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Oregon chain rim sprocket

Post in 'The Gear' started by Green Energy, Oct 13, 2009.

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  1. Green Energy

    Green Energy Feeling the Heat

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    Central Maryland (between DC, Balt. Fredrick)
    I have an 18 year old Stilh 028 Super Wood Boss. I figured I try to get a few more years out of it. I have replaced chains with Stihl chains and figured I would buy on line to save some money. From some searching here I found that Oregon is a well known brand (but some would say not as good as Stihl). I figured I would give them a try. Bought a 18" Pro Light bar, Pro-guard chain, and power mate sprocket. I have not changed the sprocket or bar since I bought it and figured it needed changing since I am now cutting 2cords of oak a year.

    Couple questions, the Power Mate sprocket is the rim system. It seems that a few people here thought it was a good system since you could just buy the rims to replace them or flip them. Is that a good switch to the rim type sprocket?

    Second, any reason that I should rethink the Pro light bar and Pro Guard chain?

    After reading through some of the threads on this site, I am afraid that this may be a safety chain that does not cut as well.

    Thanks!

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Oregon is probably the best known chain brand, and is definitely good quality chain, though some folks like other brands better. I run Oregon on my Dolmar and like it for whatever thats worth - probably not a lot :) I don't see any real strong reason to pick Oregon over Stihl other than cost, or vice versa...

    I think rim sprockets are a good idea, as they are easier to change and less expensive, plus if you go for over / undersize bars or do engine mods, you can get different size sprockets to do the equivalent of changing your transmission gearing. The bar is probably an OK choice - I don't see a lot of difference in bars once you get past the solid vs. roller nose question.

    Looking up Pro Guard chain in my Oregon chain book (which you can get for free from Oregon, and is a nice reference on the care and feeding of chains in general) I see that it's a .325" chain, and it is a safety chain with bumper links... Definitely wouldn't be my choice in a chain... Just going by the pictures in the book, and no personal experience, I think that you might do better to get the Super Guard chain instead - this has no bumper links, but is still supposed to be a low vibration chain in a full chisel tooth design. They have a couple other designs as well that aren't listed as "reduced kickback" but do appear to have bumper links - not sure how they would work.

    As to component life, the general rule that I've heard is that you should figure one sprocket for every two chains, and one bar every four chains...

    Gooserider
  3. Green Energy

    Green Energy Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Central Maryland (between DC, Balt. Fredrick)
    Goose,

    Thank for the good information. I talked with the folks I bought the equipment from. It looks like the more aggressive chain that I will be looking at is the Super 20. It is a professional grade chain, chisel cutters. They sales person said that it would work on the bar that I purchased. But it is almost not worth it to send the other chain back, so I probably use it and replace it with the Super 20.

    With the new rim sprocket and bar, do you know of any problem going back to a Stihl chain as long as it has the same pitch and gauge specs?

    Thanks,

    GE
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    As I said, all I know is what I see in the Oregon book, but they list 4 chains in the .325 normal kerf size. You might get more info off the Oregon website.

    Pro-guard is described as "low kickback" and shows a raker and big bumper tie strap as the "kickback reducing features. It appears to be a full chisel tooth design.

    Micro-chisel and Super 20, both are described as "not a low kickback chain" but show both the raker shape and a bumper drive link in the "kickback reducing features" colum. Micro-chisel looks like a semi-chisel tooth design, and Super 20 is full chisel.

    Super-Guard is also described as "not a low kickback chain" but also specifically says "no bumper tie straps" and only shows the raker shape in the kickback reducing column. It is also a full chisel tooth design.

    The reccomended use icons show all but the Pro-guard as being "professional use" - but I know that bumper links seem to generally be the big difference between pro-grade and safety chains, so I'm a bit confused by "pro-grade" chains that have bumpers, and would tend to avoid them, leaving me inclined towards the Super Guard - but this is based only on what I'm seeing in the book, I don't have any practical experience with any of those chains.

    As long as you keep the same chain specs, it should not matter what brand of chain you run - the entire idea of having the specs is to make it possible to interchange brands. The only problem you might encounter is that I'm not sure Stihl makes chains in all the sizes that other folks use, but presumably if you have a Stihl saw, the specs for the parts you chose should not pose a problem.

    Gooserider
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