In the world of modern woodwork, chainsaws are an essential tool. If you’re familiar with chainsaw milling, you probably already know that ripping chains are the best-known ones in the market among the most popularly used chains for a chainsaw. But there are many choices for ripping chains in the market, so which one should you choose for your mills?
To find the best ripping chain for milling, we have compiled a detailed list of the best ripping chains for milling available in today’s market. In this ultimate chainsaw ripping guide, get to know all about ripping chains, starting from their uses to their varieties to their alternatives.
Uses of Ripping Chain: A ripping chain is a type of chain designed to cut dirty wood by chainsaw. This chain has a unique factory grind for utilizing chainsaw-powered mills to make boards and planks from bigger timbers.
Top 5 ripping chains for milling review
1. Oregon 72RD072G
OREGON’s ripping chain is made to rip through lumber quickly and easily. The 72RD specialty 3/8-Inch ripping chains have a unique factory grind for cutting parallel to the wood grain to produce dimensional boards and planks from bigger timbers. This Oregon ripping chain is ideal for use on chain-type sawmills. However, it is not suggested for hand-held use because it is specifically built for use with a mill.
Thanks to the Vibe-ban chassis design, this chainsaw can minimize vibration by 25% or more. It means you’ll be able to work with it for an extended time without your hands becoming fatigued.
- Minimal vibration
- Provides flatter cuts in woodwork
- Durable and easy to install
- Kickback issues
2. Archer 20″.325-063-81DL Ripping Chainsaw Chain
This 20 inch ripping chain by Archer is .325 pitch, .063 gauge, and has 81 drive links. Even though the odd number of drive links appeared peculiar at first, this ripping chain for chainsaws made it onto our favorites list.
According to Archer chainsaw chain reviews, the setup is slightly different from otfher ripping chains you’ll come across. The semi-chisel cutters on this chain, both left and right, are in a conventional sequence, with each tooth’s top plate angle fixed at 10 degrees for ripping wood at the manufacturer.
This chain is used in chainsaw mills to saw slabs and boards and for cross-cutting, falling, or bucking, and chain saw for cutting firewood in filthy or icy situations. Because this ripping chain has a firm grip, it should only be used for ripping tasks.
It’s one of the finest ripping chains for chainsaw milling.
- Long-lasting round cutter
- Easy to install
- The simple and standard sequence
- This chain offers a pretty rough cut
- Needs sharpening quite frequently
3. Oregon Chain 72RD072
The Oregon chain 72RD072 is another excellent choice for ripping chains. This Oregon ripping chain is not much different from the others on our list. Similar to those, the Oregon 72RD072 has an excellent cut feature, low vibration technology, and easy-to-use manuals.
Oregon chains are made particularly for milling, having chain cutters intended to cut through wood grain efficiently. Oregon’s low vibration chain will make the operation much simpler, whether you’re a skilled logger or only need to mill a few pieces of wood.
- Easy installation
- Made using suitable quality materials
- Affordable price range
- Prone to get dull over time
4. Oregon 20LPX080G
The Oregon 20LPX080G is a wonderful option if you need a sturdy chain that can endure a lot of milling. It features 80 drive links and is finished in black, making it ideal for any project. The 38-62cc size range is perfect for most milling jobs, and the 11-20-inch bar length allows you plenty of reach.
They’re available in three sizes, each with its gauge and pitch. It makes it simple to pick the ideal chain for your requirements. The grind-enhanced geometry boosts sharpness and speed. This chain also incorporates a LubriTec oiling system that reduces vibrations by 25% and gives a stable and comfortable ride.
Overall, it is long-lasting, precise, and simple to operate, making it an ideal choice for various activities.
- Precision cutters
- Long-lasting chain
- Grind-enhanced geometry
- Short-lived sharpness
5. Oregon 72RD114G
The Oregon 72RD114G is a close contender with the Oregon 72RD72G we discussed at the top of our list. This chain has a unique factory grind for creating dimensional boards and planks from bigger timbers. The cuts were precise and neat. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a smooth surface finish.
There is one element that sets this apart from the others. The LubriLink tie straps are what it’s all about. It’s useful because it keeps the lubrication on the chain for longer.
As a result, you’ll save money on lubricant in the long run. Like the other Oregon chains on this list, our has low vibration technology and cuts far quicker than other alternatives.
In today’s market, it’s a rather excellent ripping chain.
- Faster cuts
- LubriLink tie straps
- Strong build quality
- Comparatively on the expensive side
Comparison Table: Oregon vs. Archer Ripping Chainsaw
Differences Between Ripping Chain vs. Standard Chainsaw Chain
A milling chain differs from a typical crosscut chainsaw chain in various ways. Here’s a general overview of chainsaw ripping chain vs crosscut:
- Tooth Angles: A ripping chain’s leading edge has a 5 to 10-degree angle, whereas a regular crosscut chain’s leading edge has a 25 to 35-degree inclination.
- Gauges: In ripping chain vs regular chain, larger gauges are available. The incision is prevented from getting too deep in these chains by using larger gauges. It allows for a smoother cut while also reducing the load on the chainsaw motor.
- Teeth of the Chain: Every alternate tooth on some ripping chains are replaced with a scoring tooth, which slices the left and right sides of the cut’s kerf before the following tooth takes care of the centerpiece. It offers a more effective cut and makes it easier for the chain to travel through the wood than in a standard chainsaw chain.
- Cut Finish: A ripper chain’s teeth are designed to provide a smoother cut with a smaller cut width than a regular chain’s one. It results in minimal wood waste and a clean edge on the wood’s cut plane.
- Motor Power Consumption: A ripper chain is significantly easier to use than a conventional chain since it requires less power from the chainsaw motor. It also extends the chainsaw’s life in an extended rip cut chainsaw chain.
What to look for Choosing the Best Chainsaw Chain for Ripping Logs
Many factors and variables will affect your choice of chainsaw chain for milling. The deciding factors that you should look out for in your chain are:
The drive links of a chain are the “teeth” at the bottom of the chain that runs in the bar’s groove. While the drive chain comes into contact with the edge of the links, the drive links move inside the grooves of your chainsaw’s guide bar. It’s what drives the chain of your saw around the guide bar. Your chain gauge must match the groove width of your guide bar.
In most cases, the count of drive links for your saw and bar is specified in the user handbook. If you don’t have the instructions, count the drive link teeth on your old chain and compare them to the number on the new chain.
The pitch of your chain is a major compatibility factor in chainsaw milling. The chain’s pitch, the guide bar’s pitch, and the chainsaw drive sprocket’s pitch must all be the same.
The pitch will tell you how close the chain’s links are to each other. This info should be in your saw’s manual, but you can also find it from your saw’s standard chair by measuring the distance between three rivets and multiplying it by two. This is the pitch value that the new chain will require.
Skilled chainsaw users prefer the pitch size of 0.404 inches. But if you’re an occasional user, a 3/8-inch pitch chain would be perfect.
Because chainsaw chains are designed to match specific bars, your new chain should work with your chainsaw. If the chain is too slack or too tight, it will not fit well and will be loose. As a result, any potentially harmful safety hazards will arise when functioning.
If you’re confused about your chainsaw’s bar length, simply measure it with tape from the tip of the guide bar to the spot where the bar ejects from the gear casing.
Drive Link Width
To get the most efficient outcome for your chain, the drive link width of your chain should match the gauge’s measurement. It will help secure the chain in place, reduce vibration, and risk kickback.
If the chain is too thick, it will not fit into the tool; similarly, if the chain is too thin, it will slip and cut the material unevenly.
Vibrations and Kickback
When it comes to chainsaw chains for milling, vibration and kickback are two of the most critical safety concerns that you should look out for.
The vibrations on the chainsaw will reduce the chainsaw’s energy efficiency and effectiveness, making it impossible to keep the chainsaw steady enough to produce accurate cuts. And regarding the kickback, if there is a stoppage in chain rotation, they simply push you off balance, resulting in terrible injury.
So for the ideal chain, pick anti-kickback as a security measure in the chainsaw chains for a cleaner, more precise cut with less vibration during chainsaw milling.
Chainsaw chains are power tools used for heavy-duty operations like chopping trees and tree limbs, so naturally, these must be robust and dependable. With your ripping chain, you should expect seamless functioning in the long term without any problems.
Most chainsaw chains are changeable, although a warranty does not cover them. So, if you want a long-lasting product, look at its strength and durability, warranty, and customer reviews. This will give you an idea of the chainsaw chain’s sturdiness and dependability.
In this segment, we will be answering a few most commonly asked questions regarding chainsaw milling and ripping chains.
How often should the chain be sharpened?
You may need to sharpen your chain according to its use. It is dependent on how worn out the chain is. You can sharpen it after each usage if necessary, but ideally, you should sharpen it after 10-12 uses.
But if you notice your chain not performing up to the mark, it indicates that your chain needs sharpening. For example, you should re-sharpen the chain if it isn’t generating huge chips and spewing sawdust and higher cutting effort.
How do I make my ripping chain sharper?
Chainsaw sharpening kits, which come with an easy-to-follow instruction booklet, make it simple to sharpen chainsaw chains. If you don’t have any sharpening equipment or don’t know how to sharpen, simply take the chain to your nearest repair shop and get it replaced or sharpened by specialists.
What Type of Oil Should I Use to Lubricate My Chain?
Chainsaw owners have traditionally used petroleum-based bar oil for their chains. In the winter, light oil is used, whereas, in the summer, heavier oil is preferred.
Chainsaw manufacturers make specially formulated bar and chain lubricants to lengthen the life of their equipment, but if these aren’t accessible, the owner’s handbook suggests alternatives. You can also use organic vegetable oils, motor oils, and hydraulic fluids to oil your chainsaw.
How Long Does a Ripping Chain Last?
A ripping chain’s lifespan is determined by various factors, such as how frequently it has been used and how well it has been maintained. If all other factors remain constant, a fresh new chain will cut about 600 board feet until it needs to be sharpened.
With adequate maintenance, a high-quality ripping chain could last about 4 to 5 years.
What Good Can Ripping Chain Do?
Ripping chains are the ideal chains to use for chainsaw milling. These will ease your woodwork in certain areas while also making speed gains. They have various advantages and characteristics above a standard cross-cut chainsaw blade, ideal for cutting wood boards.
What Type of Chain Do I Need For A Chainsaw Mill?
A chainsaw used conventionally is meant to cut across the grain of the wood. There is a variety of ripping chains for chainsaws available, including complete chisel, semi-chisel, skip-tooth, and ripping chain for the chainsaw.
Consider elements like maximum performance, comfort, and finish when picking the best chainsaw for ripping logs to produce the maximum results.
Although there are a variety of chains available for chainsaw milling, you should carefully consider your choice before fixating on the best ripping chain for milling, as it will largely hamper your work and safety for an extended amount of time.
We hope this article and our comprehensive chainsaw ripping guide helped in your hunt for the best chainsaw chain for ripping logs. Be sure to check out more of our content.