What is the best ripping chain for the money?

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cponick

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Hi all. So i've been chainsaw milling for a few years now, i have a 395xp that is my regular use and i just got a 3120xp that i'm still working the bugs out of. usually using a 42inch bar and sometimes for larger logs i've put the 62inch on, i always use an aux oiler. I'm currently in Hawaii and i've mostly been milling monkeypod, mango and lychee. So i've used lots of different ripping chains, from oregon, stihl, carlton, forester, archer and a few others. I haven't used the grandberg chain yet, just cause they cost so much. Are they worth the cost? I'm getting pretty good a sharpening and keeping the rakers at the right height. So what's your opinion? who makes the best chain for the money. will a grandberg chain stay sharp so much longer than an archer chain to justify the extra dollars?
 

Leeroy

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This may be a long shot, but I would recommend you try square filed chisel chain.
Grab a loop and a couple of files. Some people pick up on it fast others might take longer, and others give up.
If you get it you'll not find a better chain for speed and finish in my opinion. With hardwoods you can file the top plate close to zero and drop depth gauges much lower than a cross cut chain.
 

Lightning Performance

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This may be a long shot, but I would recommend you try square filed chisel chain.
Grab a loop and a couple of files. Some people pick up on it fast others might take longer, and others give up.
If you get it you'll not find a better chain for speed and finish in my opinion. With hardwoods you can file the top plate close to zero and drop depth gauges much lower than a cross cut chain.
That's good advice ^

The best chains are custom tailored buy the sawyer, as always.

If you can deal with the cheap chains not holding an edge... then continue as you were with cheap chain. I find them to be a waste of time mostly. Cutting large hardwoods here most times and have been milling them more and more now days. Break the bank and go buy some RS or LX. When you do go square you'll be much happier. The scratcher sequence should be fine on the 42 but it won't love the 62. Try knocking off every other set of cutters for testing or drop the cutters back on every other set. If you unload the cutters they just become a shovel with a little added drag on the whole loop.

Try 5/20/55 and go down from there on your top plate to say 15 or 12. 10 is much too slow for myself.
Have had no trouble pulling it on a 60 CSB with a modified 084. The ported 660 handles it well up to about a 40" cut width with full comp RS or LX. Eliminating drag speeds up your work and lightens the load. Round ground full chisel is easy to touch up square once your comfortable to just have at it right on the mill.

The 050 375 isn't much faster than 404 and does dull faster in clean wood in my experiences. Many will argue that point. The 404 full chisel has longer lasting cutters that simply run cooler and carry oil better like canola. Plus they do make micro chisel if your stuck to round cutters.
 

lobo9er

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I don't mean this to sound flip but the best ripping chain for the money I've found is any sharp chain. I'm not seeing a enough of a significant difference to pay much more for a ripping chains. As of my experience now. maybe I'll change my opinion down the road but that's how I see it now.
 

link

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Stihl, cuts both faster and stays sharp "a lot" longer - significantly so.
But I might have been unlucky with the "other" ripping chains I have tried.
I cut one 13 feet / 12 to 16" spruce trunk in to 1" and perhaps a couple of 1-1/2" or 2" boards at the center of the trunk - barely... before sharpening with the standard "other" chains. Sometimes (read usually) I wish I had re-sharpened half way.
The Stihl rip chains I have used lasts "many" trunks without any notice of degradation - yes its a noticeable difference and well worth it whatever the cost - in my opinion...
The Stihl rip chains I've used are 1,3mm/.050 and 3/8 (picco) if I recall, they are really narrow kerf.
It is used up to 92cc in my part of the world, typically with a 20-24" bar.
In my opinion this is about metal alloy and not about sharpening, though off course it is also a factor to long levity.
 

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Project Farm on youtube does a nice chain comparison. As I recall Oregon and Stihl did well?
Not sure what the ones I have now is, no brand identification on them - but they are really bad.
I would think it was odd if Oregon made bad mill chains. On my small top handle I use .043 super narrow kerf chains and I have used both Stihl and Oregon and they are basically identical in kerf width, cut speed and endurance.
 

B.Lee

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I agree with everything said above in terms of using any chain, but if you want to buy an off the shelf ripping chain, I have had nothing but good experience with Oregon ripping chains. Specifically I have used the 27RX and 27AX chains in exclusively wide white oak slabs.

I always wanted to try the Stihl but I couldn’t find it in 404
 

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