Full Chisel Chain Vs Skip Tooth Chain

There is a lot to know about chainsaws and picking the right chain for your task is a big one. You can put all different kinds of chains on your chainsaw and have great sawing results. This is if the chain matches the task. Today we’re going to look at full chisel chains vs skip tooth chains.

Full chisel chains are most popular for professional chainsaw use and offer clean efficient cuts. Skip tooth chains have wider gaps between the cutting teeth, reducing the drag on the chain. Less power is needed to cut through wood with a skip tooth chain. The best chain depends on the task and user.

Let’s look more at the best times to use a full chisel and a skip tooth chainsaw chain.

What are the main differences between full chisel and skip tooth chains?

A full chisel chain and a skip tooth chain are very different in their design and aggressiveness. A full chisel chain refers to the shape / style of a cutter and a skip tooth chain refers to the layout of the cutters – also known as the chain arrangement.

First, let’s look at full chisel chainsaw chains.

A full chisel chain has square-toothed cutters on each link that allows it to make more precise cuts. They are better for cutting through clean, soft, green wood. There are many different style of cutters, such as square chisel, full chisel, semi chisel, micro chisel, champfer chisel and more.

A full chisel style chain is a more aggressive style chainsaw chain, allowing it to cut through wood a lot faster than other chains styles. But with this higher level of aggression, there is also a higher risk of kickback. This is why these chains are often left for use by professionals that are able to safely operate chainsaws.

The main differences between full chisel and skip tooth chains

Full chisel chains can become dull quickly and sharpening the blades can be more challenging than other chains. This is why they are ideal for professionals trying to get jobs done properly in an efficient manner. The full chisel chain will cut through a range of materials quickly and cleanly and they will have the skills to quickly sharpen the chain.

Skip tooth chains can be made up of any style of cutter, but the difference is their arrangement. A skip tooth chain can often have cutter teeth position on every third chain link which means there is less drag on the chain. However the cutters can also be arranged in a semi skip arrangement.

Skip tooth chains are great for cutting large logs or trees well, especially with a longer bar. The gaps between the cutter teeth help stop sawdust from getting stuck in the chain and wood. Skip tooth chains are also easier to sharpen than full chisel chains, which is great for those new to chainsaw maintenance. They aren’t as aggressive as full chisel chains and have less risk of kickback.

Different types of chain arrangement

When is a full chisel chain better than a skip tooth?

Full chisel chains are better than skip tooth chains for precise, clean, and speedy cutting. When cutting finer or softer wood, full chisel chains are recommended over skip tooth chains. This is because there aren’t big gaps between the cutting teeth. Rather than hacking at a small branch, the full chisel chain will quickly saw through. You can think of it like cutting cheese with a serrated edge of a cheese knife. The serrated edge eases its way through cheese compared to flipping the knife over and trying to use the points to pull cheese apart. A full chisel chain constantly pushes through the wood with all the teeth, whereas a skip tooth pulls.

Full chisel chains are the popular choice for most work by professionals. They can be used for such a variety of tasks and provide clean cuts. Often, full chisel chains are recommended over skip tooth chains for sawing that doesn’t include large trees or chainsaw milling jobs.

That being said, full chisel chains can still be used to cut large pieces of wood and trees if you desire. You will need to sharpen the chainsaw blades more often if you are doing this regularly. This is easily done if you find chainsaw maintenance near you.

When is a skip tooth chain better than a full chisel?

Skip tooth chains are better than a full chisel chain when cutting larger trees because it speeds up the sawing. If the large wood is very resinous, a skip tooth chain is good to use because the debris is less likely to get stuck in the chain.

Skip tooth chains used with lower-powered chainsaws are better because the chain has fewer cutting teeth and therefore doesn’t need as much sawing power. They are often used for chainsaw milling and cutting through dirty wood. For sawing that doesn’t need to be clean, but is a quick job, skip tooth chains are better than full chisel chains.

When is a skip tooth chain better than full chisel?

The advantage of a skip tooth chain when cutting dirty wood is that it prevents heavy sawdust from becoming stuck in the wood. The sawdust will be collected in the gaps between the cutting teeth. The strength in the chain scoops the sawdust out of the cut.

You will also find that skip tooth chains are better on bars 36” or longer. A smaller chainsaw guide bar won’t support the chain as well and risks kickback. Also, given the spacing of the cutting teeth, a skip tooth chain won’t discard debris pieces well on a smaller bar. This can cause a build-up and requires more stopping/easing off the sawing to clear the chain. Hence why a lower-powered chainsaw with a longer bar is better. Check out some battery-powered chainsaws that you could potentially pair with a skip-tooth chain.

Is a full chisel chain easier to use than a skip tooth chain?

For bigger jobs, a skip tooth chain is easier to use than a full chisel chain. This is because your chainsaw doesn’t need as much power for the chain to cut through the wood. It can be easier to keep the chainsaw steady. Skip tooth chains can be sharpened quicker with more ease by those who might not have lots of experience with chainsaws.

Is a skip tooth chain easier to use than full chisel?

Often new chainsaws will come with a skip tooth chain because it is easy to use around the home and for common chainsaw jobs. People don’t think to grab a skip tooth chain, but they’re good for beginner use, especially with learning to perform maintenance on your chainsaw chain.

On the other hand, full chisel chains can cut through a wider range of materials with better precision and efficiency. The more cutter teeth mean quicker sawing. But a full chisel chain is more difficult to use than a skip tooth chain. This also relates to the higher risk of kickback and the aggressiveness on the chain. While you can have excellent sawing results, full chisel chains aren’t easy to use without chainsaw experience.

There are lots of different chainsaw chains to choose from, which is why we have compiled a guide for the fastest cutting chainsaw chain. We also carry a wide range of chainsaw chains for sale, so you can find the perfect chain. Check out more of our chainsaw advice in our resources! Looking for quality chainsaws for sale, be sure to take a look at our Husqvarna range!

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