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Author Topic: Narrow Kerf Chain  (Read 19853 times)

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Offline Rob5073

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Narrow Kerf Chain
« on: December 11, 2013, 08:19:52 AM »
I have two saws one of which has 3/8 pitch 14" bar and the other is 0.325 on a 16" bar.   The 0.325 is on a 50cc Husqy 545 and the 3/8 is on a 30cc Echo.  From what I've read, the 0.325 is narrower and therefore there is lower resistance when cutting which makes it easier on the engine?  My question is,  if a 30cc can turn a 3/8 chain on a 14" bar and cut well,  why is a slimmer chain needed on a 50cc saw? I'm somewhat perplexed by this.  Thanks for the help. 

Offline ladylake

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 08:45:23 AM »
 Your 30cc Echo should have a 3/8 lopro with a 6 tooth driver which is a narrower chain than the .325.  If you have regular 3/8 chain on the Echo you need to put 3/8 lo pro on it as those chains cut really good on smaller cc saws.  You want to find 91vx chain.   Steve
Timberking B20 14000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Rob5073

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 09:14:32 AM »
Yes, the Echo has the recommended low profile chain.  I have the original chain which came with the saw and an additional, equivalent Oregon chain.   Sorry, I typed the original post on my smartphone so it was a little difficult.  Ok, I believe I am getting the pitch confused with the gauge.  My question is, being 3/8" pitch chains are fairly common and popular, why do some saws have .325 pitch?  Why not just stay with 3/8 pitch?  Is there a big difference in the performance of the chains and/or durability?

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 09:52:48 AM »
The Picco chain is generally used on saws up to 40cc, it is not as aggressive and allows the saw to work within it's power band. .325 is the next step for saws in the 40-55 cc range with the power to pull it. This is a general guideline, there is some overlap depending on the application.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline webgal

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 09:55:00 AM »
Really the low profile 3/8 is its own animal. It usually is run on pruner bars and up to 16" on small cc chainsaws. I'm thinking the jump from the smaller 3/8 low profile to the .325 pitch chain happens around 40cc or so.
Now when folks are referring to the narrow kerf, it tends to be speaking about the difference in one standard pitch of chain. So within the .325 pitch club there is a narrow kerf option. Those familiar with Oregon chain it is the difference in the width of the cutter between 95VP and the 20 Series chain ie. 20LPX or 20BPX. (You old timers will remember the 33 Oregon series chain.)

Ok, now that brings you to your chainsaw that runs the .325 pitch chain. Without any sprocket changes etc. you can slap on a narrow kerf  .325 pitch chain on that. With the narrower bite, you won't have to pass through so much wood and therefore achieve higher RPMs through the cut and thus get through faster. Our in house testing the guys came back stoked and said they'd never go back. It also can be sharpened the same.

When not to use a narrow kerf with all the bells and whistles it offers? If you are cutting spongy trees or ones with thick bark. The wider cut helps open it up a bit more so that bark or spongy type wood doesn't fall back on the bar so much.

I hope that helps.
Gotta know when to fell em, know when to tell em, know when to walk away, know when to run....

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 10:59:31 AM »
Here is a pic of a brand new Stihl Picco PS chisel 3/8" extended pitch chain  I have compared to a Oregon narrow kerf 95VPX .325 which is filed back about half.
I'd suggest running this fast cutting Stihl Picco chain on both the OP's little Echo and 50cc Husky saw
 

 
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline webgal

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 11:10:33 AM »
Thanks for the comparison HolmenTree. The .325 pitch looked a bit more worn than the 3/8 on top of the bar. You must use that one a bit more.

Just a note to Rob that if you want to start running this picco chain on your Husky, plan on changing the sprocket. We have more people complaining about ruined sprockets because they didn't understand about the pitch. It isn't as simple as "just run this chain" without consideration of the drive system in the chainsaw.

Saw manufacturers put a certain pitch on their saw because their tech guys that built that saw knew it was the optimum pitch for that chainsaw.

Your choices, Rob on that Husky: Stay as you are. Go narrow kerf with a simple chain purchase. Go picco with a sprocket, bar and chain purchase.
Gotta know when to fell em, know when to tell em, know when to walk away, know when to run....

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 11:53:15 AM »
Thanks for the comparison HolmenTree. The .325 pitch looked a bit more worn than the 3/8 on top of the bar. You must use that one a bit more.

Just a note to Rob that if you want to start running this picco chain on your Husky, plan on changing the sprocket. We have more people complaining about ruined sprockets because they didn't understand about the pitch. It isn't as simple as "just run this chain" without consideration of the drive system in the chainsaw.

Saw manufacturers put a certain pitch on their saw because their tech guys that built that saw knew it was the optimum pitch for that chainsaw.

Your choices, Rob on that Husky: Stay as you are. Go narrow kerf with a simple chain purchase. Go picco with a sprocket, bar and chain purchase.
Thanks webgal. Yes I just got the new Picco chisel chain and haven't had time to try it out yet. As my pics show I run the Oregon 95VPX .325 NK chain on my little 338XPT Husqvarna.
 I have a .325 rim sprocket drum setup on the 338 which you  guys at Baileys will have in stock , just make sure to sell the matching oil pump gear with the drum and rim to make the system work.
 

  

 
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline webgal

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 12:08:39 PM »
HolmenTree, will you be swapping your .325 pitch sprocket on our 338 back out to 3/8 to run the picco chain you just bought?
Gotta know when to fell em, know when to tell em, know when to walk away, know when to run....

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 12:27:09 PM »
.....

Saw manufacturers put a certain pitch on their saw because their tech guys that built that saw knew it was the optimum pitch for that chainsaw.

.....


Most of what you have posted here recently is correct  :), but what the saws comes with (and/or what is recommended) is a compromise between several considerations - and different users, wood and cutting conditions.
You really seem to have too much faith in both the manufacurers and Baileys own "test people". Also, it seems that ANSI considerations (and liability conserns) carry a higher weight in manufacturers recommendations than what really works best in the wood, particularly on saws that are less than 62cc.

It also seems like you forgot (or ignored) the fact that there are no (full) chisel option in .325NK, when you recommended it quite warmly, and without reservations.....

There simply aren't any simple "carved in stone" answers. ;)
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 12:29:30 PM »
I think that is helpful to think of this as a progression of different pitch chains:

3/8 low profile/narrow kerf (Oregon Type 90);
3/8 low profile (Type 91);
.325 narrow kerf (Type 95);
.325;
3/8.

Each cutter takes progressively larger bites and works best with increasingly larger saws. Each needs to be run with compatible drive sprockets, guide bars, and nose sprockets.

Oregon posts maximum recommended displacements (cc) and bar lengths for each chain on their website (fact sheets for each chain type) because the smaller bite chains are not designed for high HP saws.

Philbert

Offline webgal

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 12:41:31 PM »

It also seems like you forgot (or ignored) the fact that there are no (full) chisel option in .325NK, when you recommended it quite warmly, and without reservations.....

There simply aren't any simple "carved in stone" answers. ;)

There are full chisel options for .325. .325NK already states Narrow Kerf. When I referred to Oregon's 20 Series chain that is the full chisel option vs the narrow kerf 95VP. Bailey's full chisel option is 20RC while their narrow kerf option is 20NK.

Yeah, as far as going by "recommended" Bailey's as a company has to be VERY liability conscious. However, you don't have to be in the business long before you see people that have made out of the range tweaks on their equipment, then looking to rebuild it because of premature engine damage. Finally they end up selling it on eBay and some guy picks it up, calls Bailey's to have them suss out what the heck the configuration is so he can get a bar and chain from it. (Yes, I just got an FAQ concerning this issue, just this week.)

If you simply get the right saw for what you plan on using it for to begin with, it probably takes all the modification fun out of the deal.
Gotta know when to fell em, know when to tell em, know when to walk away, know when to run....

Offline Rob5073

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 01:11:10 PM »
Thanks for all the information.  It does clear it up for me.  I was just having trouble wrapping my head around the need for different chain dimensions. 

On the Echo CS310 I have the original chain that came with the saw, Oregon "S" series chain (91 Low Profile 3/8 in. pitch, .050 in. gauge) with some bumper links in between each tooth and a second "S" series chain only without those bumpers.  On the 545, I have the original Husqvarna H30 Pixel (.325 pitch, .050 gauge) that came with the saw and a second identical chain.  I don't really do any heavy duty or repetitive cutting on a daily basis so it seems I'll stick with these chains unless there is a specific reason or need for me to change the setup.

Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 01:44:36 PM »
Good call.  Those are both good, 'all around' chains.

Philbert

Offline webgal

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:14 PM »
Glad we could straighten out that chain question for you. So many ways to slice it.  :)

The H30 Husky chain is their narrow kerf version. So looks like you are already in the running.
Gotta know when to fell em, know when to tell em, know when to walk away, know when to run....

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 02:11:23 PM »

There are full chisel options for .325. .325NK already states Narrow Kerf. When I referred to Oregon's 20 Series chain that is the full chisel option vs the narrow kerf 95VP. Bailey's full chisel option is 20RC while their narrow kerf option is 20NK.

......

Yes, obviously - but besides my point of no (full) chisel option in .325NK. If someone came up with such an option, the NK consept would be much more interesting!

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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »

There are full chisel options for .325. .325NK already states Narrow Kerf. When I referred to Oregon's 20 Series chain that is the full chisel option vs the narrow kerf 95VP. Bailey's full chisel option is 20RC while their narrow kerf option is 20NK.

......

Yes, obviously - but besides my point of no (full) chisel option in .325NK. If someone came up with such an option, the NK consept would be much more interesting!
I think from reading webgal's post she is separating the differences in the two and she knows 95VP and 20NK are not full chisel.

To my 338XPT I showed earlier with the .325 setup, the .325 was designed for the rear handled 339XP and the 338XPT top handle was designed for the 3/8 LowProfile. But the parts between the 2 saws interchange, for liability issues as webgal mentioned specific saws are designed with certain b/c applications.
With increased kick back energy with my 338XPT equipped with the bigger more aggressive chain I don't recommend this setup for the novice. I have 40 years experience making a living with a saw on and off the ground so I can only recommend it to other veterans.
Here's the part #s for the 339/338 .325 rim sprocket drum and oiler gear .

    
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 03:04:49 PM »
To compare apples and oranges never call Stihl 3/8 Picco chain "Low Profile", only Oregon holds that title.
Here is a ad from 1977 two years after they introduced the 91 Low Profile extended pitch 3/8 chain. [Stihl introduced their version as "Picco" in 1979.]
To make a long story short Oregon was having patent issues at the time with another North American chainsaw company [starting with an H] who bought 600,000 feet of their 91 chain and was then testing and developing their own .

  
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 03:05:56 PM »
That was a surprise for me too, that going from a spur sprocket to rim sprocket on my Husqvarna 353 required a different drive gear for the oil pump!  Dealer had trouble believing bit until we looked it up in the parts list.

Philbert

Offline Philbert

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Re: Narrow Kerf Chain
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2013, 03:17:19 PM »
. . .never call Stihl 3/8 Picco chain "Low Profile", only Oregon holds that title.

That's part of the problem! Too many trade names getting in the way of common descriptive terms.

To make things more confusing, Oregon has '3/8 LP' chain that is not 'low profile':
http://www.oregonproducts.com/pro/products/chain/M20_21_22_72_73_75LPX.htm

Philbert


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