“Just a quick question about chain life. I’m new to Colorado, and I’m getting about 1.5 to 2 cords per chain before it needs sharpening (provided I keep it out of the dirt). Is that what everyone else is getting?”


“What kind of wood are you cutting? Hard or soft? Any debris hitting the chain?”


“Yeah, it’s all soft out here. You can’t find oak any bigger than a baseball bat out here. There isn’t any more debris than any other log that has been laying on the ground.”


“That’s pretty good, I get about the same out of chains with softwood, as long as they’re low kickback. Pro chains don’t last nearly as long for me.”

Bruce Hopf:

“There must be something wrong if pro chains don’t last as long. I cut all hardwood here, and I use Stihl and Carlton chains. I can cut a lot of wood in a day, per chain, before I have to change it over to a sharp one.”


“The reason your low-kickback chain is lasting longer than the pro chains is because of the design of the low-kickback chain. The low-kickback chain has got the bumper strap between the raker of one tooth and the back of the next. When that strap goes around the tip of the bar, it kicks out to prevent the tooth from catching wood and causing a kickback. Now, when you are cutting with this chain near the ground, that bumper is, in a way, protecting your tooth, when it’s at the tip (most likely part that will hit the ground), from dulling if you were to go through and hit the ground/stones. The pro chain does not have that bumper/protection, thus, all dirt and stones come in contact with the tooth, dulling it.”

Bruce Hopf:

“I have a low-kickback chain here that I have only used once. It does make a lot of sense, to what you have described, about the bumper strap sticking out farther than the drags or the cutter as it goes around the tip of the bar. I just never paid attention to it before. Thanks for the easy explanation. For the pro chains, just practice keeping the bar and chain out of the dirt while finishing your cuts, or prop up your log high enough to keep the bar and chain out of the dirt.” “In Your Own Words” is contributed from www.TreeServicesSite.com. Visit the forum, and join in the discussions.