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1/4 in chain Advantages vs Disadvantages

Discussion in 'Just Chains' started by Carhartt, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Carhartt

    Carhartt Super OPE Member

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    Customer of mine, tree service guy purchased a new Stihl pole saw and it came with 1/4 chain on it. He does not care for it and asked me to change it out. I don't have a lot of experience with 1/4 in chain. Advantages vs dis? Does Stihl put 1/4 on anything else new? He has a lot of 14 in 3/8 LP bars and chains from top handle saws and would like to match up with them.
    I have some 1/4 stuff but it only came on 015's and maybe 1 other older saw (010?)
     
  2. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Do him a favour & put a 3/8p polesaw sprocket on for him so he can use the chains he already has & keep things simple. 1/4" chain is beautiful chain, really, I mean really smooth which is nice on sub 30cc saws/power heads. Why its not so good is files are expensive, chain is expensive, cutters are tiny so you don't get many sharpenings before there worn away. I swapped mine over at the dealer for a 3/8 050 light bar and chain. 1/4" is good but its complicated.
     
  3. Carhartt

    Carhartt Super OPE Member

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    Was my plan exactly. I just didn't know why Stihl would do such a thing.
     
  4. Willard

    Willard Pinnacle OPE Member

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    You guys must be talking about Stihl's little 71PM .043 chain.
    Better 1/4" chain is Stihl 23RMS .050 which I have carved with lots over the last 20 years. I've used alot of Oregon 25AP before that.
    Only .050 chain that will rotate around a dime tip carver bar.

    But trouble with pole saws they use .043 bars with the little 61PM 3/8 Picco or now the 71Picco 1/4"
     
  5. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Small pitch, and narrow kerf chains use less force to cut with, so they are furnished with some low power saws, especially battery powered ones. Pole saws also have relatively small motors, and are usually used on smaller diameter limbs, so the 1/4" pitch provides a smoother cut, especially if you are pruning a live tree.

    Negatives are what @CR888 noted.

    I have narrow kerf, 3/8 low profile (Oregon Type 90) chain on my 40V Oregon pole saw and really like it.

    We replaced the 1/4" chain on some STIHL HT133 pole saws with the 'Picco' chains so that they would all use the same loops. Word is that STIHL is going back to that chain, although, some will be available with the longer (14") bars.

    Philbert
     
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  6. Willard

    Willard Pinnacle OPE Member

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    I tried 71PM .250 .043 on my T536 LiXP but didn't like it as it can't clear chips in poplar and softwood to my liking. So went back to the Oregon 90 chain.
    Did try the 13RMS .050 .250 with a carver bar but solid tip wastes alot of power and battery life.
     
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  7. Duane(Pa)

    Duane(Pa) It's the chain...

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    Liability...and bar tip radius
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  8. Duane(Pa)

    Duane(Pa) It's the chain...

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    I like quarter chain, but I’m probably in a minority. I have it on a pole saw and a rear handle 200. Tried it on a 241 too. I think it’s all semi chisel, but it lasts a good long time cutting in the sky on a pole saw.
     
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  9. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    I had 1/4 on my 015. I like it better then 3/8lp. Way smoother. And on a plunge cut it isn’t so choppy.
     
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  10. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Some wood types 1/4 cuts much better with than others. I like the way NK 3/8 cuts too in 'some' cases it really shines. But for day to day facing any type of wood I think 3/8 050 works best generally. It too is not perfect, I'd like to see a Picco style .325, similar size cutters to 3/8lp but a few more of them closer together. At the end of the day you just want a pole saw chain to be smooth, not get pinched easily and acceptably perform.
     
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  11. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Oregon has supposedly been working on this, but it has been about a year since first announced.

    Philbert
     
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  12. dmb2613

    dmb2613 Super OPE Member

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    The HT 250s come with 3/8 P chain on them, the smaller hp pole saws do much better with the 1/4 chain and that is why Stihl puts it on them
     
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  13. Lightning Performance

    Lightning Performance Pinnacle OPE Member

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    I have used all of them on 101s

    Hardwood 12" 043 3/8lp

    Softwood is easier 12 or 14" mini 043. I did used a 16" mini once or twice in 050. 050 I'm told breaks drives. I never broke one. Tried 050lp 14" off my 200T. Slows the saw down.

    Quarter inch sucks
     
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  14. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Its tough too put any rules down as it greatly depends on what you cut. A lot of the stringy bark gums I cut you want the widest kerf possible to avoid your bar getting pinched/stuck. PITA. I use 404 for any stringies once on the ground.
     
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  15. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Was running a HT133 a lot today with the 1/4" pitch: have to agree in this application.

    Performance was poor. Chain life was limited. And a pain to sharpen (one guy even snapped one of the little files, even in a standard file holder).

    Prefer the 3/8 low pro / 'Picco' chain.

    Philbert
     
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