Stihl Ripping Saw Chain

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CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
598
SW Ohio
While viewing Stihl website I noticed they have introduced a saw chain for ripping. My recollection is that this is their first ripping chain.
While I don't mill I have friends that do. I would be interested in feedback from anyone that has heard anything about their new ripping chain.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
I want to try the 24"/84DL 63PMX setup on my Logosol mill, but the special Logosol bars and stihl chains are frequently out of stock from my "local" dealer. Right now I'm using Carlton 30RP with an Oregon Powercut bar. It's closer to 3/8" kerf than the 1/4" kerf offered by the Stihl 63pmx ripping chain. Compared to the Oregon rip chain the Carlton has a smaller kerf and I like the way it cuts better. I haven't tried the Stihl RMX chain, but I doubt it is better than the Carlton chain which is much more affordable.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
There's posts from 2004 discussing RMX chain, so I am not sure it's new. Not sure when it came out.

Not sure what the "X" suffix means.


Screenshot_20210323-005404_Firefox Nightly.jpg
 

CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
598
SW Ohio
Interesting. It's in Stihl' new products section. I wonder if it's just reintroduced ?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
There's posts from 2004 discussing RMX chain, so I am not sure it's new. Not sure when it came out.

Not sure what the "X" suffix means.


View attachment 277034

I'm pretty sure the "X" references ripping chain. 63PMX is: Picco (3/8 low pro) M(?) X(ripping grind) and I don't know what the 63 stands for either.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
It’s all in the chart above I think. 6 means Stihl pico, 3 is the gage- 0.050”. M means micro or semi chisel.

You got the rest correct PMX — pico micro ripping.

Im not sure I could justify the cost for my long bars. The 3/8 low pro tooth is so much shorter I’m guessing that it’s life would be 30-50% shorter than the regular 3/8. But if you are in it for production and can cut faster is might be worth it.

Evan
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
It’s all in the chart above I think. 6 means Stihl pico, 3 is the gage- 0.050”. M means micro or semi chisel.

You got the rest correct PMX — pico micro ripping.

Im not sure I could justify the cost for my long bars. The 3/8 low pro tooth is so much shorter I’m guessing that it’s life would be 30-50% shorter than the regular 3/8. But if you are in it for production and can cut faster is might be worth it.

Evan

I think you are right about less useable life, but the few people I have spoken to, on the internet, that have the Stihl 63PMX and the logosol bars (one guy just uses regular roller tip bars) say they are faster cutting with less waste. Maybe I'll treat myself to one loop and the special hard nose bar for my birthday this year. I am pretty sure the bar is made for Stihl bolt pattern, so I'll have to get an adapter.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
I think you are right about less useable life, but the few people I have spoken to, on the internet, that have the Stihl 63PMX and the logosol bars (one guy just uses regular roller tip bars) say they are faster cutting with less waste. Maybe I'll treat myself to one loop and the special hard nose bar for my birthday this year. I am pretty sure the bar is made for Stihl bolt pattern, so I'll have to get an adapter.
I’d give this a try if I had 0.050 bars.

 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
I’d give this a try if I had 0.050 bars.


And here it is in pico 0.325

 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
And here it is in pico 0.325


And in .325 by 0.63.


I ended up with a roll of 3/8 skip 0.063. Hard nose milling bars make for quick pitch changes. 52” and 28” bars are 3/8 sprocket and 36” is hard nose. All are 063 gage. I’m probably not changing the sprocket tip out. But I would change out a drive sprocket. Truth is I have way more chain than I could ever use up.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
I’d give this a try if I had 0.050 bars.

Is it really LP? Looks like my Carlton 30RP "low profile" ripping chain, which is only slightly smaller/shorter than the Oregon chain I started out with.
 

bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
415
Northern Michigan
Been SLOW going on this project. A bit of a dumb question, but I wonder if the chain below will be appropriate for an ms261.…. The specs are 0.325, 0.063, 81 teeth… so My guess is yes. Still… I don’t know enough about whether it will mesh with the bar/drive gears properly.

My 261 takes a “26rm3”… I haven’t been able to find what the MS280 takes (referenced in the link)

Thanks in advance.

Meanwhile… I have lots of good beech down to get my stair treads from. Looking forward to making some chips sooner than later!
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Your saw will have the chain information stamped on the bar. Both of your saws are a bit undersized for milling so take it slow. Perhaps run 40:1 or 32:1 fuel and tune your saw a bit on the rich side so it will run a bit cooler. I've milled with my Husqvarna 460, which is probably down on HP from your 261 but makes more torque, and it was very slow and tedious compared to my 395xp. I also like to keep an air compressor handy for blowing sawdust out of my flywheel covers.

@EbS-P bought a "Farmertec" G666 Chinese clone just for milling and seems satisfied. Might be a preferable option to beating up your 261, which would be my pic between your two saws if that's what I had to use.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
Been SLOW going on this project. A bit of a dumb question, but I wonder if the chain below will be appropriate for an ms261.…. The specs are 0.325, 0.063, 81 teeth… so My guess is yes. Still… I don’t know enough about whether it will mesh with the bar/drive gears properly.

My 261 takes a “26rm3”… I haven’t been able to find what the MS280 takes (referenced in the link)

Thanks in advance.

Meanwhile… I have lots of good beech down to get my stair treads from. Looking forward to making some chips sooner than later!
I’m all for running what you have if you are careful. I can bury my 37 cc Ryobi in a 12” ripping cut that’s 11’ long. Sharp chain correct tune ect. If you are getting a single loop you are not really saving much going with the archer chain. Re profiling a regular semi chisel chain to 10 degrees by hand won’t take more than 12 minutes. Running an under powered saw means you need to keep the chain sharp. I was touching it up every tank with the Ryobi.
Evan
 

bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
415
Northern Michigan
I’m all for running what you have if you are careful. I can bury my 37 cc Ryobi in a 12” ripping cut that’s 11’ long. Sharp chain correct tune ect. If you are getting a single loop you are not really saving much going with the archer chain. Re profiling a regular semi chisel chain to 10 degrees by hand won’t take more than 12 minutes. Running an under powered saw means you need to keep the chain sharp. I was touching it up every tank with the Ryobi.
Evan
The local hardware store charged me $7 to sharpen to 10 degrees… the chain was utterly destroyed! Massive burrs, and clearly there was a LOT of heat.

I‘m not looking at making a ton of boards at this point. The big goal is to make treads for the stairs… that‘s all. If it goes well, maybe make some cuts for other projects. It’s a vanity project, I suppose, but I want to have a ‘showpiece‘ to remember the trees by somewhere in the house. (Beechbark disease is killing em all!)

Does that chain seem appropriate for my saw? The 0.325/0.063/81 matches perfectly, but I don‘t know if there is some other Geometry I need to worry about.

Thanks!
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
If your bar says .325/.063/81 then yes, it will work. I also agree that unless you are buying a quarter reel or more the Archer chain is not a good deal. How are you going to sharpen the chain after you get it? The Archer chain is horrible out of the box with very irregular cutter lengths. I'm using the 3/8 LP Archer ripping chain and it works well on my 16" Husqvarna bar, but not on my 24" Tsumura bar. After cleaning up the cutters on my grinder the chain cuts smooth and very fast and has actually kept the edge after a dozen logs, most being around 6" on the small end (for fence posts) with a few being 10".
 

bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
415
Northern Michigan
If your bar says .325/.063/81 then yes, it will work. I also agree that unless you are buying a quarter reel or more the Archer chain is not a good deal. How are you going to sharpen the chain after you get it? The Archer chain is horrible out of the box with very irregular cutter lengths. I'm using the 3/8 LP Archer ripping chain and it works well on my 16" Husqvarna bar, but not on my 24" Tsumura bar. After cleaning up the cutters on my grinder the chain cuts smooth and very fast and has actually kept the edge after a dozen logs, most being around 6" on the small end (for fence posts) with a few being 10".
I was assuming the same file set I use for my current chain would work for the one shown. I’m 100% open to a better option! Suggestions?

Thanks!
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
I was assuming the same file set I use for my current chain would work for the one shown. I’m 100% open to a better option! Suggestions?

Thanks!
You can use a file, but how will you keep the cutters equal length or set to 10 degrees? I started out with a guided file jig that mounts on my bar, then went to a bar mounted 12v grinder, now I have a Tecomec Super Jolly. I wish I had just gotten the Super Jolly before either of the jigs, but maybe I can save you from that hassle. To be fair, the jigs worked fine when I was just cross cutting, but I also didn't know how much better things could be. If one of my cutters is longer than the rest, or one is too short, it is very noticeable when I saw lumber. The cut surface ends up looking like ruffles potato chips. When all the cutters are the same length and razor sharp I could make my boards finish quality with a few minutes of sanding.

The chain is arguably more important than how much power the saw makes. Without a way to consistently and accurately sharpen the chain you will get very frustrated. Sawing beech will probably have you sharpening the chain every log or so. If your logs have dirt/mud/debris in the bark you will have an especially rough time. Hitting a clump of dirt or clay in the bark (from skidding logs) will make your chain go from razor sharp to a butter knife in an instant.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
I was assuming the same file set I use for my current chain would work for the one shown. I’m 100% open to a better option! Suggestions?

Thanks!
Same file. I did my first few sharpenings with only an angle guide and a depth gauge. Basically all I had was this set.
Oregon Chainsaw Field Sharpening Kit - Includes 5/32, 3/16, and 7/32 Inch Round Files, Flat File, Handle, Filing Guide, and Pouch Amazon product
Were the slabs super smooth, no but the chain cut. Upgraded to a file n joint. It’s better. If you have a planer to finish the lumber a really smooth cut isn’t super necessary. That 35$ was all I wanted to spend for my limited number of projects.

learning to sharpen by hand is an art but it’s useful. I suggest you give it a try. My tip is make sure you have a good sharp file.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,188
SE North Carolina
If your logs have dirt/mud/debris in the bark you will have an especially rough time. Hitting a clump of dirt or clay in the bark (from skidding logs) will make your chain go from razor sharp to a butter knife in an instant.
I suggest debarking it makes big difference.
 
I wonder if the Stihl/Pford 2in1 would work for you...
 
Having a 10 degree angle mark is essential. You could probably add one.
The usual is 30 degree so I can see how you could
 

bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
415
Northern Michigan
I just went ahead and started with my regular chain… it worked… I learned some things in trying and am sure the next round will be a little prettier. Maybe I’ll know what I’m doing by the time I’m done? Hahaha.

I’ll be doing this all free hand... for a first attempt, I think it turned out alright. Yeah, it could be better… these are maybe 2.5” thick. After drying, I’ll run them through a band saw to get to planks each.

I haul the logs out of the woods with a grapple and very little dirt sticks to the bark of beech. What little there is brushes right off… no need to de-bark.
 

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bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
415
Northern Michigan
I should add… I intentionally started on a log that had a split running perpendicular to the cut I was going to make. The wood isn’t as good, but the log was a great one to make “first mistakes” on.
 
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