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Author Topic: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?  (Read 10226 times)

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Offline Planethill

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Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« on: March 01, 2009, 01:17:14 PM »
Hey all....first post.

I own a Stihl MS-250 (C-BE) and it has been a great saw thus far.  I am a homeowner, but have a couple acres and cut quite a bit of firewood ever year for the wood stove, about 4-5 cords annually. 

I really would like to step up to a more aggressive "real" chain, but am confused on what kind, if any will fit.  The bar is an 18", .325/.063 and the lo-kickback chain on it now is a 68 link chain.  The Stihl chain numbering system is a bit confusing to me, but from what I can tell they don't make a 68 link chain in a more aggressive style.

Does this mean I will need to replace the bar in order to do this?  This saw has the tool-less chain tensioner so I assume I have to stick with Stihl bars?

Any advice is appriciated!

Thanks! 

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 01:53:47 PM »
26RSC- 68 or 26RMC- 68

The first digit tells us the chain pitch. 2 is .325, 3 is full size 3/8, 6 is the small 3/8 used on small saws.

The second digit tells us the gauge. 3 is .050, 5 is .058 and 6 is .063.

The letters tell us the style of chain. There's several different styles. The RS is Rapid Super, the standard chisel tooth chain with a squared off cutter. RM is the chipper style chain with a rounded cutter. The RS is more aggressive but the RM tends to hold an edge longer in slightly dirty wood.  The C indicates that it's the new 'comfort' chain, an advancement introduced last year to reduce vibration. Older stock will not have the C in the code but it's still just about the same and won't affect your use or fit.

The final number is the link count. Many shops get the chain in 100' rolls and spin up whatever length loops they need. But many other shops simply order premade loops from Stihl and may need to order that length if they don't stock it.

I've dealt with idiotic saw shops that refuse to spin up their own loops due to 'liability issues'.  ::) Those are the shops that have no business selling or dealing with chainsaws.

Offline Planethill

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 04:22:17 PM »
Ahhh...thanks for the reply Rocky.

I guess what was confusing me was the link count.  So is there an industry standard link size?  Are 68 links of one chain style the same size/length as 68 links of another?  What about other brands?  Is a 68 link Stihl chain the same size loop as as 68 link Windsor or Oregon chain for example?

I assume this means that an 18" bar on 3 different Stihl saws could mean three completely different chain lengths, judging from their website.  Silly me, I just figured an 18" chain was an 18" chain! 

Thanks for helping the newb!


Offline sawguy21

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 04:39:58 PM »
Welcome aboard. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard. Stihl has some unique chain lengths that do not fit other models and brands. Their 18" bar for the MS260 takes 67 drivers, one less than the bar for the MS250.
In chains of the same pitch, 68 links are the same across the board. You do need to watch gauge or thickness of the link. You are using .063 which is almost unheard of in .325 pitch in our area.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 04:52:08 PM »
No, you're getting 'link' confused with 'gauge' or perhaps 'pitch'. Asking if there is an industry standard link count is like asking if there is an industry standard car tire size.

link = The number of drive links on a chain. The drive links are the tabs on the inside of the chain that ride inside the bar, and they fit in between the teeth on the sprocket.

gauge = The gauge is the thickness of the drive links. Common gauges are .050, .058 and .063. Stihl is pretty much the only one that uses .063, most other manufacturers stick with .050 most of the time. Jonsered seems to offer saws with .058 in some areas of the country. Regardless, the only thing that determins which gauge chain you use is the bar. The width of the groove in the bar determines gauge.

pitch = The length between rivets of your saw chain (some say 'the distance between 3 rivets divided by 2'). Pitch is determined by the drive sprocket you put on the saw. The pitch of the sprocket tip on the bar MUST match the pitch of the sprocket and chain, otherwise the chain will bind.

Your limiting factor will be the .063 gauge. Most saw shops won't stock that gauge and you will have the most luck getting it from a Stihl dealer. This is one of the things Stihl does to tie people into their brand. They use sizes slightly different than industry standard so you can't just go pick up an extra chain off the rack at the hardware store.

Offline Engineer

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 05:05:56 PM »
The 18" bar on my 025 (admittedly, not one with the toolless chain adjuster) uses 68 links of 0.063 gauge, .325 pitch chain.   Bailey's sells Woodland Pro 23RC in that gauge and pitch which will fit your saw, but for some strange reason, their catalog calls for 74 drive links on an 18" bar.  My bar is clearly stamped '68 DL'.

Stihl makes both RMC and RSC chain in that pitch and gauge as well.  Go to your dealer and ask him to make up a few loops of RSC with 68 links for that pitch and gauge.  If he doesn't stock it, ask for RMC.  If still no, find a different dealer, OR you could always order the Woodland Pro chain online from Bailey's.

EDIT: On second look, the 74 DL is for the bars that mount on the pro-style saws, the 68 DL is for the smaller consumer saws, of which yours is.  So you would be OK with ordering 68-link loops of 23RC from Bailey's, or getting the Stihl chain.   No offense to Bailey's but I find that the Stihl chain lasts much longer between sharpenings.

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 11:30:41 PM »
I have been using the 23RC (.325 x .063 round chisel 68 drive links) from Baileys and have been happy with it. It cuts faster and is easier to sharpen. I use a top plate angle of 35 degrees on both the Stihl and Bailey's chain. Not to mention it is over 2x cheaper.

I have been thinking about dropping down to a 16" bar on the MS-250 and keeping the 18" as a back up to give it a bit more performance.

The only chain loops I have come across that will interchange between a Husky and Stihl will be on their bigger saws. The 3/8 x .050 x 72 DL chains on a 20" bar Husky and Stihl will interchange. I use the same loops on my (former) Husky 365, 372, and Stihl 066.



Offline isawlogs

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 02:22:26 PM »
It cuts faster and is easier to sharpen

  rebocardo : Would you explaine to me how it is easier to sharpen ???
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline Engineer

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 05:10:33 PM »
Marcel, it's like the difference between cutting basswood and beech.  Hardness.  The Stihl chains have a reputation for being hard, and thus more difficult to sharpen with a hand file.  The Oregon or Carlton chains seem to be 'softer' steel and thus easier to sharpen, but tend not to last as long. 

Offline isawlogs

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 07:50:09 PM »

 My English translation again . I mistook faster for longer , as in longer time between fillings ...  ::) :P
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 08:02:42 PM »
I wish I could understand French as well as you can handle English.   ;) ::)

Offline chipsfly09

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Re: Non-low kickback chain for a MS-250C-BE?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 10:44:11 PM »
I too have found the stihl chains to be "harder" when it comes to filing them-- I really have not decided if they stay sharp longer because of this.  I think the stihl loop chains are color coded (green) low kickback and (yellow) for the "pro" chain without the anti-kick features. 

I did not have any trouble getting a "yellow" RS chian for my  026 in .325 pitch but maybe it is more difficult for the saw that started the thread--   This is one of those dealers that sells only loop chains due to liability issues-- I have not bought any more chains from them--even before I read these posts--  Oregon- Total- Carlton do file easier!


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