Continuous failure of your chains might have brought you here. I bet the chains of your chainsaw have let you down one time too many. And, you want things to change. So you’re looking for a neat new replacement.
Well, the frustration escalates when you tend to keep on working with that broken or damaged chain. Don’t worry about this anymore, we’ve got you covered.
Unlike you, we had the free time to gather thirty different ripping chains and put them into battle. Then we chose the top 5 among them. Guess what? You might find the best ripping chain for your chainsaw among these five.
That’s not all. We also had the privilege to add a few interesting points towards the end of the page. Be sure to check those out too. So let’s get on with it.
- Best value for money: OREGON 20LPX080G Super 20 Chain
- Smoothest: OREGON 72RD072G Ripping Saw Chain
- Most durable: Oregon 72RD114G Ripping Chain
- Most Convenient: Archer 20″ Ripping Chainsaw Chain
- Long-lasting: WoodlandPRO 36″ Ripping Chain Loop
- 1 1. OREGON 20LPX080G Super 20 Chain
- 2 2. OREGON 72RD072G Ripping Saw Chain
- 3 3. Oregon 72RD114G Ripping Chain
- 4 4. Archer 20″ Ripping Chainsaw Chain
- 5 5. WoodlandPRO 36″ Ripping Chain Loop
- 6 Things You Should Know
- 7 What Good can Ripping Chain Do?
- 8 It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 10 Conclusion
1. OREGON 20LPX080G Super 20 Chain
- Drive links: 80
- Pitch: 0.325”
- Weight: 11.2 oz.
The first one we have is from OREGON. This one just beat the rest by the slightest of margins. But we had to place it on the top spot regardless. Read on to find out why this one’s on top.
If you ask us to name one thing that makes this unique, it’s the value for money you get. I mean, we tried to put others on the list, but the price just beat anyone else.
Apart from that, there are a few more things you might like. They say that you can use this chain with four different recommended chainsaw sizes. We have to admit that this is appreciable.
They call the blades “blued cutters.” This is apparently going to give an extra layer of protection against corrosion. Well, we only had the chance to use this chain for a month. And the chain didn’t develop any rust patterns.
But that doesn’t mean we’re guaranteeing that it will not rust further down the line. I mean, they can talk all day about improved strength. But strength will not always correspond with durability, and you already know that.
We all know how the performance of the ripping chain goes down as soon as the vibrations tend to creep up. Well, in this case, the vibrations were minimal. I wouldn’t go on to say that the chain didn’t face any vibration, but it was low.
With that said, any chainsaw ripping chain with zero vibration would probably be preposterous. They claim that you will see an astounding 25% drop in vibrations if we’re talking numbers. But there’s actually no way of telling.
They talk about their LubriTec oiling system. In fact, they boast about this quite a lot. The chains have a different engineering design. In this case, the lube stays in one place, so that particular area seems to stay lubricated longer.
We’ve tested this out and saw that the claim was true. I mean, there might not be a ginormous difference when it comes to this design and the traditional one.
But all we’re saying is that their claim about holding the lube longer was true.
Now, let’s talk about the performance. It wasn’t anything mind-blowing. I mean, if you’re trying hard enough, even the blunt chains can cut timber. But I digress. The “chrome-plated” cutters on the edges were decent.
We were able to get clean cuts every time throughout the whole month of use. They say that there’s an electroplated chrome layer.
I don’t have the authority to examine this any further. But I know for sure that the chain cuts decently.
2. OREGON 72RD072G Ripping Saw Chain
- Drive links: 72
- Pitch: ⅜”
- Weight: 11.8 oz.
Even the product that came second is from OREGON. And when we put it up against the one that came first, it’s frightening how similar the performance is. Let’s get into the details.
So, what makes this one interesting? The vibration reduction on this one was very smooth. It doesn’t even compare to the others. Maybe their 25% reduced vibration claims were only about this one.
Apart from that, it’s quite similar to number one on the list. I mean, they’re from the same company, so there’s that. But we actually had higher expectations from this one.
I mean, it’s charging a higher price when you put it up against our number one choice. So the higher price has to mean that this chain is better than the cheaper ones, right?
Well, wrong! I mean, this isn’t the most expensive thing on the list. But it still should have been priced lower, in our opinion.
When it comes to the parts, all we saw was standard. The cutting parts were decent, and the teeth were roughly spaced. There is one slight change, however.
The cutter grind is different from the rest of the OREGON products on the list. So, how can you make this feel efficient? Well, we paired it up with our saws that used ripping chains.
We can say that the cutting angle was always a constant 10 degrees, which is standard for a ripping chain. We tried to put this to the test with some timber. And, without any surprise, we got a smooth semi-chisel-like finish.
If you’re curious, we hooked this up with our Granberg Chainsaw Mill. What we found out is that the chain is fast even while cutting at an angle. I mean, you’re not going to notice a dramatic difference.
But the speed was apparent to us since we were obviously seasoned professionals. Just kidding, we obviously had help.
There was one particular situation that we didn’t like. But it’s not specific to this product, and it can happen to anyone. We had a kickback issue, and the packaging clearly mentions that accidental kickbacks might happen.
Luckily, no one was hurt. So we’re squeezing in a little PSA here. Always wear your protective gear when you’re working with something that can gouge your eyes out.
Overall, the cuts that you get from this are flatter, and everyone wants that. It’s even comparable to the one on the top of the list.
We even handed this one to one of our friends to use on his Stihl MS391. He said that he was able to rip apart a long oak tree plank. You should also keep in mind that this chain is great for long hours too.
3. Oregon 72RD114G Ripping Chain
- Drive links: 114
- Pitch: ⅜”
- Weight: 18.8 oz.
Coming in at third place is another one from OREGON. I mean, we’re not biased towards this brand since you might be wondering. The others just didn’t come close.
As for coming close, this one went neck and neck with the second one on the list. But it had a couple of shortcomings which we’ll be getting to in a moment.
There’s one thing that makes this stand out from the rest. It’s the LubriLink tie straps. Similar technology is used on the top one on the list too. This is functional as it keeps the lube on the chain for a prolonged period. So you’re eventually saving lubricant costs.
Apart from that, there are a couple of other good things to talk about when it comes to this one. I mean, they pull the same card here as the first one with the 25% reduced vibrations.
I mean, we’ve tested other ripping chains. I repeat, the difference is not very dramatic. And most of the time, you might not even notice the difference. But there is a reduction in vibrations.
The feeling of all three of the chains from OREGON was similar. If only this one was a bit cheaper. That way, it could’ve been in a slightly better position on this list.
We hooked this onto our trusty Granberg to see how this one fairs. Well, the difference wasn’t really night and day. For the extra price you pay, you don’t get a miraculously better experience when compared to the first on the list.
If you’re curious about how fast this was, well, we’ll be happy to give you a rough estimate. We were able to cut through a 20 feet long log of oak in around 8 minutes. These aren’t groundbreaking numbers.
And you shouldn’t be expecting groundbreaking numbers either, considering you’re opting for a ripping chain.
We even tried this on pinewood, but that was easier to cut. The cuts came out nice and clean. If you’re into the smooth surface finishing, then this is a decent choice.
There is one gripe we had. This one, in particular, was quite hard to sharpen. We had an electric chain sharpener, and we still struggled. So you better keep this in mind when you’re buying this.
It’s a solid four out of five for this one from our part. We might have given it a higher rating if it was as cheap as the first one. There are equal pros and cons on this one. So it’s not the best in the market. But it is decent.
4. Archer 20″ Ripping Chainsaw Chain
- Drive links: 81
- Pitch: 0.325”
- Weight: 12.6 oz.
Finally, we have a brand that isn’t OREGON. This one from Archer made it into the list above the rest of the chains that we tested. So let’s talk about things we liked and didn’t like about this one.
The Australians got lucky with this one. It’s said to fit most Stihl models. But we “still” had to put this to the test, pun intended.
Now, what do you think is the unique part about this one? Well, for us, the odd number of drive links seemed unusual. 81 isn’t really a number we’re used to seeing in these areas.
The word we were looking for is “satisfactory.” It’s not remarkable results, just decent. And most of the time, that’s all you need, right?
We do have a couple of gripes about this one, though. The chain needed sharpening after a week of use. I mean, we didn’t use it that extensively anyway. But the fact that it went a bit dull should be concerning.
You should know, this is for ripping only. If you’re not careful, you might lose a finger with the amount of back-and-forth action this needs. This ripping chain has a hard grab, so you should only use this for the ripping projects.
At first glance, you might not think that it’s very good. But after using it, we were impressed. The configuration is a bit different than most of the ripping chains that you see.
We tested this one out with our Stihl 290 chainsaw and tried to slice a new one on a red cedar plank. The cuts are clean. But there’s a slight vibration when you’re cutting perpendicularly. The vibration is particularly noticeable since we were probably used to the OREGONs by this time.
If you’re interested, the cut is actually a tad on the rough side. I mean, it’s not completely smooth like you get on the others you’ve seen on the list.
Our overall experience with this ripping chain was decent. We didn’t have any kickback accidents. But we’re not saying that it’s impossible. Even the packaging warns you about the kickback, so you should be geared up for ultimate safety.
5. WoodlandPRO 36″ Ripping Chain Loop
- Drive links:114
- Pitch: 0.375”
- Maximum bar length: 36″
The last one that made it into our list is from WoodlandPRO. This loop of ripping chain has a few tricks up its sleeve. But they weren’t enough to carry it further up the list. Let’s talk about the details.
If you’re wondering what’s so unique about this one, well, it’s easy to sharpen. We struggled to sharpen the others with even the electric sharpeners. But this one wasn’t so difficult.
Other than that, the compatibility was okay. They say that the model fits multiple models of Stihl, including the 024, the MS341, and the E20 Electric. We only had the MS341 lying around while testing this out. So we hooked it up with that one.
The maximum bar size that you might expect to use is 36 inches. You can cut it down with the crafty tools if you have a chainsaw with a shorter bar.
We had quite a few gripes about this one. So we tested it even further to see if the problems were a one-time occurrence or not. To our surprise, this one has some flaws.
Now you may be wondering why it even got into the top five after having flaws. Hear us out. The cutting is decent. If you’re curious about the vibration, it’s also better than the previous one. We didn’t have any bad vibration issues with this one.
And if you’re thinking about the cuts, well, we got smooth cuts. There weren’t any rough surfaces. But we were only able to achieve this after a little tinkering. This is where we get to the juicy stuff.
This one does not come evenly sharped out of the box. You need to sharpen it with a manual or an electric chain sharpener. This isn’t a good look for the brand at all. And when we tried to use this without sharpening, the chain kind of got jammed.
If you’re asking us for a summary, well, there are four better options on top of this one. But when sharpened, this one showed promising results.
Things You Should Know
If you’re not a total pro when it comes to ripping chains, we have a few things to talk about. Skip to the end if you’re bored, but I recommend the read.
Most beginners might even confuse these with the standard chains and make a totally wrong purchase. So we’re here to tell you all we can about ripping chains. We’re even throwing in some tips about the normal chainsaw chains too.
What Good can Ripping Chain Do?
If you’re new to the whole ripping idea, you’ll need to know this. But the professionals must already know all about the benefits of these sorts of chains.
Most ripping chains are similar to semi-chisels. So you can use these for the shallow-angle cutters. The usual angle that most ripping chain teeth are lined at is 10 degrees.
You might find some slight differences, but it’s almost always 10 degrees.
When you’re holding a chainsaw with the ripping chain attached, it’s actually cutting the wood along the grain. So you’re not cutting across the veins or pores of the wood like the traditional chains.
We know that these chains aren’t used in all projects. You will need a specific project for using them. And if you’re not getting those specific projects, you might not need these chains at all.
Let’s talk about some of the properties you’ll get to see from these ripping chains.
Semi Chisel Property
You probably got the idea already. But the ripping chains are similar to the semi-chisels. So, even when you’re done with a ton of projects, the chains stay sharp.
It’s proven that ripping chains stay sharper for a longer time when compared to normal chains.
Getting You a Smoother Finish
Since the teeth are hitting the timber at an angle, you’re automatically getting smoother cuts. Most cuts with ripping chains tend to give smoother and cleaner cuts than the alternatives.
This design alone makes it the more durable choice. How many chains did you need to throw away because of hitting debris?
Some normal chainsaw chains get messed up really bad when they accidentally hit debris at an awkward angle. But you’re not forced to replace chains as often for these ripping chains.
The damage resistance gets a huge boost too.
It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows
I mean, they must have some disadvantages too, right? Just like everything else, they have a lot of cons too. That’s why some professionals even tend to stick with the alternatives.
But some of you want to stick with these no matter what the cost.
The most common complaint that we get to hear is about the cutting speed. It’s no news that ripping chains are slower when it comes to cutting wood.
So if you’re not getting any specific projects anytime soon, you might not want to choose this route.
And if you’re a power-user who wants to get the job done really fast, then this isn’t the best option either.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I still crosscut with a ripping chain?
Answer: While this isn’t recommended, it is possible to crosscut using a ripping chain. But you have to keep in mind that your output will vary depending on what kind of ripping chain you have.
Question: Is it worth spending the extra on the ripping chains?
Answer: It’s proven that people get more invested in the cleaner surfaces that you get from cutting with the ripping chains. Since you’re getting a better damage resistance, you’re obviously cutting down the maintenance costs. So if you’re thinking long-term, this is totally worth it.
Question: Are all ripping chains at an angle?
Answer: Yes, to get that smooth surface finish, the angle has to be 10 degrees.
Question: Can I use a ripping chain for milling?
Answer: Absolutely! In fact, most ripping chains are recommended for milling. The milling work becomes very efficient when you’re using the right type of tools, in this case, a ripping chain.
Question: Are these the same as full chisel chains?
Answer: No, ripping chains are semi-chisel chains. While full chisel chains are developed specifically for the faster cutting action, ripping chains are considerably slower. The teeth are also different for both cases.
That’s about it from us. We’re glad to be able to help you out with your buying decision. While you might not even buy one of the five that we recommend, this page should give you tips.
Always compare the pros and cons and see if you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. And, of course, you don’t want a ripping chain for your chainsaw if you’re not going to be using this for specific projects.
All five of the products that we’ve shown here were selected based on multiple criteria. So if you’re getting any one of them, you can probably get the best ripping chain for your chainsaw.
Use them carefully. We would never want you to lose a finger or two while handling such machinery. And always remember to stay safe. Good luck!