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Stihl Chain...the right type?

Post in 'The Gear' started by mtfallsmikey, Jan 31, 2008.

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  1. mtfallsmikey

    mtfallsmikey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Mt. Falls Va.
    My friends and I are trying to determine the best all-around type of chain for our Stihls...we have 290's, 310's, 360's. The RMC stock chain isn't working very well in hard, dry wood (locust, walnut, black oak) without dulling; seems as if the depth gauges are too high to start with (comfort!, low kickback!), so we dress them down, usually after the first sharpening, which makes them cut better but dull quicker. What has been your experiences, and which chain do you guys run on your Stihls?

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  2. whenley

    whenley Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Warrenton, VA
    Stihl RS (rapid super) series of chain are really great. Do not confuse them with the RM series. RM is consumer (less kickback) and RS is 'pro' (whatever that means). The RS chains are very aggressive. You will feel them bite. I use them on all my saws. Just make sure to get the right pitch and tang width for whatever sprocket/bar you are using. My old 029 uses a 26RS chain, .325 pitch, .063 tang. Keep it sharp and you will throw some chips!
  3. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    343
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    RM is a semi-chisel, which is a slower cutting but more durable (in contact with debris) tooth design. The RS family is chisel (usually round-filed, but sometimes square-ground), which will cut faster but is less forgiving of contact with debris. Both are "pro" (whatever that means) chains, just for different purposes. RMC3/RSC3 are the reduced kickback versions, and these are what are commonly referred to as "non pro" chains.

    Very few chains are going to shine in bone dry, hard wood. Particularly if it has sand/dirt/grit in it. Locust, in particular, is very hard on chains when it is dry. Personally, unless the wood is filthy I like to err on the side of round-filed chisel, even if it means swapping my chains out more often. I can usually get a tank of fuel out of a sharpening on skidded and stacked logs, even if they're relatively dry. Green, clean, fresh stuff (especially maple!) will allow two or sometimes three tanks between sharpenings, even with square chisel. But the really dry stuff, like dry standing dead wood, will sometimes only permit a half-tank per sharpening with round chisel but two or three times that with semi-chisel.

    So in short, I'd say you should aim to have a few loops of semi-chisel and a few loops of round-filed chisel, and use them as conditions dictate.
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