How Long Do Chainsaw Chains Last?

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 Normally, a chainsaw chain lasts 5-6 years, but other factors determine the lasting period.

A chainsaw is a power tool that reduces your labor and time. Everyone widely used it to cut trees, produce firewood, cut branches, and sometimes cut thin bars of rod.

Like all machines, chainsaws also have different parts. But, of course, the most essential component which cuts the workpiece is the chain. But as everything has a lifespan, and chainsaw chains also last for a certain period of time. In this article, I will discuss how long do chainsaw chains last.

How Long Do Chainsaw Chains last?

In general, a chainsaw chain can last for 5+ years. However, it depends on the usage. Using the right chain for material and proper maintenance will make it last longer. In short, the chain’s lifespan is determined by usage and maintenance.

Types of Chainsaw Chains and their lifespan

There are different chains, but we can divide them into three main types. They are full chisel chainssemi-chisel chains, and Low-profile chains.

1. Full chisel chains

They are a common type of chain for a chainsaw. These chains have square corners, so we can cut something faster than other chains. Mainly this type of chain is used to cut hardwood like oak.

Professionals and experienced persons mainly used the full chisel chain. But this chain isn’t stable for rough uses, and it doesn’t last long when cutting dirty wood.

Usually, full chisel chains last for 5-6 years. For normal uses, it can even last longer. If you use it to cut wood and log piles, it will last longer. However, dirty, muddy snow and ice will dull a chain faster, and it will not last as expected.

You will have to sharpen your chain when you notice it is not working as well as before. For example, if you see small chunks in the sawdust, your chain is getting dull and needs to be sharpened.

2. Semi-chisel chains

Semi-chisel chains are usually used in cutting softwood, dirty wood, dry wood, and frozen wood. These chains have round-cornered teeth with a round grid edge. The kickback risk is also lower in the semi-chisel chain. It is less aggressive and easy to sharpen.

Though it cuts slower than a full chisel chain, it remains sharp for a long time. Thus, it is used by both professionals and beginners.

A semi-chisel chain can last 6 or more years. How long a semi-chisel chain will last also depends on how we use it. Normal tasks like tree felling, pruning, and harvesting firewood with proper care will increase the chain’s lifespan.

Many people use a chainsaw to cut frozen wood, affecting the chain by damaging it. Weather is also a factor here. Warm weather helps to make the chain last longer. On the other hand, the chain can get rusty in cold and humid weather, and it will not last that long.

3. Low profile chains

Low-profile chains or chipper cutters are the best for beginners. This chain can prevent kickbacks. So, it is comparably safer than other chains. In addition, it is lightweight, and it occurs less strain on the engine.

These chains are rounded like semi-chisel chains and are also easiest to sharpen. If you feel like your chainsaw chains are not working like before, you need to buy a new one. This chain is available worldwide so that you can find it easily.

With infrequent use and proper care, low-profile chains can last several years. It usually can last for like 5 years. These chains are not for heavy usage. It is good to use for cutting wood, log piles, and lightweight works. But if you use it to cut frozen wood, big tree, and ice, the chain may get damaged and last a very short time.

Things That Damage Your Chainsaw Chain

There are many elements we face while working with a chainsaw. Some elements may damage the chain and the blade that we do not realize. Now we will discuss the things that can cause damage to the chain and blade.


Cutting dirty wood is the number one cause of damage blade. All the sawdust and mud get into your chainsaw chain. Its tendency to slip and loss of friction does not cut that well; rather, it starts to dull your chain. Try to avoid dirty muddy wood.


Lubrication is an essential factor for all machines. If the lubrication is not enough, it will generate heat. This damages the blade and shortens its lifespan. It’s also important to remember not to oil the chain while it’s hot.

Cutting metal or rock

Chainsaws are mostly designed for wood cutting. They can’t cut metals. But sometimes, the nails or screws come in the middle, and often we do not notice. Trying to cut over them makes the blade dull pretty quickly. Also, it cannot cut rocks. So, hitting a rock will also give the same result.

Ice Cutting

Many things cutting ice do not damage my chain. But it is a total myth. Ice is very solid and strong. It can damage your chain pretty fast and shorten your chain’s lifespan dramatically.

Improper Tension

The tension of the chain must stay at a flat rate. Not too much, not too less. If the chain tension is too much, the chain will break. Too loose tension will not cut properly and dull the chain.


Rust makes everything fragile. It is not exceptional here. Rust makes the chain fragile and not sharp. So, cutting with a rusty chain will break the chain. There’s also the potential of an accident.

How To Maintain A Chainsaw Properly?

1. Keep the chainsaw clean

It is important to keep the chainsaw clean; otherwise, it will not work properly. After using a chainsaw, you can see that sawdust, tree sap, and other dust are stuck to it. It will damage the chain and decrease its efficiency. Each part of the chainsaw requires a different cleaning method, so be careful.

2. Lubricate the chainsaw

A chainsaw needs to be lubricated properly. It will prevent friction between the bar and the chain, which is essential to control the heat. There are different ways to add oil, depending on the chainsaw. Read the owner’s manual properly to know how to use oil on the chainsaw.

3. Sharpen the blades

Sharpening the blade is important to get the best output for the machine. When the blade is dull and not cutting well, you will need to sharpen it. The blades may be too blunt if it feels like it jumps when using it. You can sharpen the blade using a round file. You will have to push the file across the chainsaw blade. Lift the file and repeat the same process when you reach the end.

4. Use new gas

The gas may have gone bad if you haven’t used your chainsaw in a while. Normally, the gas starts to break down in a month during storage, so it might not work properly. You should put in enough gas that lasts for 30 days.

FAQs About Chainsaw Chain

Q. Are there different grades of chainsaw chains?

Yes. Mainly, there are three different types of chains. They are full chisel, semi-chisel, and low-profile chains. Each of them is used for different tasks.

Q. What type of chainsaw chain cuts the fastest?

A full chisel chain cuts the fastest. This type of chain has square-cornered teeth. A full chisel chain has more teeth than other chains.

Q. What kind of oil does a chainsaw need?

Normally petroleum-based bar oil is the standard for chainsaws. Manufacturers make bar and chain oils for the machine to extend their lifespan. It is not smart to use any organic oil.


Chainsaw chains are durable, as replacing them is both time-consuming and costly. As a result, a chainsaw chain will last 5- 6 years with proper guide and maintenance on average.

When you know the details of the tool you are using, you can easily find out the proper use and what damages it. With this article, you get to know the proper maintenance, and it will help keep your chainsaw chain last for a long time. Thank you for sticking till the last.

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