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Is it unusual or typical for brand new Oregon chains to be dull out of the box?

Post in 'The Gear' started by tradergordo, Apr 17, 2007.

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  1. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Since I screwed up one of my chains, and I like having a couple extras for a big job, I decided to buy a couple cheap Oregon chains to see how they perform. This is for a husky 455 rancher. This is the exact chain I bought. I noticed that the angles were a little different than the chains that came with the saw, but that should not be a big deal (35 degree vs 25). Anyway, chain fit fine, but right from the very first cut it seemed dull and it only got worse from there. I haven't sharpened it yet to continue the evaluation, but I was just wondering if its unusual or typical for a new chain to seem dull right out of the box?

    Also - I thought someone said oregon made the chains for Husqvarna, but the Husqvarna chains that came with my saw look a lot different (they were also very sharp right out of the box).

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I find the shihl chains to be the best. I would touch it up with a file and see if there is a difference
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's not a dull chain, gordo. What you bought was semi-chisel chain, which has a rounded cutting edge, vs. the standard full-chisel chain, which comes to a point. The latter is professional chain and typically faster. Semi-chisel chain is designed for non-pros and should keep an edge longer under adverse conditions, such as your typical firewood cutting application.

    Considering what you paid for shipping, I think you could do just as well at a local saw dealership, where you'd probably get the right chain for what you want to do. With so many different chain styles and sizes, buying online if you don't know exactly what you want is a crapshoot.

    There's nothing wrong with semi-chisel chain. If you're not happy with the way it cuts, save it for when you have some dirty wood to cut. It will hold an edge longer.
  4. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    From your description, it sounds like I should be using semi-chisel at least some of the time. All I have is full-chisel (oregon 73LG and 73V) which I dull/destroy/grind/file/repeat on a regular basis on dirty, sandy, or rocky wood. But gordo doesn't make much of a salesman for semi-chisel...
  5. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Haha, I'm right there with you Disco - based on my limited experience so far, it seems to make much more sense to just use the full chisel and sharpen as required. Maybe semi-chisel is supposed to go longer under harsh circumstances but I sure didn't see it in my first use. LIke I said, even the very first cut wasn't impressive, and it got duller from there, after less than an hour of work, it was so dull I didn't feel like continuing with it. I'll sharpen it and try one more time, but if I see the same results I'm probably never going to use this chain again (except as a last resort backup).
  6. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    I have used Oregon chains for a long time, I have had no problems with them.
    As noted in a post above, their are numerous types of chains available,(just look in the Baileys Catolog).
    One hit on a rock and any chain is done.
    I am sure that OEM chains varyamong different manufactures but I never heard of a dull chain fresh out of the box, (but than again anything is possible).
    Put any chain on the bar backwards and I guarantee it won't cut butter. ( I am not applying you did this, but it can be done).
    How do you like that Husky Rancher 455. It came down to that saw and a Stihl MS310 when I purchased a new saw, and the Stihl got the nodd. It had more HP and was Fifty bucks cheaper. I see they came out with a bigger Husky Rancher.

    John
  7. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    No, I don't think Oregon chains in general are bad at all, its just that lame semi-chisel DP chain that I would avoid - but after thinking about it, these could be the perfect chains to use when cutting up pallets (I bet its real hard to get these things to jump off the bar!).

    I followed up with the dealer I bought them from and he said "I don't use the DP either. I had some customers who are afraid of their saw ask us to list this type of chain. They have a bumper link for low kickback and round cutters that make the chain take a less agressive bite out of the wood but I didn't think it would be that slow to cut."

    As for the Rancher 455, I think its a good saw, and hard to beat at the price I paid. But I do think that if I were to start all over from scratch I'd probably buy a pro saw with higher power at max RPM (like the 359 for just a little more than I paid for the 455). Might be hard to justify a pro saw since I only cut about 3-4 cords a year, but I don't have the best back, and I really want to minimize cutting time, plus they are supposed to be more durable so it could really pay off in the long run. You can also find good condition used pro saws for under $300 (of course you'd have to be careful going that route). But all in all I'm very satisfied with the 455 Rancher.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    They used to make something called "chipper" chain that wasn't semi- anything. It had a very rounded business end. As I said, great for cutting dirty wood, especially frozen, dirty wood.
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