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Stihl chain question (extra link?)

IyaMan

IyaMan

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I don't own a Stihl saw, but a good friend does and he was stating his dissatisfaction with the chain on his saw, saying that it has an extra cutter link (i.e. an odd number of cutters) such that at one point there are two cutters in a row that cut on the same side. He says that this creates a curve in his cut as it pulls/cuts stronger on one side than the other. Anyone familiar with this problem?

I believe he has a MS251 (but I could be wrong) but I do know for sure he has a 40" bar. Don't know the pitch or whether its lo-pro. But I was curious if the extra cutter is common for Stihl chain and if others also notice a pull on the cut. And is there a way to remedy this? Thanks.

**edit- this should read 40cm bar (not 40"), so it would be 16" bar
 
IyaMan

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Thanks for the quick replies. I too never heard of the issue, so I agree it might be a worn bar or badly sharpened chain.

And a 251 is not wearing a 40" bar. It can't.
As I said, I wasn't sure of the model, but I actually meant 40cm (I'm in Japan). Sorry. I guess that's 16 inch! Yeah , BIG difference!
 
GrassGuerilla

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Two same side cutters in a row is not necessarily a Stihl thing. Happens on all brands of chain. Absolutely does not cause it to cut crooked. As mentioned already it happens when the bar groove is worn or from improperly sharpened chain. Bad angles on the cutters or even just dull on one side. Two cutters in a row may be the easiest thing for him to spot, but that ain't what's causing the issue.
 
nstueve

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common deal to have 2 cutters in a row. if he is pulling cuts to the side he needs yo dress his bar and make sure his cutters all have relatively same length and angle on top plate. If the top plates are longer on one side it will feed faster on that side of the chain. or if his chain is leaning to the side (in the bar rail) his cut will start hooking left or right too.

Cutter sequence has nothing to do with how it cuts. Cutter sequence is controlled by how long the chain needs to be in order to fit the bar.
 
wombler

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Just to add my 2c: I've got a couple of chains that have four more cutters on one side than the other (got given a bunch of brand-new short chains each with an extra cutter, joined them all up to make bigger ones) and there's no visible curve to the cuts the chains make. On the other hand, I have badly mis-sharpened chains in the past and that *does* create some impressively curved cuts, along with smoke, sparks, and general unpleasantness.

So, to reiterate: your mate is both (a) full of it, and (b) not very good at sharpening chain.
 
Franny K

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I believe he has a MS251 (but I could be wrong) but I do know for sure he has a 40cm bar. Don't know the pitch or whether its lo-pro. But I was curious if the extra cutter is common for Stihl
I will leave the cutting curved alone.
It kind of common with Stihl at least in their 3/8lp/picco. 14" bar is 50 drive links, two cutters same way, 16" is 55 drive links two cutters pointing the same way plus a space. Most brand x is 52 and 56 which is a balanced loop.
 
wde_1978

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As others said, a chain not cutting straight is caused by a dull chain, unevenly sharpened chain teeth or a worn bar that need be dressed or replaced.

I have a 36"/90cm B&C setup that counts 115DL's resulting in two same sided teeth in a row.
It is a factory Carlton loop and I have yet to encounter any issues with it.
 
Little Al

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Quite common depending on bar length. An extra cutter isn't going to be an issue.

Cutting curves is from unevenly worn bar rails or cutters on one direction quite a bit sharper than the other direction.
Leaving out 1 of the same side cutters will not make a difference either, its bar or chain problems other than 2 same side cutters, dependent on the DL # certain lengths of chains will always have either a missing or 2 same side cutters
 
Franny K

Franny K

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dependent on the DL # certain lengths of chains will always have either a missing or 2 same side cutters
The above is true if only one splice is made from the chain the way it comes off the spool. I have experimented with spacing two or three "skip" splices (missing cutter avove) to end up with a "balanced" loop.
 

rd35

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Yep, Harley said it best! It's a "math" thing. In order for the chain to be the correct length for his saw.....it simply must have two cutters of the same hand in a row. The only "perfect" chains (chains with evenly spaced alternating sequence cutters) are those that have a drive link count that is divisible by 4. So if your saw/bar combination calls for 56, 60, 64, 68, 72.....drive links then you will have a perfectly sequenced chain. Now if you have skip chain...........well.....it all goes out the window! My head hurts now! :crazy2:
 
Franny K

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Skip use drive links a number divisible by 6 for that perfectly spaced loop. So something divisible by 12 like 72,84,96 will work out for either. at least for normal not semi skip. For skip two cutters pointing the same way one of the on the less side is the first to break off when hitting a fencing staple or something like that.
 
lambs

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I think inconsistent depth gauges relative to the cutters will also cause a chain to cut in a curve. But in my experience it is most likely the cutters on one side or a mushroomed bar grove, which can be easily corrected.
 
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