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Stihl RMC vs. RMC3 Saftey Chain

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by game04, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. game04

    game04 ArboristSite Member

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    I have a MS250 with an 18" bar and it came with the RMC3 safty chain. I'm looking to by an extra chain and I was debating between the regular RMC and the RMC3 safty chain. I am doing trail clearing volunteer work and I am sometimes sawing several miles from the car/road. I was wondering if the regular RMC chain is worth the extra risk involved. I may sometimes buck tress that are wider than my bar. I don't use a saw everyday but I do understand what causes kickback. Thanks for any feedback.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  2. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    Regular RMC IS worth the risk IMO.

    Just be very mindfull of the bar and what happens when you aren't, and remember that the little crap laying around will get ya in trouble just as much as a big trunk.

    You WILL have a saw bump back on you hard sooner or later.
    How you come out of it depends on how you respect the fact that it WILL happen.

    Read all you can on running a saw, and ask the gang here all the questions ya never thought of.

    Sounds like you're having fun with the new 250!

    Stay safe!
    Dingeryote
     
  3. DougNH

    DougNH ArboristSite Operative

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    There was a long and sometimes ugly thread on this a year or so back:


    http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=91574


    Some will say "just as fast" others will say "regular" chain is twice as fast. In my experience, "limited kickback" chain is about 20% slower in green wood, and much worse for noodling or bore cutting.
     
  4. mirkaba

    mirkaba ArboristSite Operative

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    Should be good with RMC. The worst kickbacks I have experienced Have come from twisted up limbs...... working when I was about half wore out. Don't think Anti kickback chain would have made much of a difference. Enjoy the new saw!!!
     
  5. B_Turner

    B_Turner Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I did some comparison between rmc and rmc3 (in .325 and picco).

    I hate the looks of the weird bumper in the safety version, but my opinion is that for most cutting the difference is negligible. The bumper is only involved at all in certain tip cutting operations like boring.

    But even with the stihl low kickback chain, I can bore easily - even engrain.

    So my opinion is that the difference is no big deal. I prefer the non "safety" version where it's available to me (like in the 63pcm) but on the .050 semi chisel .325 where I can't get a non reduced kickback stihl I use the 3 version no problem.

    The only question in my mind is how the low kickback version is when the cutters are worn down a lot, and the depth gauges are shortened accordingly. But at the same time, the extra bumber gets ground away when sharpening anyway (it's in the gullet) so I don't know if it matters.

    So it is not the common view, but I say in the stihl .325 and picco anyway, the difference between the low and high kickback vesions is small with a sharp chain. In fact in reality I don't find it reduces kickback much either.

    It may also depend on how the chain is sharpened, as I try to keep the original amount of hook to the limits of my grinder. (In looking at others' chains commonly I see chains not really sharp and too much hook.)

    Before I get beat up by those that look down on using a grinder, I will say on the smaller cutters like lp, 1/4 and even .325 (which is a slight bigger cutter on stihl chain) the difference in cutting between ground and files is minimal (don't know why exactly). On 3/8 filed chain clearly cuts better than ground on my 510.

    But I seldom use round 3/8 once I got my ProSharp a number of years ago - square all the way baby on 3/8.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
    ray benson, buzz sawyer and NEP like this.
  6. 7sleeper

    7sleeper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You are doing trail work as a hobby and are worried about cutting speed. That is something I believe you can forget alltogether because chosing where to cut and so forth is going to be, as a beginner, much more time consuming than the saved 20% or whatever. I mean be serious! You are no pro, neither are you a logging company or trying to cut your wood for the winter as fast as possible.

    If in doubt again reread what B_Turner wrote and then forget this altogether. A much more important question would be how are your sharpening skills. That is the definate turn point of every woodcutting operation.
    To give you an example. A tree company called and said I could pick up the walnut they had just felled. Well they were still there when I got there. The trunk was too big, for onesided cuts, for my 18 inch 3.9hp saw so they asked if I wanted to use their Stihl 660 24 inch 7 hp saw. Man was I excited, my first with the mighty 660! Man was I disappointed after the first cut. Badly ajusted carb and really dull chain. My little Dolmar was just as fast! And you should have seen their eyes! :laugh:

    So take care of what you have and go cutting!

    My only recomondation would be to buy a spare bar and chain! It's a real pain to walk a few hours through the forest because you pinched yours and can't get it out and have to walk out of the forest, drive to the next dealer... you get the point.

    Good luck and happy cutting and I hope you have all your ppe together!

    7
     
  7. TRI955

    TRI955 I'm the man in the box

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    Where are you doing the trail clearing and how would somebody volunteer?

    :cheers:
    Mike
     
  8. game04

    game04 ArboristSite Member

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    I'm doing trail clearing work on the Ozark Trail in Missouri. Check out www.ozarktrail.com for info on how to volunteer (mainly info on trail building events). To become a trail sawyer you have to take a weekend long certification class with the USFS which I believe is offered about once or maybe twice a year. They just had one in March. If you are interested I can give you a name of the person to contact for more info. If you take the class they just ask that you make it out to saw three times a year.
     
  9. game04

    game04 ArboristSite Member

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    I don't want to sound smart asking this but is it advised that only pros use non safety chain? I wouldn't consider myself a beginner but I'm definitely not a pro. I've had my saw for several years now but I haven't had a chance to fire it up too often until now with the trail work. I've done a good amount of reading on AS and it seems that many recommend the non safety chain (but maybe these are the pros). I just thought maybe I was really missing out by continuing to use safety chain.


    I was wondering about a spare bar and I heard others recommend it too. I had sort of ruled it out because of the extra weight it would add to my pack but this has me thinking about it again. I agree it would be a real pain to hike in a few miles to only get the bar stuck and no other way to get it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Try a full chisel chain.

    If you've never tried one, try a full-chisel chain. RSC (yellow) or RSC3 (green safety chain).

    I've compared .325 RSC and RMC3 on my MS290, and I like the RSC much better. I haven't timed the cuts, but it is noticeably faster.
     
  11. B_Turner

    B_Turner Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For those not familiar with stihl chain I'll point out that their 3 version (at least all the ones I"ve seen) which is their low kick back version, is not the same as some consumer safety chain. The consumer safety chain typically has an extra bumper on a link between cutters.

    The stihl chain like 26rmc3 or 63pmc3 have an extra bumper that coexists with the normal depth gauge and pretty much only hits the wood when the chain goes around the tip, folding out the extra bumper.

    The typical consumer chain with the separate bumper does extract a performance penalty, but again if sharp is just fine for most uses. I have a bunch of it because it came standard on all my redmaxes.

    For clearing brush it is just fine (I use if for that).

    I'll also say that clearing brush with a saw is dangerous hard work and is to be taken seriously - thus the training.

    Other than the risk of waving a saw around in the air crashing through brush, another common issue is having the chain come off due to the weird way the chain is making contacting the brush. Makes it a much bigger problem than bucking, say. So I would never clear brush away from home without a spare chain because often when the chain hops off it gets hammerred by the sprocket and needs attention before it will fit into the bar grooves again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
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  12. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Although I have a stump vise and hand sharpening kit in my bag, I prefer to sharpen chains at home on my workbench. That's why I always carry an extra chain (often more) into the woods.
     
  13. game04

    game04 ArboristSite Member

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    I thought about the RSC / RSC3 chain but I read that it dulls quicker especially if you get into some dirty wood. I may be cutting some trees that have been laying on the ground for some time.
     
  14. 7sleeper

    7sleeper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If it is to heavy, which is always a pain, you can always take one of these with you. And with a 10 inch blade small trees shouldn't be to much of a problem.
    http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Pruning-Saws-and-Tools/Power-Tooth-R-Sliding-Pruning-Saw-w-Carabiner-Clip-10-in.-Stainless
    [​IMG]

    But a spare chain is a must!

    7
     
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  15. demographic

    demographic Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As far as I can tell, this is the only instance of anyone on here providing any evidence to the thread. The rest was all hearsay and opinions.

    Now obviously many opinions come from experience and can't be discounted out of hand but its nice when some one provides some form of evidence all the same.
     
  16. pgg

    pgg Banned

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    The bumpers on safety chain ARE involved in the whole cutting process, creating tons of drag, requiring heaps of extra energy and completely interfering with efficient cutting.

    The difference between kickback IS negligible, the difference between cutting efficiency is large. There's no comparison, non-safety chain stomps all over safety chain in all aspects of use.

    That ain't hearsay or opinion, it's plain reality. Using safety chain is like driving a V8 with two cylinders blocked off. You're just not getting the full potential of your saw by using it. Within 5 seconds of cutting, the 'evidence' is easy to feel.

    But it's true a blunt small chain has less of an effect on it's performance than a blunt larger size chain, one burred cutter on a large chain(semi chisel or chisel) and you'll feel the bluntness straight away, on a small 1/4 - 3/8 LP - picco type chain,(which only come in semi chisel) a few blunt teeth don't seem to have anywhere near as much affect, but try a safety chain in that size and the safety chains' extra drag compared to the non-safety is plain, blunt or not.
     
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Understood. But if you've never tried cutting with sharp full chisel chain, you have not reached full chainsaw enlightenment. :greenchainsaw:

    IMO, the longevity of full-chisel cutting efficacy is actually better than some make it out to be. It can cut through punky and slightly dirty wood just fine. It may not be the best for your cutting needs, but I highly recommend trying at least one chain. Good luck!
     
  18. huskystihl

    huskystihl Addicted to ArboristSite

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    RSc is excellent for standing timber but dulls out real fast when grounded "obviously" and wont last like rmc in dirty wood. I don't buy much rmc but it's one of my favorite chains in a 3/8. Now on .325 which you have I really like oregon lp, it has a bumper that rides beside the raker that as stated earlier only helps out on the tip and in no way slows down the speed of the cut. I can get em off ebay premade for less than I can buy spools for.
     
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  19. game04

    game04 ArboristSite Member

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    Well, I finally decided to give the regular RMC chain a try. So I went up to my local Stihl dealer this afternoon to get it and what a disappointing experience it turned out to be. I went in and asked for the regular RMC chain. The guy said no problem and handed me a packaged RMC3 chain. So I clarified that I was looking for the yellow chain, not the green. The guy got a surprised look on his face and said we only carry green chain. I asked if they could order the yellow chain in for me and the answer was no. He then added "you gotta watch out for that yellow chain. It'll get ya".

    So I went home and call around a few more places. The first shop I called the guy said with question in his voice "So you want the aggressive chain?" Another place said they have the RMC and I asked to be sure that it was not the RMC3. He said "actually it is RMC3 but I'm not sure what the 3 means". In the end no one carried RMC but a few places did have the RSC.

    I started thinking maybe all this is a sign that I'm not supposed to have non safety chain, so I ended up buying the RMC3 after all. I also ended up picking up an extra bar. Maybe one day I'll find an RMC chain on eBay.
     
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  20. 7sleeper

    7sleeper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Don't be disappointed. You'll find it soon enough.

    7
     

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