What types and alternatives are available for your saw?
Basically, there are three types of cutter shape available in most sizes of chain.
- Full chisel – a square edged tooth
- Semi chisel – a semi rounded cutting edge
- Tungsten tip teeth
When I say most sizes of chain, it is important to note that Full Chisel is not available in the very small pitch chains on small machines like battery and pole saws.
So what’s the difference?
- Full chisel is a faster cutting chain in any timber – dry or green – softwood or hardwood. BUT, the negative is that it will go blunt quicker due to the fine sharp edge. Hence any speed advantage is soon lost in many applications where timber has some charcoal or other dirt/grit in the wood. Sharpening angles are also more critical.
- Semi chisel is more common and is a general purpose chain suitable in most applications. It is more tolerant to the average sharpener.
- Tungsten Tip – costs about 3 to 5 times the price of a standard chain but does hold its cutting edge far longer, especially in less than perfectly clean timber. A negative is the cost of sharpening. Tungsten Tip needs a diamond stone and takes at least 3 times longer to sharpen than the other chains (hence the higher cost). Tungsten chain is not available for all saws or chain pitches.