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Best Chainsaw Chain Reviews

Finding the right chainsaw for you can be difficult; there are so many factors to consider, and there isn’t one choice that is right for everyone. But even once you own your ideal chainsaw, there is still more work to do: you need to find the best chainsaw chain as well.

Yes, your chainsaw will come with one, but eventually, that chain will wear out and it will need to be replaced. When the time comes, you want to make sure that you purchase one that is effective, safe, and right for your chainsaw. To help you navigate this purchase, check out our buying guide below.

Applications of Chainsaws and Their Chains

Chainsaw chain

You might be wondering how likely it is that you will ever need to replace your chainsaw chain—or even buy a chainsaw in the first place. For most people, cutting up wood is not a part of their daily activities. But many of us will need a quality chainsaw—and quality chainsaw chain—from time to time. What are some common applications?

First, there are those who use chainsaws professionally. They work in construction, landscaping, or the like and need to cut wood for a variety of reasons. Then there are those with trees in their yards or expansive wooded property; a chainsaw can be used to trim back trees and eliminate the dangers poses by falling branches. And if you have a wood burning fireplace, you will likely have a need to cut wood, either by cutting down trees to obtain it or by reducing the size of logs you purchase so they are manageable. Other reasons to keep a chainsaw handy are for DIY construction and furniture projects, cutting other objects to size, such as hay bales, and even ice cutting and carving.

When to Replace a Chainsaw Chain

Sometimes the chain your chainsaw comes with just isn’t the best chainsaw chain. In this case, you might want to replace it immediately. But in most cases, it will take some time for the chain to wear down to the point that you want to replace it. If you notice that the chainsaw is not cutting as well as it used to, or as well as you would like, this indicates that the chain is no longer functioning optimally. Another indication of a problem is that it seems to bend when used.

Now, you do not need to immediately replace a chain that is showing signs of a problem. The first step is to sharpen it; you can do this yourself or head to a service center for them to do this for you. Once your chain reaches the point that it displays problems even after sharpening, it is time to replace it. Also, if teeth come off, it is best to go ahead and replace the chain. Finally, should you see any signs that the chain might be ready to snap, stop using it immediately and replace the chain.

The Importance of Using the Best Chainsaw Chain

The chainsaw chain is the mechanism that actually cuts the wood. It is composed of a series of teeth, and these teeth move at a high rate of speed, biting into the wood and pulling on it, effectively cutting it. While a quality chainsaw chain is more effective at cutting and can manage to complete a job faster, this is not the main reason you should seek out the best chainsaw chain for your tool. Instead, safety is the reason you shouldn’t settle for less than the best.

When a chainsaw chain fails to operate correctly, it poses many safety issues. It can break, causing it to fly off the tool and injure you or another. It can slip off the bar and cut you as you work. It can even bite too deep into the wood, getting stuck and then causing kickback that can injure you, or even cause the wood you are cutting to became dangerous debris. As such, it is vital that you seek out the best chain, not just the best deal.

Top 5 Chainsaw Chains Comparison Table

While we have selected the following five chainsaw chains as the best, you should not strictly purchase from our list; it is much more important that you purchase the chain that best fits your chainsaw. Make certain you know exactly what your chainsaw needs before you buy. If you do not see an option here that is safe for your chainsaw, look for an option from the same manufacturers to ensure both safety and quality.

Product Name

Image

Gauge

Pitch

Length

Our Rating

Husqvarna 531300439

Husqvarna 531300439 18-Inch H30-72 (95VP) Pixel Saw Chain, .325-Inch by .050-Inch

.050 Inch Gauge

.325 Inch Pitch

18 Inch Length

#1
Editor Choice

Husqvarna 531300441

Husqvarna 531300441 20-Inch H80-72 (72V) Saw Chain, 3/8-Inch by .050-Inch

.050 Inch Gauge

3/8ths Inch Pitch

20 Inch Length

#2

Oregon S62 18-Inch

Oregon S62 18-Inch Semi Chisel Chain Saw Chain Fits Craftsman, Homelite, Poulan

.050 Inch Gauge

3/8ths Inch Pitch

18 Inch Length

#3

Oregon 14-Inch

Oregon 14-Inch Chain Saw Chain Fits Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, S52

.050 Inch Gauge

3/8ths Inch Pitch

14 Inch Length

#4

Oregon S56 16-Inch

Oregon S56 16-Inch Semi Chisel Chain Saw Chain Fits Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, Remington

.050 Inch Gauge

3/8ths Inch Pitch

16 Inch Length

#5

How to Choose the Best Chainsaw Chain

The key to purchasing the best chainsaw chain for your chainsaw is knowing what your chainsaw needs. While it is possible to determine this on your own using various measurements, there is too much room for error, and when it comes to your safety, that is unacceptable. Your best course of action is to consult the user manual for your chainsaw. If you no longer have this, find the serial number for your chainsaw and call the manufacturer to get the specifics.

You might be wondering how a chain could be this complicated. Well, saw chains have many parts. Below are explanations of these parts and the roles they play.

Choose the Best Chainsaw Chain

Depth Gauges

This part of the chain determines how deep the teeth will cut. Shallow cuts mean that the job will take longer; deep cuts run the risk of getting stuck, resulting in kickback and possible debris. The depth gauge you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Tooth Material

The teeth are what bites into the wood, pulling on it and cutting it. The stronger the material of the teeth, the better the chain. Most chainsaw chain teeth are made from chromium-plated alloy. Nearly all chainsaw chains will alternate between left-facing and right-facing teeth, allowing the chain to cut on both sides.

Tooth Type

There are two primary types of chainsaw teeth: full-chisel teeth and semi-chisel teeth. Full-chisel teeth have sharply angled square corners. These teeth can be sharpened easily and are able to split wood rapidly. Semi-chisel teeth feature rounded corners. This means they do not cut as quickly, but the advantage of this type of teeth is that it takes a long time to dull, even when used on hardwood, dry wood, or frozen wood. Your choice regarding tooth type is a matter of personal preference.

Tooth Arrangement

This refers to the balance between the teeth and the drive links that connect the teeth to each other, completing the chain. Standard chains, which are also called full complement and full house chains, offer a one-to-one ratio of tooth to drive link, placing a link between each set of teeth. Full skip chains place two drive links between each set of teeth, and semi-skip chains alternate between the standard one-to-one ratio and the full skip one-to-two ratio. Standard chains thus offer the most teeth, which results in the most efficient results. As such, it is the best tooth arrangement for most applications. Your choice regarding tooth arrangement is a matter of personal preference.

Gauge

We noted the depth gauges above, but this is different. This refers to the thickness of the drive links, which are usually within the range of .05 inches to .063 inches. It is vital that you match this to the gauge of the chainsaw guide bar; this must be an exact match.

Pitch

The pitch refers to the average distance between any two rivets on the chain. However, this distance tends to vary. In order to calculate the pitch, measure the distance between three rivets, then divide that result by two. Common pitches are .325, .375, and .404. It is vital that this is an exact match.

Length

The length of a chain is found by adding up the number of drive lengths. It is vital that it is the correct length, otherwise the chainsaw will be dangerous to operate.

Conclusion

When it comes to selecting the best chainsaw chain for your tool, the most important thing you can do is make sure that you are opting for the correct gauge, pitch, and length for your chainsaw. While we have compiled a list of the five we think are best, it is more important that you seek a chain that has the right options for your power tool. If you are uncertain about what your chainsaw needs, consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer.

Best HID Ballast Reviews

Introduction

Growing plants indoors or in a grow tent requires the use of a grow light. The larger your garden is, or depending on the types of plants you want to grow, strong lights may be necessary for the right heat and light settings. HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps are gaining popularity without many growers, because of their long lasting and very bright lights. To use these, you’ll need to find the best HID ballast to hook up to your lamps.

Bes HID ballast reviews 2017

What Does a HID Ballast Do?

Although HID lighting has been around for centuries and is a very effective light source, it is not a particularly stable light compared to others. The problem that HID lights have is that they need a very high amount of power to turn on, but the power level needs to reduce sharply after the light has turned on.

Because of this design complexity, a HID ballast is needed to maintain the lights properly and keep them running at the right level of power for a long time. A HID ballast regulates the supply of power by giving off a high-power output to turn the bulb on, but instantly switching to the low power for regular running.

Benefits of Getting The HID Ballast

Here are the benefits of using a good HID ballast for your grow lights:

Power Regulation

Instead of suppling a constant stream of power, HID ballasts give off the right amount of power at the right moments to start the bulbs and keep them running. Since HID bulbs give off a brighter light than other types of bulbs, even though they use less power, this is a significant benefit for you.

More Control

Many ballasts come with dimming switches that allow you to choose how much light you want your plants to have at different times. This level of control gives you the ability to make changes when necessary for your plants’ life cycles.

Longer Bulb Life

Proper power regulation and surge protection helps ensure your bulbs last for as long as possible instead of burning out prematurely. Considering how much you spend on bulbs, this is useful.

Top 5 HID Ballast Reviews Comparison Table

Product Name

Image

Voltage

Wattage

Dimmable?

Digital or Not

Our Rating

ReVolt Digital Ballast for HPS/MH

ReVolt Digital Ballast for HPS/MH Bulbs, 400-watt

Worldwide, 100-268V

250, 400, 600, 1000

Yes

Digital

Apollo Horitculture APL400

Apollo Horticulture APL400 Hydroponic 400 - Watt HPS MH Digital Dimmable Electronic Ballast for Grow Lights

120, 240

400, 600, 1000

Yes

Digital

iPower GLBLST400D

iPower GLBLST400D Digital Dimmable Ballast for Grow Light

120, 240

400, 600, 1000

Yes

Digital

Yield Lab Digital Dimming Ballast

Yield Lab 400w Digital Dimming Ballast

120, 220

400, 600, 1000

Yes

Digital

Osram Sylvania 49947

OSRAM SYLVANIA QTP4x32T8/UNV-ISN-SC (49947) 4 FLUORESCENT Ballasts-Fluorescent-HID

120, 277

32 watts

No

No

How to Choose the Right HID Ballast

What do you need to look for when you’re selecting the HID ballast? There are a few important things to look at, depending on what you want to use it for. I am discussing HID ballasts for grow lights, so these are some of the things you will want to look at:

Voltage

Voltage refers to the type of power coming into the ballast. Some outlets and power sources put out a different voltage than others, so you can make sure with your ballast that you are getting the right type for your home and power source.

Not all ballasts will accept each voltage, so it’s important that you know what’s coming from your home before you make a purchase. In general, most ballasts accept at least 2 different levels, so find out which one you have and move on from there.

Wattage

Whereas voltage refers to the power input, wattage refers to the output. This will determine what type of lamps you will be able to hook up. Your grow light bulbs come at a certain wattage level, and your HID ballast much be compatible with that wattage if you want it to work properly.

Keep in mind that if you’re using multiple lights in the same system you may have to use multiple ballasts to compensate for the extra power that’s needed. Some ballasts can connect to multiple lights, but many can only handle one light. Make sure you ballast has enough power and output to do what you want it to.

Dimmable

If you want the ability to change the amount of light coming from your bulbs, you will want a dimming ballast. All this does is regulate the amount of power going to your lights in a way that causes the brightness to change. Dimming is very useful for a lot of indoor growing gardens, because it allows you to adjust the lights based on different growing phases of the plants and different times of day.

Pairing the dimming feature with a good garden hose and complete grow tent is one way to make sure you get the optimal control over your plants and how they grow.

Waterproof

Ballasts for indoor growing are not always waterproof, but some are designed to be waterproof to help with the moist environments. Because you’ll be watering or misting plants a lot in your greenhouse or indoor garden, the water can affect HID ballasts if you don’t place them carefully. You may need to place the ballasts in an area that will always remain dry, or else they might be in danger of water damage.

Digital or Not

Digital ballast

HID ballasts can be either digital or analog. Digital are usually more adjustable, while analog last a long time without much need for attention or modification. A lot of common ballasts for growing indoors are digital, because of the higher level of modifications that are possible.

Digital HID ballasts are usually cheaper to operate, which makes them a good choice if you have a lot of grow lights or reflectors to hook up. If you’re growing using the hydroponics method, reliable digital HID ballasts are a great thing to have, because of the need for dimmability with these types of plants.

Lastly, digital ballasts are completely quiet, while non-digital tend to make a little noise when they’re on. Obviously, your plants won’t care about the noise at all, but if a little background humming bothers you than you’ll want to use digital.

Conclusion

Finding the best HID ballast is essential if you want set up a great indoor growing area. To get the full benefits of a ballast, you need to get one that’s compatible with the rest of your system, so make sure that you pay attention to all the points mentioned above and check out what you already have.

As far as a great product to look at, I would recommend the ReVolt Digital Ballast for HPS/MH. It’s a good all-around pleaser, because it can accept a wide range of voltage inputs and releases a wide range of wattage outputs. Although it’s not waterproof, it is digital and has a dimming feature, so it has a lot of functionality that will be very useful for you.