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Author Topic: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?  (Read 2847 times)

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Offline Gearbox

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Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« on: February 06, 2018, 09:21:14 PM »
I have been on a Facebook site and it is like a oil thread . I am not trying to start a oil war . I have ran Oregon bars and chains most of my life mostly because of price and availability . Are other bars and chains twice as good for twice the money . My bars with a little dressing last so long that I can't remember when I last buy them . Our local Fleet Farm sells a 20 in. bar and chain combo for less than $ 50.00 . Even on my firewood processer chains seem to last for 50 or more cords on a chain if I stay out of dirty wood . I run a semi or full chisel .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 09:30:21 PM »
Sounds like to me you are doing just fine.
Beware,might be like some of them tractor guys,they had thier tractor for 10 years and never had a bit of trouble with it. Ask them how many hours,800.  ::)   :D
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 11:31:42 PM »
For myself the price of the higher quality bars pay out vs an Oregon but I'm a production faller running mainly 32" bars, normally I'd of bought 3 Oregon's for the price of the bar I'm running right now. Now the light weight Oregon bars have their place say at 36" where you can jump up a power head size and still run all day long without being beat.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 11:53:06 PM »
Ive steadily gotten less impressed with oregon 72LGX (i think?) full chisel chain.  Have had 2 come out of the box with kinked links that wouldnt ever loosen, from overpressed pin i believe.   Also i dunno if theyve gotten soften or ive gotten worse at staying out of the dirt.. I feel like they used to hold a better edge.  Has the alloy or hardness changed? 

Thinking about switching to stihl or mail ordering carlton/woodland pro stuff again. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 08:03:33 AM »
For myself the price of the higher quality bars pay out vs an Oregon but I'm a production faller running mainly 32" bars, normally I'd of bought 3 Oregon's for the price of the bar I'm running right now. Now the light weight Oregon bars have their place say at 36" where you can jump up a power head size and still run all day long without being beat.
For end-users making a living with a saw Stihl light bars have proven to be the best quality and durable guide bar.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 08:25:34 AM »
Ok how long are you getting out of the brand name VS Oregon . Skeans I can see with long bars you just can't get the oil to it . Running a 83 cc saw with a 20 inch bar the oil is dripping it is oiling so good set at 1/2 .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 10:05:40 AM »
Ok how long are you getting out of the brand name VS Oregon . Skeans I can see with long bars you just can't get the oil to it . Running a 83 cc saw with a 20 inch bar the oil is dripping it is oiling so good set at 1/2 .
I'm running 32" sugihara light weight bars this is year 4 or 5 on them only had two tips fails otherwise rails like day one still.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 10:06:54 AM »
Ok how long are you getting out of the brand name VS Oregon . Skeans I can see with long bars you just can't get the oil to it . Running a 83 cc saw with a 20 inch bar the oil is dripping it is oiling so good set at 1/2 .
Even with a 42" on a 390 they will oil just fine but most of the time the 36 or 32 with the oilers wide open will be dripping as well.

Offline ButchC

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 11:13:01 AM »
My bars with a little dressing last so long that I can't remember when I last buy them .

Same experience here, but I have lots of saws and nonprofessional use.  Sounds like you have no problems to fix :laugh: Personally I get along fine with Stihl ES and Oregon Power match and Prolite bars. But the pros put more hours on a saw in a month than I do in a year and find weaknesses much faster. My pet saw is a 036 Stihl that was one of the first ones sold by my dealer, I am thinking about 1990? It was my only saw for 10 years cutting up to 20 cords a year. It sees less use now since I got chainsaw acquisition disorder  but still goes through a couple three chains a year because its a favorite . Anyway it is on it's 3rd bar and the 2nd one was cut short when it got pinched and bent, nothing to improve upon there. My experience is that most (but not all) who think they have a bar quality issue actually have other issues that are showing up as short bar life, even the consumer grade bars last on the consumer saws they are intended to be used on.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 01:01:19 PM »
 I'm faced with the same issue. My last 24" Husky bar barely made it two chains and now the groove is sloppy. The rails are still even. The saw, a 395xp, is definitely oiling. I have an adapter somewhere to run Stihl bars. Was thinking about trying that, unless there is an aftermarket bar just as good.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 03:18:14 PM »
Price wise and life wise I prefer sugihara bars the rails on the ones I have the rails still look new after a good share of use, one thing I really like about them is they're stiff enough to still pop an undercut out of a face. Another high quality bar has been the Cannon bars they're heavy and expensive but worth every penny, I have a 32, 42, 60 they've been great just heavy vs any other standard bar but for production use they last.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 05:34:55 PM »
When I get rolling with everything working right I make a 8 to 18 inch cut every 8 to 12 seconds . That goes on for a half a cord of wood .Reload and do it again . When I say my saw works hard I'm not kidding . Our local fleet Farm Just put in a new brand of bar & chains . I think its the same as Tractor Supply .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 07:30:51 PM »
I haven't bought a new bar in decades .With the exception of the two Stihl 200T's no Stihl chain .Both the Stihl bars and chains I have are from salvage of my buddy's bucket truck tool boxes .His bunch of groundies are a little tough on them.Bend the bars ,try to cut rocks with the chains etc .I've gotten pretty good at repairing bars and spinning chains .That said Stihl makes a good product .Were I a professional that's what I would use .I'm not BTW .

Offline ehp

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2018, 10:28:34 PM »
on my stihl's I use the good ES bar, we can buy 2 types here of ES bars and I use the one that's more money but saying that I can buy that good bar as cheap or cheaper than a Oregon bar . On my husky saws I use the sugihara bars just with another name on it . It a good bar as well

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 07:46:03 PM »
Speaking of bars my goodness has the price jumped in the last several years .About as bad as motor oil .

Offline Enderslbz

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2018, 06:15:15 AM »
I am in no way a professional, but I'm going to share my opinion anyways. I have been buying Stihl saws since I started buying saws. I've dabbled in some older Homelite stuff too, but I've all but given that up. So I've ended up with used Homelite bars, used Stihl bars, used Oregon bars, and some no-name stuff. Most of them were trashed. Almost every used saw I ever bought I had to throw the bar away. Except for the Stihl bars. I've only ever tossed one of those (into a box of used saw parts because I guess I thought for some reason I might use it again  ???) and that was the factory bar off my MS290 I bought in ~2001. That was my first saw and I made all the rookie mistakes. Overheated the bejesus out of it running a dull chain, pinched it who knows how many times, never flipped it till it was way too worn on the one side, etc. I switched that saw over to 3/8 so the stuff off my 031 would interchange (another rookie mistake), and that bar has been on it since. But when I thought I might sell that saw I wanted to put it back to stock pitch, so I pulled that bar out, cleaned it, filed the rails flat and re-installed it. I even took the original safety chain and sharpened it up and that thing cuts awesome. Now I may or may not have filed the actual "safety" portion of it off, but point is, even as trashed as I thought that Stihl bar was, it wasn't even that bad. I'm a firm believer in not fixing stuff that isn't broken, so for the amount of bars and chains I buy I stick with the Stihl ES bars and their full chisel chain. Unlike other chains I had to throw away because they stretch beyond the adjuster range, I can always sharpen the Stihl chain till they're completely gone before it gets to that point. And 3-4 strokes with a file is all it usually ever needs to be razor sharp again if you keep it out of the dirt and off the rocks. But I do notice guys that are really serious about their business usually run Sugihara lightweight stuff. Clearly it's worth the money.
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Offline Chop Shop

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2018, 02:26:19 PM »
I buy Stihl bars, chains n files.

A file will tell you who's chains do what.

I run two 066s and two 046s with long bars.

Also a Lucas slabber.  So it seems I live my life attached to a chainsaw bar in one way or another!

Offline Kwill

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2018, 03:18:36 PM »
. Our local fleet Farm Just put in a new brand of bar & chains . I think its the same as Tractor Supply .
which fleet farm? I see you are in northern MN. Thief river falls?
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2018, 05:49:54 PM »
L & M they have 6 or 7 stores within 3 hours of us Main store is Grand Rapids MN . I live near there . Kwill how are you connected to the home of Arctic Cat.
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline Kwill

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 06:12:37 PM »
L & M they have 6 or 7 stores within 3 hours of us Main store is Grand Rapids MN . I live near there . Kwill how are you connected to the home of Arctic Cat.
I worked for a farmer over in north Dakota west of Oslo mn. Since 2009. Been to thief river a few times.
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2018, 06:13:37 PM »
I like the Fargo fleet farm. They got everything
Built my own hydraulic splitter
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built my own bandsaw sawmill
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Offline climber2

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2018, 01:19:30 PM »
I use Oregon semi skip in my saws 20inch and up. I get into a lot of rotten and dirty stuff with what I do and I like the fact that I can'bring back' the softer Oregon metal quicker when dull.

I do like Stihl chain and will use it on saws that are not used on the ground. You can get that chain very sharp and it will hold an edge well. Duff it bad and you will not like filing it back to life...

Carlton chain is one I won't use for that reason. Very hard metal and tough to bring it back after dulling.

Keep in mind all are sharpened by hand file in my stable...
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2018, 03:14:19 PM »
It is confusing but the Oregon cutters are not softer...they are just not as thick of steel as Stihl cutters.
Reason why Stihl chain are harder to file (more material to file).
But as Stihl recommends using a smaller diameter 13/64" file on the 33RS chain . It does files easier then using the larger 7/32" file.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2018, 05:53:17 PM »
It depends on the file choice too .I've found Oregon files are not the best choice ,Save Edge or Pferds work better IMO .It seems to me the Oregons are more aggressive and used on a Stihl chain don't last as long .The others take less of a bite or at least the ones I have do and hold up better .

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2018, 06:07:42 PM »
Best file I can readily  buy in my area is Stihl . They're still Swiss made and have done well for me over the years.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2018, 09:28:01 PM »
I've never really bought any but I have a few that came with stuff .They seem to be okay .I just never delved into them because I assumed they would be over priced .--But I've been wrong before .
Now I could mention some good files I got from a former sponsor on this site but they are not so  I will not . ;)--nice guy Al.--nor will I visit the site they do sponsor .Okay I'll shut up  8)

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2018, 10:57:53 AM »
From a Sugihara website
 "On the single piece pro and light type bars the hardness of the rails is measured at HRC 60. Compare this to Stihl at HRC 57 and Oregon at HRC 55 and it is clear why these bars last longer. They are so hard they resist most flat files when it comes to bar dressing." And they make 1/4" saw chsin too.
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2018, 05:53:07 PM »
Climer2 why are you running a skip chain on a short bar ? I would think on a 24 inch bar a chisel chain sharp would do more than a skip . Or you need more power . Just today I had to dress my bar for the processer . Took all of 15 min. on the bar dresser .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline climber2

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2018, 02:22:43 PM »
Climer2 why are you running a skip chain on a short bar ? I would think on a 24 inch bar a chisel chain sharp would do more than a skip . Or you need more power . Just today I had to dress my bar for the processer . Took all of 15 min. on the bar dresser .

I use semi skip for a couple reasons. One is it takes less time to sharpen when I inevitably dull it in a rotten tree it find something special like a fencepost or tire iron in an old trunk.  Second is the fact that less teeth allow the engine rpm to stay higher when buried in a cut. Without the saw dogging, especially if the edge isn't quite perfect, I find The saw cutting faster using semiskip.
As far as saw size, I'm using it on husqvarna 372xps and a 562xp
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2018, 03:35:08 PM »
Semi skip square chisel will cut faster then then full comp or full skip since you can normally go up a sprocket size, run a slightly more aggressive grind, and lower rakers without all the vibrations of full skip. Normally anything over 105 drivers or when running 063 I use semi skip mainly for speed as well as chip clean out in oversized cuts where you're chasing out a face or under cut.

Offline slider

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2018, 05:44:16 PM »
AL-Smith  I concur . No hard feelings but I chose to trade some where else.
al glenn

Offline Spike60

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Re: Saw Chains Are Brand Names That Much Better ?
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2018, 07:31:57 AM »
The new Oregon EXL chain has proven to be a smash hit with my customers. Even converted a couple guys that were using Stihl chain; and that wasn't possible with the LGX. Husky has a new chain coming out in the summer, but it will have to equal or better the EXL and Stihl chains because it could be priced $5-$7 more per loop than the Oregon made H48 chain they are selling now.

Lot of my serious guys run the sugi-hara bars. We also sold Total/Tsumura, but when Tilton went away we dropped them. Reaction to the Sugi's is far more impressive and the tips in the Totals didn't last for guys who bore cut every tree. Sugi tips are great.

The off brand Asian chains like Forester, Silver Streak, etc are pretty much junk. Way too much stretch, couple cutters on most loops that cannot be filed at all, poor out of the box sharpness. And there isn't even any savings with these cheap chains; just a few bucks a loop? Even for the personal firewood cutter, they make little sense.
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