
    Unless you get a hard nose bar or buy .404 bar and change the
    tip sprocket your self to what pitch you want.



    TT
     
  5. Winn R

    Winn R ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    40 miles north of Atlanta
    And then of course there are fewer of them to sharpen. A 36" seems to take forever anyway!
     
  6. spacemule

    spacemule The Peanut Gallery

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    18,375
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Location:
    the sideways 40
    Why's that? Chip clearance maybe?
     
  7. pops21

    pops21 Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Not really sure. I'm just stating info that I have gathered around AS over the years.
     
  8. Modifiedmark

    Modifiedmark Tree Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    15,566
    Likes Received:
    1,999
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    No offense meant at all, but that is info that you should divulge when answering questions.

    You made it sound like it was from experiance which don't appear to be the case.

    Your probably pretty much right on though, but you forgot to mention the extra power needed to pull .404.
     
  9. holshot14

    holshot14 ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    SC Penna
    We use .404 chain on our rescue saws. MS460 (R)
     
  10. rwoods

    rwoods Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,509
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I too have been left wondering after reading many posts on this site stating that .404 cuts quicker on big saws in big wood without any explanation. Assuming these statements to be true, the only theoretical conclusion I can arrive at (other than there is some design dynamic about .404 that is more efficient than .375 such as better chip removal or less overall friction due to fewer links) is the larger saws must have enough power that the chain size doesn't significantly effect the saw's WOT rpms thus with the same toothed sprocket the .404 has a faster chain speed resulting in a quicker cut. A little math shows the .404 should be 7.7 % faster if everything else is equal (.404/.375). True or not, I plan to put .404 on my newly acquired SP125C once I locate a nice long bar for it. Ron
     
  11. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Tree Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    29,665
    Likes Received:
    4,233
    Location:
    N.S. Canada
    We have always run .404 chisel chain on saws over 85cc , the cutters are bigger and outlast 3/8" chain a lot longer, don`t have to sharpen it as often as 3/8" and it does seem to cut faster with big engined saws. I have not timed the cuts but just by the feel of it as the bar drops when a high torque saw is self feeding in big hardwood it would seem the .404 is cutting faster and pulling chips more freely.
    Pioneerguy600
     
  12. Scooterbum

    Scooterbum Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    4,878
    Likes Received:
    992
    Location:
    Virginia
    I run 404 on everything 90cc and up.
    I did compare it once with 3/8's on an 066 flatop.
    Didn't have a stop watch but according to my mississippi counter it was faster.
    Will take more abuse and less teeth to sharpin.:biggrinbounce2:
     
  13. hoss

    hoss Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    477
    Location:
    Purcellville virginia
    I tried to run some 3/8 chain on a 2100 homelite I have with a rim drive just to see. It seemed a bit slower, but not much. Anyway I had no real cpmplaints till about an hour before quittin time when the chain let go and snapped. The bar was a 36" roller nose. The trees were mostly hardwoods ranging from about 24"-40". I'm not sayin this will always happen with 3/8 on a real big saw, but it has never happened to me with .404. I kinda always had the impression too that on the 6 cube and up saws that .404 seemed a little faster, but I don't have any recorded times, just seat of the pants feel to go on.
     
  14. Oldsawnut

    Oldsawnut Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Washington St.
    404 also seems to last forever.. Both in how long it stays sharp and how many times you can sharpen it.. Much bigger tooth...
     
  15. FrankHgh

    FrankHgh ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    kake, alaska
    404 vs 3/8

    i have 404 full comp on my 056. 54mm cyl-piston, and compared to my 066 w/54mm cyl-piston with 3/8 semi skip, and by far the 404 is faster, both are square ground.

    hope this helps. i use oregon chain
     
    Meadow Beaver likes this.
  16. BobL

    BobL Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    6,420
    Likes Received:
    825
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    A little math can be a dangerous thing. All you have taken into account is the fewer number of cutters. 404 cutters are also a little wider (7% as it so happens) so these cancel each other out. (see here for a post on real kerf sizes)

    I'm not convinced its faster but if it is probably has something to do with better big chip clearance.
     
  17. Phil_C

    Phil_C ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Australia
    Not according to the Chains, Bars and Accessories catalog. There are 4 different bar lengths in Rollomatic ES available with the 3003 mount which suits the 064-MS660 series. 3003 mounts fit smaller saws as well but Stihl don't recommend using it on them.

    We used to use 404 on anything that requires a wider cut. On the bigger hardwood trees we used to have to ring bark the tree before falling it if we used 3/8 chain but with 404 we did not need to ring bark the tree. The old 051 would handle the 404 chain with ease but the 056 would struggle.

    Regards

    Phil
     
  18. MCW

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

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,431
    Likes Received:
    6,805
    Location:
    Riverland, South Australia
    Me thinks you boo booed? Sure you didn't mean MS880? MS660 and MS880 have different mounts.
    MS660 takes the standard Stihl 12mm slot bar, the MS880 takes the 14mm bar :cheers:

    But anyway, .404" in my book and experience has a number of advantages over 3/8". Loggers that fell Stringybark for example favour .404" due to the wider kerf and less bark getting jammed. On long bars .404" clears chips better. The second I converted a 42" Oregon Power Match Plus from .404" to 3/8" it started having all sorts of chip clearance and jamming problems in certain types of wood. This isn't noticed when milling however due to the direction of the grain cut (smaller chips) and this same 42" bar works a treat when milling with 3/8", cross cutting in some wood it's a pig with some nasty kickback tendencies from the 3120 when the chips jam it up in the cut.
    Even on shorter bars I believe it has the wood on 3/8", providing your saw has the nuts to pull it swiftly and it has been set up correctly. When you take into account how much longer the chain stays sharp, plus how much longer the cutters can be used before the chain gets thrown away and it becomes far more appealing.
    I ran a 20" .404" .063" Tsumura with semi chisel on my modded 7900's for a while and I was a big fan. Unfortunately I had to come to terms with the vast array of chains hanging in my shed and my failing memory as to just which saw and bar they belonged to :) I swapped the tip to 3/8" once that one loop of .404" wore out as I already had a swag of 72DL 3/8" .063" chains there to use. No regrets and the guys flaming anybody that uses .404" should remember that cutting cants and racing is far different to felling or firewood cutting in the field.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  19. pops21

    pops21 Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Asheville, NC

    Yeah I didn't think about saying I had no hands on experience. I've been thinking about trying some .404. Just havent pulled the trigger. I've done tons of research.
     
  20. Phil_C

    Phil_C ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Australia
    No error on my part. Poster said the only rollomatics available were to suit the MS880 which takes a 3002 mount. I pointed out that there are 3003 mount rollomatic ES 404's available which suits saws up to an MS660.

    Regards

    Phil
     

Share This Page