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.325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain #5190732 08/18/19 09:04 PM
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The_Eric Offline OP
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I have a Stihl 026 saw with an 18" bar running .325 pitch chain - thing is I've been a bit underwhelmed by it. Today I was cutting up a dead pine tree with a John Deere CS46 16" saw with the .375 chain and it did as good or better through everything up to it's capacity. The CS46 has literally never touched wood until today and the 026 is in good health, running well with a relatively new bar and the saw chain was sharpened by a local shop and was spitting out chips and shavings but just seemed to be bested by the shorter, larger chain. I don't know what type of tooth profile or style either are, but the .375 is not the low profile, anti-kickback chain.

What is the designed purpose of both chains? Would I benefit from switching over to a .375 standard chain? I realize the .325 is going to be a bit lighter, but beyond that, I'm not very well read on chains. (I used to make them at a farm store I worked at many years ago and learned of some of the differences but can't remember enough to make an informed decision. My saw, though used infrequently needs to be able to handle all kinds of wood, from largish oak to, well, pine.


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5190748 08/18/19 09:24 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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I run the .325 on my 45cc echo, the husky 390 is .375 full chisel. You just have to have enough engine. I don't run the low profile safety chains. I run the commercial non anti-kickback. They bite much better and cut larger chips. But if you have not run a saw a lot , or don't use them often, stay with the safety chains.

This is the .325 chain i run on my echo, non safety chain. Cuts good, and stays sharp longer. Just don't hit the dirt. The big box store chains suck.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AX2JS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by spasm3; 08/18/19 09:46 PM.

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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5190959 08/19/19 06:08 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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The more bar you run on a small saw, the less chain speed you can develop for fast cutting. My ancient Stihl 042 is virtually unstoppable with a 20" bar, but it usually runs a 28" with a half-skip chain for big jobs. If you put a 14-16" bar on your 024 with .375 non-kickback commercial .375 chain, you'll see a big difference.


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5191209 08/19/19 11:47 AM
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bchannell Offline
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Depends on chain tooth style and of course, sharpness. Most saws with 50ish cc engines could go either way .325 vs 3/8, without much trouble. I run a .325 on my 50cc Echo and it cuts like a monster, so it's obviously got a great chain. On my 40cc saw, I run a 3/8 low profile and it too runs fine, which is what a lot of smaller limbing saws use.
So i'm guessing it's more a chain tooth style than size.
A full chisel chain will cut faster, but dull easier.
A semi chisel will be more durable at the cost of slightly slower cut
Everything else will cut slower, ie safety chains.

I like full chisel if I know the wood is clean and free of nails, debri etc. especially for felling trees.
I use semi chisel more often as I don't have to worry about dirt and debri dulling it so quickly and the speed difference is not all that much.

Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5191283 08/19/19 01:39 PM
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I run a 16" bar with 3/8 chisel chain on my 026, my brother also has an 026 but it's somewhat different (there were variations over the years, mostly in the cylinders) I suspect. Mine has no problems with my combination, his is not happy with a 3/8 chain. Not that his won't handle it but it's much happier with .325.

Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5193055 08/21/19 03:25 PM
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The_Eric Offline OP
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I think I'll switch to a 16" bar for a slightly more manageable saw and probably go to a 3/8 chisel or semi chisel. Are there any other names in the game other than Oregon and OE?


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5193076 08/21/19 03:38 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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Originally Posted by The_Eric
I think I'll switch to a 16" bar for a slightly more manageable saw and probably go to a 3/8 chisel or semi chisel. Are there any other names in the game other than Oregon and OE?



oregon or husky, or stihl. But not the package chains, professional chains.


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5193760 08/22/19 10:52 AM
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BrianF Offline
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Not much I can add to the .325 v .375 debate. I just run a small consumer saw, Husky 445. Came with the .325 low kickback on a 18" bar. Be patient on big cuts and it was great. I liked the reach of the 18 when doing brush work but found in some real garbage cuts I could skip the chain off (I keep it tight). I switched over to a 16" x cut bar and chain and wow, the smaller bar sure turns quicker. Great for limbing and better balance for my little bush saw.

I stayed with the low profile, .325 as it is easy to spin and when kept sharp, cuts as fast as I need. Most of my cutting is brush and limbing, so smaller diameter. If I was falling trees regularly, then I would look at semi or full chisel in a bigger saw.

I think above all else, keeping the chain sharp is the most important..


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5193859 08/22/19 12:41 PM
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bchannell Offline
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lately I've been using Bailey's in house chains and bars, called "Woodland Pro" and they are the best buy in chains and bars I've ever used. I've already switched my 40cc saw over to them and this fall I'll be switching my big saw over, they're really good equipment.

Bailey's Online

Last edited by bchannell; 08/22/19 12:43 PM.
Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5193903 08/22/19 01:52 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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The woodland pro chains were made by Carlton, not sure if they still are.
Better than the package chains.


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5194641 08/23/19 12:59 PM
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The_Eric Offline OP
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Awesome! Thanks for the info


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5194707 08/23/19 02:06 PM
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BrianF Offline
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I guess as another side note, the low profile chains I use, I like to knock the rakers down to the soft wood level.


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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: BrianF] #5194765 08/23/19 03:11 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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Originally Posted by BrianF
I guess as another side note, the low profile chains I use, I like to knock the rakers down to the soft wood level.



I have a gauge for filing them down as the chain wears. On the bigger saw, i file them done for more bite with the shorter 20 inch bar/chain.

Last edited by spasm3; 08/23/19 03:11 PM.

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Re: .325 pitch vs .375 pitch saw chain [Re: The_Eric] #5196352 08/25/19 04:34 PM
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G.Frost Offline
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If you are running a so called 'anti-kickback' or safety chain in the Stihl, the extra depth gauges will definitely slow down the cut. Try putting a full chisel pro chain on it. These have only one gauge per cutter and will cut much faster.
You have a Stihl chainsaw, use a Stihl chain on it.

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